Friday, June 12, 2015

KScope Kids Night Out

OK. Look it. You can't wait for the next installment of KScope's Wednesday Night Special Event, right?? Only problem is this year you brought the fam. Sure, you could velcro them to their beds, but I have a MUCH better idea...KScope Kids Fun Night Out.

Yeppers, while you're letting your hair down at Nikki Beach, you're little tricycle motors will be having their own EPIC evening.

Here's the particulars...

While the grownups are having a blast at Nikki Beach, the kids will be having a special night of their own! Parents, enjoy an early dinner with your children and then get them ready for some fun.
ODTUG is sponsoring an action packed evening with supervision by the Diplomat Kid’s Club staff, with a ratio of one ambassador for every six children.
The night will include:

  • Wii
  • Movies
  • Basketball
  • Cornhole
  • Blinko
  • Crafts, including Sand Art, Painting, Balloon animals
  • Talent Show
Dessert will also be included!
The cost is $70/per child and will be charged to your room. Reservations are required. To reserve your spot,

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bringing the family to KScope??

If you're like me, there's no way the family is going to let me go to South Florida without them tagging along. Can you blame them? The Diplomat is ON THE BEACH I'm talking step out of the hotel and into the sand. While the beach is one serious attraction, there is much to do and see in South Florida.

I've done some research and found that giving the kids something new and exciting to do each day doesn't have to break the bank. Cue the South Florida Adventure Pass !!

The South Florida Adventure Pass allows unlimited admission to seven, count 'em seven, different Florida attractions for 40 clams! That's some serious savings. Let's see carry the one...that's five...feed a fever, starve a cold...uptown downtown pick a bale of're going to save almost $100 per person! 

Check it out!

Everglades Alligator Farm - Discover the mysteries of the Everglades at South Florida's oldest alligator farm. Near the main entrance of Everglades National Park, Everglades Alligator Farm contains more than 2,000 alligators! Glide across the everglades on one of our guided airboat tours. Alligator, snake, and wildlife shows are performed hourly. 40351 SW 192 Avenue; Homestead, Florida 33034; 305-247-2628;

Flamingo Gardens - Established in 1927, Flamingo Gardens is one of the oldest botanical gardens in South Florida. The 60-acre not-for-profit botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary contains over 3000 tropical and sub-tropical species of plants and trees including 20 of the largest trees of their species, and is home to the largest collection of Florida native wildlife in the state. 3750 S. Flamingo Road; Davie/Ft. Lauderdale 33330; 954-473-2955;

Jungle Island - Building upon a rich tradition that began in 1936, Jungle Island is home to some of the world's rarest and most exotic animals. Park guests enjoy engaging animal shows and informative exhibits while strolling by streams and waterfalls under a lush canopy of tropical trees. Guests can also choose to participate in hands-on interactions with fascinating animals or go on guided behind-the-scenes VIP tours. 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail; Miami 33131; 305-400-7000;

Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science - The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science aims to make a difference in people's lives by inspiring them to appreciate the impact that science and technology can have on every facet of our world. For over 60 years, the Museum's award-winning educational programs, family-focused exhibits, historic Planetarium and rehabilitative Batchelor Wildlife Center have enriched locals and tourists alike. The Museum's latest exhibit is Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes and Other Riches, a fantastic voyage through one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world: the Amazon River in South America. 3280 South Miami Avenue; Miami 33129; 305-646-4200;

PĂ©rez Art Museum Miami, designed by Pritzker-Prize winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, opened its doors as a major Miami landmark and premier art institution in December 2013. The museum offers 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space including flexible galleries showcasing modern and contemporary works by international artists, the PAMM Shop with unique gifts, art books and furnishings, and Verde waterfront restaurant and bar. Visitors of all ages can explore the museum using PAMM Family Packs, with activity sheets and scavenger hunts. Take a seat on the museum's waterfront terrace to enjoy the spectacular view of Biscayne Bay and the elaborate hanging gardens. 1103 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33132; 305-375-3000;

Sawgrass Recreation Park - Discover the Florida Everglades on a thrilling 30 minute airboat adventure! Glide over the sawgrass and cattails and let your spirit soar as you hear the stories of this unique environment. Hold an alligator and see a Florida Panther in our animal exhibit areas featuring over 100 mammals and reptiles who have been adopted and rescued! Open 7 days, try The Gator Grill offering unique flavors of Florida! 1006 N. U.S. Highway 27; Weston 33327; 954-389-0202;

Young At Art Museum - The Gold-LEED ® certified Young At Art Museum is the epicenter of cultural arts education for families and features four permanent galleries: GreenScapes, CultureScapes, WonderScapes and ArtScapes. The Young At Art Institute houses a series of professionally equipped studios for drawing, painting, sculpture, animation, photography and film, printmaking, mixed media, digital computer and 4D video design. YAA also houses 10,000 square-foot Broward County Library, a National Traveling Exhibition Gallery, Teen Center and Recording Studio, a preschool and early childhood learning center and a Museum Gift Shop. 751 SW 121st Avenue; Davie 33325; 954-424-008;

C'mon, it's a perfect fit. While we're in sessions and having the times of our lives, your kids and significant others can be out having the times of their lives too. At $40 per person, it's a no brainer! 

KScope is but days away!!! See you there! 

...our journey continues

Monday, June 8, 2015


Last week I blogged on the fact that Insum Solutions will be well represented at KScope15. I incorrectly stated Insum had four presentation plus a vendor presentation. That information is not correct and  at "Confessions of an Oracle Magi" we strive to provide full an accurate information and for that mistake, we offer our apologies.

The fact is that Insum has SIX sessions plus a vendor presentation during KScope15. How is this you ask?


You heard right, Martin is now an Insumniac.  
Tell me that doesn't move the needle.

He will be delivering the following presentations at KScope15.

Martin D'Souza , Insum Solutions
When: Jun 23, 2015, Session 7, 11:15 am - 12:15 pm
Topic: Application Express - Subtopic: Other Application Express
APEX has a lot of excellent APIs. These APIs, for both PL/SQL and JavaScript, can help extend your application and improve your development. This presentation will cover some of the most useful APIs (both documented and undocumented) that are available.
Back to Top
How to Build an APEX Plugin
Martin D'Souza , Insum Solutions
When: Jun 24, 2015, Session 11, 8:30 am - 9:30 am
Topic: Application Express - Subtopic: Other Application Express
Don't know how to create a plugin in APEX but want to learn? Then attend this presentation. It will cover the basics and give you tips and tricks to get started on your own, from someone who literally "wrote the book" on plugins.
On a personal note, I've served with Martin on the ODTUG Board for the last few years and have become close. Martin is everything you could want in a friend and associate. His opinions are ALWAYS well thought out and when he tells you he's going to do something...well, you can just forget about it. It'll get done! He's a special individual and ODTUG is lucky to have him represent the membership.

For those of you attending KScope, Make sure to look him up!

...our journey continues

Friday, June 5, 2015

Insum Will Be Well Represented at KScope15

Taking a look at the APEX lineup for the upcoming KScope 15 conference, you can't help but be impressed with the job that Roel Hartman and the APEX content team did. It's also pretty obvious that Insum Solutions has it's fingerprints all over it.

Insum Solutions has 4 sessions accepted this year plus a vendor presentation.

Here's the goods...

The APEX Wayback Machine
Jeff Eberhard, Insum Solutions
When: Jun 22, 2015, Session 2, 9:45 am - 10:45 am
The Oracle 12c database pluggable architecture has opened the door for running multiple versions of APEX at the same time. See how multiple versions of APEX can be plugged in and brought online. Want to see a living predecessor to APEX 5.0? The presenter will plug it in (from a thumb drive) and show you!

Insum Solutions Vendor Presentation
Christian Laroque, Insum Solutions
When: Jun 23, 2015, Session 6, 9:45 pm - 10:45 pm
What is the profile of the best APEX developer? In this session Insum will explore the necessary skill set a developer needs to acquire to fully utilize the capabilities of APEX for these diverse environments. Managers will learn what knowledge their teams need to acquire in order to reap the full benefits of APEX for their organization.

At the end of this session, managers will have a solid understanding of what is necessary to have a well-rounded APEX development team and developers will know how to be the best APEX developer.

Love and Marriage! Oracle Application Express and Oracle E-Business Suite
Francis Mignault, Insum Solutions
When: Jun 23, 2015, Session 9, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Oracle Application Express is a rapid web application development tool that provides the qualities of an enterprise solution for security, integrity, scalability, and availability. Built for the web, it's the ideal platform for developing extensions with Oracle E-Business Suite. Starting with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3, integration between Oracle Application Express and Oracle E-Business Suite 12 has been improved, facilitates compliance with authentication and data security, and provides users with a seamless experience. This session reviews the technical requirements of such an integration and demonstrates a few examples of extensions organizations are able to create with Oracle Application Express.

No "I" in Team: An APEX Case Study
Patrick Cimolini, Insum Solutions
When: Jun 24, 2015, Session 14, 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm
This case study shows you how Insum Solutions of Montreal, Quebec, has nurtured a large, high-quality, and effective Oracle Application Express (APEX) development team. Since it was founded in 2002, Insum Solutions has grown steadily from its four founders into a development shop of over 30 APEX developers and DBAs. This case study shares Insum's experiences in team building; it documents things that have worked well, things that were tried and failed, and things that are still under review. Team building spans a number of areas including recruitment, retention, professional and personal development, hard skills, and soft skills. The case study will also delve into some of the mechanical issues that require a good team environment, such as source-code control, multi-developer development in an APEX environment, and some of the Agile principles that have been employed. You will leave this case study with tips that may make your teams at home more effective.

The Objects of My Affection. Deploying Your APEX Applications and Using Supporting Objects
Francis Mignault, Insum Solutions
When: Jun 24, 2015, Session 16, 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
During this session, learn how to deploy your applications to test, QA, and production. Also learn how the supporting objects features works and see the new APEX 5.0 features that will help you package and deploy your applications. This session will also talk about SVN and automating application installs.

Stop by the Insum booth for a chat. We'd love to talk to you.

...our journey continues

Thursday, June 4, 2015

My KScope APEX Watchlist

I'm sure you know by now that we're in the home stretch. KScope will be upon us in a hurry. This year will be particularly special as it will be my last as President and Board member. I will miss it, no doubt, but I'm excited to see what the future holds for our favorite little users group.

For me, KScope has really become a series of meetings. We meet as a Board. We meet with the various Oracle development teams. We meet with the other user groups in attendance. It doesn't leave much time to attend sessions, but it's not often we're all in the same room so we try our best to take advantage of that opportunity.

Looking at the list of APEX sessions. All I can say is WOW. From the Sunday Symposiums where Joel promises we'll wreck this thing together to Scott Wesley bringing us home with a Thursday Deep Dive into CSS and jQuery, it's an OUTSTANDING lineup. Roel Hartman and the APEX content team should be applauded.

If you can find a conference anywhere with a better APEX lineup...attend it. In fact, take me with you.

APEX Episode 5: A New Frontier
Need for Speed: Page Designer
Interstellar: The Universal
The Fifth Element: HMTL5 + APEX5 Mobile
The Matrix Reloaded: Interactive Reports
The Prestige: Converting to APEX 5.0 Universal Theme
A Multitenant SaaS APEX Case Study
APEX and the Printing Problem: Solved?
Introduction to APEX Theming
Transitioning to Oracle Application Express 5.0
Evidence-Based APEX: Building Better Practices
Introduction to Oracle Application Express
The APEX Wayback Machine
APEX 4 Was APEX 5 for the End Users, but Nobody Noticed
Bootstrap Your Application Express Application Using Grunt.js
Developing Single-Page Applications with APEX
Hands-On Training: Build Something! IOT = Internet + Oracle + Things
A Primer on Web Components in APEX
Worst Practices: Top 10 Common Mistakes in APEX Applications
You Don't Lack APEX Skills; You Lack Oracle Skills
Common APEX Responsive Design Issues and How to Correct Them
Hands-On Training: Build Something! IOT = Internet + Oracle + Things
How to Make APEX Print Through Node.js
Practical Dynamic Actions in APEX
Creating Hybrid Applications: With or Without APEX?
Oracle APEX: Further Adventures in Node.js
APEX Interactive Reports Deep Dive: APEX 5 New Features and Upgrade Cheat Sheet
APEX, Node.js, and HTML5: Magic!
Hands-On Training: Transitioning to Oracle Application Express 5.0
Responsive Design Adventures: Notes from the Field
APEX Security: Hack Demos and Security Best Practice
Love and Marriage! Oracle Application Express and Oracle E-Business Suite
The Beauty and the Beast: APEX and SAP
Securing an Oracle Apex Application - A Walkthrough
Self-Service Application Deployment in a Runtime Instance: This Is How We (Oracle) Do It...
Setting Up the Oracle APEX Listener (Now ORDS) for Production Environments
Oracle APEX + 12c JSON Support
Oracle Application Express 5.0 New Features
Template Options Power Options
APEX + RESTFul + OAuth 2: The Future Is Here
Google Apps Integration in APEX
JavaScript in Tabular Forms
Application Express 5.0: Features Nobody Else Will Tell You About
No "I" in Team: An APEX Case Study
Oracle APEX 5 Security Primer
A Spotlight on the Smaller Features of APEX 5: Take Two
APEX Developers: Do More with Less!!
Interactive Reports in APEX: Watch Out for the Pitfalls!
Hands-On Session: Soup-to-Nuts of Building APEX Applications
APEX and the World of D3
The Objects of My Affection. Deploying Your APEX Applications and Using Supporting Objects
Who Are You? Authentication and Identity Management for APEX
Thursday Deep Dive - Using CSS and Applying jQuery in Your Web Applications: A Guide for PL/SQL Developers

I've got a couple of gaps in my schedule, so I'm planning on taking in a session or two...fingers crossed.

Top 10 APEX APIs
Martin D'Souza , ClariFit
When: Jun 23, 2015, Session 7, 11:15 am - 12:15 pm

APEX, Node.js, and HTML5: Magic!
Co-presenter(s): Rodolfo Rodriguez, TIACA
When: Jun 24, 2015, Session 13, 11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Using CSS and Applying jQuery in Your Web Applications: A Guide for PL/SQL Developers
Scott Wesley , Sage Computing Services
When: Jun 25, 2015, Deep Dive Session , 9:00 am - 11:00 am

Oh, and by the way ODTUG is taping each and every session this year so I'll be able to watch the sessions I'm not able to attend live. One more reason to become an ODTUG member!

Can't wait for the conference to arrive and can't wait to personally meet you all. Now afterwards PLEASE give me some feedback on how we can make the best user group conference even better. Send your feedback to I will read each and every one that comes in.

...our journey continues

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I Happened Fifty Years Ago

About three hours east from where I sit is Lake Charles, Louisiana. It was there, fifty years ago today,..I came to be.

..even then, the hat.
I must admit the first few years remain a bit fuzzy.

My earliest memory is still about the time I turned three. I remember living in the Riverside section of Orange, Texas.

I remember well the day my sister arrived.

As a child my free time was spent playing Pop Warner football. Kind of a family affair - my dad was the coach, my mom was Team Mom and my sister was a cheerleader.

Growing up in Southeast Texas, we also spent a tremendous time on the water... fishing, hunting, skiing. By the time I was twelve I had my own boat.

In high school I signed up for Data Processing. The instructor was Junios O. Tuley but everyone called him JOT. He was an ex-Air Force officer who understood the goal of the class was to plant the seed, to spark interest. Boy, did he.  We actually punched cards back then. You youngsters have it so easy. I loved the discipline and the precision required for computer code to work properly. At the same time, tremendous creativity could be brought to bear on a solution. I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

Went to Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. We had no PCs, We had a VAX and a Honeywell mainframe. You would submit your programs and grad students would compile them and run them overnight. You would come back the next day and receive your output. I remember the angst of seeing a compilation error due to something like a typo and having to do it all over again. You youngsters have it so easy.

Really? Forget Harvard??
Back then college was affordable. With only a part time job, I was able work my way thru school. Never threatened the Dean's List, but the requisite wild oats were sown. Life was good.

After graduation I took up dBase and FoxBase to maintain inventory for a building trades manufacturer I worked for, I was able to transfer within the company to our California plant and ultimately to the Oregon facility. Loved living in the Pacific Northwest. So much to explore...snow skiing...the outdoors...Yes, life was really good.

Here is where the plot pay attention.

I returned home to Texas for a visit and came into the company of Dianne Richards.

In Dianne, I found someone who shared my core beliefs, but at the same time was much more of a free spirit. She lights up any room she walks into and has the ability to make each person she meets feel special. A ski trip to Vail. A visit out to Oregon and within months we were married. She left a life of her own back in Texas to join me. She's the one who gambled, but I'm the one who cashed in.

We lived in the coast range of Oregon between Newport and Philomath. She took a job with Oregon State University. I ran a hosting company from the house. Life couldn't get any I thought.

A little over a year later our first born arrived. Madelyn Elaine Latiolais. We call her Maddie. She's a whole lot like me. Driven. Intelligent. Stubborn. Voracious reader. She's unique in that she's extremely analytical yet artsy and creative at the same time. She's got in her the best of Dianne and the best of me. She will excel in whatever she attempts in life.

It was time to go legit. Took a job near Denver, Colorado coding Oracle Reports. So from Oregon to Colorado we went. Dianne and I bought our first house together. If you could believe it, life got even better.

We soon began to tire of the seventeen hour drive back to visit family in Texas. I took a job in San Antonio doing Oracle development.

San Antonio was very good for us in that it brought us closer to our families, was able to advance my career, but most of all it was the birthplace of Mason Luke Latiolais. Mason is a real lover of life. A people person who shares Dianne's musical ability and my love for music. At nine years old, an accomplished piano player. So young, so talented. Life just kept getting better.

While at San Antonio I petitioned management to go to KScope, Kaleidoscope as it was then called. I'd been reading the ODTUG Technical Journal for a years as well as the mailing lists. I definitely wanted to see and experience it in person. Two words - awe-some.

The next few conferences I got to know Mike Riley and a few of the other board members like Bruce Bergman and Jeff Jacobs. I was asked to serve on the conference committee for Kaleidoscope 2009 in Monterrey, California.

One thing led to another and the next thing I know I'm on the ODTUG Board of Directors. A few years later I was asked to serve the organization as President. I
owe a debt of gratitude to ODTUG, because the membership houses my closest friends the world over. From Estonia, to Canada to Venezuela to Australia, the Middle East, India...and all points in between.

In order to get even closer to family we moved yet again. This time to Houston. I'd like to think we're done moving. I'd like to think the roots we're putting down now will run deep.

I want to make mention of another development from the past year that really affects how I look at fifty and how I look at the next twenty years. Last August, I accepted an offer with Insum Solutions. I now work from home which allows me to spend more time with my wife and family. Work life balance is within sight. If life got any better, I don't think I could stand it.

Wow, it all happened so fast. Elders will tell you it will, but you don't believe it. As a child and young adult you're always wanting to get to the next thing. As you age you realize it's much more about savoring the moment.

I'm fifty. In some ways I thought I'd be further along. I figured I'd be a grandfather by now with retirement in sight. Both will have to wait.

To the men in my family, THANK YOU for the work ethic, the grit and the determination required to make one's mark on this world.

To the women in my family, THANK YOU for smoothing my edges and giving me an understanding that in order for me to win it's not necessary that someone else has to lose.

Yes, it's at these milestones that we take stock. We look back, but in true optimists fashion I choose to look ahead. The sun will come up tomorrow and don't ask me how it happens, it will shine brighter than the one from earlier today.

I don't know what the next fifty years hold in store, but I do know that with my wife and my family and my friends I'm going to take my time, enjoy the ride, and savor each and every moment.

...our journey continues

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 least until Oracle updates the documentation.

...our journey continues.