OOW recap (pt 2)

Better late than never on this one this job thing really gets in the way of blogging sometimes ;) .

I had two sessions this Oracle World , well I had a session and I helped out on another.

Sessions (Helper)

The session I helped out with a bit was Mark Drake's Oracle Application Express and Oracle XML Database: A Match Made in the Database. This session had it's beginning's way back at Web2.0 Expo where Mark and I shared a demo booth.  XMLDB has a standard sample/demo called XFILES which is a simple yet full featured file management system using all XMLDB features. But it requires using a java server and is kinda slow , well I think it's slow but I might be biased.

So I was like hey Mark! you should build this in APEX since we are both built in features of the database. And lo and behold the his session was born.  I helped on and off with building the demo application , and it was a big learning experience, both with the features XMLDB provides as well as were APEX does not leverage them well, something we will be working on improving.

Mark at OOW asked if I could sit in so if there was any specific APEX questions, and hey I'm a people person so of course I said yes.  The session was very well attended with many people in the audience already familiar with APEX and/or XMLDB.  Mark covered the basics of XMLDB and I quickly went over APEX basic's and then it was all demo. 

I really think the application demo and explanation of how things were created was a hit, it showed the power of XMLDB as well as how APEX can leverage it's features directly out of the databasey.  Just the number of hands that came up with people saying things like

  • Hey I just built that a month a go and yours is cooler.
  • Hey I need to build that in the near future and these are great ideas.
  • Hey can I have that application?

shows that this session hit a sweet spot. A couple things I got from this is that people like that APEX can directly leverage built in database features and want more of it easier, and secondly I need to really make time to clean up that XFILES application so it can be a packaged application.

Sessions (Mine)

My session was titled Web 2.0 using Oracle Application Express and was pretty well attended , especially since I was up against two other APEX sessions at the end of the day.  I like my sessions slide light , demo heavy and with audience participation . Luckily I didn't rewrite my whole demo and slides the day my session as I'm known to do though I was editing right up till the end. 

My presentation had two parts.

A technical part that expected people to know or at least have knowledge of APEX and it's built in javascript framework already.  During this part of the session I went over features in APEX that were used to build Interactive reports.  It goes something like this, in Interactive Reports we have this feature, and this is how it was built

...code ensues...

I like this format since it shows at a low level way how to build features but leaves it up to the developers how they want to leverage it. 

I also stress using the proper debugging tools when building client side features , specifically Firefox with Firebug , though I did point out that newer versions of other browsers are also getting these features.  Basically if your using a browser that doesn't give you proper error message IE 6/7 among others DO NOT use it for development, your making it harder on yourself and wasting time.

You download my application from here to mess around with.

The second part of my presentation is the real fun part where I get to talk about upcoming features in APEX.  So after showing my safe harbor slide , the one that keeps me out of trouble with the boss's , I was able to go over features that we are working on for future release's.

Improvements to the base functions $x() $v() $s() which are the base functions when dealing with page items.

Namespacing of our javascript libraries so that we play nice with other third party javascript libraries.

The use of chaining in our javascript library so that javascript is more compact and reusable.

And finally and my favorite!
Though I've hinted to people off and on for awhile we will  be including in the base jQuery library in our next release! It's all signed of and everything and I'm busy rewriting our code to leverage jQuery underneath, one of the reason's it's been tough for me to get these posts out.

In my next post I will go over how the inclusion of jQuery effect's APEX.  It's both a bigger and yet smaller change than you might think


  1. Tony said...
    So if you were to hazard a guess and the timeframe of a cleaned up Apex version of XFILES being put together, when do you think that would be?

    Looking forward to hearing about the JQuery integration. New default date picker? Mmmm, that sounds good, I think I'll have that.

    Thanks for all of the hard work.
    Carl Backstrom said...

    I can't commit to the time for the release of XFILES application though there has been work done on it since OOW.

    I really like that application so am taking the time to get the parts I'm working on working on as slick and solid as I can. I think and want it to be very useful for people.

    Johannes de Jong said...
    Hi Carl,

    In your post you say:

    "In my next post I will go over how the inclusion of jQuery effect's APEX. It's both a bigger and yet smaller change than you might think"

    I'm considering using jQuery in my app but I'm wondering if it might not be better to wait until it is officially introduced in Apex before I start using it.

    What is your advice on that?


    Carl Backstrom said...

    I say go for it, we are just going to be using vanilla jQuery, and you will just be ahead of the game.

    The only thing that you won't be able to take advantage of is the new APEX stuff that takes advantage of jQuery.

    I'll try and get the full jQuery blog post out tomorrow that will flesh out the details.

    But I'm a day away from a 4 day weekend so I might not make it ;)
    Johannes de Jong said...
    Tx for your prompt reply Carl.

    No problem. I'm an old mainframe programmer your post will be out way before I've even downloaded jQuery ;-)

    Enjoy your 4 day weekend.

    Johannes de Jong said...
    Stew said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
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