Java DB Booth is hopping!
The first year we had a booth for Apache Derby/Java DB at JavaOne, it was kind of sad. Nobody had heard of us, or even understood what we were about. We spent most of our time chatting amongst ourselves and with other Sun employees.
The second year was a little busier, but mostly it was "so, what is Java DB anyway?"
This year couldn't be more different. I thought I'd drop by today just to see what was up, and I was there talking to people and answering questions non-stop for about three hours! It was like that at lunch time yesterday and today too. A number of people with questions just walked away because I wasn't able to get to them on time - I told our pod organizer that next year we need at least three people at the pod during busy times, preferably four. We just couldn't keep up.
There were still questions about "what is Java DB" but there were also tons of folks using Java DB in production. One guy I talked to had heard about Java DB last year at Java One, and I had talked with him at our BOF, and he had said "I think I really want to check this out." I didn't think much of it until he came up this year, and he's fully in production with Glassfish and Java DB, and he just loves it, couldn't stop raving about it. He said he's trying to convince others on his team to move off of HSQL. They are having all sorts of problems because every time someone shuts their laptop and it goes into standby, the database gets corrupted. He said they put JavaDB through a very intense serious of crash tests, killing it in the midst of processing, and it just never ever corrupted the database.
Another guy says he bumped into it when they were trying to build a system for a card house where the dealers needed to record what they were doing, and they couldn't guarantee a connection to the back-end server. So they cache data in Derby in their on-the-table systems (real old, cheapo boxes), and it works like a charm, he says he couldn't be happier.
A number of mobile providers also came by wanting to learn more about putting Java DB on CDC.
There were also quite a few folks who wanted to get involved as contributors to Apache Derby.
I met one guy who had built his own in-memory database and now he wants to work on contributing an in-memory storage engine for Derby. Another guy is very interested in really fast bulk loads, and when I said we really didn't have much in that area, he said this was very important to his company, so he'll make sure he gets involved and contributes this functionality into Derby. Wow.
So, I was quite happily surprised. The derby-user list is actually pretty darn quiet, and this can make you think that nobody is using Derby. But actually I'm beginning to believe what this really means is that lots of people are using Derby, but they just don't have a lot of issues. I know that's true for us in NetBeans - it Just Works.