Friday, April 20, 2007

Collab07 - Day 3 - Sessions + APEX SIG Roundtable

Below the sessions I did on Wednesday...

Session 1 - Application Express SIG Roundtable - Carl Backstrom, Dimitri Gielis, John Scott, Steve Howard, Tony Jedlinski

This was the second time we did a session with the APEX SIG. Where the first one was more about the APEX SIG itself, this session was very technical. Steve Howard was the moderator, John, Tony, Carl and myself were in the panel. We had around 25 people who participated in this Q&A / round table conversation.
We first got some questions from Steve...
The first one for Carl about the future of APEX, is APEX a "stayer" and what about APEX in Oracle DB 11g. Interesting to hear Carl talking about that. 11g will include a 3.0 patched APEX with the PLSQL gateway pre-configured, so Apache isn't necessary anymore to get up and running with APEX. The other part of the question got answered by stating the Metalink and asktom are written in APEX and that there's a multi-year plan for adding features to APEX. I can live with that answer ;-)
One of the questions Steve asked at the other members of the panel: "What are your best new features in APEX 3.0?"
In short, our answers: Tony likes the new charts and pdf possibilities, John likes, apart from the pdf and charts possibilities, the page and region caching and the improvements under the APEX hood. I went for the little Shared Components icon on the top right hand-side in Application Builder, improved Supporting Objects and the new drag and drop lay-out.
Then we did a round tour to know which people already had production APEX applications and what they are used for. It was really interesting to hear all these different usages of APEX. More about these "references" will be published on the APEX SIG website.
After that the people in the room started to shoot questions at us. One of the questions was about a problem with Flash Charts in APEX 3.0. I took my laptop and quickly tried to reproduce it, and indeed... printing (or print preview) a Pie Flash Chart in Firefox doesn't work! Definitely something we should investigate.
The feedback of the session was really good, people likes us to do these kind of round table conversations. We already saw it at Oracle Open World and it got confirmed again at Collaborate 07.

Session 2 - APEX Cheat Sheet - Karen Cannell

This was a really interesting session and pretty much with John Scott and I tried to make with our Apex Evangelists (AE) mouse mats! (off-topic: we couldn't get them printed before Collaborate, but they'll probably be available at the end of May)
You always forget the syntax of the APEX url, or you ask yourself: "What was it again... :APP_ITEM, &APP_ITEM., the v notation?". Karen did an overview when you should use what syntax. She also gave some APEX Tips and Tricks.

Session 3 - Cursor Packages and Other Database Services - John Flack

This session was all about PLSQL cursors, packages etc.
John Flack also talked about the PLSQL web toolkit (PLSQL Server Pages) he used. It's a pity that he doesn't know (or doesn't use) APEX, as a lot of the things he does manually, are already done for you in APEX. Nevertheless I think it was a good session for starting PLSQL developers as John gave some tips working with cursors/packages and also stressed the importance of using for ex. bind variables.

Session 4 - Mastering Application Express e-mail - Tony Jedlinski

I first saw Tony presenting at OOW 2006. Tony is a board member of IOUG and is involved in a lot of others. You see he presented before, he talks calm and easy and makes sure the people in the audience knew the topic. This session covered all the possibilities you have using the standard email functionality in APEX. He showed the apex_send (htmldb_send) package, how you could keep track of mails, when they exactly are sent and where you can find the logs of the sent messages.

Collaborate 07 Beach Party

What should have been a nice Beach Party with lots of cocktails, hot temperatures, nice food, good music and happy people, felt a bit in "cold wind". The setup was well done (except that we had to wait a long time to get to the pool area), but the weather was just to bad. The wind was so strong that it felt really cold. John and I had some food and a couple of drinks and decided not to stay that long. Heading to the exit we passed Mark Rittman and had a nice little chat with him (see also his blog, as he took a picture of us)

John and I had another drink in the bar of the Luxor which was a bit more comfortable (comfortable chairs and warmer). I didn't stay that long as I had to do my presentation on the next day...

1 comment:

John Flack said...

Thanks for the positive mention of my presentation. If anyone missed it, I'll be doing a version at ODTUG Kaleidoscope in Daytona Beach in June. I am not a regular APEX user but have fooled with it a bit. If it can generate some of this stuff, I'd be interested - I'll have to experiment some more. I've written my own generator for Cursor Packages, but I had to cut a demo from the presentation, which was getting too long.