May 28, 2009

Forms to APEX Workshop follow-up

On May 20th Insum Solutions hosted an APEX seminar followed by a workshop on How to migrate Oracle Forms to Oracle APEX using the migration engine. The session took place in Oracle’s office in Montreal (participants were spoiled with a great breakfast and lunch generously offered by Oracle).

For the most part, participants (15) were business analysts and DBA from the public/parapublic sector. Some of them were coming from organizations where APEX was actively used to develop new applications. Some were new to APEX altogether.

Serge Tremblay, Oracle Solutions Specialist for Oracle Technologies kickoff the session and delivered a strong presentation on the positioning of APEX within the overall offering of Oracle development platform. In short he insisted that APEX had all the horsepower required to deliver enterprise scale applications. Also along this line Serge explained how an APEX application could be deployed in a fail proof environment . Insisting on the fact that APEX cost efficient deployment option is not a limitation and should not be marked as a disadvantage. If more robustness is required than all the options are there to put in place a application that could provide high availability in a 24/7 capability.

Michel St-amour, Insum president, followed Serge on the podium and provide answers to : Why migrate, How to evaluate and manage a migration project. Insisting on this last concept – Migrating from Oracle Forms to APEX must be considered a project and managed as such (although there is a migration engine).

After a networking lunch, we changed gears and started the workshop session. Participants were instructed to log on our server to download the required files and to connect to Insum APEX training application. The whole afternoon went very smoothly. The session was led by Brigitte Lafond, Senior consultant at Insum. Brigitte is also the one who had crafted an exhaustive document (65 pages !) to help guide the users step by step on how to proceed. To ensure everyone had the proper attention on this first delivery of our migration workshop, we also had Eric Boissonnault, another consultant at Insum, in the room to help Brigitte answer participants questions.

At 3:30 we wrapped things up with the participants. General comments were that the session was quite helpful, instructive and provided a good eye opener on the possibilities of both APEX and the migration engine. Also re-confirmed by all was that migrating from Oracle Forms to APEX must be managed as a project (no magic button) and a first project should always be led by experienced consultant ( which was music to our hears)

To make sure Oracle Enterprise customers could have a chance to participate in a similar session, we have agreed with Oracle Montreal office representatives to hold a similar session in the September timeframe.

Thanks to Marc Côté, director business development, for this resume.

May 11, 2009

Collaborate 09 - Wrap up

Here is a resume of the rest of my week at Collaborate 09 in Orlando :

On wednesday, I attended a session on new 11g Features by Rich Niemic of TUSC.

When we were waiting for people to come in , he showed us this clip from youtube that I think is very funny :

He talked about some new features of 11G that can help reduce your work and give better services to your customers. (Everything is Amazing and nobody is Happy). It is surprising how many new features there are in 11G. I realized that I should read more about them and experiment to see how I could use them.

I also attended John Scott's presentation on Dispelling Myths about APEX. I already saw this presentation at Open World '08 and it is a good one. John talked about all the famous myths that we keep earing on APEX and explains why they are Myths. The one that I ear quite often is that APEX was build from WEBDB. Wich is not true at all. APEX is not WEBDB and does not even share code. And there are a lot of myths. This is a must see APEX presentation.

On wednesday night, we had (IOUG Attendees) exclusive access to Universal Island of Adventure. It was cool. Plenty of food and access to all the rides. I did the "Dueling Dragons" and I think that it is the best roller coaster I ever been on.

On thursday morning it was my turn. On the last day , the morning after the big Party. Still, I got a good audience and I think that it went great. At least, nobody fell asleep or left the room in the middle of my presentation :) I talked about building one application for multiple customers. I show how we dynamically generate different looks and menus at each page views. I got some good questions from the audience. You can see Dimitri's review of my presentation on his blog.
I think that I show a new way on how APEX can be used. The fact that APEX generates every pages at each pageviews makes APEX a perfect choice for a multi-tenant SAAS.

Right after my presentation, there was Dimitri's What happens on an APEX Page?. He showed the options available from the selectlist "View" on an APEX page. Sometimes, it is worth the time exploring those "not so obvious" options. They can be very useful. Again, very good presentation from Dimitri.

Well, that was it for Orlando and Collaborate 09.

Next conference : ODTUG Kaleidoscope in june.

Oracle Application Express Master

Just saw this video from Jeff Erikson on his Tech Spectator blog.

It is about APEX. Very funny.

Also check out his blog , you will find another good video about Oracle Application Express

Have fun !

May 6, 2009

Collaborate 09 - Peabody Ducks

You probably are asking yourself why I am talking about Ducks in the title of this post. Well, you'll see.

During the last two days, I attended some interesting sessions at Orlando for IOUG Collaborate 09.

There was one session by Tony Jedlinsky about Amazon EC2 Cloud computing. His presentation was well done and showed a step by step setup of an APEX installation on the Amazon Cloud. Very interesting and good pointers.

I also saw David Peake's Forms to APEX conversion. I already saw this presentation a couple of times but now that APEX 3.2 is available, there was a bit more details than the last one I saw. You can see an overview of the Forms conversion on OTN.

Another good presentation was the overview of the SQLDeveloper datamodeling tool by Sue Harper.

But one of the most intriguing one was the APEX Architechture Review by Paul Dorsey. Intriguing in the sense that it was kind of hard to understand the overall message that he was trying to pass to the audience. Was it that there was some flaws to APEX or that APEX was a good tool or that ADF was too complex ?

But, however, I think that it was an interesting presentation in the sense that it added new arguments to debate about. From my opinion, it showed a perspective from the type of APEX user that does not have the time , or the chance, to go in more depth with APEX and base their evaluation of the product on what they first see. I find that this is the beauty of the tool in a way. You can quickly create functional applications but after you can customize about almost anything. And this takes a bit of time and programming efforts.

You can find more details and more discussions about Paul Dorsey's presentation on Dimitri's Blog.

One thing that disapointed me at Collaborate is that there was at least three APEX sessions that were canceled. I hope that these presentations will be at ODTUG Kaleidoscope.

Now about the Ducks :

I am staying at the Peabody hotel, and beleive it or not, there is a Duck parade every day.

It was very funny to see this ritual with the music and the Crimson-and-gold- braid-jacketed Duck Master...

This made my day ! :)

May 1, 2009

New Blog for Insum Solutions.

I would like to welcome Michel St-Amour to the blogging community.

This is our new corporate blog.

Michel will talk about Insum and the Oracle Application Express market in general.
It will be interesting to have a view on APEX other than technical.

Since his blog is targeted to our local community in Montreal, it will be in French.
If I see something that will be of interest to others, I will be more than happy to translate it and post it here.