Introducing the Oracle RAD Stack
From apex.oracle.com: "The Oracle RAD stack is an inclusive technology stack based on three core components: Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS), Oracle APEX, and Oracle Database".
There is no new technology here but creating a logo and a compelling story for these technologies will help in attracting new developers and customers to APEX and ORDS. It will also give the existing community a catchy logo to identify with.
In testing, one open source tool that stood out was the APEX Test Automation Framework (ATAF). ATAF queries APEX Metadata for information about the Apps you are testing and allows you to build test scripts that generate Selenium code. The tool then allows you to deploy that selenium code to Cloud Based Selenium Grids which will run the tests and record results. Having an automated testing solution allows you to greatly increase the number of tests you can run and removes much of the pain and cost from regression testing.
Continuous Integration / Delivery
There was more than one presentation on Jenkins this year. Jenkins is an open source tool that offers a simple way to set up a continuous integration or continuous delivery environment for almost any combination of languages and source code repositories using pipelines, as well as automating other routine development tasks. While Jenkins doesn’t eliminate the need to create scripts for individual steps, it does give you a faster and more robust way to integrate your entire chain of build, test, and deployment tools than you can easily build yourself.
Oracle again demonstrated Application Blueprints. Application Blueprints are APEX's Low Code solution. Building from last year, this technology now allows you to create simple applications directly from your data model. This makes Quick SQL in conjunction with Application Blueprints a powerful combination. Low Code is certainly an area of focus for the APEX team and we expect to see more in this area in upcoming releases.
If you factor in the emergence of browser technologies that enable Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) we are fast approaching the time when we don't need to rely on containerization to deploy mobile web apps.
Oracle Database 18c XE
We believe this new release of Oracle XE, which is free to use (even in production), opens the door for some new and creative open source products/solutions.
While I am on the subject of the Oracle Autonomous Database, Mike Hichwa from Oracle shared the following interesting factlet: To test the automated indexing functionality of the autonomous database, Oracle dropped all of the indexes on a NetSuite ERP environment. They then let the autonomous database autogenerate indexes and performance returned to within 2% of the manually tuned environment. Given this is a pre-production release of the database, we can expect even better in the production version.
- APEX Static File CDN Oracle will start hosting APEX static files on a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This would not only remove some of the burden of hosting these files from your Tomcat and ORDS server but should also significantly improve performance for users located long distances from your data center.
- APEX MOOC Oracle plans to start an APEX massively open on-line course (MOOC) in FY 2018. This will help bring on the next generation of APEX developers.
- New APEX Certifications For those of you who enjoy exams, APEX certifications are coming back in FY 2018.
- Near Zero downtime APEX upgrades are also on the horizon. With APEX releases coming fast and furious this will be a big help to service level agreements. In fact, this functionality is being prompted largely by Oracle's need to maintain SLAs in the cloud.
On a related note, an ODTUG membership gives you access to a lot of the sessions. So, if you are not a member of ODTUG then why not?
Jon Dixon (Co-Founder JMJ Cloud)