Monthly Archives: December 2009

APEX 4.0 – First Impressions

Now that the APEX 4.0 EA (Early Adopter) release is available to anyone to sign up and try out APEX 4.0, I’ve had a bit of time to play around with some of the features that up till now I’d only seen demo’ed.

My first impressions are very positive indeed. Whilst I’d seen quite a lot of it already, it’s not quite the same as being able to use it yourself.

Perhaps one of the first immediate changes, is the newly designed Application Builder look and feel

APEX 4.0 - Application Builder

APEX 4.0 also has a new Tree View in the Application Builder, which is very different to the ‘traditional’ view which has remained more or less the same across all versions of APEX.

APEX 4.0 Tree View

I must admit, when I first heard about and saw this feature (Patrick Wolf very kindly showed me a preview of it at a conference) I had my reservations about it. In fact I think I might have even said to Patrick that I wasn’t a fan of it. However, I now take that back. Now that I’ve used it (rather than just seeing it), I can see how it’s going to not only speed up my productivity (fewer clicks etc), but it is also going to be a big help to people new to APEX to understand the structure and flow of a page.

I’ve also had a play around with Dynamic Actions (which is really going to level the playing field for people who are not comfortable with custom javascript coding) and also Plugins to a limited degree. Both of these features are real game changers for APEX since they suddenly make the ‘sure we can do that, but it will take a while’ into ‘sure we can do that, there you go’.

I’m drilling down into a more detailed look at the features (future blog posts), but for now I have to say…I’m very very impressed (but then I already knew I would be).

Chrome Browser and APEX

I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on the Chrome Browser from Google and noticed they’d just released the Mac Beta version so I thought I’d have a quick ‘play’ with it.

As you’d expect it does everything you’d want from a browser, I’m pretty much a Firefox/Safari person (they complement each other pretty well particularly with APEX development).

If however you’re coming from an IE background, then Chrome adds a lot of nice features, for example I tried out Chrome against one of my local APEX instances and I had to say it *felt* pretty fast and I didn’t find anything in APEX that didn’t work in Chrome (which is pretty impressive considering APEX isn’t certified against Chrome yet, but I have heard that is something the Oracle APEX development team are looking at for the future).

Chrome - SQL Workshop
Even SQL Workshop (which I’ve had a few issues in Safari with seemed to work nicely).

From a development perspective there are some very nice features, such as the “Developers Tools” panel which shows you detailed information about the pages you’re browsing. For example, it is now very easy to determine how long it takes to download and render all the resources in your webpage, or whether a particular Javascript routine is responsible for consuming all the time etc.

Chrome - Resource Usage

If you’ve already used Safari then most of this will already be familiar to you (as it appears to be the same code from WebKit). I’ve been using this functionality in Safari, together with the YSlow and Firebug plugins for Firefox to get the same information, but it’s always nice to have more options.