On March 30th the Dutch Oracle Users Group (OGh) held an event on APEX. At this event speakers explained what APEX is, how it is used and how you can get the most out of it yourself. As a bonus we got to see some more of the upcoming APEX 4.0 and even a hint on it’s possible release date.
Whitehorses was represented by a small delegation of Marcel van der Plas, Firoz Sahebdin and Michel van Zoest.
The day started with registration and the usual coffee, so we got to meet the other attendees. It was good to see that there was a big and mixed crowd of beginners and advanced APEX developers, some DBA’s and some clients.
After a word of welcome by Robin Buitenhuis, chairman of OGh, it was up to Kitty Spaas and Mark Rooijakkers of Centraal Boekhuis to start the day. They explained how their former J2EE environment was transformed into an APEX environment. They also told the audience some of the do’s and don’ts and even the things they would have done differently.
A very good presentation that gave us a lot of insight.
Next up was Patrick Wolf of Oracle Austria. As a member of the APEX development team, he gave a presentation on the new features of APEX 4.0.  He showed how plug-ins and dynamic actions work, how you can use the new tree view in the application builder and he told us a little bit about the APEX Listener.
The most important news however was, that Patrick hinted at a possible release date for APEX 4.0. For legal purposes he could not name a specific date, but we could see the attendance of the complete APEX Development team at ODTUG Kaleidoscope  in June as a big hint.
After the lunch the parrallel tracks started. Track 1 was a track for developers that are starting, or that want to start, to use APEX. This track involved presentations and a hands-on session.
Track 3 was a collection of customer cases. In these presentations held by developers and clients, it was shown how APEX was used to build applications for different customers.
But track 2; Masters of APEX, was of most interest to us. In this track we could see how developers used APEX’s authentication and authorization together with Virtual Private Database (VPD), to create a SaaS-like application.
The second presentation in this track was by Dimitri Gielis, one of the well-known APEX guru’s. He took us on another trip through APEX 4.0 and showed us the new features that Patrick Wolf didn’t have time for. Thanks to his enthousiastic way of speaking, this was a very interactive session that went way out of schedule. But nobody seemed to mind, because of the interesting subject.
Dimitri showed us Websheets; the Excel killer, a new way to involve the business in APEX. Next to that he explained Team Development, showed us his development software stack and gave a lot of tips and tricks to use when developing APEX applications.
All in all an excellent day, we learned a lot and we were able to speak to many people with a passion for APEX.