Saturday, August 05, 2017

From idea to app or how I do an Oracle APEX project anno 2017

For a long time I had in mind to write in great detail how I do an Oracle APEX project from A to Z. But so far I never took the time to actually do it, until today :)

So here's the idea; I love building projects that help people and I love to share what I know, so I will combine both. I will write exactly my thoughts and things I do as I'm moving along with this project, so you have full insight what's happening behind the scenes.


Way back, in the year 1999, I build an application in Visual Basic to help children study the multiplication tables. My father was a math teacher and taught people who wanted to become primary school teachers. While doing the visits of the primary schools, he saw the problem that children had difficulties to automate the multiplications from 1 till 10, so together we thought about how we could help them. That is how the Visual Basic application was born. I don't have a working example anymore of the program, but I found some paper prints from that time, which you see here:

We are now almost 20 years later and last year my son had difficulties memorizing the multiplication tables too. I tried sitting next to him and help him out, but when things don't go as smooth as you hope... You have to stay calm and supportive, but I found it hard, especially when there are two other children crying for attention too or you had a rough day yourself... In a way I felt frustrated because I didn't know how to help further in the time I had. At some point I thought about the program I wrote way back then and decided to quickly build a web app that would allow him to train himself. And to make it more fun for him, I told him I would exercise too, so he saw it was doable :)

At KScope16 I showed this web app during Open Mic Night; it was far from fancy, but it did the job.
Here's a quick demo:

Some people recognized my story and asked if I could put the app online. I just build the app quickly for my son, so it needs some more work to make it accessible for others.
During my holidays, I decided I should really treat this project as a real one, otherwise it would never happen, so here we are, that is what I'm going to do and I'll write about it in detail :)

Idea - our requirement

The application helps children (typically between 7 and 11 years old) to automate multiplications between 1 and 10. It also helps their parents to get insight in timings and mistakes of their children's multiplications.


No project without deadline, so I've set my go-production date to August 20th, 2017. So I've about 2 weeks, typically one sprint in our projects.

Following along and feedback

I will tweet, blog and create some videos to show my progress. You can follow along and reach me on any of those channels. If you have any questions, tips or remarks during the development, don't hesitate to add a comment. I always welcome new ideas or insights and am happy to go in more detail if something is not clear.

High level break-down of plan for the following days

So now, let's get started ...


Anonymous said...

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I'm very interested in how you do the custom authentication. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us :-)

Jochen said...

Very nice Project.
It reminds me of my own childhood, when my dad created something similar for DOS/WIN 3.11. Before starting Windows the math challenge would appear and after scoring too low the PC automatically rebooted and started the math challenge again.

As my daughter was born in 2017 i hope your App will stay online until 2025 ;-)