Monday, July 27, 2009

OOW 2009 APEX Sessions

After a short break I'm back to business.

What they say is true: "having one baby is some work, having two babies is not double the work, but more like 4 times the work" ;-) It's nice to spend time with family, but I also enjoy starting to work again. Some people might not understand that, but I guess I'm lucky I enjoy the things I do. Find the right balance is the real challenge for me.


Oracle Open World (OOW) 2009 is not far off and just as previous years there will be many APEX sessions. I'm sure David Peake will list them all in his APEX Conference Session application soon.

On the Sunday there will be a special APEX day. It will be a joint user group event (IOUG and ODTUG). Scott Spendolini and myself are hosting it. The theme we came up with is "Migrations to APEX" where we have some nice case studies from people migrating from different platforms to Oracle Application Express. At the end of the day we also have the "Ask the Experts" panel.

Next to the Sunday I'll do two other presentations:

  • Mastering an Oracle Application Express Page (11-OCT-09 11:45 - 12:45 Hilton Hotel)
  • Impress Your Clients with Interactive Dashboards in Oracle Application Express (12-OCT-09 10:15 - 11:15 Hilton Hotel)
I look forward to OOW already as it will be nice to see the people I missed at ODTUG. I also wonder what Larry has to announce this time.

See you at San Francisco.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Emmeline: "Hello World"

We had to wait for some time, but yesterday she finally agreed to come out of the save environment of mummies tummy and have a look at this world.

Emmeline got born on the 16th of July at 17.40h. She's a bit smaller than her brother; her weight is 2755 gram and she has a length of 47 cm.

On the picture you see mummy, our son Matthias and our few hours old daughter Emmeline.


Mummy and Emmeline are doing great. For Matthias everything is a bit strange but he's handling it very well so far.

A proud father.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Mac OSX Software I like

Sometimes I get the question which Mac OSX software I use. So here's a list of programs I've installed. Some I use often others less often. If you use other nice software, feel free to add!

Standard Mac Software:

  • Address Book
  • AppleScript
  • Automator
  • Calculator
  • Dashboard
  • Dictionary
  • Expose
  • Font Book
  • Image Capture
  • TextEdit
  • Unison
  • Utilities
  • Spaces
  • iCal
  • iSync
  • Stickies
  • Server - because we also have Mac OSX Server

Office:
  • iWork
  • iLife

Internet Applications:
  • Adium - chat
  • iChat - chat
  • Colloquy - irc (not used that much)
  • Cyberduck - ftp client
  • DynDNS Updater - link a hostname to an ip
  • Dropbox - online storage
  • Firefox with different plugins (YSlow, LiveHTTPHeaders, Firebug, ColorPicker, ...)
  • Safari - standard browser on OSX
  • GoToMeeting - to do remote support and meetings
  • SSH Tunnel Manager - ssh
  • Meerkat - ssh
  • Cisco VPNClient - vpn
  • Viscosity - vpn
  • Skype
  • Mail
  • Twitterrific - twitter reader
  • Reader Notifier - get rss updates
  • Yuuguu - connect to others
  • Transmission - download files

Graphical Software:
  • Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional
  • Adobe Dreamweaver CS3
  • Adobe Flash CS3
  • Adobe Illustrator CS3
  • Adobe InDesign CS3
  • Adobe Photoshop CS3
  • PDFpenPro - edit pdf
  • Paintbrush
  • OmniGraffle Professional 5 - make schemes
  • iWeb - make websites

Games:
  • Chess
  • Quinn - tetris like
  • MasterMind - dashboard plugin

Entertainment:
  • DVD Player
  • DivX Converter
  • DivX Player
  • EyeTV - makes it able to watch tv on my mac
  • Flip4Mac - be able to play wmv
  • GarageBand - audio
  • Front Row - menu to all entertainment
  • iDVD
  • iMovie
  • iPhoto
  • iTunes
  • ScreenFlow - record video
  • Photo Booth
  • VLC - play video
  • QuickTime Broadcaster
  • QuickTime Player
  • VisualHub - convert video (not updated anymore)
  • Spotify - play any song (only works when I'm in the UK)
  • BookSmart - online creation of you photo albums
  • WorldRadio widget - listen to radio as dashboard app

Local/External storage:
  • ExpanDrive - Mount drives even through ftp etc
  • Macfusion - extend to other filesystems
  • SuperDuper! - backup your Mac

Phone:
  • Missing Sync for Windows Mobile - I've an HTC and not an iPhone, so need extra software to sync agenda, contacts etc
  • TomTom HOME - on my phone I have also GPS and navigation software

Oracle related:
  • Oracle SQL DataModeler - SQL Modeler
  • Power*Architect - SQL Modeler
  • SQLEditor - SQL Modeler
  • SQLDeveloper - my day to day tool to talk to the Oracle database
  • Versions - SubVersion client
  • VMware Fusion - to get access to my remote machines

Project Management:
  • Merlin - allows to estimate the work and breakdown in pieces
  • Mindjet MindManager - read MindMaps
  • OmniFocus - to do list which is able to sync as well

Text Editor:
  • SubEthaEdit - allows to work on a text with more persons, real time editing
  • TextMate - favorite text editor

OSX Tools:
  • OmniDazzle - mouse focus and effects
  • Quicksilver - lunch commands fast
  • StuffIt Expander - zip like
  • 1Password - store passwords in a secure way
  • Wallet - store passwords in a secure way
  • World Clock Deluxe - to keep an eye when my clients get awake
  • iBank - trying that, MS Money type app
  • Caffeine - let your Mac never go in sleep mode
  • Time Machine - automated backups
  • iStat Pro widget - shows a lot of information about your Mac (ip, temperature etc)
  • AccuWeather widget
  • SysTran translation widget
  • Currency converter widget

For the people who want to work faster, here's a good list of shortcuts for OSX.

SQL Modeler for Mac OSX (Part 2)

Louis-Guillaume Carrier-B├ędard commented on my previous post about SQL Modeler for Mac OSX, that I had to check out a tool called Power*Architect.

So I thought to give it a go. The steps to get it running:

  • Go to the SQL Power website and download Power*Architect
  • As most OSX applications you install by dragging the application in your Applications folder
  • So now I wanted to get an ERD of some tables, so you run Power*Architect and select from which Data Source you want to capture.
  • I had to download the Oracle 10g JDBC driver first (apparently 11g is not yet foreseen in Power*Architect)
  • In the User Preferences you can tell where the driver can be found
  • Next I dragged-dropped from the interface the tables I wanted to the right hand side, but the tables where not nicely ordered
  • Luckily there is a button "Automatic Layout" which I pushed and that gave me the below result


As far as I've tested Power*Architect, it looks very promising. It's definitely a tool I will try a bit more in the future.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

SQL Modeler for Mac OSX

On the first of July Oracle's SQL Developer Data Modeler got a production release. You have the choice between a full version and a Viewer only version.

I installed the full version on my Mac to see how it is like. These are the steps I followed to get it working on my MacBook Pro:

  1. Download the zip file from OTN
  2. Unzip the file in my Applications folder
  3. You'll see a folder called "datamodeler"
  4. I ran a Terminal session to call this command: sh datamodeler.sh
  5. The first time SQL Developer Data Modeler asks you to enter the full pathname of a J2SE installation. For me the path is:
    /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.6/Home
  6. Next SQL Developer Data Modeler opens and you are good to go
  7. I tried to generate a relational and logical datamodel and it worked great (see below screenshot of the DG Tournament schema


As expected Oracle didn't make the tool for free. I hoped differently, but apparently Larry decided against it. The latest Oracle pricelist shows under the Tools section the price of SQL Developer Data Modeler. The first year you pay USD 3,000 + USD 660 (support and upgrade), from the second year onwards it's 660, but that gives you the right to install all updates. I definitely think the product can justify the price, but maybe not for everybody or in every project as you might not want to use all the features.

One of the most important parts for me is viewing the ERD in a graphical way. I tend to use the ERD to explain clients how we see the application. Or if we come in when the application already exist, to quickly know what is going on behind the scenes. Till now I used SQLEditor of MalcolmHardie Solutions. It allows me to connect to a database and get the ERD for a schema or certain tables. It can do a lot more like adding tables, columns etc and you can see the sql statements in different formats. Below is a screenshot of the same schema as the picture before.


Most of the time I have to rearrange the tables so it's more logic and more understandable. Personally I think Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler looks a bit better and it has more features and I had to not rearrange that much as with SQLEditor. But then I guess that explains the difference in price ;-) SQLEditor costs $79.

I still have a lot to learn of the functionalities of Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler, but what I saw at the conferences and what I could do so far, I definitely think it's worth for you to give it a try.