Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hmmm...NOT What I REQUESTED...

The saltier of you out there probably already know this, but it bit me recently so I thought I'd share...

I've used the REQUEST variable to conditionally manage processes. It's quite simple to do and we're actually provided four individual conditions to which the REQUEST variable applies: They are:

  • REQUEST = Expression1
  • REQUEST != Expression1
  • REQUEST is Contained in Expression1
  • REQUEST is NOT Contained in Expression1

Pretty straightforward, right? Not so fast. The problem presented itself when I had two possible REQUEST variable entries...CREATE   and CREATE_ANOTHER. I noticed that the CREATE_ANOTHER code was actually running when I was passing a REQUEST variable of CREATE. The condition on the code was "REQUEST is Contained in Expression1" where Expression1 was CREATE_ANOTHER,FOO,BAR ...or some such.

A trip to the Oracle docs didn't help. It clearly states...

Request is contained within Expression 1
Use this condition to specify a comma delimited list of allowed requests (such as SAVE or UPDATE) in Expression 1. The condition evaluates to true if the value of REQUEST is contained in the list.

I definitely supplied a comma delimited list. What to do, what to do? I found a thread some 5 years ago from Patrick Wolf that provided the answer. He said that "REQUEST is Contained in Expression1"  actually is no more than an INSTR. It does not execute against a list. As a result things began to make sense. I changed my condition to PLSQL Expression with ":REQUEST IN ('CREATE_ANOTHER','FOO','BAR') and life was worth living again.

Created a simple test to demonstrate the findings...

Specifying a REQUEST variable of "New", you can see the second region is rendering albeit incorrectly as "New" was not an element in the comma delimited list. The other two regions displayed as intended.

OK, back on your heads. That's all for now. As I mentioned it may have been something you already knew, but I'd bet money it will continue to bite others out there...at least until Oracle updates the documentation.

...our journey continues.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pivots Made Easy with APEX 5.0

From time to time we need to pivot data for presentation purposes. It's not something I do everyday, so the syntax is usually something I have to pull from the old toolbox as needed. With APEX 5.0, you can now pivot data within an interactive report and it's quite easy.

Let's say we've got a table of Super Bowl quarterbacks and their pass attempts per quarter.

...but we really would like the data displayed where we can compare the quarterbacks side by side...a textbook pivot. To accomplish this, go to Actions / Format / Pivot. There you see a dialog box that requests the pivot column, the row columns and the data to be included in the grid. The "Sum" checkbox does exactly that...totals the columns.

...resulting in the following output.

Obviously you should season to taste, but there you have it! Your data instantly pivoted courtesy of APEX 5.0

If you haven't signed up for your own EA3 instance, do so now at http://apexea.oracle.com.

...our journey continues

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

APEX OOW 14 Meetup

Each year the Oracle APEX community gets together at Oracle Open World (OOW) to have a few beers and catch up. This is a great informal event and its your chance to network with a lot of people in the APEX community and meet some of the gurus and members of the core APEX development team.

Back by popular demand, we'll be having the annual APEX OOW Meetup downstairs at Johnny Foley's Dueling Piano Bar on Tuesday, September 30th. Doors open at 8:30 with the downbeat precisely at 9:30. 

I've held out hope that we'd be joined this year by ODTUG's own, Martin D'Souza, but I found out this week that he is not going to be in attendance. He is still feeling the effects of a concussion suffered last June. He is making slow and steady progress and will surely join us at the next event. Martin, my friend, you will definitely be missed! 

Like last year, this event is "shrimp-friendly"
So here's goods...

Johnny Foley's Dueling Piano Bar (remember, we'll be downstairs) 
243 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

ODTUG will be giving away some cool APEX swag.

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

...our journey continues

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Autobiography

Hey, don't laugh. We don't always succeed. In fact, sometimes we fail as the book title indicates.

But it's during those times of failure that we can learn the most. We learn about the systems we work on. We learn about the people we interact with. Most of all we learn about ourselves.

Failure is inevitable if you're out there reaching higher and extending yourself. Learn from it!

...our journey continues

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Glad to be a Part of Insum!

Sometimes it just clicks...sometimes it just feels right...sometimes the best things are worth waiting for. That's the feelings I have around my decision to join Insum, the largest APEX consultancy in North America.

A little bit about Insum...
"Insum is a highly creative solution center specialized in Oracle Database, developing innovative applications for clients and partners in North America. Founded in 2002, Insum has been assisting customers realize the full benefits of Oracle Database with Application Express since 2005. In fact, Insum is a pioneer with APEX and is today the largest consultancy specialized in Oracle APEX developments in North America. Privately held with offices in Montreal, Canada and South Burlington, USA, Insum has the most complete and experienced staff to serve the needs for complex application development and deployments in a wide range of industries. Come discover our unique APEX center of excellence"

I first became aware of Insum through Francis Mignault. We met in New Orleans during KScope2008 at the last, great APEX meetup. I think back now and realize what a special night that was. Going around the room was Carl, Dimitri, John Scott, Dan McGhan, Roel, Raj, Josh, Joel, Dietmar, etc. Francis and I just kinda hit it off that night. Ever since then we do our best to carve out time to sit and visit. Sometimes it involves a nice cigar, sometimes it's five minutes between sessions, all times special. A few years later I met Michel and Patrick. Solid folks whom you could tell had a passion for the technology and even back then I knew that given the opportunity, I would take up with this company from the Great White North.

Insum continues to grow their client base in the U.S. and as a result is building a team of developers to handle this demand. For the first time in my career I'll be able to concentrate full time on Application Express. It's going to be fun. I'll commit to blogging more and probably get back on the lecture circuit.

I'd like to thank SCGTS for the last four years in which I have grown personally and professionally. Truly some of the smartest individuals I've had the pleasure of working with. I'm expecting to aid in transition through August 15 before reporting to Montreal for onboarding.

So, I'm proud to be....an Insum-niac! (I doubt that's actually a word) Look it, if you're a highly skilled APEX developer..let's talk. If you're a company in need of APEX expertise, let's definitely talk.

...our journey continues

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Who is the drummer for AC/DC?

A year from now Jeff Smith will ask me if I know who is the drummer for rock band AC/DC. It is no other than Phil Rudd. Who I might add will be charged one year from today for putting a hit on two people in New Zealand.

Friday, October 11, 2013

...and They're Off!

Well, it should not come as a great surprise to anyone that I've decided to pursue another stint on the ODTUG Board of Directors. If successful, this will be my third and final term. It's been a fantastic journey thus far.

Here's my campaign Statement

Campaign Statement

In January of 2010, the membership of ODTUG saw fit to place me on the board of directors. It was, and continues to be, a tremendous honor to serve with the other members of the board in charting the future course of the organization. True, it involves considerable sacrifice, but ODTUG is worth it—you’re worth it.

I’ve had the privilege of serving as your president since June of 2012. Since that time, the organization has rolled out a new website, a new logo, an online job board, and increased our influence by purchasing APEXblogs. At the same time, our Kscope conference continues to grow in size and stature. For me, it’s always felt as much like a family reunion as it does a world-class technical conference.

I ask you for the opportunity to continue to fill the seat I’ve occupied these last four years. I have the desire, the dedication, and the experience to best represent you and your interests. If you believe, as I do, that the organization is moving in the right direction and our best years are ahead of us, I would appreciate your support.

My name is Monty Latiolais and I approve this message.

Biographical Statement

Monty Latiolais has more than twenty-five years of experience in information technology and more than a dozen years of experience with Oracle.

He has been a member of ODTUG since 2003 and has volunteered in many areas, including the ODTUG executive conference committee, the ODTUG abstract review committee, the ODTUG Technical Journal Editor’s Choice Awards panel, ODTUG Oracle OpenWorld content chair, and was recognized as the ODTUG 2009 Volunteer of the Year. Monty has been on the ODTUG Board of Directors for four years, with the last year and a half serving as president.

He is currently serving as the senior programmer analyst with SC Global Tubular Solutions, a Sumitomo Corporation subsidiary specializing in OCTG supply chain management. He spends his days working with Application Express, Oracle Forms, and Oracle Reports, writing complex analytics, and counting the days until the next Kscope conference.

Additionally, ODTUG asked the candidates to answer the following questions. If you could describe ODTUG in ten words or less, what would they be?

A community of Oracle professionals sharing their knowledge and experiences.

What is your motivation for joining the board?

I'm a big believer in paying things forward. Early in my career, I benefitted greatly from the technical journal and from participating in the list servs. While the technical journal has gone digital and tweets have in large part replaced list servs, I'd like to believe I'm providing that same benefit to a new generation of ODTUGers.

What attributes do you feel you would provide to this position?

I'm a people person. If you've attended a Kscope conference, it's likely we've met. It's just as likely we're on a first-name basis. It's that interaction with the membership I enjoy most and it's what keeps me coming back time and again.

Do you have a principal goal you would like to achieve as a board member?

What has made ODTUG special through the years is a real sense of community and a sense of belonging. Our challenge is to continue to grow the organization without losing those qualities that attracted us in the first place.

I look forward to once again serving the membership as a Director.

Our journey continues...