Another Kscope has come and gone – friends made, knowledge exchanged, apps demoed, and sleep lost. At Insum, this ODTUG conference is always the highlight of our year, and we’re already eagerly anticipating next year’s conference in San Antonio (tickets are already on sale, by the way). Before we finally close the book on this year’s conference however, we’d like to share some of our personal highlights:
Meeting and catching up coworkers and Insum customers people I work with was my highlight of my Kscope16 experience. The ODTUG Marketing Committee is always nice to chat with too. Another pleasant surprise was to finally meet Erica Harris, who travelled all the way from New Zealand. I was fortunate to have worked with friends in Europe and the United States to develop the apex.world community website – was exciting to finally shake hands and exchange hugs with them at the conference.
Also, this year, I wasn’t just an attendee. I had the privilege of helping shape the APEX content. It makes a huge difference being not just a consumer, but a contributor of an event. It was a small bite size experience, and I can only imagine the satisfaction the conference committee had at the conclusion of yet another successful event.
Several tweets ago, someone had asked what was the biggest take-home message this year. To me, through conversations and observation, I am heartened by an increasing amount of interest in APEX from attendees from other tracks like EPM and BI. Our community had also been singled out by our ADF counterparts! I am sure glad that Insum is well-poised to help others succeed in using APEX for their enterprise needs.
I have been attending the annual ODTUG conference since long before it was dubbed Kscope, and the advent of APEX. What drew me in initially, and has kept me coming back all these years, is the sense of community; the willingness of everyone to share, and more importantly, to listen. From the well-known experts to the person you meet at the lunch, whether they attend primarily to learn or to teach, all are willing to do both.
This year was no different. The folks from the Oracle product teams were on hand to give advice and direction, as were the abundance of Oracle Aces and Ace Directors. In other ways, Kscope16 was very different for me. Having been on the ODTUG Board of Directors for the past few years, my ability to attend sessions was restricted; this year I was able to attend sessions every day. This was also my first year as an employee of Insum and an official member of the APEX community. As such, I attended more APEX sessions at Kscope16 then I had in all my previous years combined. It’s exciting to be a part of this energetic community and working with a company that has such an active role in the strengthening and growing of that community.
A few highlights for me – APEX 5.1 was great to hear about, new Oracle Jet graphs, master detail, detail functionality, declaratively, and the Interactive Grid. There were interesting database sessions about Oracle EBR with APEX from a DevOps perspective. I attended a great session about using APEX to integrate projections into an OBIEE financials dashboard.
During Open Mic Night, we could see what developers can do with APEX from games for their kids to advanced applications for animal study and much more. Loved the super great Thursday Deep Dive with 10 minutes speeches from APEX speakers.
The biggest highlight for me at KScope this year was seeing just how popular APEX has become. Not only at KScope itself, but also “in the wild” as more and more companies are starting to discover APEX and how quickly they can put applications in place to simply “get the job done”. My first Kscope was in 2009, and the difference between then and now when it comes to “APEX buzz” is really quite amazing.
I met people from Capital One, Los Alamos Labs, Caltech, Carnival Cruise Lines, BAE Systems, Bank of the West, Atmos Energy, JT3/Unisys, Comcast/NBC, Siemens, and several other large and small, public and private organizations who are all embracing APEX to build applications to help drive their organizations forward. And, it was also interesting to see the extent to which APEX is being adopted in the Higher Education space as well. Harvard, Stanford, Caltech, and several other universities and colleges are all using APEX. Oh, and I learned that even the FBI and Facebook use APEX!
None of this should come as a surprise to me however. As highlighted in Oracle APEX and Bimodal IT, organizations need to be able to move quickly when it comes to implementing IT solutions, and APEX enables them to do just that, with a very nice ROI to boot. And, with the continued improvements the APEX team is making to the tool, (as seen most recently with the upcoming release of APEX 5.1 and its long list of great new features), it’s easy to see how the APEX adoption trend will continue.
This was actually my first Kscope. Previous conferences have always taken me to the Bay Area for OOW and, while that is a very busy conference with lots to do, I found that Kscope offered a more intense technical dive into topics of interest. The people that attended this year were all geared toward learning new things and offering good advice where needed. The level of engagement from the entire group was a really cool experience.
The Sunday Symposium was a fantastic way to see the Oracle team showcasing the great things they are bringing us and offered a unique opportunity to ask question even if there are some that cannot be answered. (like release dates) Some key takeaways from the dev team are (yes, there is an EA2 planned; no word on an EA3).
My favorite event has to be split between the APEX Community Open Mic Night and the #LetsWreckThisTogether lightning sessions. The latter was a really neat way to see some of the experts take the podium and show off some really cool tidbit, or in Joel’s case a feature that will make our lives that much better in the new versions. The open-mic night allowed a lot of great developers to come forward and show off their innovations and passions. Even if in my case a VM failure cut short the final reveal. In these two sessions we all received an opportunity to see that the community produces a wide variety of great solutions that may give us all ideas and tips to improve our work.
As to a favorite session, I would have to say that (while I showed up late) the APEX session that involved the handicapped accessibility application was a true eye-opener in the areas where we as developers and analysts can provide a better experience to users with these disabilities. Being able to close my eyes and hear an APEX app was a very moving experience. The fact that it was conceived and built by an inspired member of our community that works for the Veterans’ Administration, in a finance role no less, is an outstanding story to hear and gave me a lot of hope that what we do now could help those injured in the line of duty, and beyond.
As a final note, there is an interesting offering coming out of a free workspace in the Oracle Cloud. While similar to apex.oracle.com, this comes with an allowance to use it for production services and it actually has a release date (September, 2016). And from what I am told is built to withstand the traffic of more than 50,000 users. So, keep an eye out because this could be awesome.
The two events I eagerly anticipate each year at Kscope are the Sunday Symposium and the APEX Open Mic Night. To hear the APEX Development team describe new features and the direction of APEX is awe inspiring. It is great to listen to those that have made and continue to make APEX such an enjoyable development tool.
More than anything, Kscope is a great conference where you feel that APEX buzz, which renews and enforces that APEX spirit. The APEX love and enthusiasm cannot be missed. Now, I just need to find time to dive deeper into all the tidbits of info uncovered: Node.js, Raspberry PI, Oracle JET, and Electron to name a few.
I was very pleased to see so many presentations that involved APEX, but were not part of the APEX tracks. APEX is expanding and “bleeding out” into other areas. Its recognition as a robust and reliable tool for solving many different problems is exciting to see.
Instead of the traditional 2 hour long Deep Dives held on Thursday, this year we had “The #LetsWreckThisTogether APEX Talks”; a series of lighting talks, 10 minutes at the most with several well known and popular speakers presenting. I was never a big fan of the deep dives at the end of a busy and intense week. However, the two-hour session went by incredibly fast; a reminder that time flies when you’re having fun. As a bonus, there was a livestream of the session, and viewers at home and office joined us.
This was the first Kscope for me, and I must say I was really impressed. First, I’d like to congratulate the ODTUG Team for the quality of the organisation, there were a lot of attendees, different tracks and sessions and everything went smoothly. There were a great selection of sessions, I focused on the APEX and Databases ones and it was really hard to choose between all the great concurrent contents. Monday’s APEX Open Mic night was the highlight of the week for me, It was fun to watch people from all around the world present a wide range of different ways to use APEX. This is the best place to see, meet and have fun with the people of the APEX and ORACLE community and learn a lot at the same time.
One of my favorite events at Kscope is Monday’s Open Mic Night. For those that have never been, it’s an opportunity for everyone to showcase something cool they’re doing with APEX in an informal / no slides format. As usual, this year didn’t disappoint with lots of interesting implementations of APEX that were well beyond the traditional “reports and forms” applications.
This year ended with a surprise announcement from ODTUG that everyone in the APEX space should be aware of. If you want to start your own APEX Meetup, ODTUG will now cover the costs for your meetup.com account. If you’re want to start your a meetup group in your area read the official announcement here. If you’re looking to join an APEX Meetup in your area, apex.world has the full list.
There were a few highlights that stood out for me at Kscope this year.
The first was the opportunity to thank our clients and partners by taking them on a river cruise to enjoy food, drinks, the amazing Chicago skyline, and most of all, to enjoy time together with those who mean so much to our organization. It was also a pleasure to have so many from the Oracle team on board as well. Like the rest of the APEX community, we enjoy being able to “rub shoulders” with the APEX team, and feel fortunate that we can get to know them on a personal level.
The second highlight for me was the Vendor presentation – we chose to pull together a panel of our clients to talk about their experiences with APEX so we could all learn from their success. It was great to hear how organizations in very different industries and very different lines of business were all able to use APEX to solve business problems and meet their objectives so effectively.
Finally, as a founder of Insum, I am so grateful for the team of experts we now have, and very proud that so many were able to give sessions and give back to the community that has been so good to us. For the first time that I can remember, people sought us out at our booth in the exhibition hall – something I never would have imagined when four of us started Insum out of our homes 14 years ago. We are blessed to be part of such a vibrant and growing community.
Monty Latiolais – Senior APEX Consultant
As this was my first Kscope as a “civilian”, I was able to experience much more of the conference than in years’ past and loved every minute of it. I would be hard-pressed to find a favorite event or moment of the week, but if forced, I would probably say the Sunday Symposium. What a great way to kick-off the conference! While everything is covered under the standard Oracle Safe Harbour Statement, for that one day, we’re brought into the APEX “Circle of Trust”. We’re allowed to hear directly from the APEX development team.
Shakeeb referenced over 100 enhancements that are to be part of the 5.1 release. He demonstrated improvements to the Universal Theme. We were given a first look at things like enhancements to Page Designer and Interactive Grids. It just doesn’t get any better than being in a room with Joel, Shakeeb, Marc and Patrick…they really are the expert’s experts.
A big thank you to Jorge for continuing the tradition of the APEX Sunday Symposium. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for San Antonio!