ODTUG: My Non-Apex sessions

The main reason for me to come to the ODTUG conference was — besides presenting our own paper — to see what other Oracle users are doing with the tool. So, most of the sessions I followed were Apex-related. As you can read on different other blogs, it is clear that Apex is hot. So, it is the right momentum to start using the tool, if you not already did.

But I also tried to follow some other sessions. A short impression:

Service-enable Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle SOA Suite BPEL Process Manager“, by Basheer Khan. Basheer is a very gentle and nice person, especially for newbies. I met him during the “Presenters Drink” where he invited me to his session. During his presentation he showed how to create a BPEL process that integrates with Oracle E-Business Suite using Web Services. When you are used to Apex, is this a totally different world, but a world that sooner or later we will also need to integrate within Apex.

Since I doing also a lot of pre-sales activities and always get some questions on Oracle Forms, I decided to attend a session on this matter: “How to Turn Older Oracle Forms Applications into a SOA Application“. Grant Ronald did the introduction. He emphasized (again) that Oracle Forms is not going away, but that you need start looking at other tools and technologies. His most important message was that — for Oracle customers struggling with the question which Oracle tool they need to choose — it is no longer an OR … OR decision, but rather an AND … AND… solution. An Oracle Forms application can continue existing, aside an ADF application with SOA integration or even an apex development environment for enterprise-alike applications. I have the impression that the ADF-guru’s are not yet convinced by this, but a comment of Tom Kyte on an “Apex versus ADF” post is very enlightening on this matter: “APEX is as capable of building an enterprise-y application as anything else. … APEX can build anything from tiny to huge – you do not need the infrastructure and overheads the java environment would pull along in order to build big. … There are times for Java, there are times for APEX, there are times for each of the tools – they have their strengths and weakness.

Of course, I also wanted to attend a session of Steven Feuerstein, thé PL/SQL Evangelist. This is real entertainment, but with a high level of knowlegde transfer, maybe we should call it “knowledge-tainment”. All his “knowledge” can be found on his site and the presentation on Weird PL/SQL can be downloaded from here.

The most interesting session for me (besides the apex ones) was given by Sue Harper: “Oracle SQL Developer: An Overview and New Feaures“. The most recent version (1.5) confirms the fact that it becomes a valid and mature alternative for the Toads or SQL Navigators … and it is free. This shouldn’t be surprising since the driving force and ‘intellectual father’ of the tool is Mike Hichwa, as for Oracle Application Express.
And SQL Developer becomes even better since they announced that the tool will be extended with Data Modeling capabilities (ERDs, physical schema design, dimensional modeling, reverse engineering and more …). Finally, an alternative for the “data”-part of Oracle Designer. I’am really looking forward to this new extension.


2 thoughts on “ODTUG: My Non-Apex sessions

  1. I keep reading the APEX is hot — but really what other Oracle tool is there? They have other editors and support many languages – but besides Oracle Forms – they have no other tools. Am I missing something here?If you are a Java developer – not likely you will go to ODTUG. If you are a Faces and ADF or whatever other 3 letter acronym languages, you are not likely to go to ODTUG or any other Oracle conference.*BUT* Apex still is just a play tool – build some small departmental systems, corporations just are not buying into the idea – all be it, I love the product myself.-Daryl

  2. I get the same impression about Apex as anonymous. Everybody keeps saying that it is so hot, but why? Because there are +20 sessions at ODTUG or OpenWorld? Because +20 people blog about it? I meet with Oracle customers on a daily basis and besides some small applications or excel replacements, Apex is not even considered as an alternative to J2EE, .Net or even Forms (for large scale apps or with tight integration with client software).How many large scale APEX projects (for example >1000 mandays or > 1000 screens) did you already build or see?Off course APEX is capable of doing this, but in reality I don’t see it. I know dozens of large scale implementations in J2EE, .Net or Forms. But not in APEX (or ADF by the way)…Oracle sales/marketing do NOT care about APEX (do they promote it as a large scale development platform? No, they promote is as an Excel replacement, for small applications and so on). This has a big influence on the decision makers…I don’t see any indications that this will change in the near future, do you?It would be nice to discuss this with you…Regards,Steve

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About Jan Huyzentruyt