As this year's Oracle OpenWorld 2017 draws to a close, I'm convinced that the best seat in the house to watch this one wasn't anywhere near San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center, the event's venue, but sitting in front of a computer in your home or office.

It's true that at home there was no opportunity to get an up close and personal look at the man reputed to be California's richest resident -- that would be founder, executive chairman and CTO, Larry Ellison -- or maybe shake hands and exchange a few words with one of Big Red's two CEOs, Mark Hurd or Safra Catz. But at home you could be treated to a media-supplied ringside seat to watch fireworks prompted by words from Ellison's mouth explode in real time -- fireworks that those in attendance probably didn't know about until the day's events were over.

Something else those in attendance didn't have time to do was fact-checking. Like some other companies, Oracle has sometimes been known to exaggerate.

The first round of fireworks were prompted by the opening keynote on Sunday, in which Ellison unveiled a new autonomous database called 18c, which actually looks promising. It integrates machine learning, which enables it to upgrade, patch and even repair itself. Being the everyday common man that he is, he likened it to the autopilot on his private airplane.

"There is no pilot error anymore because there is no pilot," he said. "All of the database administration is fully automated."

The database, of course, plays to Oracle's strong suit, since databases are Big Red's bread and butter, and the company obviously plans to leverage it in its cloud for an advantage against competitors -- a point Ellison drove home by taking a swipe or two at Amazon Web Services.

"Now I know it’s called Amazon Elastic Cloud, it’s just not elastic," he said. "In other words, Amazon’s database, Redshift, cannot automatically increase the number of processors to run a bigger workload, then free up those processors. Just can’t do it."

This led to a much publicized reply from a rep from Amazon Web Services. "Most people know already that this sounds like Larry being Larry. No facts, wild claims, and lots of bluster."

It also awarded Amazon's EC2 tons of free advertising as it explained -- and the press dutifully reported -- Amazon's version of Redshift's capabilities. I'm pretty sure that free publicity for Amazon wasn't one of Oracle's objectives in the staging of OpenWorld 2017.

Nor was free publicity for Splunk, a data analytics company that's recently introduced machine learning to its security and management products.

Splunk came into the picture on Tuesday when Ellison talked about the new automated Oracle Management and Security cloud. He went into detail comparing it with Splunk's products, citing his competitor as inferior in every way. This elicited an online response from Splunk's CEO, Doug Merritt, directed at "Ludicrous Larry."

"The thing that worries me the most about Oracle’s apparent new data offering isn’t their deep misunderstanding of how and why Splunk is able to so effectively deliver amazing value to our customers - it’s their fundamental lack of knowledge and understanding of the security market." he said before going into a point-by-point rebuttal that touched on each and every Ellison claim, using an Oracle press release as his guide.

Again, I'm not sure that free publicity for Splunk was what Big Red had in mind with the conference, but you never know. It's been said that Larry Ellison works in mysterious ways.

That isn't to say that Oracle OpenWorld 2017 was a complete bust for the company -- far from it.

The unveiling of the 18c database, due to be released by the end of the year, has piqued a lot of interest. Also, Ellison's claim that Equifax would not have been hacked if it had been using the database was met with wait-and-see acceptance. And his assertion that "companies are losing the cyber war" went over well enough for a statement of the obvious.

Mark Hurd's Monday keynote, in which he explained the company's AI and machine learning thoughts also appears to have done some good. Oracle's philosophy is that AI components should be built directly into applications, rather than "exporting data to some AI solution."

Also well received was the announcement of its Hyperledger-based SaaS offering, Blockchain Cloud Service -- even if it was a little surrealistic hearing Oracle bragging about the project's open source roots. "By leveraging open source and maintaining interoperability with open standards," the company said in a statement, "Oracle enables customers to benefit from all open-source innovations, and avoid vendor lock-in."

The suggestion that vendor lock-in can be avoided by doing business with Oracle must have been some kind of first.