Thursday, August 28, 2008

NEW Oracle University Advanced APEX Workshop

Oracle University has just started to list the new Oracle Application Express Advanced Workshop course. Only Australia is showing up in the schedule so far, but other countries are sure to be available soon.

The course objectives are:
  • Monitor and manage your application by using custom reports
  • Manage application navigation by using hierarchical lists with images, database-driven navigation, site maps, and dashboards
  • Build custom tabular forms that use collections and validations
  • Manage application content dynamically by using JavaScript and AJAX
  • Extend your application to add binary large object (BLOB) data, send email notifications, use Web services, and integrate with SQL Developer
  • Manipulate application content through templates, themes, and style sheets
  • Create reports declaratively and use the print APIs
  • Secure your application by using LDAP and SSO and prevent SQL injection attacks and cross-site scripting and usage of Session State Protection
This workshop incorporates a lot of input directly from the development team. Marcie Young has done an excellent job of transforming these advanced techniques into a very worthwhile course, complete with lots of great exercises.

I reviewed much of the content and participated in the pilot of this course -- I must say I learnt a thing or three.


APEX 3.1.2 Patch Released

We have just pushed out Oracle Application Express 3.1.2. The full installation is available here, the patchset is available on MetaLink - patch number 7313609. Please read the Patch Set Notes for details on the bugs fixed in this release.

As always we strongly recommend updating to this latest release as soon as possible.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Forms Converter Limited Early Adopter Testers

Based on my SOD posting below, I have received a large number of requests from people and organizations wishing to be part of our Limited Early Adopters program which is excellent. We are not quite ready for you yet as we need to clean up some of our code and ensure the tool is ready.

Once we are good to go I will be sending out emails to all of you with your credentials to start "kicking the tires". Please be patient and start gathering those Forms, scripts, etc.

Look forward to working with you soon.


Friday, August 8, 2008

New Statement of Direction

[UPDATED 08/21/2008]

We have just put out a new Statement of Direction on OTN.
{Remember a SOD is only an indicator of what we plan to do and not a guarantee}

The big news is that we are planning to produce Oracle Application Express 3.2.
This will be almost exclusively for our Forms Converter offering.
Forms Converter is designed to provide significant value as part of a conversion project and it is not designed to be a 100% "black-box" translation tool.
Keep reading to the bottom for more about Forms Converter and Beta testing ...

On Patrick Wolf's posting here a Mr. Anon asked an interesting question on why would you bother with a migration tool when it so easy to build components on existing tables in APEX already and concentrate on other development activities. This is an excellent question but I believe this capability is VERY important.
While it is easy to learn APEX from a developer's perspective, it is not always as easy to understand what has been built into the Oracle Forms.

If you have a project to migrate 100 or 1000 Forms of varying complexity and varying documentation (= most projects) then I believe the tool will be invaluable to enhancing your understanding of what you are migrating. Knowledge is power, and by extracting all the business logic out of Forms and allowing you to view it through our conversion screens will improve the process (irrespective of how much you generate)

Our development team are a very skilled bunch and are used to juggling multiple conflicting priorities on a daily basis so we are also steaming ahead with 4.0 features at the same time.
We realized that moving the Forms Converter piece into 3.2 would enable us to get it out the door sooner rather than having to wait for 4.0.

Now don't go asking me for dates - You know I can't give any dates.
The best I can do is say that 3.2 will be "Coming to a store near you soon".
{"Soon" is such an obtuse word as it could mean next week (which it definitely won't be) or some other point many months away}
4.0 will be sometime in 2009 with the final date being largely dependent on how some of our new features like Application Express Websheets perform in Early Adopters and how long it takes us to make sure they are stable and of our usual high quality.

Forms Converter - Samples & Limited Early Adopters
As part of our 3.2 development of Forms Converter we need your help and input.

We need examples of Oracle Forms from 6i, 9i and 10g. Oracle Forms 6i samples are especially useful. We are after varying complexities including simple, medium and complex Oracle Forms.

What we need are the XML file (created from the FORMS2XML Utility - .fmb file if absolutely necessary), DDL scripts to create the tables, and a small volume of sample data. As a bare minimum we need sample data for the code / lookup tables. It would be a huge bonus if you can include screen shots of the Forms. Lastly, any related technical specifications, design documents, etc. that explain the functionality would be a real asset.

Please email a zip file, renamed to xxxx.zipp as Oracle mail will not accept messages with a .zip extension, to me at

Our Limited Early Adopters program will be performed on a hosted environment (similar to how we do standard "open" Early Adopters) but will not be open to the general public. The reason for this is Limited Early Adopter testers will be working closely with us one-on-one to ensure we get the feedback we need to improve our product and be sought for advice and counsel on specific aspects of the migration.

Qualities I am looking for are Oracle Forms gurus who may or may not know Oracle APEX very well.
Participants would also be expected to provide some Oracle Forms examples to use to conduct their own testing.

If you are interested in being a Forms Converter Limited Early Adopter tester please send me an email.
Please be aware we may not be able to accept all interested parties into the program.


Oracle Openworld 2008 APEX Update

Only six weeks until San Francisco gets a distinctive red coating!

I have just finished updating the APEX Schedule with the last of the Oracle Mix sessions and updating the remaining seats. There is only Anton Nielsen's session that hasn't come up in the Schedule Builder or Content Builder yet.

It even includes full descriptions and other useful information by viewing the full record.

For all of those attending - please go through the Schedule Builder and sign up for the sessions you are interested in. Many of them are filling fast and you will be turned away if you have not registered and the room is fully booked.

There are a number of sessions being held in Moscone West and South which are often larger rooms but it is just as important to register your support for those speakers.

Action Item for Speakers:
I can not determine the Room Capacity for many of the rooms but Speakers should be able to for their own sessions. Could each of you go through the same link you used to accept your invitation as a speaker Content URL and click on Content Management in the left navigation bar. Click on My Sessions and then click on the title for your session. Across the top you will see a tab Session Schedule and on this page it will list the Set Capacity. This is the number I need (not the Actual Capacity). Once all the hard work is done it is a simple matter of sending me an email or replying to this post with your Room (e.g. Salon 03, Marriot) and the Set Capacity.

Look forward to catching up with many of you there!