Monday, 14 January 2013

Review: Agile Oracle Application Express

Agile development is a term I've been familiar with for a while, and when you pair it up with a technology such as APEX - it makes for an interesting book.

I was a technical reviewer for Agile Oracle Application Express, written by Patrick Cimolini and Karen Cannell. This means the team at apress sent me chapters of the book as they were written, so I could provide any comments regarding code, or the understanding thereof.

If you're interested in how APEX projects might come together using Agile techniques - this is the book for you. If you don't really know what "agile" is all about, but use the Oracle APEX product - this is a book for you.

This was some time ago, memory has faded, and my comments may be out of date as some of these were garnered & paraphrased from my TR comments.

Chapter 1, Agile Software Development

I found this a great summary of what agile is all about

Chapter 2, Agile and APEX

Sometimes I found the links a little tenuous, but as the book went on I could see more detail on how the bigger picture joins together. It also seemed very pro-APEX, why not, but I like seeing authors provide a genuine perspective sometimes. Not be quite so "selly"

Chapter 3, Oracle APEX vs enhanced APEX

The first half got a little boring as it essentially lists APEX features at at 4.1, but tell you what - if you aren't aware of why APEX has in it's toolkit, you will be now.
Then it got onto how APEX can be enhanced, and how this relates to Agile. The further the book went, the stronger this was affirmed.

Chapter 4, Supporting Technologies.

This is where the book reminds you it's not all about APEX, but then goes into awesome detail on those features and how they fit into the Agile model. A heap of information in this chapter.

Chapter 5, Project Management

This took me back to university days, learning about project models and "software engineering". It got a little too textbook for my liking.

Chapter 6, Team Development

This module was added to APEX 4 and according to David Peake it was initially built internally for the APEX development team.
This chapter is a must when talking about agile, and goes into good detail with regard to gathering Feedback and distributing it across environments.

Chapter 7, Rules and Guidelines

This is an important chapter regarding agile development considerations with APEX and is full of quality. Agile still needs structure.

Chapter 8, Documentation

I'm a big fan of good documentation, and suggesting ideas on how to best utilise it. I enjoyed reading this chapter, but in hindsight I think Instrumentation needs to be included here.

Chapter 9, Quality Assurance

Something I'm sure every project can improve on. I think if every project took advantage of the 6 ideas portrayed here, software around the world would be further on the way to awesome.

Summary

It's refreshing to read an APEX book that isn't super technical and full of code, yet still be a good guide on how to run projects that use rapid development tools such as APEX. I recommend the read.

Other reviews can be found here.

Scott
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