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Chris - thats the price you pay for being contencious! ;o)
Personally my view is, you're going to have as much luck with this argument as with "What the best colour for your car". Everyone has their own opinion, there are too many factors that influence decisions (and lets face it if you have spent a fortune on a blue car you probably won't be praising the virtues of anything else) and to be honest, web forums are about the worst place to debate this question anyway..
To try and settle the dust on this, we (Oracle) are publishing a paper about the tools choices...it should be out in ODTUG journal soon (and will also be published externally as well).
My parting shot on this question is always - if you are doing DIY would you argue that its best to have only a hammer, screwdriver or saw??....or would you prefer to have a nice tool belt that holds all three and you choose the best one for the job at hand?
And here I was thinking in my original post I'd insulted DBAs too much, but instead I was mugged by Apex programmers!
I still think my original point is valid and somewhat lost. I didn't mean to imply JDev was better than Apex, or tech X better than Y, but that JDev is better for your career path because of the extra learning curve and the concepts you're exposed too. Anyway that's what I get for posting on the Internet like Frank says.
Grant, thanks for the hint, I've un-"accountized" the comments section on my blog. I would appreciate a comment from you on the blog if you have time.
Visual Cobol hey?..... surely that's better than Apex? ;)
Next time I'll just write a post taking the mikey out of DBAs I think. Safer ground.
Thanks for your help gang.
no, no - don't step back to safer discussions. There are enough boring discussion on the web where all participants share the same opinion but attempt to have an argumentation nevertheless. I am sure you will meet a lot of people during conferences you go that will continue this discussion after you introduced yourself ;-)
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I agree with the others that having an 'X versus Y' discussion is always going to be fraught with dangers, since most people will have a natural bias or viewpoint that is often hard to shake.
I think it was the 'better for your career path' that really flared my nostrils (along with many of the other APEX developers), since that really is an unfounded piece of logic (in my opinion), I have certainly not experienced any downsides to my career since I was first exposed to APEX, also as I pointed out on your blog, any developer worth their salt should learn new concepts no matter what tool they're using.
JDev, with "well trained" developers, can produce some pretty slick programs.
However, the big caveat is "well trained". To many java apps out there have been implemented by un-"well trained" developers.
I personally don't have a year or two to sit down and become highly proficient in JDev or other java "technologies". I personally try to avoid any and all java applications as much as I can, since I usually have problems with them eventually. My own opinion is that Oracle started getting overly complicated and more error prone just on simple things once they started embracing java for (almost) everything.
But, since I do have to deal with Oracle, I'm real glad they created a free tool like ApEx, so I can still be productive in one of my many assigned tasks. I really don't think there's to many places in Government that just have dedicated development groups sitting doing nothing but development work. Most of us IT folks are in drastically down-sized environments, and trying to do the work that 6 or more previously did, everything from DBA work to development to end-user support and configuration.
If I was young, underworked, had plenty of free time to learn java, and wanted to make lots of money, then I'd have to agree with you and go the java route. But, I'm not young, and have no free time, and I'm making sufficient money to keeps things running (fairly) smoothly, while still still getting an occasional chance now and again to develop an app for my users or even myself to make our lives easier.
My organization has mandatory training classes we take on-line each year. All they do is display a series of web pages, ask a few questions, then record the userid and percent correct in a database. This is an extremely simple app that could be done in a couple days max with Apex. Instead, some salesperson talking to somebody in high management said a magic buzz-word, "Java", and the manager's eyes glazed over as he agreed to a couple thousand dollar contract to display those web pages in a java wrapper. The only thing the "java" part did was display a web page. No computations, no fancy interactive graphing, no real-time feeds, etc. I sure would have like to have made a percentage of that contract for as simple as it was and as easy as I could have done that with ApEx.
As others have said, the right tool for the job. Working under pressure with tight deadlines, ApEx usually works great. Working for somebody else with a huge supply of money? Offer them a java solution, chances are all they know about java is the name, and they won't realize it could be done faster and cheaper (usually) with something else.
Geez, I thought I'd be safe in the JDev OTN forums ;) Next post is in Sun's Java forums! Follow me if you dare >:)
(Or for the H3ll of it, lets just take this whole discussion to the RoR forums and all get beaten to a bl**dy pulp)
I dunno about the Java angle Bill. I've recently worked with 3 sites that have adopted JDev, they're not Java programmers (ex-Forms programmers), and 2 of those sites have successfully implemented systems (the other still in progress) in pretty short time frames. Specifically Java hasn't been the bugbear everybody makes it out to be because basically, the 10.1.3 ADF framework has made it fairly easy for them to just hook small pieces of code in (see Patrick Wolf's recent comment on my blog) without having to be "well trained" Java programmers. So I guess what I'm trying to say here is just because JDeveloper is a Java IDE, don't associate all the Java biases to go along with it to the solutions it can deliver.
However, there is a single message coming out of most of the Apex programmers and this is "simple" and I can't clearly argue that with JDev/ADF from personal experience. Without a doubt that's an important message with the added edge its from direct experience from both camps. When I get time in the next couple of weeks as promised on the blog I'd like to summarise the view points of both camps, hopefully with more input from you all. I'm sure there are a whole bunch of programmers sitting on the sidelines who'd just like a good old comparison, and an independent point of view too, so everybody's input here is very valuable.
I also think this whole discussion is important from another angle too. In watching my blog web counter stats, a new Google search term has appeared in the logs since my, um, unfortunate post ;) That search term is: "Is Oracle development dying?" Makes you think doesn't it? At minimum, the perception is out there. Be nice to show that the traditional Forms programmers can certainly leap into new areas such as JDev!.... and, ah, (ha!) Apex of course ;)
For all the posters here, and on my blog, I'd like to via email to contact you all for input on the next blog entry. If you'd like to participate (and please do), please email me at subs/at/ccmlabz/net.
Feel free to continue the discussion here of course.
Right, I'm off to the RDBMS forum to say that Thomas Kyte has it all wrong and SQL Server is best!
You can find some older comments here (although they are not explicitly about the "career path" point of view):
"ADF or Application Express"
ADF or Application Express
"Application Express or ADF"
Application Express or ADF
For example, it leads to these "data centric comments" by Billy Verreynne:
Re: Install Questions
Thanks for those post links. I love Paul's comments, he doesn't mince words does he. His Thick DB posts on the ODTUG Java list last year were a good read. Discussions we need to have IMHO.
I think I have enough material now to write some interesting discussion blog entries. I hope a few of the posters to this thread will take time out to contact me by email to help participate in the blog entries. My feeling is to take this off line, as I want to ask lots of questions, and write some summary blog entries which everybody can peer review... maybe even get a Select article out of it or 2.
If you'd like to participate, please email subs/at/ccmlabz/net