Database Days - Frankfurt November 2011

Here are my rantings and ravings about my trip to Frankfurt for the Database Days conference. With my thumbs up or thumbs down ratings.

The Journey - UK side

Once again I had to suffer an expensive trip to Heathrow on British Rail. This time I only needed a one way ticket as my wife was meeting me in Frankfurt on the Friday evening and would be driving to the airport. The cost of this trip from my home in South West England was around £40.00.

I have to say that everything went very smoothly. My train left Sherborne on time at 08.36, the bus connection to Heathrow from Woking was also on time and I arrived at Heathrow at around 11.00.

British Rail - Not bad , a bit expensive***

Heathrow Terminal again! This time my journey through security was uneventful. I found that Starbucks had power outlets, so I sneakily plugged in my laptop and did a couple of hours work before my flight.

Heathrow Terminal 5 - I hate airports especially Heathrow..***

British Airways

British Airways - yukk! Luckily I managed to snag an exit seat on the outbound flight and so sat quite comfortably without having both my legs broken by the reclining people in front! On the return journey the plane was half empty, so no folks in front and my wife and I had three seats between us, so I could spread out a bit. Without these factors I would have had to put up with the usual crushed legs!

The so called snacks on BA are a joke. A very pathetic little bag of chips. The DO give you a free drink from the bar.

British Airways - This time not too bad -but still not good enough for a thumbs up***

Frankfurt Airport to the City

Frankfurt airport terminal 2 has signs to the Banhof (Train station( that lead you to to the outside of the terminal building then disappear!

I found out that you have to take the yellow bus to terminal one - this was not nice, I managed to get wedged into a section of the bus on the 'bendy bit' and had a real job holding on - still it was only five minutes so never mind

Frankfurt Airport - Misleading signs***

From the airport it;s cheap and easy to get into the city ( €2.90 I think ). Get a ticket from the machine then down to Platform one.

When I changed from the S Bahn to the U Bahn ( tube) - I couldn't find Hessen Center on the map, but a very nice lady in the ticket office at Konstablerwache who spoke very good English set me right!

Thank you U-Bahn lady! ****

Amadeus Hotel Frankfurt

It was OK.

It could have been any Hotel anywhere. The rooms were too warm, maybe due to a very unusual spell of glorious November weather. The Internet connection was terrible!! Not just a bit slow but extremely slooooooooooow! As this Hotel is advertised as a 4* business hotel that really is not good enough.

The staff were helpful and polite. There was Coffee available sometimes, though I needed to ask for it first thing in the morning as there are no coffee facilities in the rooms and I NEED coffee in the morning.

The staff were pleasant and the food was nice, but things like very small bath towels, a very small safe that even my little 13" MacBook would not fit in, coffee not replenished often enough in the lobby, a very small bar area and the appalling internet connection make me give this Hotel a thumbs down.

Aamdeus Hotel Frankfurt - Not Recommended! ***

Thursday Night

I met up with Christian Schmitz and some other folks in the bar at the Hotel, drank some beer. We then all hopped on the U-Bahn and went into town for a really nice meal at a local restaurant and had some more beer.

When we returned to the Hotel some folks drank much more beer ( guilty! ). I got to bed very late and more than a little tipsy!

German beer - works for me****

Friday - Database Day

I do not expect any sympathy but I felt really ill! I am not used to drinking such large amounts of beer! I skipped breakfast and took a lot or paracetamols!

There were many presentations from many folks. I made some notes. I felt very ill. I skipped lunch, had a cold shower, took some more paracetamols.

Simon's Presentation in Frankfurt

That's me up the front nattering on about foreign keys!

We had a very amusing video conference with Geoff Perlman of Real Software. The slooooooow internet connection in the Hotel also applied to the conference room! I think the Hotel connection was abandoned and a connection made through someone's cell phone and laptop. Geoff did manage to show us some of the newReal Studio IDE (looks nice) but eventuallty the connection spluttered away to nothing.

As always at these sort of events, I find the networking between the sessions and in the bar most useful. Many kind folks gave me some good suggestions for my new application and hopefully I helped one or two people as well

While I was there I did some ranting about Database Design. I hope it wasn't too boring - at least nobody fell asleep. I think I went through this much too quickly as I also demonstrated some real SQL and the Beta release of QiSQL Data Manager as well - sorry if it was confusing! The Public Beta release of QiSQL Data Manager will hopefully be available on this site early next year.

A very interesting question was aked concerning my insistence on surrogate non-compound primary keys and replication/merging - which I obviously could not answer! SO........ I have added a whole new section to my SQL / Database design tutorials to try and cover this very important issue. Data Replcation / Merging

Interesting presentations and people*****

Database Design Slides & Stuff

Here are my Database Design slides:

Slides Part One
Slides for Sessions

Session One Recap first

Slides Part One
Slides for Normalisation

Not presented as way to much for one hour, but may be interesting

I originally designed this for the Essen conference - a Database design to cover everything! It is included at the end of the slides but just in case you don't want to plow through them all - here it is, just click below ( Warning: Implementing this design may lead to insanity )

The Everything Database Design