Wednesday, September 30, 2009

APEX 4.0 EA almost near

I just read on David Peake's blog he's preparing for Oracle Open World and in that article he gives some more news about APEX 4.0.

The APEX Development team worked hard the last months (and year) on APEX 4.0.
As with previous versions they normally put an Early Adopter (EA) version online before they release it to the public. David writes that although APEX 4.0 is planned for 2010, the APEX 4.0 EA is not that far of anymore. I think that is definitely something to look forward too.

I strongly believe APEX 4.0 will change the way we build applications again. If you work already a long time with APEX and have done several projects with it, you see how APEX could be improved or how it would make your life even easier. If I look at the video of APEX 4.0 of June and the available presentations and screenshots I see the development team hit the nail on the head (again!). If you just think about AJAX, the Plugin system, Team Development and all the rest they added or upgraded... believe me it will be a killer product.

I'm not sure you know Mike Hichwa was nominated for the Innovation Showcase (congratulations!). I had the pleasure to talk to him more than once and next to his brilliant mind and his coding skills, I admire him because he listens to people. Even when APEX was not as hot as today, he had the desire to make a good product for the people which they would love to use.
But of course it's not only Mike, it's the whole team behind APEX that make it successful. One by one they are very intelligent and highly motivated people.

I already would like to say "Thank you" to the whole team! Not only for the upcoming release, but also for all the previous years. Day-in day-out I feel blessed I can work with such a nice product as APEX and talk with the nice people behind it.

Mac is cool or not?

At the worst possible times things happen... so was for me two days ago.

In the morning I worked without a problem, went for lunch and when I came back my Macbook Pro didn't come out of sleep mode anymore :-(
It's a Mac right, they don't break! So tried several things to reboot, but I just heard the startup sound but nothing more happened. Called John as he might have an idea, so we tried several other things, but no heartbeat in that laptop anymore...

Two hours later, went to the Apple shop and let their expert look at it. Their diagnose was the graphic card of the laptop broke and it was a common problem lately! Apple recognizes the problem and offers a free replacement and fix. So that is pretty cool...

The problem is I can't really without laptop and it would take several days (a week) to get it fixed. The Apple store couldn't give me a replacement laptop for a few days, so my only options were to use my Mac Mini (Server) or buy a new laptop.

Luckily I've a Mac Time Capsule that takes a backup of my systems every hour, so I finally decided to buy a new laptop and hoped for the best with the backups.

I must say, Time Capsule is awesome. I fired up my new laptop, got to the latest release of OSX and run the Migration Assistant (under Utilities). You tell the wizard you want to restore your machine from your Time Capsule and some time later (it had to copy a lot of GB) I was up-and-running again!

The things to remind;
- Make sure you have backups, the maximum I would lose is an hour work
- Make sure you remember the passwords of your Time Capsule, network etc
- Create a new Admin User, it makes it easier to import the users

So is Apple cool?

It was not so cool my laptop broke, but I get it fixed for free and the backup strategy with Time Capsule works flawlessly... and it's nice to have a new laptop as well ;-)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New SQL Developer with Unit Testing

I just saw a twitter message of Kris Rice, member of the SQL Developer Development team, to announce the availability of SQL Developer 2.1 (Early Adopter).

I installed it on my Mac and it looks really nice. Already from the first screen you see thingst changed. It feels a bit slicker too and runs a bit better and faster at first sight.

One of the biggest new features is the Unit Testing framework for PL/SQL. I did some quick tests and it looks ok. You still need to do quiet some steps to create your tests, but as with every new thing, I guess it's a matter of getting used to it. So far there was only one real nice unit testing app for PL/SQL and that was Steven Feuerstein (Quest) Code Tester. So I'm really curious to find out how much difference there is. One of the biggest advantage of the SQL Dev Unit Testing is it runs native on Mac :-)

There are some other small enhancements in SQL Dev 2.1 like opening a package directly in Edit mode and Code Templates, they will both save me a lot of time! It's also nice there is a viewer of the Data Modeler build-in now.

A complete list of New Features you find here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

APEX Meetup @ OOW 2009

As tradition wants, also this year we organize a new APEX Meetup.
Same place, same time!

If you want to have some fun with other APEX-lovers, you are welcome in the Fourth Street Bar & Deli (just across Moscone) on Tuesday 7:30 PM.

Just to get you in the mood, some pictures of last year...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Oracle Database 11g R2 available now

I always thought Oracle would wait to release 11g R2 at OOW, but apparently Larry has another surprise for OOW ;-)

Today Oracle made 11g R2 of the database available. I'm currently downloading the Linux version and am curious to see how things go with this release. You find more information about the changes in this release in the documentation (New Features section) or in this whitepaper (more marketing material) which also gives an idea why you want to upgrade.

APEX 3.2.1 is included in this release, so when you install this version of the database you have the latest release of APEX immediately.

I didn't use the "Online Application Upgrade" features of 11g yet, but it seems this got enhanced even more in 11g R2. It would be nice to include that in your Supporting Objects in APEX to do an upgrade of your app and underlying data-model.

I guess more and more companies will upgrade to 11g now release 2 is here.