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UKOUG 2010 Recap - Monday

Compared to some other attendees I had a fairly easy travel back home from another great UKOUG conference. And now I finally have the time to look back and write a blog post about my experiences over seas. As usual I planned to do a daily blogpost, but - also as usual - I can't find the time during the conference to blog. All those "social commitments" in the evening...sigh... 
I'll split it in three, otherwise it will become too long.

At Monday I started of with Grant Ronald's "The Quick Start Guide to Fusion Development with Oracle ADF". A good session that covered baby's first steps in ADF Development. As always, as Grant shows is, it seems so easy... But, coming from a Oracle Forms/Designer background, to me JDeveloper is still a huge box with tons of options to me. But I think I've forgotten how impressed I was when I first opened up Designer - with also tons of options! So IMHO developing in JDev might be fast (and definitely can result in really cool and useful applications), but you need "some" time getting acquainted with the technology and the toolset. So take your time! (I never said it was easy).
The second one I attended was "Oracle Business Rules 11g – Capture & Implementation". With only 6 people in the room, I admire the presenter on his enthusiasm! The presentation was more on how to drill down and manage from top level rules to a implementable version of the rules. I was hoping of a demo of BR, but alas, it was more about the management of the process than about the technique itself.
Then John Scott did a really good presentation (as usual) on "APEX 4-Building plugins". A nice one, with a lot of slides that were similar (qua content) to my presentation the next day... But especially the demo of the Plugins he build was cool. I really liked the non-flash charts plugin! Will be available "soon", as John mentioned - but we all know how often he has mentioned that when he was writing his book - just kidding, John ;-).
Then, after lunch, Steven Davelaar did his presentation on "Guidelines for moving from Oracle Forms to Oracle ADF and SOA". I happen to know Steven from a long, long time ago when I was working on a project that used one of the first versions of Headstart (around 1995!). His key message was: First look where you want to go, what your goal is, before determining the best way to get there. So don't look at conversion or migration tools before you've decided on your future architecture! Too often the goal is led by the tool... And I really liked his emphasis on creating a "thick" database: Move all your business logic from Forms to the database before moving on! Never trust the "higher" layer, doesn't matter if it is .Net, APEX, ADF or Forms, always enforce your data integrity and quality in your database! You might as well do that in the UI as well, but that is more from a user friendliness perspective.
Next I had planned a session with Pete Finnigan, but he got stuck in the snow somewhere, so I changed my plan and attended "Is APEX the new Forms?" by a guy from PITSS. To start with the answer he gave: "Not yet". But IMHO the question is irrelevant. He would only answer that question with a sound "Yes" if he could mimic all Forms functionality in APEX. But that is not the way to go. APEX and Forms are two completely different things - they only share the same database! Don't even try to recreate all Forms triggers in APEX. You'll end up with an application that scales the same way as Forms does (not very good) and is far more complex than it should be. And, in the end, you have spend a lot of money and the result is the same thing you had before. So where's the business case in that? And also there was no real demo: Why not show the whole conversion process "live"? That might have made me just a little bit interested... If this was a sales pitch, it was not a very good one...
My last "real" session was SQL a Weird and Wonderful Language. A nice session with lots of examples on how SQL doesn't always behaves in a way you might expect. And also some hidden and undocumented functions passed by...
Alas, John Scott's presentation on the different APEX listeners didn't make it in real - seems a good subject though for a next conference!
And then it was time for the keynote, the pantomime with the "shaving of Doug" (search Youtube on that) and the drinks. And after that, I attended the APEX meetup. Very well organized by Ben (a.k.a. Munky) and he even made it there - a little late due to the snow on the Island of Man... It was good to meetup again with around 20 people. But watch out for the blower in the mens toilet in Pennyblack's ;-) - if you want to know about that, ask John.

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