Unless you've managed to somehow filter out everything about US politics over the last few months (and if you have, please let me know your secret), then you've likely heard about "fake news". From a high level, my basic understanding of "fake news" is that it refers to stories or websites that are fabricated to advance the political beliefs and/or ideologies of one site or the other. Your definition may differ.
So what is fake code? That, I can at least try to explain in a bit more detail.
Alright, stop! Collaborate and listen! Ok, I’ll be the one to take my own advice here and stop...
Later this month, I’ll be heading to Reykjavík, Iceland to deliver our 3-day training class “Developing Desktop APEX Applications”. This class will be open to the public and costs about $2500 per student, so anyone is welcome to sign up. You’ll have to make your way to Iceland, of course.
This Thursday, I’ll be participating in the Taste of KScope 2017 webinar series by presenting GET POST ORDS JSON: Web Services for APEX Decoded. The webinar will begin at noon EDT on Thursday, March 16th. The webinar is completely free, and you don’t need to be an ODTUG member to attend.
It's going to be a hectic couple of weeks for me, as I get ready to head to Utah this weekend for the annual UTOUG Training Days conference next week. I love Salt Lake City, and the UTOUG conference is just the right size - not too large, but large enough that most of the rooms are full of attendees.
This year, I've got three slots, each as different as the next:
NATCAP OUG - or the National Capitol Region Oracle Users Group - has a long history of providing Oracle-related content to those in the DC metro area. I remember presenting there back in my Oracle days (early 2000's) on multiple occasions.
Over the last few months, a few of us have been trying to resurrect this group, as there are likely more Oracle developers & DBAs in the DC area than any other area in the US, perhaps even the world! This region has long been underserved, and we hope to change that.
Yes, you read that right - it's not a typo, nor did one of my kids or wife gain access to my laptop. It's part of a "blog hop" - where a number of experts made recommendations about KScope sessions that are "must attend" and are not in their core technology. I picked ADF/MAF, as I don't have any practical experience in either technology, but they are at least similar enough that I would not be totally lost.
In any case, the following sessions in the ADF/MAF track are worth checking out at Kscope 16 this year:
Ever since APEX 5, the poor Navigation Bar has taken a back seat to the Navigation Menu. And for good reason, as the Navigation Menu offers a much more intuitive and flexible way to provide site-wide navigation that looks great, is responsive and just plain works. However, the Navigation Bar can and does still serve a purpose. Most application still use it to display the Logout link and perhaps the name of the currently signed on user. Some applications use it to also provide a link to a user's profile or something similar.
Providing file upload and download capabilities has been native functionality in APEX for a couple major releases now. In 5.0, it's even more streamlined and 100% declarative. In the interest of saving screen real estate, I wanted to represent the download link in an IR with an icon - specifically fa-download. This is a simple task to achieve - edit the column and set the Download Text to this:
If you've been using APEX long enough, you've probably used a PL/SQL Region to render some sort of HTML that the APEX built-in components simply can't handle. Perhaps a complex chart or region that has a lot of custom content and/or layout. While best practices may be to use an APEX component, or if not, build a plugin, we all know that sometimes reality doesn't give us that kind of time or flexibility.
In migrating SERT from 4.2 to 5.0, there's a number of challenges that I'm facing. This has to do with the fact that I am also migrating a custom theme to the Universal Theme, as almost 100% of the application just worked if I chose to leave it alone. I didn't. More on that journey in a longer post later.
In any case, some of the IR filters that I have on by default can get a bit... ugly. Even in the Universal Theme:
I'm a huge fan of APEX's new Universal Theme, and have been working quite a bit with it. One of the coolest features is how easy it is to change the colors. You don't even need to be good at design - just click Theme Roller, and spin all the things!
However, as much as you change the colors, the look and feel still largely looks the same, since the base font is unchanged.
So let's change it up! More importantly, let's change it up without making any changes to the Universal Theme itself, so that when we upgrade to APEX 5.1, our changes will be preserved.
The next Oracle APEX NOVA MeetUp is going to be held on November 12th, 2015 at 7PM. We decided to mix things up a bit and are going to have it at Vapianos in the Reston Town Center. We're also going to try a more informal agenda. In other words, there will be no agenda.
About a month ago, I left my position at Accenture Enkitec Group. I had a couple of ideas as to what I wanted to do next, but nothing was 100% solid. After considering a couple of different options, I'm happy to announce that together with Doug Gault & Tim St. Hilaire, we're re-launching Sumner Technologies.
Just under three years ago, I joined Enkitec when they acquired Sumneva. The next three years brought a whirlwind of change and excitement - new products, additional training, and expanding the APEX practice from an almost nonexistent state to one of the best in the world.
Last week, I participated in my first Little League draft for my son's baseball team. This was new territory, as up until now, play has been non-competitive. This year we will actually have to keep score, and there will be winners and losers.
Every time I attend a conference, the Twitter traffic about said conference is obviously higher. It starts a couple weeks or even months before, builds steadily as the conference approaches, and then hits a crescendo during the conference. For the past few conferences, I’ve started my sessions by asking who in the audience uses Twitter. Time and time again, I only get about 10-20% of the participants say that they do. That means that up to 90% of the participants don’t. That’s a lot of people. My informal surveys also indicate a clear generation gap.
The big news about Oracle APEX from OOW is not so much about what, but more about when. Much to many people's disappointment, APEX 5.0 is still going to be a few months out. The "official" release date has been updated from "calendar year 2014" to "fiscal year 2015". For those not in the know, Oracle's fiscal year ends on May 31st, so that date represents the new high-water mark.
We're going to try the "Open Mic" format that has been wildly successful at KScope for the past few years. The rules are quite simple: anyone can demonstrate their APEX-based solution for up to 10 minutes. No need to reserve a spot or spend too much time planning. And as always, no slides will be permitted - strictly demo.
Recently, I was working with one of our customers and ran into a rather unique requirement and an uncommon constraint. The customer - Storm Petrel - has designed a grant management system called Tempest. This system is designed to aid local municipalities when applying for FEMA grants after a natural disaster occurs. As one can imagine, there is a lot of old fashioned paperwork when it comes to managing such a thing.
It’s that time of year again: Conference Season! There’s a few conferences that fall in the 1st few months of the year that I try to present at each year, and this year is no different. Here’s where I’ll be presenting at over the next few months:
Yesterday, we launched the new APEX Resource Center - or ARC - on enkitec.com. The ARC was designed to provide the APEX experts at Enkitec with an easy way to share all things APEX with the community. It’s split up into a number of different sections, each of which I’ll describe here:
Yesterday, I was part of the KScope 14 APEX Abstract Review call. This call is used to discuss the rankings that the Abstract Review Committee has previously given each session. Naturally, we use APEX to help with this process - specifically WebSheets. The call allows us to ensure that the selections are as fair as possible. We make sure that no single presenter has too many slots, ensure that there are enough first-timers vs. veteran presenters and keep the topics of the accepted abstracts balanced.
My OCD was delighted this morning when I came across a new feature of SQL Developer: Connection Color. Brace yourselves, as this feature ain't much, but could have a huge impact on reducing accidental commands in the wrong schema or server.
To use it, simply create or edit a database connection, and set the Connection Color to whichever color you choose:
The post details a number of different attributes of the tree and how to interact with it. It starts simple and shows how to get a tree reference and gradually gets more and more detailed, including how to search the tree and how to handle when a node is selected or even double clicked.
Looks like the Oracle APEX team's annual OOW site is live here: http://apex.oracle.com/pls/apex/f?p=67165:1 This site provides a list of APEX-related sessions at OOW in both a calendar and list view. It is also mobile friendly, which will make it nice to have while at the conference itself.
But the big news is spelled out right on the home page:
I remember vividly meeting with Jonathan Gennick at RMOUG 2012 at the Apress booth. As always, he asked if I was up for writing something APEX-related. And as always, I politely declined, as I just had too much going on at the time. However, before he let me leave the booth, he pledged that I didn't have to write something that was 800+ pages, and that a niche topic book that was "only" a couple hundred pages would work. Time to reconsider.
I had the opportunity to sit through two APEX 5.0 presentations yesterday at APEXposed in Montreal - one by Joel Kallman, and the other by David Peake.
By far, the most anticipated feature is the new page layout UI. This interface is designed to do two things: make arranging regions and items easier, and allowing for batch updating of common item attributes. While the demonstrations were a bit rough and the UI is clearly not finished, this direction represents a lot of promise for APEX developers, as it is the one area that APEX has been lacking since day one.
Oracle Wallet is a finicky little tool. However, when you want to make outgoing HTTPS calls from the database, it's a necessary evil. While the tool itself is straightforward enough, the steps to follow in order to configure it are not as clear.
With the introduction of the iPhone 5, one new feature has more people abuzz than any other: the new adapter. Instead of the traditional 30-pin dock connector that has become ubiquitous in everything from consumer electronics to luxury cars, Apple has opted to introduce a new, proprietary 8-bin connector dubbed "Lightning".
If you missed out on this year's KScope conference, you missed out on a tremendous amount of APEX content. You missed the APEX 4.2 preview and discussions from Oracle. You missed great sessions on the APEX Listener, jQuery, Dynamic Actions, etc. You missed the opportunity to actually meet some of the best APEX experts on the planet.
APEX pie charts allow you to limit the number of records that are displayed in the chart. This can be controlled by editing the Series and setting the Maximum Rows parameter. However, APEX will automatically add an "Other" slice to your chart, which represents all of the other data from the query. Consider this example: you have 10 different widget types, and 10 of each type for a total of 100 units. Here's some SQL to quickly create this scenario, if you want to follow along:
Well, it's official. I am no longer a small business owner.
Starting today, I will be working for Enkitec, heading up their APEX products division. Here, Doug Gault and I will be responsible not only for our existing APEX products - the freshly renamed eFramework and eSERT - but charted with bringing several more to market in the next few months.
Page Zero in APEX is a powerful tool. For the uninformed, it allows you to put APEX components on it and have them render on every other page in your application - unless conditionally set to do otherwise. Components supported on page zero include regions, items, buttons, branches, computations and dynamic actions.
Joel Kallman has an interesting and amusing reaction to a recent Gartner paper authored by Mark Driver posted here. After reading Joel's reply and Mark's paper, it got me thinking a bit about what was both in and not in the Gartner review and conclusions regarding Oracle Forms migration paths.
As soon as I posted this entry yesterday, I thought of a few additional "rules" that probably should have been included. Pitor's comment also spurred on an additional rule. So without further adieu, here they are:
Learn 'em and stick to 'em. Period! Most modern browsers do pretty well with them, so the closer you are to them, the better off your site will be in the long run.
There's something to be said for corporate standards for browsers. Sure, it's almost always some flavor of IE, but at least you're only charged with making sure that your application runs and looks good on one browser on a single OS.
However, when designing a product, you simply don't have that luxury anymore. Your application must now not only run but look good on all popular versions of popular browsers: MSIE, Chrome, Firefox and maybe even Safari. And if you think that these browsers behave exactly the same on different operating systems, you're completely wrong.