Wednesday, December 01, 2010

APEXBlogs v2 - APEX Usage

This post is part of the 10 days of APEXBlogs. This series of blog posts highlight the features of the new version (APEXBlogs v2) of which will be released shortly.

So far I blogged about
  1. Backend changes
  2. Showing the blog posts APEX 4.0 style
  3. Twitter sync for #apexblogs and #orclapex
  4. Plugins section
  5. Links
  6. APEX Usage (this post)
As I travel quite a lot and speak to different people, I get the impression that APEX is more and more used in all parts of the world. So I would find it very interesting which part of the world is using Oracle Application Express a lot and which parts of the world are just adopting it.

It's very hard to get these numbers, maybe Oracle themselves have an idea if they look at the statistics of
I thought a long time about a way to get to that info, but there is no easy answer really:
  • I could look at the IP's that hit my sites and by that I can figure out from which country they are (e.g. by using IP2Location website)
  • I could ask people to create a profile/login on the APEXBlogs v2 site, but why would they do that?
  • I could mine other sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Blogs, Google, the APEX Forum etc. to see which people are talking about APEX or asking questions about it, but that would be technically the hardest job to do and I wouldn't find everybody that way either
  • I could manually enter numbers, based on my talks at conferences and other persons feedback
  • I could use Google Analytics (which is actually using the IP based solution) to see from which countries people come
My absolute dream would be that I would get APEXBlogs v2 in such a state that it's worthwhile for everybody dealing with APEX wanting to go to that site. We'll see in the future how that turns out, but you could definitely help me with that. I see APEXBlogs v2 evolving to more a portal page for the APEX Community... v2 is not anymore about just aggregating the blogs, it's doing a lot more as you could read before and will read in the next couple of posts.

Once we are online with APEXBlogs v2, the way you could help is talking about the site and tell everybody it would be fantastic to get the APEX adoption in card. You are probably as much a fan of APEX as me, but you might find it difficult to convince others to go with APEX and do more APEX projects. By showing that APEX is used all over the place, it might help to convince your client(s) and/or boss.

The other way you could help is to give me feedback about what would be useful for you and the people you know, so they have a reason to come to the site.

So back to the APEX Usage and how it will be shown in APEXBlogs v2.

I wanted to use a combination of two methods. My first routine looks at the people who are registered and plots that on a World Map (implemented and works great). In APEX 4.0 there's a wizard to create these maps. The second routine will look at the IP addresses that hit the site and verify if the numbers are aligned from the first routine. But I've an issue here... if I'm with a client and hit the site I've a certain IP address, when I'm at home I've another IP address, but I'm the same person. Or behind one IP address (e.g. a government) there might be 100 people using APEX.

I doubted to use a Google Map and show the points where people exactly are, but that would probably have the reverse affect and people don't want (or are not allowed) to share that information (privacy reasons).