Thursday, September 2, 2010

Book review: Oracle Application Express 3.2 – The Essentials and More

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Language : English
Paperback : 644 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : June 2010
ISBN : 1847194524
ISBN 13 : 978-1-847194-52-7
Authors : Arie Geller, Matthew Lyon

 

 

In June, just before the official release of APEX 4.0 and #APEX4 Twitter messages popping up on my desktop every minute, I noticed a tweet from one of the authors of this book saying something like: “...bad timing…just released our book APEX 3.2 – Essentials and More …”. Well, I agree. Just looking at the books title, you might really think: Bad Timing. But, you should never just judge a book by its cover (or Title, in this case).

Just let´s forget about APEX 4.0 for a moment.

This book covers almost all aspects you probably will encounter when developing with APEX. The authors start the book explaining the concepts of APEX and explaining the “APEX Angle” of related (or required) technologies like HTML, CSS, Javascript and AJAX. Once the basics are covered, Application development with APEX is explained in great detail. And by this, I mean: In great detail! No OTN Hands-On like tutorials (step-by-step-click-through-without-further-explanation). Instead, sparse code samples, no more then necessary screenshots and lots, lots, lots of explanations. That´s exactly what I like about this book. It´s not a tutorial and more then just a reference. The authors explain the essence of developing with APEX and beyond. The book concludes in a “Best Practice” Chapter which I think is an excellent subject to finish.

Although the book covers almost all aspects, some aspects are covered just a bit too brief. The chapter about Themes an Templates, for example, is covering only the very basics and is not inviting to start creating a template or theme on your own. Extending APEX with JavaScript libraries like JQuery could have had more attention, as this is common practice nowadays.

I like this book. It is a great companion for ever APEX developer.

But what about the 3.2 / 4.0 bad-timing thing?

Well, there are still lots of environments and applications based on APEX 3.2. It will take a while until all those have been upgraded.  Apex 4.0 is a great step forward, but the basic principles are still the same as in 3.2. Almost all 3.2 techniques and functionality still is there. So this book will help you too when learning and developing in APEX 4.0. If you are aware of the new functionality and keep in mind that the screenshots and examples might look a bit different, this book is still a valid reference. Anyway, I don´t think you will find an APEX 4.0 book this extensive just yet.

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