Sunday, 22 August 2010

Learning Oracle Application Express (or teaching Angelina Jolie the MC Hammer dance)

I'm a Londoner so, unsurprisingly, I think London is the greatest city in the world (feel free to disagree if you enjoy being wrong). However I do accept that London isn't always that friendly to foreigners. Other major European cities have street signs and directions in the local language and English, but London seems to say to you, "Speak English - or get lost. Literally."

The Apex blogosphere can be a little like that; we often blog about advanced minutiae, perhaps to the exclusion of absolute beginners. This week 2 of my colleagues started learning Apex and so I've decided to put together a little Apex 101 study guide for their benefit and for that of other Apex padawans. (And if you say that this is only tangentially different from a post I wrote 2 years ago my answer is that all blog posts are kinda related; it's like that 6 degrees of separation theory that says, as far as I understand it, that I and Angelina Jolie are practically best friends.)

Where to start: There is only one place to start, and that's at the Oracle Apex website. Sign up for a workspace - it's free and easy. Have a look round, press buttons to see what they do: it's like developing with a condom on - safe, without commitment, and, hey, you can even do it drunk. However, the very best way to really dip your toes into the water is to work through Oracle's 2 Day Developers Guide [PDF link here]. When you're done with that you may wish to return here to flirt with the other tutorials.

Internet resources: Did you know that you're only ever 6 clicks away from an Apex blogger? Fact. We're like LOLCATS, adverts for blue pills for men, and YouTube videos of Rick Astley. Fortunately, the Apex Blog Aggregator has found the best blogs about Apex and, erm, aggregated them. Alternatively, you can go here or even here.

Another internet resource that you'll probably want to bookmark is OTN (which either stands for a. Oracle Technology Network or b. Orangutans Tangoing in the Netherlands. You decide.) The forum's search functionality is more Altavista than Google, but chances are that any question you've got has probably been asked and answered before.

Tutorials: The same way that with each regeneration since the first series in 1963, Dr Who has come back as someone slightly younger and better looking, each regeneration of Apex has resulted in a slicker, more intuitive IDE. However, I attended the Oracle University's 5 day Apex course and found it very useful. You may also want to have a look at SkillBuilders. I've attended some of their webinars and they've been excellent. Hey, why don't you put on a pair of geeky glasses, download some of their past webinars and pretend you're me? Whatever pedals your bike, pal.

Books: If you are the type who prefers to learn from books there is a growing catalogue of Apex books out there. Here's a list. And here are two reviews by a blogger who I respect immensely - and who Angelina Jolie is practically best friends with.

And that's it, my friend, all you need to get started. I'm not going to claim that this blog post has changed your life or that you came to me as a boy/girl and are leaving as a man/woman (unless it's taken you 20 years to read these 600 words), but hopefully you now got all the resources you need to hack your way through the Apex jungle. There's a lot more I can show you (have you seen my MC Hammer dance? No?) but my doorbell is ringing. It's probably Angelina.

1 comment:

Eva Lona said...

Thanks for sharing your knowledge about oracle applications