Friday, June 18, 2010

#APEXinAntwerp - The first OBUG APEX SIG

Last Thursday the first official OBUG (Oracle Benelux User Group) was held in Antwerp with APEX 4.0 as the main subject of all presentations. Over 80 attendees attended this event and listened to six presentations during the day. Although it was very warm (some people would claim even 'hot') in the room, (almost) nobody feel asleep - for long.
After a warm welcome by Dimitri, Patrick Wolf showed a lot of the cool new APEX 4.0 features in a 1,5 hour presentation and demo. 
Next another Patrick (Hellemans) from InterAccess did a presentation on The Maturity Level of APEX.  According to Gartner and Forrester APEX will kick off (even more) the next two years! He also demo'ed an APEX Framework they made, to enable a kick start for APEX Application Development. Looked very good!
After a lunch with some nice sandwiches, I did my first gig on "Developing a Google Visualization Plugin for APEX 4.0" - the same as I will do next week at ODTUG. I think it went pretty well for a first time - the timing was exactly one hour ! - but I will make some minor adjustments for the next run. 
Next Dimitri was on with a nice presentation about Websheets and Team Development. He especially showed how easy it is to incorporate feedback in your application and transform feedback into bugs or enhancement requests. Will really change the way we'll develop and maintain APEX applications!
Olivier Dupont and Jan Huyzentruyt of iAdvise showed a lot of new 4.0 features that are not as eye-cathing as the Websheets, Team Development, Plug Ins etc, but will have a major impact on the speed of development and the quality of the work we'll deliver. Especially the comparison between the 'old' and the 'new' way of working was very interesting.
Last but not least was Iloon Ellen from Oracle, who focused on the enhancements made in the Tabular Forms. In the 'old' - or 'current' - version, Tabular Forms are always cumbersome. But the APEX Dev Team made some great enhancements to it, so handcrafted Tabular Forms (using apex_item) will not be necessary as often as they do now! Great stuff.
After the show was closed, Dimitri, Iloon, Learco and myself had a nice dinner on one of many outside terraces in Antwerp. It was a long (from 6AM to 11PM), hot and tiresome day, but definitely worthwhile!
The next APEX OBUG SIG will be .... on October 27 and 28 in Brussels. In conjunction with ODTUG's OPP and APEXposed. That definitely will be an event not-to-miss, so block these dates in your agenda!
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