Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ladies and gentleman: start your engines!

I'm happy to announce the official start of Call for Papers for our 5th edition of DOAG APEX Connect. Until 8-NOV, everybody can submit their abstract for a 45 minute presentation (incl. Q&A) about Oracle Application Express, SQL, PL/SQL or JavaScript. The conference will take place in Bonn from 07-MAY up to 09-MAY at the flashy Kameha Grand Hotel. As a presenter, you will get free entrance during the whole conference including all DOAG events that take place.
If you are not sure what it takes to submit a compelling abstract, I suggest you have a look at our guide: Eleven steps to a succesful submission of your presentation. I encourage everybody to submit an abstract, as it is a great experience to be part of the conference as a presenter.

Due to time constraints, Christian Schwitalla and Peter Raganitsch had to gave up their seat in the conference committee. All I can say is: THANK YOU for your hard work in your spare time and making APEX Connect to what it is! +1

Let me take this opportunity to welcome our newest members in the conference committee: Sabine Heimsath will cover the SQL & PL/SQL track and Tobias Arnhold the APEX track. Together with Kai Donato (JavaScript) and Simone Fischer (Project Lead) we are determined to bring APEX Connect 2019 to the next level. A sneak preview of what we have planned will be uncovered at the DOAG conference in Nürnberg, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Get ready for APEX Connect 2018!

APEX Connect 2018 will take place from 24 till 26 April in Düsseldorf. We have worked hard to make this the best edition yet and when looking at the conference schedule, it sure looks like it!

Let me give you an overview of what will await our attendees:

- 66 normal sessions of each 45 minutes covering APEX, SQL, PL/SQL, JavaScript and UX

- 4 keynote speakers: Connor Mc Donald covering PL/SQL, Golo Roden covering JavaScript and Marc Sewtz/Carsten Czarski covering APEX

- 1:1 sessions with the experts: your chance to personally give them feedback about SQL, PL/SQL, APEX and JavaScript or to just get in touch with them

- New: a whole day training for beginners on the first day. Just have a look at the amazing line up of trainers: https://programm.doag.org/apex/2018/#/schedule?search=apex%20for%20beginners

- New: a special program for students, where they get free access and special sessions to get them up and running with the best technology for building data-centric web apps on this planet

- New: a "World Café" format on the third day - discuss various topics in groups that are presented afterwards.

- New: APEX Lightning Talks - various APEX experts will talk about features you have probably never heard of before

Since this is Connect, it is (also) about getting people together and give them a great time. This year, our special event on the second day will take place in the Apollo theater, which is reserved exclusively for conference attendees. After enjoying dinner and show, we will get together at the bar before a bus will take us back to the hotel again. Party people will have the option to go into town and party on in bars you normally wouldn't be. ;)

So, what are you waiting for? Get your ticket at apex.doag.org!

Friday, May 19, 2017

DOAG APEX Connect 2017 and beyond

First of all, I would like to thank all people that were involved in the making of APEX Connect. We all know that it takes tremendous amount of (private) time to pull this off. Also, a big “thank you” goes to all sponsors and attendees to make this all possible. I truly love this community.

In 2017, we had around 300 attendees at APEX Connect, which I find great. I personally believe that APEX Connect will not grow as rapidly and it doesn’t need to. As the name implies, Connect is all about bringing the APEX community together and learning from each other, both personally and technically. For me, it feels like a small family that is having a reunion.

This edition of Connect was a blast and I received a lot of positive feedback from the community through different channels:

“APEX Connect is one of the best APEX and Oracle Database Developer conferences on the planet.  I thought the quality of the sessions was very high and the topics were very diverse beyond APEX, including SQL, ORDS and Database Development (and even Docker!).  It was also impressive that you had presenters from so many countries - England, Netherlands, USA, Canada, Poland, Belgium, Finland, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and others.  It was a fascinating collection of cultures and people coming together, and this is a community that I'm very proud to be a part of.  Many thanks to you and the entire DOAG organization for making this happen. Oh...and for the record, I loved that it was in Berlin and at a modern hotel like the nhow.  There is such a high energy in Berlin and I think it's an exciting place for the APEX community to convene.” - Joel Kallman

“It was great being at APEX Connect - I was impressed by the variety and depth of the sessions that were offered, there’s definitely a lot to learn at APEX Connect, even if you’re an experienced APEX developer. And of course it was great seeing everyone and catching up.” - Marc Sewtz

“Niels, thanks again for inviting me to speak at this year's APEX Connect--or should I say this: āˈpěks kəˈnekt. I had a blast.” - Bryn Llewellyn

“It was a pleasure to personally meet you all at #APEXconn17! Great #orclapex event, great people!” - Bartosz Ostrowski

“Thanks a lot to @nielsdb and the @DOAGeV team for the great #APEXConn17” - Alain Lacour

The quality of the presentations was at a high level and presenters got the possibility to receive feedback from their audience through a nice APEX app. Even though we were in Berlin again, this city has a lot to offer and some took some private time before or after the conference to explore it. The venue in Berlin still appeals to me, but going forward we will rotate between locations. So, next stop will be in a new venue in Düsseldorf.

The presentations from national and international speakers received great feedback. We are always looking for speakers and particularly for first-time speakers -  so think about submitting a paper for the next APEX Connect conference! Before submitting, have a look into Scott Spendolini's blog posting (URL) with some great advice, how a good paper submission should look like:


We got some feedback and had some vital discussions on conference pricing, particularly on the prices for end users vs. IT-service providers. I would like to take the opportunity to explain the guidelines a bit, which DOAG uses to calculate conference prices. DOAG does not strive to make profit out of APEX Connect, but makes sure that all costs are covered. The necessary income for APEX Connect comes partly from the membership fees, but mainly from the events held throughout the year. At the end of the year, all costs of DOAG have to be covered. If there is a surplus, this money is then reinvested in future events or IT-infrastructure. With APEX Connect, there was a surplus, but only because the costs for staff was not accounted for. If you would take into consideration the number of working hours put into this event from DOAG staff, believe me, there is no surplus. Even worse, DOAG takes the risk of such a conference. So, if for some reason, only 200 people would have attended, DOAG will take the bill for this.

This year, DOAG tried to take the IT-service providers more accountable, so that we can keep the pricing down for users coming from end-customers. DOAG already made very good experiences with this new pricing model from other events. However, with APEX Connect, there were also many questions from IT service providers. The Executive Board of DOAG will evaluate these and reconsider the pricing model if necessary.

So now the work starts over again to make APEX Connect in 2018 even better. If you would like to participate in the organisation of this great event, just drop me an e-mail. Also, I’m always open for suggestions, so let me know by e-mail what you think of the conference and how we can further improve it.

BTW: all uploaded APEX Connect slides are freely available with just one mouse click:


Yes, it’s true, you don’t have to be a DOAG member or register to gain knowledge about APEX! Many thanks to DOAG for this kind gesture.

CU at APEX Connect in 2018.

Friday, September 30, 2016

APEX Connect 2017 stays pink!

After a superb APEX Connect 2016 in our pink NHOW hotel in Berlin, DOAG decided to go over there in 2017 as well. But wait, didn't Niels tell us at APEX Connect 2016 that we look out for Munich? Well, we did. We searched the whole city for suitable locations and actually found one: the Leonardo hotel. This fancy location was perfect for Connect 2017, so we asked for an offer. Unfortunately, the place was a lot more expensive than Berlin was (actually Munich is more expensive in general). So we asked ourselves: "Would you be willing to pay many Euros extra just to be in Munich instead of Berlin?". In the end, we said “no”. Combined with the commitment of the NHOW hotel that they will replace all existing beamers in the rooms with full HD ones, the choice was made in favor of Berlin. To make a long story short:

I'm pleased to announce that APEX Connect 2017 will be held from 9-MAY to 11-MAY in NHOW hotel in Berlin!

Those of you who would like to present, you can now submit your abstract here: http://apex.doag.org.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

APEX 5.0 – more than just about productivity

The development of version 5 of the Rapid Application Development (RAD) product Oracle Application Express (APEX) is well under way now and I’m looking forward to work with the first early adopter release. The main focus of APEX 5.0 is to enhance developer productivity, as you can read in the statement of direction. This is mainly achieved by introducing the Page Designer, which will allow developers to quickly create APEX pages in a browser in a way that was previously only seen in an IDE locally installed. Compared to previous versions of APEX, this feature will save a lot of time to developers. But APEX 5.0 is more, much more. In my belief, APEX 5.0 will convince many customers to start using it also to build enterprise web applications with it. Multiple Interactive Reports and multiple tabular forms on a single page, improved wizards and support for master-detail-detail forms are some of the many features upcoming that will make APEX not only a RAD-tool used for small business solutions, but also to implement enterprise-class desktop or mobile applications. I’m looking forward to it.