Tuesday, September 11, 2007

EATD: Day 1 - Welcome and presentations

Tuesday morning (September 4), first day of our "European Oracle Application Express Training Days"...

Some people arrived already on Monday evening, where others left home very early the same day to be on time (one of them left at 4 am!).

From 8 till 9 o'clock we planned registration. While people were waiting for the other attendees they could enjoy a little breakfast.
It's not evident to be on time the first day in a country you don't know, so it's a good idea to have a time slot to arrive. It's also a nice time to talk to the people.
Some I knew from their blog, so it was a pleasure to meet them in real life. Some of the Oracle blogging people who attended our training; "Jornica", Patrick and Michiel of AMIS and Douwe, Bart and Menno from Caesar.

We printed a name tag for everybody and put a folder with the agenda on their desks. I also want to thank Kristel Geukens, my wife and owner of G&G Design, a company specialized in graphical and conceptual design, for the great support. She made the name tags and all layout and graphics.

The format of our training days was fairly simple:
90 minutes session - 15 minutes break - 90 minutes session
- Lunch (1 hour) -
90 minutes session - 15 minutes break - 90 minutes session

So, basically we had four sessions a day which we tried to build up logically.

For the first day we gave following sessions:

  • Themes & Templates

    I spoke about how to make a "waaaw"-site, how we (AE) make a new design (there's a lot more than just APEX) and how to really create a theme and templates in APEX.
    Did you for ex. know that there're two main choices in creating the layout of your website/application? I call it the choice between "table" layout and div/css layout.
    Although the 18 themes that come out of the box with APEX are mainly build as a "table" layout (or another example; the DG Tournament site), there exists something else. An example of the div/css layout is our Apex Evangelists website.
    Another question I could ask you: Do you know "Subscriptions" and the different "Tokens"? If not, you definitely have to see my Themes & Templates presentation ;-)

  • Authentication

    John covered this big topic. When we were discussing this topic before and John told me what he wanted to cover, I even didn't realize all that was in!
    Not for nothing we have another presentation only covering SSO. John concentrated on APEX users and Custom Authentication. I think a lot of people didn't realize you could do so much with the APEX (or cookie) users.
    Did you know about the authentication functions in APEX_UTIL? Or did you ever want to lock some accounts? John showed it live!

  • Reports & Charts

    I already blogged about it before, if it's useful and advanced enough (or not) for an Advanced APEX training?
    I still believe this is a good topic to get people on the same level. For our training we had some people just starting with APEX where others already developed for over 2 years.

    Do you know for example the difference in a "SQL report" and a "Wizard report"? I didn't limit the presentation to "only" APEX, but also talked about SQL Developer, Explain plan, SQL injection, bind variables etc.
    This is a really good topic to include all that... it's also a topic which requires a lot of demoing, what I really like to do ;-)
    When doing this presentation, it's sure people start asking questions. As APEX is such a rapid application development tool, in 9 out of 10 I can demo it right away.

    Have you ever looked at all possibilities you had with reports? You can't show it on one page!

    Somebody knows the difference in an "Updateable Report" and a "Tabular Form"?
    Or already tried the Customizations link?

    The Charts section is also nice to do. I suppose everybody knows you shouldn't use SVG charts anymore (desupported by Adobe)? But have you ever tried the asynchronous update? Flash charts can really give you a web 2.0 feeling...

    You can link so much else with this topic: Authorization, Conditions, Caching, Build Options...

    I always like to do this topic as people sometimes think they already know all that, until I show them one thing they didn't know ;-)
    Nevertheless, if I know the audience is really experienced I'll probably change some things and show for ex. drill down reports.

  • Performance Tips & Techniques

    This is really Johns corner. John has so much experience due to the APEX hosting he provides and talked about his top 4 performance tips.
    He's not only talking about that, John also proofs what he says. I won't tell you his 4 tips, that's something you should ask him ;-) But, I'm pretty sure there are not that many persons using all that.

So far the sessions of day 1...

At the end of the day we also planned some Q&A time. Although we got a lot of questions during the presentations, I think the people appreciated we had some time for them after the sessions with their day-by-day difficulties.

During the evenings John and I had some food, talked about the day and prepared for the next day. We were the only persons sitting in the bar with a laptop, but the waiters got used to it and were very understanding.

You may also read how John (Scott) experienced our training days on his blog (day 0, day 1).


Anonymous said...

SVG is widely supported, works well with Ajax and is an open technology. Flash doesn't have that nice combination. Adobe is no longer a strong supporter of SVG, but desupported is not the case really. You should take a look at http://svg.startpagina.nl for only a start in seeing the current (healthy) state of SVG.

forkboy said...

Looks like great stuff, I'd love to see something like this come out in a format something like what peepcode is doing.

Dimitri Gielis said...

Thank you for your reply Stelt.

It looks like SVG is not dead then...

Nevertheless, if you read http://www.adobe.com/svg/eol.html you'll see: "Adobe customer support for Adobe SVG Viewer will be discontinued on January 1, 2009."
Ofcourse, this is only the viewer, but it shows you the direction of Adobe.

Oracle also put a lot of effort in these Flash charts, so I still believe for APEX, Flash charting is the future.

Ofcourse, everybody needs to look for himself what's best in their case. If you know SVG and it fits your needs, fine.

iamblogaholic said...

"Flash charts can really give you a web 2.0 feeling..."
Very TRUE...you can create attractive, interactive and dynamic charts using Flash...look at FusionCharts. They offer commercial products and free product. Even they have developed a Google Gadget that can be used in personalized home pages and blogs. With Flash Charts you can revolutionize your reporting and presentation sessions!