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Expert Oracle Application Express 2011th Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430235125
ISBN-10: 1430235128
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Edward Scott has been using Oracle since version 7 (around 1993), and has used pretty much every release since then. He has had the good fortune to work on a wide range of projects for a varied group of clients. He was lucky enough to start working with Oracle Application Express when it was first publicly released, and has worked with it nearly every day since (and loves it). John is an Oracle ACE Director and was named Application Express Developer of the Year in 2006 by Oracle Magazine. He is also the cofounder of ApexEvangelists (Apex-Evangelists.com), a company that specializes in providing training, development, and consulting specifically for the Oracle Application Express product. You can contact John at john.scott@apex-evangelists.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 620 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2011 edition (June 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430235128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430235125
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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One of the fundamental problems with most documentation from most technology companies is that the documentation usually contains a bunch of assumed knowledge.

Take for example, the Oracle Application Express Installation Guide for Release 4.1. This document has the following line in Section 1.4 About Choosing an HTTP server. "In order to run, Oracle Application Express must have access to Oracle Application Express Listener, Oracle HTTP Server and mod_plsql or the embedded PL/SQL gateway." Yep. That's right... sort of. As an experienced installer of APEX, I know that they mean: There are three different ways to connect to Oracle Application Express:

The Oracle Application Express Listener
An Oracle HTTP Server and mod_plsql
The embedded PL/SQL gateway

But, if I was a brand new person with no experience, I might wonder if I need the Oracle Application Express Listener + an Oracle HTTP Server + mod_plsql, or the embedded PL/SQL gateway. Reading the rest of the guide might give me an idea, but for a while I might be confused.

However, I often waffle back and forth between what the biggest problem with technology documentation is: Is it assumed knowledge? Or is it the fact that almost all technology documentation tells you what some setting or button does, but it almost always leaves out the `and here is why you would want to do this' information. You could make the argument that they are one in the same, but I usually see them as different problems. The second problem really comes into play when there are choices. If there are no choices then just telling me what I have to do is fine. Just make sure I know how to do it. I once saw a step in an installation guide that was "Configure SQL/Net". No links to other documentation.
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Format: Paperback
I am not normally one who likes books with multiple authors, but in this case, that's the best way for this book to be written. 13 authors each write a chapter about different aspects of APEX, giving you a deeper understanding of their chosen subject.

With the way the book is written there is no dependency on reading one chapter before the others and you can easily read the sections that interest you most first and then move on to the other chapters at your leisure.

Here is a breakdown of the chapters:

Chapter 1: OHS, EPG and APEX Listener Compared. In this chapter John Edward Scott looks at the different web server choices and the pros and cons of each. He also shows you how to help make the server as efficient as possible.

Chapter 2: Oracle APEX 4.0 Charts Inside Out. In this chapter Dimitri Gielis talks about the options available for charting (HTML and Flash based). He talks about what goes on behind the scenes with charting and how to customize the XML generated that is used by the AnyChart engine to tweak your charts.

Chapter 3: Tabular Forms. In this chapter Denes Kubicek talks about what has changed with tabular forms in APEX 4.0 and how to code around "missing" functionality that he would like to see implemented in future versions.

Chapter 4: Team Development. In this chapter Roel Hartman talks about using the team development functionality built into APEX to track your projects bugs and development. While not a true project management tool, Roel gives some examples of how you can extend to the tool to add some missing functionality, and how to work with the feedback functionality.

Chapter 5: Globalization. In today's world applications and web sites are being accessed from all over the world.
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Format: Paperback
Expert Oracle Application Express may be the best-written technical book I have read. If you look at the picture of the front cover of the book, you can see that there are 13 authors. There are also 13 chapters. This book has taken 13 APEX experts and had each of them write a chapter in her/his area of expertise. The result is a compendium of expert knowledge, real-life examples, screen shots, personal expert tips on how best to perform tasks, expert shortcuts, numerous cautions on where mistakes are most likely made, how to avoid them and what each expert does to avoid them. In addition, many of the experts provide their personally developed scripts and explain their personal work style as well as key things to do, or not to do, based on their vast experience and knowledge.

Although this book is written by 13 different authors, the style is very consistent. I particularly like the way the authors walk through program code on a line-by-line basis. I also really like the way the authors give practical alternatives to the official documentation, based on their experience, to perform various tasks. For example, in Chapter 1, when talking about OHS (Oracle HTTP server), John Edward Scott writes "Instead of restarting all of the managed processes, you could just restart the OHS processes which is much quicker. To do that you can use the commands: ..." Another example by the same author is "One enhancement I typically make to save myself some keystrokes, is to create a script to automatically start, stop, and restart the OHS, shown in Listing 1-6"

In addition, the authors give vendor sources to get more information about much of the material presented in the book. For example, the Apache URL is given to get more information when discussing httpd.
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