Monday, June 14, 2010

CD APEX 4.0: Feedback feature and Team Development

This blog post is part of a series posting "Count Down to APEX 4.0 Public Release" (click on link to view history).

In the previous posts we imported our application (and database objects) in APEX 4.0, ran the Advisor to check if the application didn't have any errors and upgraded some components like charts, validations etc. to their new equivalent in APEX 4.0.

We still have some javascript errors in our application and we should now open page by page and see if we have any issues or if we can make better use of the APEX 4.0 features.

We could take a piece of paper to write down all the changes we want to make to the app or use tools like Jira, Fogbugz and many others. Instead I'm going to use the Feedback features of APEX 4.0 in combination with Team Development. This allows me to have a structured plan of the changes I want to make.

We'll create a new (special) page, called the Feedback Page.

We can change the attributes of this page, but we'll just go with the defaults for now.
That's all you have to do to enable feedback for your application. Now people can tell you what they like, don't like and want improved... all that information will appear in the Team Development section of APEX 4.0.

The wizard created a new page and an entry in the navigation bar (which you find in Shared Components). So you can manually do these steps too.

As I already included the Navigation Bar in my custom look and feel of DG Tournament, I literally didn't have to do anything else. I just got the Feedback button (link), which if you click on you get a popup to enter feedback information.

As a default you get the above items on your page, but you can add that like you wish.
The Feedback Type can be off: General comment, Enhancement Request or Bug.

If you look at the Page Process of the Feedback Page you will see the apex_util.submit_feedback package is used to get the data into Team Development.

The most right-side button is Feedback. When we click on that we see a dashboard of all the feedback for the applications in this workspace.

As you can see I entered 3 feedback comments, but I didn't treat the comments yet.
I can now convert the feedback into a bug, a to do entry or a feature.

We'll click on the Feedback tab and see all of the feedback. You have different views of this feedback, you can see open, closed or all and can see the feedback in Extended or Basic modus.

From this screen you click on a Feedback entry

You update the feedback entry and can change the status etc.

That is how I would go forward. I would let people test our migrated application and ask to enter their comments as Feedback. I, as a developer, would do the same. It gives me (and project manager and other developers for larger projects) and the customers insight in what has to be done and we can properly plan.

I didn't touch the Milestones, Features, To-Dos and Bugs, but it's worth to have a look at that aswell. It's all in Team Development.


Buzz Killington said...

I really like this new feature. I wish this were around last year as I rolled my own feedback application that did exactly this thing. It wasn't hard, but it is very nice that they integrated it into the builder.

Personally I could care less about all the jquery enhancements - this is one I think will get immediate use in my apps.

Database consultant said...

Excellent feature that saves a lot of time in reporting page level bugs. How does the user review history of submitted feedback?