After a fairly long, but thankfully uneventful day of travelling, I made it to the ODTUG KScope conference. Today is “Symposium Sunday”, where there are a series of large presentations split by track. Naturally, I went to the APEX symposium, where we had presentations by several members of the Oracle APEX development team.
- Joel Kallman started off with an overview of the development process for the APEX tool itself. One of his key points was that although the team itself is small (about 15 people), there's a fairly extensive network throughout Oracle–legal, support, translation, etc. So don't let anyone argue that the small size of APEX's development team implies that they're not a big part of Oracle.
- Marc Sewtz covered master detail and tabular forms, with a special focus on what's coming in 4.1. I was most interested in the new ability to add validations based on the values of other columns in tabular forms, because this keeps coming up every time I build a tabular form, and so far, my best answer has been to use jQuery. Related to this is the ability to create a process on the rows of the tabular form, which refers to the columns by name (rather than the f0X_* fields we've had to use previously). Marc also mentioned that there's a new report template for reports with fixed headers–think freezing the headers in Excel–which my users frequently ask for; the downside of this is that you need to specify the width of each column explicitly. A trade-off, but perhaps a useful one, depending on your requirements (or your users).
- The third presentation was David Peake, covering interactive reports and web sheets. The IR section was fairly quick, showing many of the features that are available to users. The bulk of his presentation was on websheets, a feature of APEX that I haven't paid much attention to…but which I probably should.
- Marc returned for a second presentation, this time on building mobile applications. I've had a few requests to make this blog and WriteTrack work better on mobile devices, so I was very interested in this one.
- The day was closed out by Mike Hichwa, who spoke about APEX 4.1's new features. Lots of stuff to be excited about here–application templates, allowing users to upload spreadsheets, etc. It was rather amusing watching Mike pitch the Expert Oracle Application Express book multiple times (I think he got up to five or six over the course of the hour). Once he finished with 4.1, Mike went on to talk about future features, proving that as awesome as APEX is now, it's just going to keep getting better and better.