Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Another New Addition

No, not anohter baby - one is more than enough!

A few weeks ago, Sumner Technologies welcomed Josh Millinger as employee #2. Josh also comes from Oracle, where he was for over 10 years prior to leaving. During his tenure there, Josh was responsible for managing the Oracle Partner Technology Center (now called the Oracle Enterprise Technology Center) in Reston, VA.

I have known Josh personally since the 1st day I moved to the Washington, DC area, and am thrilled that he has decided to jump the ship and take the plunge into the world of small business with me.

Banner Generator

I was writing an installation script today, and wanted to have a large banner displaying the product name as part of it. I fondly remember the UNIX banner command, where you could type "banner sumner" and get something like this:

###### ## ## ## ## ## ## ######## ########
## ## ## ## ### ### ### ## ## ## ##
## ## ## #### #### #### ## ## ## ##
###### ## ## ## ### ## ## ## ## ###### ########
## ## ## ## ## ## #### ## ## ##
## ## ## ## ## ## ## ### ## ## ##
###### ####### ## ## ## ## ######## ## ##
So I SSH'ed into a Linux machine to try to get the same result quickly & easily. No dice! Not to be deterred, I hit up Google and got this link: http://www.network-science.de/ascii/

Not only can I generate a banner as I did above, but you can get all kinds of fancy, like this:

___ _ _ _ __ ___ _ __ ___ _ __
/ __| | | | '_ ` _ \| '_ \ / _ \ '__|
\__ \ |_| | | | | | | | | | __/ |
|___/\__,_|_| |_| |_|_| |_|\___|_|

Or this:

_______ ______ ___ ____ ___ _____
/ ___/ / / / __ `__ \/ __ \/ _ \/ ___/
(__ ) /_/ / / / / / / / / / __/ /
/____/\__,_/_/ /_/ /_/_/ /_/\___/_/


Or even this:

.d8888b 888 888 88888b.d88b. 88888b. .d88b. 888d888
88K 888 888 888 "888 "88b 888 "88b d8P Y8b 888P"
"Y8888b. 888 888 888 888 888 888 888 88888888 888
X88 Y88b 888 888 888 888 888 888 Y8b. 888
88888P' "Y88888 888 888 888 888 888 "Y8888 888

Clearly, some of these are better than others, but I'm happy that there's a quick & easy way to create banners without a UNIX box!

Ajax Memory Tree Article on OTN

My article, "Building an Ajax Memory Tree" has finally been published on OTN. It was also picked up by Ajaxian today, and got decent reviews there!

In this article, I discuss how you can use ApEx & Ajax to create a new type of Tree. This Ajax-based tree is more lightweight than the built-in ApEx tree. You can also search for a node in my version, and have the Tree automatically expand to that node - something which the built-in ApEx Tree cannot do.

To give credit where credit is due, the basis for the Tree which I create in the article is based on Carl Backstrom's Ajax-based tree.

Monday, May 08, 2006

ApEx 2.2 Evaluation

Looks like the ApEx folks have an Evaluation Version of ApEx 2.2. Just got my credentials and was able to sign on.

At first glance, you will notice that the Application Builder pages have been given a face-lift:




There are also some new icons next to the "Run" icon for Comments, Page Locks, Export the Page, and Search.

Three new Themes have made it into Release 2.2: Blue Gray, Dark Blue, & Modern. I'm a fan of Blue Gray, but could take of leave the other two.

One of my favorite new features has to be the way report columns are re-ordered. Prior to Release 2.2, each time you wanted to move a column up or down, you had to submit the page. Now, thanks to some DHTML, you can easily and quickly move columns up and down. This alone will save me time on my use of the tool.

On that same page, each section has been moved to a DHTML "hide & show" region - no more scrolling to the lower depths of the page to set up CSV export! This approach was also implemented in the Region Attributes section as well.

A feature which I have been doing by hand has also been added. It's call Access Control. According to the New Features feedback page:

"When adding a new page to an applicaiton, APEX 2.2, now offers an Access Control Page option. Selecting this option creates 2 tables in your application schema, a screen to manage those tables, and authorization schemes that check the values of those tables. Together, these wizard-generated pieces allow you to declaratively add access control (authorization schemes) to your application."

There's some more features which I'll try to take a look at and report back on a little later. You can see what these and all of the new features are here. Raj from the ApEx team tells me that there will also be a New Features document shortly.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A New Addition


On Wednesday, April 27th, we welcomed Isabella Lillian Spendolini into the world. She was 7 lbs 7 oz and 20". Both mom and little Izzy are doing well.

All three of us have been trying to get some rest this week. Fortunately, Grandma is in town and has taken over pretty much all day to day tasks.