The Journey Continues

Part 1 of my Oracle APEX journey ended on a cliffhanger.  Part 2 will conclude my first project in Oracle APEX.

If you need a refresher on Part 1 of the journey, please view:  https://www.traust.com/oracle-apex-jour…w-schultz-part-1.

One Place for All

APEX was installed and I was given approval to build the prototype.  When I logged in for the first time, I remembered at how blown away I was at the idea of being able to use one thing to manage the back end and front end.

My world as a developer mainly consisted of Java, C#, VB.Net, and Python.  At that time, there were distinct lines between back end and front end that made the act of development a multiple-step disjointed approach.

  1. Use a tool or system to create a database back end
  2. Use another tool or different system to make a front end
  3. Connect the database back end to the front end
  4. Continue using both the back end and front end to test and develop

APEX allowed me to use SQL Workshop to run SQL and PL/SQL commands and view my objects.  Once my tables were made, I could click on App Builder to create my login page, reports, and forms.

Inconceivable

Armed with my first week of playing around with APEX, I got comfortable with the layout and navigation.  My database objects were created and I used the App Builder wizard to create an Interactive Report and Form based on my tables.

The Interactive Report was a data-driven development dream.  It took the best parts of using a spreadsheet and enhanced the features to allow conditions/permissions on all actions.  Prior to seeing this, there were so many times I looked at data sets on other systems and wondered why they are so static?

It made no sense to me that people would use a secure system to manage data, but then abandon that security to download the data into a spreadsheet to get value out of it (reports, graphs, filters, computations, etc…).

Bad Idea

It was day 10 of using APEX and I had a basic prototype completed.  I made the judgment call to arrange a meeting with the members of the College and IT Admin to show them what I created.  I remember that I received panicked replies from my boss and a person from IT Admin minutes after I sent the email to arrange the meeting.

My Boss

  • Are you sure you want to call this meeting already?

IT Admin Member

  • Andrew, you have only worked on this prototype for 10 days.  It would be virtually impossible for a senior developer to create a presentable prototype in that amount of time.

Speechless

The big day arrived and I found myself, an undergraduate intern, center stage in front of my boss, the CIO, the Dean of the College, the CFO, and 11 other interested parties.  Most of the 15 faces in the room had expressions that ranged from irritated to apathetic.

My prototype had a report and form for creating budgets.  It also had a report and form for creating transactions to assign to budgets.  Everyone watched while I created a budget and then assigned a few transactions.

I then demonstrated how a user could view all the transactions in a budget and see money spent versus money remaining in a budget.  The audience became more engaged and wanted to learn about what else was possible.

Aftermath

No one in that room had ever seen the level of rapid application development that APEX offered.  In the span of less than a year, APEX went from something not even being utilized by the campus, to a tool that a student intern used to design an application to solve a major problem.

The budget app went into production in 2009 and it remains in production to this day.  It was this experience with APEX that pushed me to focus my career in specializing in it.

The End?

My Oracle APEX journey was just beginning, but I saw a bright future that would go beyond my years as a student.  In the near future, a second blog post series will detail the next chapter in my APEX career.

 

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Disclaimer:
We do not take responsibility for any unintended or unwanted consequences in your instance of Oracle, Oracle APEX, or related products as a result of reading our blogs or following our guides. Though the information is fully tested and generally safe to use, our lawyers really have a thing against admitting potential wrongdoing.  If it makes you feel any better, one time I moved all the clocks in the office one hour ahead.  That prank ended up backfiring because I did that one day before daylight saving time ended.  I had very little time to come up with an alternate plan, so I just microwaved a bunch of fish in the office kitchen.