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Oracle APEX 5 Update from OOW

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.

Despite this bit of bad news, there were a number of bits of good news as well.  First of all, there will be an EA3.  This is good because it demonstrates that the team has been hard at work fixing bugs and adding features.  Based on the live demonstrations that were presented, there are some subtle and some not-so-subtle things to look forward to.  The subtle include an even more refined UI, complete with smooth fade-through transitions.  I tweeted about the not-so-subtle the other day, but to recap here: pivot functionality in IRs, column toggle and reflow in jQuery …

Take a Walk

Steven Feuerstein (https://twitter.com/stevefeuerstein) just tweeted this:

Improve your programming with a daily regimen of situps (or anything you can do to strengthen abs), walks in the woods, and lots of water.
— Steven Feuerstein (@stevefeuerstein) July 14, 2014 Which in turn, inspired me to quickly write this post.

The combination of being in IT and working from home leads to lots of hours logged in some sort of chair, whether its in my home office, at a customer site or a coffee shop.  You don't need to be a doctor to realize that this is not particularly healthy behavior.

So for the past few months, I've incorporated something new into my daily routine: taking a walk.  It doesn't sound like much, and quite honestly, it really isn't.  But, I wish that I had started this years ago, because the benefits of it are huge.

First of all, it's nice to get outside during the day, especially when it's actually nice out.  Nothing can quite compare to it, no matter…

Next ORCLAPEX NOVA Meetup: July 17th

The next Meetup for the ORCLAPEX NOVA Meetup Group will be this Thursday, July 17th at 7:00PM at Oracle Reston.  (Details: http://www.meetup.com/orclapex-NOVA/events/192592582/)

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.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to present - even if you have never presented before.  We're a welcoming group, so please don't be shy nor feel intimidated!  I've actually seen quite an amazing selection of APEX-based solutions at prior open mic nights from people who have never presented before, so I encourage everyone to give it a try.

While there is WiFi available at Oracle, it's always best to have a local copy of your demonstration, just in case you can&#…

ORCLAPEX NOVA Update - Columbus Brings It

For the upcoming inaugural ORCLAPEX NOVA MeetUp on May 29th, not only will we have Mike Hichwa, Shakeeb Rahman and David Gale from the Reston-based Oracle APEX development team present, but we will also have the entire Columbus, OH based APEX team in attendance, as well: both Joel Kallman and Jason Straub will be in town and have RSVP’ed to the MeetUp!Outside of major conferences such as KScope or OpenWorld, there is no other public forum that will have the same level of APEX expertise from the team that develops the product present!  So what are you waiting for?  Join the rest of us who have already RSVP’ed to this event, as it’s 100% free, and you’re sure to learn a bunch about APEX 5.0 and other exciting happenings in the Database Development world at Oracle.Note: you have to be a member of MeetUp (which is free to join) and RSVP to the event to attend (which is also free), as a list of people needs to be provided to Oracle the day before the event occurs.

BLOBs in the Cloud with APEX and AWS S3

OverviewRecently, 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.Thus, the requirement called for the ability to upload and store scanned documents.  No OCR or anything like that, but rather invoices and receipts so that a paper trail of the work done and associated billing activity can be preserved.  For APEX, this can be achieved without breaking a sweat, as the declarative BLOB feature can easily upload a file and store it in a BLOB column of a table, complete with filename and MIME type.However, the tablespace storage costs from the hosting company for the anticipated volume of documents was considerable.  So much so that …

Announcing the ORCLAPEX NOVA Meetup Group

Following in the footsteps of a few others, I’m happy to announce the formation and initial meeting of the ORCLAPEX NOVA (Northern Virginia) group!  As Dan McGhan and Doug Gault have mentioned in their blogs, a bunch of us who are regular APEX users are trying to continue to grow the community by providing in-person meetings where we can meet other APEX developers and trade stories, tips and anything else.  Each of the groups is independently run by the local organizers, so the formats and topics will vary from group to group, but the core content will always be focused around Oracle APEX. Groups will also be vendor-neutral, meaning that the core purpose of the group is to provide education and facilitate the sharing of APEX-related ideas, not to market services of products.Right now, there are a number of groups already formed across the world: ORCLAPEX-MSP for the Minneapolis, St. Paul area led by Jorge RimblasORCLAPEX-DFW for the Dallas/Fort Worth area led by Doug GaultORCLAPEX-MTL

Working Orange (Updated)

On Thursday, February 27th Thursday, March 6th, I will be taking over @WorkingOrange - the Syracuse University Career Services Twitter account.


WorkingOrange was created to allow Syracuse alumni from all fields to share what it is they do on a typical day, as well as interact with students, other alumni and anyone else.  It is typically active each Tuesday and Thursday, and has hosted alumni from all kinds of industries.  For example, today is an elementary school teacher, and this past Tuesday was a producer for a TV station in Philadelphia.

I encourage everyone to follow along here: http://www.twitter.com/workingorange or just follow @WorkingOrange  More information on SU's Career Services can be found here: http://careerservices.syr.edu

UPDATE: due to a scheduling issue, I've been reassigned to Thursday, March 6th.

Upcoming Conferences for 2014

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:RMOUG - Denver, CO - February 5th - 7th
At RMOUG this year, I’ll be co-presenting a new session called “Creating a Business UI in APEX” with Jorge Rimblas.  I’m very excited about this session, as there is a lot of practical and easy to use information packed into it about user interface design - something most APEX developers have little experience in.  I’ll also be a part of the Oracle ACE Lunch & Learn on Friday, so if you want to talk APEX, come and find my table.UTOUG - Sandy, UT - March 12th & 13th
This year at UTOUG, I will be presenting “Intro to APEX Security”.  Given that APEX 5.0 is out in at least an EA release, I hope to incorporate what’s new in addition to what APEX 4.2 and prior have to offer.

GLOC - Cleveland, OH - May …