Saturday, October 28, 2006

OOW Highlights and bye bye SF

For me, being for the 2nd time in America and the 1st at OOW, the highlights of this week:

  • Landing in San Francisco... oh! almost in the water
  • First meeting and drinks with John Scott... a really nice guy
  • Seeing SF city in a complete Oracle oasis... such a big city with Oracle everywhere
  • First time OOW registration... so many registration desks
  • First meeting with the APEX SIG panel... really nice people
  • Apex Sig panel... telling my experience with APEX and answering questions for many people at OOW
  • The Benelux Cocktailparty... enjoying together with my ex-colleagues and (ex-)customers
  • The Blogger Meetup... good time with my "virtual friends"
  • Appreciation Night... Elton and good food
  • Presentations of Tom Kyte... enjoyable to listen to
  • First presentation of and meeting with Jonathan Lewis... so much knowledge
  • Keynote speech of Larry Ellison... Unbreakable Linux
  • Oracle Database 11g... new features, even better
  • APEX meetup... being together with the developers of my favorite toy: APEX
  • Sight seeing with John... Alcatraz, Pier 39, boat, hills, ...
  • And the weather... nice and warm
I'm going for my last sleep in San Francisco (for this year ;-)) ...
Thank you SF, Oracle and all the people I met... I really enjoyed it!

OOW - Thursday - Last Sessions and WRAP-up

The sessions I followed on Thursday... the last day at OOW...

Putting the Express back into Oracle Application Express with AJAX (by Steve Karam)
You find more information about this presentation here. I liked it and it showed again that AJAX can be powerful and something which we should all use for web development in the future.
Especially AJAX can give you a better UI and allows you to give the end-user the experience of a "full-blown" application in a browser.

Unbreakable Linux: What's Next?
This was an other explanation of Larry's Keynote and afterwards a Q&A. You find all information here.
Although I followed the keynote speech of Larry yesterday, I didn't blog about it, as already a lot of people mentioned it.
You find all details and possibility to replay the keynote here.

Welcome to My Nightmare: The Common Performance Errors in Oracle Databases (by Michael Ault)
This presentation was based on Michael Ault's experience. He discussed the problems he had seen in the last years and how to resolve them. It was not really my style of presentation, but I can imagine that a lot of people liked it.

Database Worst Practices (by Tom Kyte)
Another nice presentation of Tom Kyte, again presented with a lot of humor. His presentation was based on the first ten results he found when typing into google "oracle tuning tips". It's a bit like the previous presentation about the things you think you know. A programmer has a given style and doesn't change it for many years, but the database or the product he's working with does change! I'm not going into detail about all the topics Tom discussed, you can download it shortly from his site or from the OOW site, but I wanted to mention his first point: "You shall NOT use Bind Variables!" ;-)

Wrap it up (party)
To finish this Oracle Open World a little goodbye party was organized. Compared to the other nights, this wasn't that big... But it was fine as I was tired from the busy week ;-)

My OOW and SF pictures
You find the pictures I took in San Francisco and OOW here.
You find other OOW pictures on Flickr and on different Blogs (search in google for oracle open world).

Friday, October 27, 2006

OOW - Wednesday - Sessions and APEX meetup

The sessions I followed on Wednesday...

Recent Enhancements in Oracle’s Cost Based Optimizer (by Jonathan Lewis)
This was the first time I followed a live presentation of Jonathan. Before I already read some of his work and I heard so many lovely words of him. He makes also part of the Oaktable, a group of people I respect for 200%! Jonathan describes Oaktable as "old men drinking club", which can be true after I saw the pictures of the DBF 2006. ;-)
I was really pleased with the presentation! I first thought it would be to difficult for me, as Jonathan's knowledge is so much higher than mine, but he explained very well, so everybody could follow. Maybe it's because he was a teacher before? ;-)
The content of the presentation can be found in his book about the Cost-based Optimizer.
Again, if you've the change to see a presentation of him, don't hesitate! Together with Tom Kyte, he must be one of the best persons knowing what's talking about.

Next-Generation Oracle Database Performance and Scalability: A sneak Preview (by Oracle)
This was a nice presentation about the performance improvements and scalability we can expect in 11g. Some of them they mentioned were:

  • Server side connection pooling: like with a webserver, but than for the database
  • Query results caches
  • Cache fusion
  • Enhanced native compilation
  • Faster Backup & Recovery
  • Secure Files
Recent Advances in Automatic SQL (by Jonathan Lewis)
As I really liked the first presentation of Jonathan, I went also to his second. I found it again a high quality presentation. It was about the automatic SQL tuning features in 9i and 10g and the pitfalls you can encounter when using them.

APEX meetup
As you could see previously on my blog, we arranged a meeting for all APEX enthusiasts.
So, At 7 pm in the bar across the Moscone Center, called "Fourth Street Bar & Deli", John and I arrived... of course our friend Steve Howard did already arrive as also Mike Hichwa, VP Oracle APEX! I find it wonderful that Mike took the time to join us. You should understand that being a VP doesn't necessarily mean to meet with a bunch of APEX lovers... but I think for Mike, APEX is his baby, and he treats it "special". As I also said before, Michael Hichwa is really motivated to let APEX succeed and he also wants to listen to the people!
But Michael was not alone, a lot others of the APEX Development team of Oracle joined us!
I really enjoyed being with the people who built the application I like most. It's nice to get to know the person who're working behind the scenes.
Next to having fun, we discussed about the APEX SIG... A communication about that will be made on the IOUG website in the near future. One thing is sure: Michael Hichwa and Joel Kallman really want to support us! If you would like to join the APEX SIG, feel free to do so, by going to the IOUG website and become a member (register).
Thanks again to all the people of that night and especially to Michael Hichwa, who also paied our diner! You're the best, Mike!
Anton Nielson and Sergio Leunissen were also present in the beginning of the evening, but when the picture was taken, they were already gone. And... Raj didn't want to be on the picture, so he took it ;-p
On the picture, from left to right, standing: Joel Kallman, Jason Straub, John Scott, Steven Howard - sitting: Marco Adelfio, Dimitri Gielis, Marc Sewtz, Doug Gault, Michael Hichwa

Thursday, October 26, 2006

OOW - Tuesday - Sessions, Blogger meetup and Elton John

It took me a while to catch up with my OOW blogging. A lot of presentations to follow, a lot of things to do in the evening and a laptop with a battery life-time of less than two hours.

The sessions I followed on Tuesday...

Things you think you know (by Tom Kyte)
As we can expect from my mentor, an excellent session! Although I already heard some of the things Tom said, it's nice to see him busy on stage. The charisma and the way of explaining the things on the hand of "the things you know" ;-p makes it understandable for everyone.
Basically it comes to: "It's not the things you don't know - it's the things you know that just ain't so" (quote TK). Of course all these "things" had an example and "proof".

This slide I liked most:

It ain't so much the things we don't know that gets us in trouble. It's the things you know, that just ain't so or just ain't so anymore or just ain't always so.

Real-World Performance Roundtable, Part 1 & 2 (by Oracle)
Don't really know what to say about it... It was a high-level roundtable with indebt performance and tuning questions.
The most appealing question came from Jonathan Lewis concerning free-lists and the "implementation" in ASM. One part of the answer was that it was a bug and is solved in the latest version of Oracle.

The Next-Generation Self-Managing Database: A sneak preview (by Oracle)
There were two things that got my intention and are in my opinion something I would use if I already had it:
- Database Replay: capture workload in prod, replay workload in test -> analyze & report
- SQL Replay: focus on impact of change on SQL query workload; capture sql in prod., replay sql in test -> analyze, tune & create sql profiles

CERN: Building Real-World Solutions with Oracle Application Express (by Giovanni Chierico and Joel Kallman)
This was a really good session about a company developing mainly with JAVA before and recently changed this to APEX for certain applications.
A junior developer built in six months a good looking application with sso integration, charts, reports, customized stylesheet for touch screen etc.
They also explained "the good" and "the bad". As a conclusion they said they were really pleased with APEX and they should do it again. However they won't use APEX for all their application as they find that at a certain time (complexity of the application) it's better to go for a "full-blown" thing as JAva with as one of the most important features the object orientation.

Blogger Meetup
On Tuesday evening the Thirsty bear got unsafe by a bunch of Oracle Bloggers!
I really enjoyed to meet the guys in real life. I read their blog's often, but that's just "virtually", it was nice to get to know them in real-life. And hey, the pictures they have on their blog's don't always reflect real life faces! ;-) Oh, the picture on the right shows what you see when you get drunk!
You can find some more pictures here. Mark also blogged about the meetup here.

Appreciation Night with Elton John
After a few hours spending with our colleague bloggers, some of us headed to see Sir Elton John in the Cow Center.
It's amazing to see such an old guy (;-)) giving himself on stage and give 22.000 people a good time!
There was also too much good food! I find it amazing the way Oracle organized all this! I'm in the States and everything is "big", but sometimes I just find it "unreal".

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

OOW - Monday - Sessions, Benelux Party and OTN Night

The sessions I followed on Monday...

I slightly changed my schedule as I'm getting more involved in the APEX "thing".

I should have followed "The future of Database Technology", but I changed it in "Oracle Application Express, Now and in the Future".
I'm glad I did as it was an excellent presentation and an opportunity to finalize our meeting of Wednesday 7pm.

Oracle Application Express, Now and in the Future (by Michael Hichwa, Marc Sewtz and Marco Adelfio)
It was exciting to see Mike presenting APEX with so much passion! You can see he really loves the product, works with it and listens to the people.
Mike gave an overview of the current features of APEX and what we can expect in 3.0. Here're some (but this can still change):

  • Microsoft Access Application Migration
  • Flash charting
  • XML Publisher Reporting Integration
  • More AJAX integration (for ex. WYSIWYG Drag and Drop Form Layout)
  • No need for Apache anymore (as it is with Oracle XE, EPG - embedded plsql gateway in the database)
Although I develop already a long time with APEX, I learned something new from the demo Marc Sewtz gave - use of the "Edit links": when you're in your form and run it and click the edit links button on the bottom of the page, you can immediately edit an item. I usually do it the old way, means Edit Form, change and edit item, run the form, edit it again etc.
As Tom Kyte mentions it a lot "I learn a new thing every single day" and "Things you think you know, can change".
APEX was also mentioned in the Keynote speech! Although Scott isn't at OOW he blogged about it, the information flow is going so fast these days! You can also read more information on John's blog.

Building Media-Rich Business Application Using Oracle interMedia and Oracle Application Express (by an Oracle presales)
He showed how you can integrate APEX with interMedia to for ex. stock your pictures and videos. There wasn't something really new in this session for me as I use this technique also in DG Tournament. Although he created a nice wizard to upload and download the images. He'll make it available in the next days, so that's something you can be interested in.

User-Managed Metadata: Oracle Application Express meets Oracle Warehouse Builder 10gR2 (by two people of Charlotte city)
Basically they showed how they used OWB for their data warehouse and how they integrated APEX for the cleansing part. As the data comes from a lot of different sources they had some problems with codes which meant the same but weren't for ex. FN for Finance in one system and FIN in an other. To solve this, OWB pushed the unknown codes in a table on which an APEX application was written to allow correcting the data in a user friendly environment.

Unleashing the Power of Oracle Streams (by Oracle)
This session showed the purpose of Oracle Streams and gave some examples how to use them. You should look at OTN if you're interested in this area as there's a lot of information about it.
I can't really write everything what was said as Oracle Streams is so "big". The only thing I can say is that it's really powerful and can be useful for everybody.

Benelux Cocktailparty at Bubble Lounge
Oracle organized a party for all people from the Benelux in the Bubble Lounge, near the famous building Transamerica Pyramid. This building was huge! The party was really useful as it's almost impossible to find each other in a crowd of more than 40.000 people!
In the Bubble Lounge we got some high quality snacks (sashimi, shrimps, ...) and champagne. I suppose that's why it's called Bubble Lounge ;-)
It was amazing to meet people I didn't see for years in San Francisco! As a consultant I come at a lot of customers, but meeting them again in SF is unreal!

OTN Night
After the Benelux party I went with some of the Oracle Belgium representatives to the OTN Night where I also would meet John. I didn't find John (Steve and he went to their hotel early) but I had a nice discussion with some other people concerning the use of APEX in their company. I also catched an Oracle t-shirt, I suppose I was lucky ;-) I didn't stay that long neither as I felt the tireness too. At the hotel I quickly read my mail and some blogs. I was to tired to blog myself, but I set the alarm early to catch up.

Monday, October 23, 2006

OOW - Sunday - First sessions and Welcome Party

The sessions I followed on Sunday...

ODTUG Development DBA Special Interest Group Meeting
We discussed about how this SIG could look like; what to expect from the SIG, what not.
More information and the notes will be published on the ODTUG website.

IOUG Oracle Application Express Special Interest Group Meeting
First Steve Howard explained the purpose of IOUG and the APEX SIG. Then a panel of four (I was one of them) answered the questions of the public. See also previous post and JES's blog.

Lunch break
I took a sandwich with tunafish... nothing more to say...
Afterwards John and I went to "Club Oracle Gold" lounge to have a coffee and check our mails.

Build a dynamic framework with APEX (by Tony Jedlinski)
Tony explained well how a tree based menu can be build in APEX, cross application. He even showed step-by-step how to build it. This shows once more that building an APEX application can be really fast. The explanation of Authorization and Authentication should have been useful for a lot of people. I found the presentation most suited for beginners.
The full source of the application can be found on the IOUG website or in the previous Oracle Magazine.

Everything You Need To Know About Collections But Were Afraid To Ask (by Steven Feuerstein)
As we could expect from Steven, a nice and clear presentation about the different types of collections, how they work and how to use them. To get really started with collections in your own company you should download the examples and ppt from Steven's website and play a bit with it.

Welcome Reception
It's amazing to see the organization of having food, drinks and entertainment for so many people. The music was nice, I only missed a bit of company as the people I knew where invited on other events (ACE's dinner, Partner events, ...).
I didn't stay that long as I was tired from not having enough sleep the days before.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

OOW - APEX panel - schedule APEX meetup

OOW APEX panel

Well, the really first APEX SIG meeting has taken place this morning! And I was in it ;-)
The room was full of enthusiastic people firing questions. The time went so fast that not all questions could be raised! BUT not to worry, we'll have some other sessions like these in the near future! I would like to thank all people who attended! I really enjoyed to listen to your questions... I hope you enjoyed it too.
You find some pictures of the meeting below. The questions and answers will be posted on the IOUG website by Steve Howard. As soon as it's available I'll put the link in the comments of this post.

Picture of the other side (the crowd - 7 minutes before we started, so not all people are included).

Picture of the APEX panel (from left to right: Steve Howard, Tony Jedlinski, Dimitri Gielis, Doug Gault, John Scott)

OOW APEX meetup

The registration is still open, even when you don't register, you're free to come.
The meetup will be on Wednesday 7pm in the bar across the Moscone Center "Fourth Street Bar & Deli". I didn't book a table, so we'll see how it goes. It's the bar where John and I had our 2nd drink, we already "APEX'ed" them ;-) so it should go smoothly!
We've all some great idea's about APEX, so lets discuss this with some beers (and food?) and even more important ENJOY!

OOW - Saturday - Registration

My first night in SF was short... Although I was exhausted from the flight, I couldn't sleep.

During the night I read some blogs and surfed the internet. When the sun rose I took my shower and went downstairs for breakfast. The breakfast was ok, but when I compare it to my honeymoon in Mauritius, this meant nothing.

I took the first Oracle shuttle to Moscone Center, where John and I would meet. In the bus I met some other Oracle enthusiast and we directly started to talk. The atmosphere is great in SF, we're all "Oracle" connected, maybe this is also called "FUSION"? ;-)
I can also understand Laurant Schneider, as he describes on his blog, I had almost similar feeling about the traffic in SF, although we didn't have an accident (but it was close to that).
On the way to Moscone Center you get literally Oracle brainwashed (although for me this isn't possible anymore, as I'm already 100% Oracle minded). The OOW logo is everywhere, busses are "Oracle" painted, buildings have the Oracle logo on it... it's pretty impressive!

We were lucky... We could register directly, no queue! This will be different on Monday!
The organization is amazing! The smallest detail is handled. I got a complete guide of OOW, some Oracle gadgets and magazines, a ticket to the Elton John concert on Wednesday, lunch vouchers and ... a 30Gb iPod! It was good ;-) I'm also part of "Club Oracle Gold" as I was one of the first 500 people registered for "Information Overload". This means some extra advantages as for ex. having a special area to have a drink.

John and I did a tour through the Moscone Center. It's nice to know somebody you like in the big city... we spent the whole day together. We had some nice chats and of course our second beer ;-)
It's amazing how "the same" John and I turned to be. For ex. we bought the same iPaq, the same Wireless Router and we're thinking about a lot of things the same way. We both are APEX promoters, so we also had chats about that and what we could do for the community... We've some plans... ;-)

In the evening we came together with the APEX panel (Steve Howard, Doug Gault, John Scott, Dimitri Gielis, Tony Jedlinski) of tomorrow, except for Tony Jedlinski, who couldn't make it.
We went to a nice and famous restaurant "Tadich Grill", Steve was knowing. The food was excellent. I can't remember the name of the plate I ordered, but it was a soup of seafood with garlic bread. I'll update this blog entry with the name afterwards.
We discussed about the APEX SIG and how we would do the APEX panel of tomorrow. They're all amazing people... I had a great time! Thanks guys!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

OOW - Friday - My flight to SF

Today was “travel day”. I don't know how Tom Kyte handles it, but passing all these security checks, just to go to the USA, is a real “pain in the ass”.

I left home (Leuven, Belgium) around 8 o'clock Belgium time. Arrived in Brussels at 8h50.
After waiting for about 15 minutes I arrived at the 1st security check: the “Security Officer”.
It seems that my electronic flight ticket and passport where fine. Ok, “please go to the second line”.
After 40 minutes I get to the lady who does the 2nd security check and hands over my boarding pass.
The 3rd security check: Duane – Passport control of Police – cleared - after waiting another 10 minutes.
I arrived in the airport shopping center... I thought, no time to lose now, I go directly to my gate, so I can start my blog entry about explaining the expanding thumbnail in DG Tournament.
The 4th security check: “screening”. You need to put all your metal, laptop and other belongings in a plastic bag which will be x-rayed. Your body needs to go through the metal detector. Did I say this line was also big? Another 20 minutes. If you think that was it, you were wrong...
For the States there's another security check!
Just before my gate, the 5th security check was a fact! This row of people waiting to get screened was even longer as all the rest... Again my belongings were x-rayed and my boarding pass and passport were investigated (twice).
Of course the next step is to go into the plain, and then the 6th security check is done! Boarding pass and passport. It took me more then 2 hours to get from the terminal into the plain!
The plain left at 11h10 a bit later as foreseen. I arrived in Chicago at 20h (Belgium time, this is 2 pm Chicago time). My connecting flight to San Francisco left two hours later... but the two hours were needed to pass all the security checks again.
Arriving in the States, means waiting a long time to pass the duane. They take your fingerprints and picture, of course you need to smile, but it's difficult when you had to wait for 35 minutes to get there. Next thing was searching my bag and checking it in again. Then take a train to Terminal 3, as this is the terminal were my next American Airlines flight waited for me. Of course I had to pass three other security checks before getting on my final flight to SF.
I arrived in San Francisco at 2 o'clock (night) Belgium time, that's 5 pm SF time.
My Friday, that was about it... a one day travel or not?

I checked in in the "Best Western Grosvenor" hotel SFO. At first sight the hotel looks nice (although my wireless connection is untrustable in the first hours I've been here!).

After unpacking my luggage I went to John Scott, who's staying in the Hintol Hotel in SF city.
We had a beer and had some typical American food ;-) At the end it was a lovely evening...

After 26h of "no-sleep", I'm heading to my bed.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

DG Tournament Explained (1) - Thumbnail Expander

This is a first draft, as some people asked me to publish it as quick as possible. If you see it's not working or I forgot some steps, put a comment. I'll update it when time allows, as I'm at OOW and don't have that much time.

While I'm blogging about the integration of the "Vevstein Thumbnail Expander" I see there's a new version available, called Highslide JS.

I initially used version 1.1.2 (free version) in DG Tournament but I recently upgraded to 2.0.4 (in my APEX dev environment - this version is free for non-commercial purposes).

You can implement the thumbnail expander in different ways. Having everything in the database (workspace_images), having it on the /i/ directory, ... I'll show the one I think it's the fastest implementation.


  1. Download highslide 2.0.4 here.
  2. Unzip the file
  3. Copy the higslide directory to your /i/ or www dir. (for ex. oracle/product/10.2.0/db_2/Apache/Apache/htdocs)

1) in shared components create a stylesheet and put this in:

.highslide {
cursor: url(highslide/graphics/zoomin.cur), pointer;
outline: none;
.highslide img {
border: 2px solid gray;
.highslide:hover img {
border: 2px solid white;
.highslide-image {
cursor: poiner; /* opera */
cursor: url(highslide/graphics/zoomout.cur), pointer;
border: 2px solid white;
.highslide-image-blur {
cursor: pointer;
cursor: hand;
.highslide-caption {
display: none;
border: 2px solid white;
border-top: none;
font-family: Verdana, Helvetica;
font-size: 10pt;
padding: 5px;
background-color: white;
.highslide-display-block {
display: block;
.highslide-display-none {
display: none;
.highslide-loading {
display: block;
color: white;
font-style: 'MS Sans Serif';
font-size: 9px;
font-weight: bold;
text-transform: uppercase;
text-decoration: none;
padding: 3px;
opacity: 0.60; /* w3c */
filter: alpha(opacity=60); /* ie */
border-top: 1px solid white;
border-bottom: 1px solid white;
background-color: black;
padding-left: 22px;
background-image: url(highslide/graphics/loader.gif);
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-position: 3px 1px;
a.highslide-credits i {
padding: 2px;
color: silver;
text-decoration: none;
font-size: 10px;
a.highslide-credits:hover i {
color: white;
background-color: gray;

2) in your template reference the created stylesheet and the javascripts, for ex. put:

3) create a page and a region report. In the Image_id column add this as HTML Expression:

4) create an other region with this (necessary for the pop-up):

5) create the procedures to show the thumbnail and real image:

*) A full explanation copied from one of the examples provided with the zip file.

That should do it! (replace the <.br /> by a carriage return, for an odd reason blogger puts this in?)

JES - Apex Developer of the year

For the fifth year the editors of Oracle Magazine present Editors' Choice Awards to extremely accomplished candidates, people that best reflect the highest achievements and vision in their areas of expertise. You find the winners for every domain for the year 2006 here.

The title "Oracle Application Express Developer of the Year" goes to John Scott (also known as JES in the APEX forums). I would like to congratulate John, he's a well deserved winner!

In the beginning I only knew John from the forums, but in May he hosted my World Cup 2006 APEX application and we started to chat. In the meanwhile John also hosts DG Tournament and we'll meet at OOW. I'll be honored to be next to him in the APEX roundtable panel on Sunday.
But even more I look forward to just meet John in real life!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Firefox 2.0 RC3

Firefox 2.0 - also called 'Bon Echo' got a new release candidate.
Downloads can be found here, release notes (not yet updated to rc3) here.

I suppose I don't need to tell you Firefox is the best browser ;-)

On the picture DG Tournament in Firefox 2.0 RC3.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Oracle Tuning

This topic is staying to long in my drafts, so I decide to publish it, as is.

It has nothing to do with my new application "DG Tournament"... the application is "my free-time" ;-) during the day I'm a consultant doing mainly Oracle database things.

Today I had to do some database tuning... There won't be anything new in this thread, but if you don't know it, you can't use it.

You can tune a lot of different things. The most important thing are:
(0. think before, think "how" the application will work, do a proper design, test, test, test, ...) - but in a lot of cases I'm only involved when this is already finished ;-) - actually the smiley should be :-(
1. the Application (logic, how to do things, select statements, programming code, ...)
2. the Application Server
3. the Database
4. the OS and the Hardware (disks, cpu, network)

A lot of people have the reflection to shout add the dba and tell him "the database is working slow". We can discuss about this ;-)

Following I found useful in my tuning (tuning of application and database):
- SQL> set autotrace on
- Oracle Trace Analyzer, as Eddie describes in this great article: "TKPROF on steroids"
- YAPP, as Anjo describes it here, 10 years later
- Upgrading from 8.1.X to 9.X - Potential Query Tuning Related Issues: Metalink Note 258167.1 (yeah, some customers still go from 8 to 9!)
- Oracle Database 10g Migration/Upgrade: Known Issues and Best Practices with Self-Managing Database: Metalink Note 332889.1
- If I develop myself I "instrument" my application code and investigate what would be the best way to do things. Asktom and Q&A from Steven Feuerstein are great sources how you should develop PL/SQL code. This thread for ex. can be useful for developers.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Well, the first release of DG Tournament is online... in the following days I'll blog about the genesis of the application and the APEX features I used. In the meanwhile you can already give it a try. The registration is free.

I've first sent a mail to the people who were registered to the World Cup 2006 application, as they were my motivation to create the next version. I would like to apologize for sending the mail twice to some people.

I also would like to thank John Scott and Kristel Geukens for their help.

Enjoy DG Tournament!

WC2006? - No DG Tournament!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

APEX group on OOW connect

I created an APEX group on the Oracle Open World Connect website.

If you go to OOW and are interested to meet some other APEX developers or enthusiasts, sign up! ;-)

There're some other nice groups... you find the ones I subscribed to on the picture.

Tomorrow there'll be an other announcement on this blog!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Install SUSE 10 with favorite toys

It was already a long time ago I played with Suse, but last week I finally installed it again...
My goal: have a fast/"last" linux system with my favorite toys: Oracle DB, Apache (companion cd), APEX 2.2.1, SQL Developer, JDeveloper and Firefox.

I used Open Suse 10 and although this version is not certified to run Oracle 10gR2, it works. Certified versions of linux are the "Enterprise" versions of Suse or Redhat. I didn't use the Enterprise version, as I would like to see the latest "glitter and glamour" ;-)

: if you're installing a production environment with Oracle soft, please use a certified system!!

I'll describe in this post how I installed all of the above as it didn't all work "out-of-the-box".

1. Installation of Open Suse 10 (free version)
First thing to do, download the soft from the Suse FTP Server and write it on DVD.
I decided to put Suse next to my Windows XP (I have only 1 partition on 1 disk). This goes really smooth: you do a checkdisk and defrag of your disk in Windows. Afterwards startup the pc with the Suse DVD and tell the installer to dynamically shrink the Windows partition to the needs of linux. I used the setup of partitions as the installer proposed. After clicking a few time "next" you'll have a dual boot, Windows - Suse Linux. Ah, as desktop environment I used GNOME... Before I often used KDE, but now I thought to try something else, as I found KDE a bit "heavy". I always had the impression that GNOME was a little bit "faster"/"smoother" than KDE, although my experience is maybe a bit out of date.

2. Installation of the Oracle Database 10gR2
There's a nice article on the website of Dizwell Informatics (Howard J. Rogers) which describes this step in great detail (even with video). You find it here.
I followed almost all the steps mentioned in the article, but there were also some additional steps:
- To get Apache working, I needed the file Via YAST -the configuration tool of Suse- I installed the Berkeley database soft, found on the Suse DVD, because the necessary libs come with it.
- Next to what Howard says, I also had to add to my /etc/hosts file my machine name after localhost. That solved my problem with my listener and em when I wasn't connected to a network (I use a laptop). (Error: can't find host)
- I didn't install a database together with the Oracle 10gR2 soft. After the "software only" install was completed successfully, I installed the companion cd (Apache) and after that the patch which can be downloaded from Metalink.
- Only after the patch was applied I created a new (custom) database. If you create a template based database (for ex. general or data warehouse) you need to apply the patch to the database, if you do it like I did, it's already done (latest soft used to create the database).
- My dbora file looks a bit different, as I start more than only the database

3. Installation of APEX 2.2.1
Download APEX 2.2.1 from OTN here. The APEX documentation is here.
Follow the installation notes, and verify you put the marvel.conf at the end of httpd.conf. I also needed to comment "PlsqlDocumentPath docs" in the marvel.conf file out.

4. Installation of JDeveloper and SQL Developer
Download SQL Developer from OTN here and JDeveloper here.
Installing these is very simple, just unzip it into your preferred directory. However I needed to install the SUN java package before. You find it here.

- As with every other product it's important to read through the documentation... Not a long time ago somebody remembered me again. I thought to know something, but as Tom Kyte says it often: "features change through time", and I would like to add to that: "or you just forget about it".
- Ensure you've at least 10 GB free disk space.
- Run the Oracle Installer as follows (to bypass it's not a certified environment): ./runInstaller -ignoreSysprereqs
- Ensure all processes are running (for ex.: ps -ef); you should see a lot of oracle and Apache processes
- Check log files for problems (HTTP-, alert, opmn, ...)
- Create shortcuts to your favorite applications
- To get my Firefox "java enabled" I had to create a symbolic link to my java directory (cd /usr/lib/firefox/plugins and ln -s /usr/java/jre1.5.0/plugin/i386/ns7/ You can download the java runtime environment here.

My Experience so far:
I really like my Suse system. I've the impression that the Oracle tools run smoother in a linux environment. My system needs some time to start, but when it's there, it works really well.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

APEX schedule on OOW

Below you find the schedule of APEX presentations at Oracle Open World (SF).

If you look good, you'll find my name into it too ;-) I really look forward to meet the other persons at the ApEx SIG roundtable panel, and of course YOU with all your interesting and difficult questions!

IDSession TitleSpeakersDate/TimeRoom
S282226IOUG Oracle Application Express (APEX) Special Interest Group MeetingSteven L. Howard, John Scott, Tony Jedlinski, Dimitri Gielis, Doug GaultSunday Oct-22-06 10:45 AM -12:00 PM
Hilton Hotel Continental Parlor 3 Hilton
S283062Build a Dynamic Menu Framework with Oracle Application ExpressTony Jedlinski, Roman Inc.Sunday
Oct-22-06 2:00 PM -3:15 PM
Hilton Hotel Continental Parlor 3 Hilton
S281141Oracle Application Express, Now and in the Future Marc Sewtz, Michael Hichwa, Marco Adelfio (Oracle)
Monday Oct-23-06 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
Hilton Hotel Continental Ballroom 6 Hilton
S281144Oracle Migration Workbench: Taking Database Migration to the Next LevelDonal Daly, OracleMonday Oct-23-06 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
Hilton Hotel Franciscan Room C Hilton
S281162Building Media-Rich Business Applications Using Oracle interMedia and Oracle Application ExpressRobert Abbott, OracleMonday Oct-23-06 12:45 PM -1:45 PM
Hilton Hotel Continental Parlor 3 Hilton
S281146Hands-on Lab: Oracle Application Express--Building a Functional ApplicationSue Harper, Joel Kallman, Marc Sewtz, Marco Adelfio, OracleMonday Oct-23-06 3:00 PM -5:00 PM
Hilton Hotel Imperial Ballroom B Hilton
S281922User-Managed Metadata: Oracle Application Express Meets Oracle Warehouse Builder 10g Release 2Jim Raper, City of Charlotte; Doris Phillips, City of CharlotteMonday Oct-23-06 3:15 PM -4:15 PM
Moscone West 3007 West
S281178Location-Enabling Database Applications with Oracle Application Server MapViewer and Oracle Application ExpressSiva Ravada, OracleMonday Oct-23-06 4:15 PM -5:15 PM
Hilton Hotel Franciscan Room C Hilton
S281160Hands-on Lab: Developing Google-Style Maps for Your Oracle DatabaseL J Qian, OracleTuesday Oct-24-06 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
Hilton Hotel Imperial Ballroom A Hilton
S281145CERN: Building Real-World Solutions with Oracle Application ExpressJoel Kallman, Oracle; Giovanni Chierico, CERNTuesday Oct-24-06 3:45 PM -4:45 PM
Hilton Hotel Continental Ballroom 6 Hilton
S281946Putting the Express Back into Oracle Application Express with AjaxSteve Karam, Burleson Oracle Consulting and TrainingThursday Oct-26-06 8:00 AM -9:00 AM
Moscone West
3004 West
S283155How IntelliReal Is Using Service-Oriented Architecture to Seamlessly Integrate CompaniesBradley Brown, TUSCThursday Oct-26-06 8:00 AM -9:00 AM
Moscone West 2001 West