Apex beats Access

This year I became part of the parents council of my childrens school. And like every small organisation in Belgium (football clubs, gymnastics, schools, …) it is the time of year to do the annual mussel-event for fund raising (mmm, delicious). My school happened to use an Access-IIS-ASP application to do the billing when people leave the event (do the calculation for their food and drink consumptions). But o fortuna, the evening before the event, the application turned out to systematically crash when entering data, and murphy oh murphy, the author of it had just become father and could not be reached. Panic of course.

Wasn’t it that I happened to have an old laptop with Oracle XE (and hence Apex) installed and I said: give me two hours. The data model was very simple: one table with all food, drinks and prices, a second table for the history of all orders and payments and then some screens calculating amounts multiplied by price and summing it up.

And then you see how great Apex is. In two hours indeed, I could make a fully functional, nice looking and robust application with an operational and an admin part, including various reports. It worked like a charm and the school team was astounished that such a core part of their administration could be made in such little time. Considering the alternative they would have considered otherwise (Excel, not keeping any history of all consumptions, so preventing us to plan our inventory for next year), this was a great solution. I hope it may open the way for more Apex applications in the school, because Apex is really a great tool.

P.S. I won’t use my blog for not telling that I won’t go to OOW with no flight number and not staying in any hotel, as I think that it is quite a waste of bandwidth spending complete blog posts on the practical arrangements of OOW trips. I am really waiting for the real technical posts and experiences of all those people there.

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