The Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) hosted their 2006 annual educational event, the IOUG Forum at COLLABORATE 06, April 23-27 in Nashville, Tennessee. COLLABORATE 06 provided one central location for education and networking with more than 5,500 professionals in the greater Oracle community with the combination of the events previously hosted individually by the IOUG, the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and the Quest International Users Group (Quest).

Throughout the week, the IOUG featured more than 200 technical sessions that covered database administration, architecture and infrastructure, data warehousing and business intelligence, application server and Web services, developer andpProfessional development topics. "RAC, security and backup and recovery were the hot topics that many of our attendees were interested in this year and our program featured a host of sessions, roundtables and special interest group meetings covering these topics and much more," said Ari Kaplan, IOUG president.

The IOUG Forum featured the Women in Technology panel session where female IT leaders discussed their challenges and successes working in technology. The IOUG also hosted a Closing Session with a lively debate that posed the question - Oracle on Linux or Commercial UNIX? As a part of the overall event, an IT Executive Forum was also held that hosted more than 150 technology executives for a day of learning and networking with peers, industry experts and Oracle executives.

Other highlights of the event included a keynote presentation by Oracle President, Charles E. Phillips, Jr., where Phillips detailed the company's long-term commitment to provide continued enhancements to current Oracle Applications beyond the delivery of Oracle Fusion Applications in 2008. Oracle announced their "Applications Unlimited" program committed to enhance Oracle, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Siebel applications on an on-going basis by providing continued product releases, customer-driven product roadmaps, dedicated development teams and no forced upgrades.

Oracle also introduced Oracle Secure Backup and Oracle Database Vault, a security add-on to Oracle Database 10g Release 2. IOUG Executive Vice President, Tony Jedlinski, commented on these new security features, saying "Companies need to be protective of their data and their legal obligation to protect data for their customers. Anything that helps me back up and protect my data from falling into the wrong hands is good for database customers."

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