Presenting at OGh APEX World 2015

On March 25th 2015 at the beautiful venue of the former cruise ship SS Rotterdam, the next edition of APEX World by the Dutch Oracle Users Group (OGh) will take place.

SS Rotterdam

There is a long list of very interesting speakers there. David Peake, Steven Feuerstein, Joel Kallman, Dimitri Gielis, John Scott and Peter Raganitsch, just to name a few, have been selected to deliver presentations and keynotes at this event. And I’m proud to say that my name is also on that list.

I’m planning to do a presentation based on the following abstract:

APEX and SOA – The best of two worlds
Many companies have invested in an APEX application or a Service Oriented Architecture. But why not use both? In this presentation we will see the possibilities offered by APEX and the Oracle SOA Suite to communicate and integrate with eachother.

I hope to see a lot of familiar faces there and also a lot of new faces that want to learn more about this subject.

If you would like to attend, more information can be found on the OGh website. There are still some seats left, but they are going fast!

Happy 10th birthday Packt Publishing

The publisher that has given me the chance to write my 2 APEX Cookbooks is celebrating it’s tenth birthday.
For a limited time (until July 5th) Packt Publishing is offering all it’s eBooks and video’s for a reduced price of $10.

More information can be found at the 10 year Packt celebration page.

This is a great chance to get a copy of the APEX Cookbook Second Edition if you haven’t got it yet.

APEX Cookbook Giveaway Contest!

My publisher Packt has given me the opportunity to start a contest. 3 lucky winners will receive a copy of my book for free!

Book Give-away:
Hold a chance to win free copy of the Oracle APEX Cookbook 2nd Edition, just by commenting!
For the contest we have 3 copies of Oracle APEX Cookbook 2nd Edition, to be given away to 3 lucky winners.

How you can win:

To win your copy of this book, all you need to do is come up with a comment below highlighting the reason “why you would like to win this book”.

Duration of the contest & selection of winners:

The contest is valid for a week from 12th to 19th of March, and is open to everyone. Winners will be selected on the basis of their comment posted.

About the book:

Oracle APEX Cookbook Second Edition

Oracle APEX Cookbook Second Edition

Oracle APEX Cookbook : Second Edition gives clear steps to create web applications, while explaining you the concepts and bringing out useful tips and techniques to make learning interesting for you. In this second edition, readers can learn how to modify themes and templates and how to use the new HTML5 and CSS3 features. Book also explains how to create visual effects such as tool tips and fading options. Furthermore, topics such as web services, publishing, administration, team development, and web sheets will be covered. After reading this book, readers can create feature-rich web applications in Application Express 4.2 with ease and confidence.

This book is aimed both at developers new to the APEX environment and at intermediate developers. More advanced developers will also gain from the information at hand. Readers new to APEX will find recipes to start development and an experienced user will find ways to improve productivity and efficiency and make the most of APEX to enhance their applications.

Oracle APEX Cookbook Second Edition

Oracle APEX Cookbook Second Edition
Oracle APEX Cookbook Second Edition

Oracle APEX Cookbook Second Edition

After months of hard work, Marcel van der Plas and I have finally finished the Second Edition of our Oracle APEX Cookbook.
Two new chapters and many new recipes describe how to build even better APEX applications.
The first new chapter is on HTML5 and CSS3 and explains how to use new item types, templates and much more.
The other new chapter explains how to build applications for Mobile devices like Smartphones.

To ensure the quality of the book, many well-known names from the Application Express community have helped to review the book. People like Dimitri Gielis, Maarten van Luijtelaar and Surachart Opun reviewed the first edition. To this line-up the names of Learco Brizzi, Iloon Ellen-Wolff, Ronald Rood, Tony Jedlinski and Benjamin Kweku Intsiful have been added.

The book can be purchased on the website of Packt Publishing and many other webstores.

The author and his book

The author and his book

Substitution Variables over a Database Link in APEX

Situation: APEX 3.1.2 on a 9.2.0.6.0 database linking to Siebel.

When I was building a report on 2 tables, one local and one remote, I noticed a very big performance issue. I thought I had solved this by adding a DRIVING_SITE hint, but this wasn’t enough.

The query looked something like this:

select /*+ DRIVING_SITE(e) */
e.ename
, d.dname
from emp e
, dept@remote d
where d.id = e.dept_id
and d.loc = :P2_DEPT_LOC

In the page, a user can select a Department Location and press a button. The report data is then generated based on this selected location.

To debug this, I started investigating trace files on the remote database. What I immediately noticed was, that the Substitution Variable :P2_DEPT_LOC wasn’t replaced by it’s value that was selected in the APEX page. So that was the problem.

To solve this, I simply had to replace the way the Substitution Variable was called. The query was changed to:


select /*+ DRIVING_SITE(e) */
e.ename
, d.dname
from emp e
, dept@remote d
where d.id = e.dept_id
and d.loc = '&P2_DEPT_LOC.'

And everything was okay. The time it took to load the page changed from 45 minutes to 0.05 seconds.

But be aware! This kind of solutions opens the door for SQL Injection, so make sure that you handle the input before parsing the query.

Oracle APEX 4.0 Cookbook

It has now been over a month since the Oracle APEX 4.0 Cookbook has been published.
The first sales information and reviews are in and it is looking great.

It has been a real fun few weeks with a lot of congratulations and positive feedback.
On January 12th I had a meeting at Oracle Netherlands headquarters in De Meern to present the first signed copy of the book to Iloon Ellen-Wolff, the Global Technical Lead for Application Express for the Oracle Corporation.

Handing over the first signed copy

Also the first reviews for the book by fellow APEX developers started rolling in. Like these from Rinie Romme and Christian Rokitta. But also a great reference from Joel Kallman, the Director of Software Development at Oracle.

All in all things are still looking great for the book and I’m curious where it will lead me in the future. At least I’ve been noticed by the community now :)

Pre-order Oracle APEX 4.0 Cookbook now!

For the past months I have been working together with Marcel van der Plas on a book on APEX 4.0. The publisher Packt has just released the website, so it can now be pre-ordered.

Find the link here: Oracle APEX 4.0 Cookbook

The book offers more than 70 recipes that cover almost all topics of Application Express 4.0.
We are currently finishing up and expect that the book will come out in January.

Passed APEX 3.2 Beta Certification

Oracle Application Express Developer Certified Expert Logo

Yesterday I returned from my summer vacation in the French town of Pierrefite-sur-Sauldre. Me and my family spend 2 wonderful weeks in the Alicourts resort.

This morning I opened my e-mail for the first time and found a nice little surprise from the Oracle Certification Program.
A while ago (in february) I participated in the Application Express 3.2 certification beta program. I took the exam in Utrecht and waited for the beta period to end.
The e-mail I received from Oracle and Pearson VUE contained a link to my Score Report. The verdict was: Passed!

So now I’m officially certified in “1Z1-450: Oracle Application Express 3.2: Developing Web Applications” or Oracle Application Express Developer Certified Expert for “short” :)

“Oracle Application Express 3.2 – The Essentials and More” book published

Last week a new APEX book was published. It was written by Arie Geller and Matthew Lyon. It’s on the current version of APEX and covers basic and advanced features of Application Express 3.2.

I will post a review somewhere in the coming weeks, but since the publisher is the same that will be bringing out my own APEX 4.0 book later this year, I wanted to let you know that this is out there. You can find more information at the website of
Packt Publishing

APEX 4.0 New Features

I did another Whitebook (in dutch). This time the subject is New Features in the APEX 4.0 Early Adopters release.
You can find it at the Whitehorses website.

By the way; besides this personal blog I also publish articles on the blog at the Whitehorses site together with the other Oracle, Java and SOA specialists of the company. These blogs are in english. A direct link to the list of my blogs is in my profile.