Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New website released based on Apex and XE

A few days ago, I have relaunched my company website at www.opal-consulting.de . This is a major redesign regarding the layout and the underlying technology.

How else could I possibly build my own website if not using Oracle Application Express and Oracle XE? I guess it has come out pretty well and it looks nice.

For now it is only in German, some English pages might follow in the future.
Here are some screenshots of my site:





I think it is sometimes necessary to showcase some really nice looking app in order to get a customer to "buy into" the underlying technology. In the end, this is all what the end-user "sees".

We (as developers) all know that Apex is "just" another framework with a rendering engine like so many others written in Java, C##, Perl, PHP, ... , you name it.

You can easily change the complete layout and/or integrate any 3rd party javascript library or other extension like all the other web frameworks out there. It is really versatile and extensible.
It is just that so many people *only* think of the standard sample application and the little tiny apps they do in the workshops. They think you are completely tied to this look and feel. But you aren't!

Hopefully, the look and feel of my site will make some people think differently about Apex!!!


I hope you like it :), comments are welcome!

Regards,
~Dietmar.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice site.

Anonymous said...

Very nice site indeed. However do you know if a site like this is indexable by Google? The links in the menu are based on javascript and Submit requests (however the links are repeated on the homepage in the "Navigation" portlet as 'normal links', so that might be ok). But alink like "http://www.opal-consulting.de/apex/f?p=107:3:292962382480732::NO::P3_IT_ID:21", would that be followed by search engines?...

daust_de said...

Hi "anonymous",

I haven't spent much time on this issue. Patrick Wolf mentioned this, too.

I guess I would use the "session 0" feature of Apex 3 and rewrites with Apache.

We use the following rewrite to reach the relevant training pages directly, which can be indexed by google.

RewriteEngine On
## direkter Rewrite auf die Schulung
RewriteRule ^/training$ http://%{SERVER_NAME}:%{SERVER_PORT}/apex/f?p=107:5:0 [R,L]
RewriteRule ^/training/oracle_apex_advanced$ http://%{SERVER_NAME}:%{SERVER_PORT}/apex/f?p=107:7:0 [R,L]

Also, I am thinking of rewriting the application to replace f?p=&APP_ID.:&APP_PAGE_ID.:&APP_SESSION. with f?p=&APP_ID.:&APP_PAGE_ID.:0 .

That should do the trick.

Regards,
~Dietmar.

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that Oracle XE was single-user. Does using application express on a publicly exposed website comply with the XE license? This is something that's always confused me about XE (especially where APEX is concerned).

daust_de said...

Hi "anonymous",

no, this is absolutely legal!!! This is the big deal about Oracle Express Edition (XE). It is absolutely free to be used in any production environment!!!

You only have to comply to the restrictions:
- 1GB RAM max.
- 4GB Userdata max.
- Uses only 1 CPU
- Only one instance per machine running

These requirements are checked by Oracle itself at runtime. So you cannot do anything wrong.

Oracle XE ships with a preinstalled version 2.1 of Apex, but it is legal to install 3.0.1 on top of it.
http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database/application_express/html/3.0.1_and_xe.html

Have fun and enjoy :).
~Dietmar.

Patrick Wolf said...

Dietmar,

again congrats from my side. Your site is a real good showcase to demonstrate how the APEX look and feel can be changed. You should request to add it to the Internet Apps section on OTN.

Greetings
Patrick

daust_de said...

Hi Patrick,

thanks :).

And yes, I have already sent a request to David yesterday ;).

Regards,
~Dietmar.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dietmar, great tip. I'll try it out.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Great looking site!

I'm interested in what components you have used to deploy the site.

Do you use the native xdb http-server with mod_plsql that ships with XE?

Do you have Apache in front? (and if so, what configuring steps do you have to employ, redirects and such)?

Regards,
Haavard