Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday's APEX Symposium ... from A to X (or Z)

This morning I started with an early walk to the zoo. With the idea in mind that it might be not so hot around 8 or 9 AM. But that was wrong... Even at that time of day it is hot. The temperature would rise to a 37 C this day!
But the zoo is very worthwhile. Not that I have seen all of it, because the whole track is about 15 kilometers... I especially went to see the Giant Panda's. Never seen them before, but they are just as cute and adorable as you would expect. After the zoo I went to the National Cathedral, one of the biggest churches in the US. I thing it is a sort of copy of the St. Peter in Rome - and I heard that Darth Vader is on one of the colored glass windows (didn't see it though). Beautiful church with a number of "Dan Brown" style crypts below.
Around 10:30 I got back to the conference to pick up on the ongoing APEX Symposium. At that moment Dan McGhan was talking about Dynamic Actions and PlugIns. Especially his "recurring event" PlugIn is rather cool. Next in line was Doug Gault, talking about performance. Takeaway: Think about the number of rows you'll return, the pagination style of the reports and the sorting options you offer, because those might have a performance penalty!
After a (good!) lunch Scott Spendolini showed how to create a neat user interface. Just start from scratch and keep your templates as clean and minimal as you need. Only that way you will create an applications that conforms to the look-and-feel. All the styling should be done by CSS, only define the structure (based on DIVs) in the template. Dietmar Aust was next about printing with Jasper Reports. You can use Jasper as a cheap (as in free) alternative to BI Publisher. It is not as easy as BIP, but hey, everything has it's price!.
Then Anton Nielsen talked about security. One good tip was that you should secure (set an authorization on) your Page Processes and Pages before you do that on the buttons and links that call these processes and pages. If you do it in that order you lower the risk of forgetting something. Another nice tip was, if you use your own authentication scheme, append the login name to the hash string when hashing the password. When you do that, even two people with the same password will get a different hashed password!
Last one of the day was Francis Mignault about Globalization. One good tip if you use this functionality: if you move from one instance to another (from Dev to Test), you only move the Primary Application and reseed the translated applications from there. If you should export and import the translated applications the link between the Primary app and the translated ones is lost and it will get difficult to manage change.
All in all a very interesting day with a good crowd: around 250 people were present during the day!
After the sessions there was the Speaker and Ambassador meeting (with drinks and food), right after that the Welcome reception (more drinks and food) and later the ACE Dinner (even more drinks and food) at a lovely location at the Potomac river.
Conclusion: It has been a good day, and the conference haven't even started yet (officially)...
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