Andy Colvin: Putting 12.2 to the Test

The new Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2) recently became available in the Oracle Cloud, but one ODTUG member had a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at it months ago during extensive testing.

Andy Colvin, an Infrastructure Principal Director with Accenture Enkitec Group, was one of about a dozen people chosen by various Oracle user groups to be part of the Oracle User Group Database 12.2 Beta Validation event. He spent five days in May at the Oracle Corporation headquarters in Redwood Shores, California, focusing on processes for upgrading, installing, and various other aspects regarding the new version of Oracle Database 12c.

“It’s one of the longest weeks of the year that you go through because they basically put us in a lab environment and bring in breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner,” said Andy, who is based in the Dallas, Texas, area. “They give you work stations to test out things and goals for things to test. It’s really cool because you get a chance to talk to and meet the people who develop all the new functionality and software that comes out, people you otherwise don’t get a chance to meet.”

The event started with a two-hour introduction from Oracle’s product team and main developers explaining new features and functionality, and then beta testers got to work on trying to find bugs and file them with the developer team. Participants were in the lab for as much as 13 hours per day, said Andy, who was also part of beta testing for 12.1.

“You get to talk to them and say, ‘This is what I think it should do,’” he said. “They give feedback and say, ‘This is what we expected.’ There’s a lot of back and forth, and that’s really good.”

On the last day there was a feedback session with presentations about what was tested and what participants’ experiences were, with senior leadership asking questions.

“It’s fun to be in a room with a bunch of people who are all trying to do the same thing,” Andy said. “The access you get to the development team is awesome.”

So what did Andy discover about 12.2 during his week of testing?

“There were fewer bugs in this version than in the last one,” he said. “This version is a lot more stable from what I’ve seen. There are not a lot of new large features that have been put in. It seems to be refining all the things that were introduced in 12.1.”

User group beta testers such as Andy are an integral part of Oracle’s launch of a new product.

“I wanted to provide my sincere thanks for recommending Andy Colvin for the Oracle User Group Database 12.2 Beta Validation event,” Debbie Migliore, part of Oracle Corporation’s beta testing staff, wrote in an email to ODTUG reps. “He was an excellent addition to the testing event and should be recognized as a significant contributor to this activity. It was truly enjoyable to spend time with him.”

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