Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Now is a great time to start learning Apex!

Martin really took the words out of my mouth - although the activities that have been consuming my time haven't been nearly as fun - although I did fit a second honeymoon in there somewhere.

Like he says, I haven't forgotten about the blog - I have a growing list of topics sitting in my in-box ready to type out. I just need to fit it in between working on my Apex with Oracle Text presentation for next month's AUSOUG branch meeting from 16:30 on July 14th (what a great segue!) and of course doing my regular job consulting & training for my wonderful employer.

In the meantime, I have been able to slowly catch up with the multitude of Oracle posts flooding my RSS feed. Over the past few months there has been some great highlights, and it seems as the public release of Apex 4.0 is approaching, now is a great time to start learning Application Express.

First of all, earlier this month we have Oracle Apex product manager David Peake announcing http://apex.oracle.com has been upgraded to a pre-release version of Apex 4.0. This is a major step towards the final release and is very exciting news indeed.

Secondly, we have Dimitri Gielis pledging to blog every day about Apex 4.0 features until the public release. Good onya mate! He is using his Soccer World Cup tipping application as a case study for migrating from 3.2 to 4.0, which will make for interesting reading.

If you need a break from learning Application Express and just want to learn some random facts about PL/SQL, whilst at the same time giving yourself the opportunity to win a prize, why not visit Steven Feuerstein's PL/SQL Challenge (which happens to be written with Apex). Developers around the world are tackling his daily questions in a variety of ways, from researching the answer to ensure accuracy to relying on general understanding or guessing. Of course in the real world we would attempt to thoroughly study and understand the relevant feature before using it in production - but I like to use the questions as a way to test my tip-of-my-tongue knowledge. Sometimes I do well, sometimes I come across features I've had little exposure to. This is great because not only to I learn something new as Steven sometimes provides further commentary on the answers, I get to test how well I can apply my understanding on PL/SQL on features I'm not familiar with.
He also has a blog that solely serves this challenge, responding to various questions about the daily quiz. Good work Steven!

Now you've had that break, why not open up some Apex 4.0 Oracle By Examples? I look forward to this list growing and bookmarking this high on the list as a valuable resource for learning the new Apex features.

In other news, Oracle 11g Release 2 for Windows has been released. I have just finished installing the 64 bit version on my new laptop (another reason for blogging delays) and I look forward to further tinkering.

Now for all these links, these are only a few of the good Apex posts. Later I'll list out some of the good Oracle developer links - those who are proud of their SQL &  PL/SQL.
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