2015 ODTUG Kscope Editor’s Choice Award – Calling All Minds, Calling All Media

It’s that time of year again – for the ODTUG Editor’s Choice Awards. This year we welcome submissions in all media – even online annotated demos. Shows us your stuff – wow us with your brilliance and clever use of Oracle development tools!

Hello, ODTUG!

Spring is here – finally – and that means ODTUG KScope Editor’s Choice Award submissions are open,

The annual ODTUG Editor’s Choice Award honors excellence in creative, effective use of all modern media options to convey a complete technical topic to our members. Every Kscope presenter is eligible.

2015 is again an all-media year. The popularity of blogs, videos, and podcasts provest hat today’s developers gather and share information in a wide variety of media. ODTUG members consume information online and in various media formats, in addition to formal white papers and printed textbooks. Some say the white paper is dead; others simply save trees and present and consume all their technical content online. We are with you.

ODTUG’s aim is to deliver quality, timely technical content to our members in the most convenient online formats possible – and we want to keep that momentum going. Two years ago, our Technical Journal transitioned to an entirely online format. Accordingly, we have made the same transition with our Kscope conference materials.

We ask our Kscope speakers to submit both their presentation slides (mandatory) and an alternate media technical submission (optional) that covers their presentation topic. The additional, non-PowerPoint submission is eligible for the Editor’s Choice Award. The Editor’s Choice submission may be in any combination of the media types: video, audio file, blog post, online demonstration, white paper or whatever, as long as we can reuse it in our online Technical Journal. Entries should convey a complete technical topic, the topic of the speaker’s presentation.

All conference materials are eventually available to our members. The purpose of our all-media expansion is two-fold. Accepting speaker presentation submissions in reusable media types:

  • Increases the volume and variety of technical material available to our members
  • Expands the ODTUG Editor’s Choice Award to acknowledge creative, effective use of all modern media options to convey a complete technical topic, not just white papers

Our Editor’s Choice Award honors excellence in conveying a complete technical topic to our members. The Editor’s Choice Award winner is decided by a team of ODTUG experts who review all of the conference submissions and grade them according to these general topics:

  • Communication Quality – assesses communication style (written or verbal), overall organization of the media, and grammar
  • Applicability – evaluates subject matter importance, completeness, effectiveness, and accuracy
  • Topic Merit – acknowledges the exceptional and innovative, treatment of a cutting-edge topic, technical complexity, or a new and unique approach to a common problem

Most important for the Editor’s Choice Award is overall excellence in technical communication of complete technical topic for our ODTUG members. Grammar, organization, proper formatting (for the media type), clarity, examples appropriate for the content, and how well the message is conveyed all matter more than the media type. The overall goal is to deliver great content to our members.

By the way – no tweets allowed! Our ODTUG members are smart and eager to learn; they are hungry for more than a tweet. As a technical editor, I believe our members deserve more than 140 characters.

We are also accepting nominations for our Editor’s Choice Review Team. This dedicated team of volunteers reviews each conference submission according to published scoring criteria. The scores are weighted and averaged to arrive at an overall winner. Our review team is comprised of a cross-section of our members – no one developer tool or technical topic is overly weighted or favored. We are always looking for new Editor’s Choice Team members. To join us, or to nominate someone else, please contact me at kcannell@odtug.com. This is an easy way to volunteer for ODTUG and get a pre-conference view of all Kscope conference material. It’s like a conference before the conference.

So, Kscope presenters – WOW US with your stuff! The door is open – show us what you know, in your favorite media. I thank you in advance, from all our ODTUG members.

As always, happy coding,

Karen

 

ODTUG Technical Journal Corner –

Check out the latest ODTUG Technical Journal Corner content!

We are currently featuring:

Kevin McGinley, Red Pill Analytics, our new BI Perspectives author, with Making the Case for Leveraging Agile and Continuous Integration in Oracle BI Development, Part 1 of a three-part series.   Expand your mind a bit and consider – just consider – agile, Continuous Integration as opposed to traditional Waterfall method of integration and deployment.  Watch for the rest of this series in coming weeks. And Welcome Kevin, thank you for taking over our BI Perspectives column!

William Hodges, The Hackett Group, on Slow and Fast Changing Dimensions in Hyperion Planning  This article was a 2014 Editor’s Choice Award finalist. William address changing dimensionalities beyond the capabilities of “varying attributes” in Hyperion Planning.  Read this excellent article to learn more.

A new Book Review by John King, King Training Resources, Oracle PL/SQL Performance Tuning Tips & Techniques by Michael Rosenblum and Dr. Paul Dorsey.   Tuning tips from this pair of authors is always good advice and good reading. See John’s review on the ODTUG Technical Journal Corner, and read the book – we can all use PL/SQL tuning tidbits.

Our latest NoSQL articles, by Steven Feuerstein, Oracle, and Iggy Fernandez, NoCOUG, are still there ready for your learning. If you haven’t read these two perspectives on NoSQL and how it fits on our usually-relational lives, do so now – this is great material from ODTUG respected authors. 

Note that we have made strides in availability of our articles to ODTUG members and beyond.  Starting now, articles by Steven and other Oracle employees will be available to all, in and out of the ODTUG firewall.  This is good news and steps forward as we increase visibility and availability of ODTUG content for all.

Happy reading – and Happy Coding to all, 

 Karen


 

Mr. PL/SQL on NoSQL: YesSQL and the Oracle Database

Steven Feuerstein’s latest Confessions of a Dirty Programmer column actually focuses on – surprise – NoSQL. Yes, Mr. PL/SQL is writing about “Not Only SQL”.  In YesSQL and the Oracle Database, Steve addresses the NoSQL movement head on.  Is SQL old and tired?  Is Database a commodity?  Read on a Steven answers these questions, giving valid arguments why NoSQL and SQL (and of course PLSQL) can live together.  Btween Steven’s NoSQL perspectives and Iggy’s NoSQL information, you will be well-armed for NoSQL considerations.

If you have not seen this week’s ODTUG Technical Journal Corner – check it out now!

Next up is one of our ODTUG Editor’s Choice Award finalists, William Hodges on “Slow and Fast Changing Dimensions in Hyperion Planning”.  A fine paper – stay tuned.

After that, watch for our new BI columnist, Kevin McGinley, debuting with Part 1 of the three-part series, “Making the Case for Leveraging Agile and Continuous Integration in Oracle BI”.  Welcome Kevin!

 

Many thanks to Mark Rittman for bringing us years of BI Perspectives columns, all while maintaining many other writing, speaking and work commitments. BTW, Mark has an astounding T score if 1253!  No Low-T there.  Thank you Mark, and enjoy your “retirement”!

APEX 5.0 Interactive Reports: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Revisited

This presentation covers the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of APEX 5.0 Interactive Reports. In short, the good news is APEX 5.0 brings us multiple IR’s on a single page, plus some other enhancements like improved Group By and Pivot. 

The Bad is, to do this, the APEX Team changed the guts – CSS and JavaScript / jQuery – so anything you may have built previously that does not use the standard APEX APIs will need to be refactored.  Fortunately, I found the mapping between the old and the new quite easy to follow.  While the changes are tedious to make and test, I was fairly quickly able to get my customized IRs back in working order on APEX 5.0.

The Ugly remains the default look and feel, and WYSIWYG printing options.  In APEX 5.0 Theme Option will make applying consistent styles easier  – all told less work to make you IRs match the rest of your application.  As for WYSIWYG PDF output, so far there are no advances here.  The best option I have found is to capture the as-is IR query (different APEX_IR_QUERY solutions for APEX 4.1 vs APEX 4.2, and again for APEX 5.0 – improvements each version) combined with a function that returns a table in the Report Query, combined with a custom Report Layout.  One could use the generic layout, but since this does not allow for varying column widths or highlighting and other conditional formatting, for my case I needed a customized XLS-FO template.  No worries, I found once I  built the first few the process gets easier. I also used a generator for the first pass – a time-saver – then customized. That is a topic for it’s own post on another day.  Any way you slice it, PDF output beyond the default generic for IRs is time-consuming and tedious.

See the full presentation here:

APEX 5 Interactive Reports: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:  kcannell.GoodBadAPEXIR.presentation

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ODTUG Technical Journal – Searchable Content, Raise Your T!

For those who have not visited the ODTUG Technical Journal Corner lately, it’s time you start

The ODTUG website in general contains material from all our past conferences, plus years of excellent material from our expert columnists in Business Intelligence, PL/SQL, Oracle Tools, Fusion MIddleware, Hyperion, Essbase and more.  We have articles and updates from your favorite authors, such as Lucas Jellema on Fusion Middleware, Steven Feuerstein on (you guessed it) PL/SQL, , Mark Rittman on Business Intelligence,  and Tim Tow, Edward Roske and Tracy McMullen on Hyperion/Essbase topics.

Check out our two newest articles:

EPMA Tips and Tricks by Daniel Villani, Peloton

Is the classic method of building Essbase, Planning, HFM, and HPCM applications becoming too cumbersome? Are you tired of building hierarchies through flat files? Often, the process of loading dimensions and hierarchies to Planning and Essbase can be a time-consuming process and a maintenance nightmare! Enterprise Performance Management Architect (EPMA) is the leading tool, provided as part of the Oracle EPM Suite and designed to ease the burden of managing data and metadata for various application types between multiple Essbase, Planning, HFM, and HPCM Applications with common dimensionality.

and
Five Guiding Principles for Hyperion Code Standards and Documentation
by Sarah Zumbrum, Finit Solutions

In my decade-long quest to become a better Hyperion code writer, I have seen (and learned) some interesting things. I have seen some beautifully written code, some that I wondered how it worked, some so mangled I thought it would crash and burn if I dared put a space in the line, and some that technically worked but wasn’t efficient. What I have taken away from these experiences is that there should be standard set of code and documenting code so we don’t have to collectively wonder what a set of code is doing.

Watch the ODTUG Technical Journal Corner for upcoming posting of our 2014 Editor’s Choice Award winning article on NoSQL by Iggy Fernandez.

Never ever suffer from Low T – stop by ODTUG.com and the Technical Journal Corner for a quick T-fix.  For a bigger T boost, submit your article (or article ideas) to the ODTUG Technical Journal Corner – email kcannell@odtug.com for more info.

KScope 14 Wrap-up – APEX 5 Highlights

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I am just back from KScope14 in Seattle, WA – what a week. No “Low-T” here!

APEX 5.0 Early Adopter 2 was featured on Sunday by the Oracle APEX team, after which I was able to complete prep for my APEX Interactive Reports, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Revisited.  I demoed APEX 5 IR new features, including multiple IRs on a single page with links between those reports – we now have a simple way to quickly generate dashboard-like layouts.  The big news with IRs in APEX 5 is Change – there is a new scheme of classes and Id’s for the IR elements – the old apexir_* set are gone.  There is completely new jQuery widget that controls IRs – sooooo… any custom code – dynamic actions, plugins, javascript, whatever – that does not use the standard API’s will need to be refactored.  I’ll be posting more in APEX 5 Interactive Reports in the coming week.

There were many highlights – APEX 5, great sessions, an awesome party at EMP, great people.  A standout for me was seeing Mike Riley there, smiling, and receive the ODTUG Volunteer of the Year Award – Congratulations Mike!  To read more about Mike Riley, and his journey in life and with ODTUG, see the ODTUG Technical Journal Corner.Volunteer Spotlight by John King.

While there check out two articles on SQL Developer – one by Jeff Smith, on making your job easier with SQL Developer, and one from Galo Balda, Using SQL Developer to Work With GitHub.  Great stuff, by two great people.

 

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RMOUG  – Rocky Mountain Oracle User Group – 2013 is around the corner – check out the RMOUG 2013 Training Days for more information. I’ll be presenting on Tabular Form Terrors and How to Overcome Them – updated APEX tabular form information, with guidance on how to build some of those out-of-the-sandbox features that are not readily built by existing wizards and dynamic actions. See you there!

RMOUG 2012 Coming Up Feb 14-16,2012

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I will be speaking at RMOUG – the Rocky Mountain Oracle User Group annual Training Days February 14-16, 2012 in Denver CO.  This is a great conference – tons of learning packed into two full days.  Followed by a few of skiing, for those so inclined.

How to Load Data – Let me Count the Ways – This presentation reviews various data loading options for Oracle Application Express (APEX) applications, including the new Data Load wizard/component and the APEX Listener XLS upload. How hard, or easy, is it to use various data load options? Which works best for which incoming data types? You’ll learn the pros and cons of each, enough to make intelligent decisions for your data loading needs.

See the RMOUG website for more information on RMOUG Training Days 2012.

See you there!