By: Frank Hoogendoorn, collaborator On: November 3, 2016 In: Conference, Oracle APEX Comments: 0

On October 27th, we hosted a Vancouver Oracle Developer Day in conjunction with the BC Oracle Users Group (BCOUG) and ODTUG.

Our goal was to bring some well-known speakers to Vancouver to talk about the latest trends and tools for developing with the Oracle Database and Oracle Cloud, and to raise awareness around some of powerful application development tools that are becoming more and more popular, such as Oracle Application Express (APEX) and the Oracle JavaScript Extension Toolkit (JET). It’s hard to always keep on top of the latest developments within the Oracle stack, and we wanted to give people an easy way to get up to speed quickly.

The event turned out to be even better than we expected. Over a 100 people in attended, and we received a ton of positive feedback. There was a wide range of topics covering the full development stack, from the front end to the back end, and so there was something for everyone.

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After introductions from BCOUG and ODTUG, Peter Watkins, Executive Director of Commercialization Initiatives with the Office of the CIO of the BC Government, kicked things off with an overview of the BC Developers’ Exchange . It’s a new initiative to explore the idea of enabling an ecosystem of co-creation, commercialization and rapid adoption of innovation between the B.C. technology industry and the B.C. public sector. The goal is to make it easier for the B.C. public sector – provincial ministries, Crown agencies and municipalities – to work with and leverage the expertise of the tech sector, by creating a “marketplace” that matches technology entrepreneurs with specific public sector technology needs. And the good part? Developers can contribute and get paid for their work due to a streamlined procurement process developed as part of the initiative.

Next, Frank Hoogendoorn, VP of Business Development at Insum, gave a short talk highlighting the importance of speed when it comes to developing and deploying technical solutions in order to stay relevant and ahead of the competition.  Expanding on the idea of Bimodal IT developed by Gartner, Frank stressed the need for organizations to develop rapid IT solution delivery capabilities, and to explore the tools that enable quick application development and deployment, such as Oracle APEX.

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We then had presentations by David Peake, Product Manager of Oracle APEX, who highlighted a few of the many great new features that will be part of the APEX 5.1 release (we all can’t wait for editable data grids), and by Dan McGahn who spoke about integrating Oracle with Node.js, which opens a whole world of new possibilities. Martin D’Souza finished the morning session highlighting many of the great developer tools available in Oracle Open Source Utils, and new open source package developed by the Oracle Community, which is guaranteed to save you a ton of time as an Oracle developer.

During the lunch session, Adrian Png and Monty Latiolais demonstrated how quickly a very useful, real world application could be built with Oracle APEX.  Using Open511 data collected by DriveBC as part of the DataBC initiative, Monty and Adrian built an APEX application that leveraged LeafletJS, an open source JavaScript library for mobile friendly interactive maps, to show all the traffic incidents recorded by DriveBC. In addition to being able to mine the data with an Interactive Report, users could also submit their own traffic incidents.  The application will actually be made public soon, along with a blog post describing in detail how it was built. You’ll even be able to download all the source code, so stay tuned!

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In the afternoon session, we heard about some of the new features of Oracle 12cR2 from Liron Amitzi from DBAces and Monty Latiolais from Insum, and then learned all about Oracle JET from John Brock, the Senior Product Manager for Oracle JET  who drove up from Seattle to spend the day with us. Both sessions sparked a lot of interest and some great questions from the audience.

We finished the afternoon session with a series of “Lightning Talks”, where a number of APEX applications were shown, which demonstrated the wide variety of applications that could be developed with Oracle APEX, from street mapping to visio like workflow mapping, and even the 3D visualization of commercial office space.

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The day ended with a happy hour, where we all could relax a little and talk about what we learned. All in all, it was a great day, and we’re looking forward to hosting similar events in other cities. So, stay tuned!

We asked the speakers and the people who attended from Insum to share a few thoughts:

Patrick Cimolini

The day was a great success. The formal presentations were informative and entertaining; applause to the presenters. The Oracle JET presentation introduced me to a product that I will need very much in the near future. The informal networking was fun, warm, and friendly; meeting new friends is always a welcome addition to my life. Sharing technical anecdotes over coffee is both fun and a great way to learn about the hard-nosed realities of our business. The event was well organized and I look forward to a repeat in the near future.

Adrian Png

The biggest highlight was the huge turnout and the positive feedback we got from the attendees about the event. I have been privileged to work with organizations that value training and networking with the community. I have had the opportunity to travel and meet experts in the field at conferences, but I know, not everyone gets that chance. And so I am grateful that we managed to have a great list of speakers visit us in Vancouver, to share recent developments and their knowledge. It was also an opportunity for our attendees to network with the experts, but also for us Insum-ers in Vancouver to meet them. I was also pleasantly surprised that we have folks coming in from as far as Kamloops and Victoria joining us for the jam-packed, one-day event. This is only the beginning and I certainly look forward to help build a strong Oracle Developer community in British Columbia!

Frank Hoogendoorn

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Oracle APEX, so the highlight of the day for me was seeing the “light switch on” for many people who saw for the first time just how much you can do with APEX in such a short period of time. Why am I a big fan of APEX? Because it helps you go fast. To quote Dave Girouard, the former President of Google Enterprise Apps, “…speed is the ultimate weapon in business. All else being equal, the fastest company in any market will win. Speed is the defining characteristic – if not the defining characteristic – of any leader in virtually every industry you look at.”  For companies with an Oracle database, APEX provides a very easy way to bring rapid application development and deployment capabilities to the organization. So, it was a pleasure to hear people talk through the possibilities of how they could use APEX once they saw what what the tool could do.

Martin D’Souza

It was great to see so many people at the Vancouver Oracle Dev Day. What was even better was that we got to introduce APEX to many people. It seems as though not many people in the audience used APEX and I hope that after the day they were convinced that it is a great tool and something to start looking into. I had several questions pertaining to working in teams, version control, and release processes for APEX. We will be blogging about all these topics soon so stay posted!

Monty Latiolais

It was certainly a thrill to be able to participate in the Vancouver Oracle Developer Day in part because it was such a diverse crowd. In attendance, we had developers, DBA’s, business users, and everything in between. That made for great questions and great conversation. As much as we’re able to do remotely these days, there’s still nothing like meeting and networking face to face.

Dan McGhan

Presenting at the Oracle Developer Day was a lot of fun! The venue, the Cinematheque, set the stage for something different (and some huge slides too). I spoke about node-oracledb, the glue between Node.js and Oracle Database while others covered topics from DBA work to front-end JavaScript development – there was truly something for everyone. It was also great to see so much open source technology included, from node-oracledb & Oracle JET to some of the many projects that are part of OraOpenSource.

David Peake

I thought the Oracle Developer Day put on by Insum in Vancouver was a huge success. For a first time event getting over 100 people from numerous companies and diverse experience with Application Express was excellent. There was a nice variety of sessions which ensured there was something for every attendee to learn more about. Great organization, great turn out, great content meant every one went home happy!

Liron Amitzi

Oracle Developer Day was the first full day conference I spoke at here in Vancouver. Being part of BCOUG, it was a pleasure to see all these people come to hear the technical content the conference offered. Even though I’m new here, I realized that I’m starting to know more and more people and it was great to talk to everyone. The sessions were excellent (those that I understood anyway) and it was a great fun to meet everyone including Frank, Martin, Monty, Adrian, Dan, Peter and David (some for the first time). I know how difficult it is to organize such a conference and the guys at Insum did an excellent job. For me, the highlight of the day was just all the chats I had during the day and after the conference at the pub (even though I had to sometimes defend the DBAs out there). It was simply a great combination of fun and knowledge with great people!

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