For sometime Kris Rice and I have talked about wanting to do a "Soup-to-Nuts" series of labs. With many thanks to Marcie Young from Curriculum Development, such a series now exists on the Oracle Learning Library (OLL) : http://apex.oracle.com/pls/apex/f?p=44785:24:0::NO::P24_CONTENT_ID,P24_PREV_PAGE:6265,1
Marcie is also the one responsible for building the whole OLL site in APEX and even developing the Mobile version of the site.
The workshop series includes the following labs:
- Data Modeler
- SQL Developer
- APEX (x2)
These are designed to be taken as a complete unit where you start with the Data Modeler to get your data structures correct, then use SQL Developer to work further on database objects, before using Application Express to build an application on top. I really appreciate that the tables you work on with the first lab are the same tables you build an application on top of in the APEX labs. These labs should prove very useful for anybody who needs to meet some new business requirements.
I have always been a huge proponent of modelling since my days using Oracle CASE and then Oracle Designer. If you don't have a well designed base (tables, etc) then whatever applications you build on top will be inherently harder to build and less performant. Too many young developers consider the data structures one of the least important aspects of designing a computer solution. My take is the better you design the database structures the easier your application development will be so spend the time upfront and reap the rewards later.