Monday, February 16, 2009

UKOUG APEX SIG - the day after

On Friday I was in the UK for the first UKOUG APEX SIG. More than 50 people attended (the event was fully booked), more than 20 people were on the waiting list... just to show APEX is getting more and more attention.

Justin Hudd, the organizer of the event, gave an introduction and asked the people in the room about their experience in APEX. As usual we had a very mixed public: people just starting with APEX, people starting to do projects in it and then people with already a couple of years experience. But I was surprised, when the question came who's using APEX in his company (in production), 2/3 of the people raised their hand. That must have been the biggest difference with previous years, where people were looking at it and used it on the side. Now it seems to be used in production very much.

David Peake, product manager of Oracle Application Express, started with the first real presentation. He talked about the "Latest & Greatest from Development" where he gave an update on APEX 3.2 and 4.0. He talked about the APEX Listener, updateable tabular forms etc. (see SOD), but ofcourse the demos where the nicest. He did a migration of Forms to APEX (you can try that on too) and showed the new security features in APEX 3.2. For APEX 4.0 he showed Websheets and Dynamic Actions. I was in the back of the room and saw people looking at eachother with a face of "Oh my God" ;-)

In the next presentation of David (he was on all morning) he showed where APEX is used internally at Oracle, and which products Oracle brought out build in APEX. That presentation showed once more that APEX is not there for a short time, but will be a crucial option of the Oracle database.

In the afternoon I talked about Charts in APEX and beyond. The reason I changed the title of my presentation at the last moment was because Anychart brought out version 5.1.2 on the same day. The 5.1.2 release is really, really nice and I wanted to show a part of the new features as well. I'll do another blog post about the new version in the next days. Our APEX-Anychart integration site got already updated, but we're in the progress to extend it with some new examples and to provide you with a new download.

Next we saw a case study "Using Apex to Expose your Business to the Web" by Matt Nolan and Vincent Migue from e-DBA. They showed their own site and a project they did where they used a lot of web 2.0 features (scriptaculus, jquery etc.). You couldn't see the site was build in APEX as it had a complete different look and feel.

The final presentation of the event was by John Scott about "Dispelling Myths about Application Express". If your customers of your company is still not convinced of the power of APEX, you should definitely have a look at John's presentation! Most of the critics on APEX he proofs it's untrue with real numbers.

Before going to the bar we had a Q&A where people could ask anything they liked. We got questions about the integration of Oracle Apps and APEX (white paper to come soon), performance in APEX etc. One of the people in the audience was Jonathan Lewis. I found it very special to talk to an audience when such a respectful and knowledgeable person is in front of you.

I believe it was a very positive first APEX SIG in the UK and I guess something that won't end after this first one.

And finally some pictures from the bar...


Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting... will the slides used by the presenters be made available to the general public?

Dimitri Gielis said...

They are available on the UKOUG website.
I'm not sure what type of member you need to be to get access to it...


Anonymous said...

some comments

you didnt seem to have rehersed very well, looked like you werent sure what to do? was it the first time you did that presentation?

you should stand up more, too hard to see you when your sitting down and you spoke quietly.

couldnt see your screen very well. too much code

Dimitri Gielis said...

Ok thanks for the tips, I'll try to do better next time.

To answer some of your questions:
1) no I didn't do that presentation for the first time, the only problem is that I had to fit a lot in 45 mins (or take things out). Like said in the beginning, it would normally take 1,5h to do that presentation

2) normally I'm sitting a bit higher in the room (on a stage) and have a mic on me. Doing a lot of demos while standing is difficult, that is why I sat down.

3) I hope you could see the code during the demos when I zoomed in

Anonymous said...

it wasnt the time it was that you seemed not clear on what you were doing next maybe you are just nervous

no couldnt see the code in the demos, most of the time couldnt see what you were doing

Anonymous said...

Hi Dimitri,

It was great to catch up with you at the APEX SIG event last week. I thought the event went very well, apart from my coughing & sneezing! There was a good mix of topics covered in the presentation, and I enjoyed your Charts presentation. I'm sure I'll be chatting to you about that topic in the future!


David Burnham said...

I was sitting pretty near the front, and I really enjoyed your presentation. You didn't seem very nervous at all and I understood most of what you were trying to get across. I think the criticism is unwarranted. Many thanks for a very interesting talk.