The day started with a rather fierce thunderstorm, and I can tell you that if it rains in New Orleans it really rains! This day was a sort of warming-up for the real conference with three full day symposiums on Essbase, APEX and Fusion. I attended the ‘The Seasoning of Application Express - Must hear Succes Stories‘ symposium that started off with an impressive presentation of Scott Spendolini. His theme was ‘Less is more‘, what didn’t refer this own presentation as he managed to go to 431 slides in half an hour! After that Mike Hichwa from Oracle did an ‘Apex Update’. He told us that currently APEX is the most used tool within Oracle for internal applications. Oracle also releases products that are based on APEX, like Database Vault. And we got a sneak preview of the future of APEX: we will get updateable interactive reports, custom item types, easy way to attach files of any kind to a record and declarative AJAX support. And some other good news: SQL Developer will support logical and physical data modeling - so we don’t need Designer for that anymore. And from these datamodels APEX applications can be generated using templates.
The other five presentations were user experiences. They all come together at one point: Application development can be incredibly fast when you use APEX, and that’s exactly what the business needs: short term to market and agile development. The IT departments have some difficulties in this paradigm shift: the regular long term waterfall approach doesn’t work here. And the risk is that the business users will develop the applications themselves (again, just like they did using Excel and Access), just because it is - or seems to be - so easy.
Just before the Welcome Reception Thomas Kyte did a presentation on ‘How do you know what you know…‘. It was the same message as he delivered 1,5 year ago during Open World, but with different examples: Knowledge is good, but can also be bad. If you had an experience in the past, that doesn’t automatically mean it still counts, because things, like the Oracle database, change. BTW it’s always a great pleasure to attend one of Thom’s presentations.