From the Editor
Try the ToolsBy Tom Haunert
Oracle Technology Network serves up the tools, the ACEs, and the interaction.
With a little help, I recently finished rebuilding a stairway that connects my house to my backyard. This was a low-priority project that I had decided to tackle with the tools I had, rather than investing in new ones; I didn't want more tools that I might never use again, and I already had more tools than garage space.
Some knowledgeable people helped me with the project, offering suggestions about a variety of things. My own slow progress and their descriptions of tools that would save time finally inspired me to make the project a high priority and get the equipment I needed to finish the job quickly.
After buying several expensive new tools, I quickly finished the backyard stairs, making good use of some of the new tools and underusing others. My next project is an obvious one: creating new storage for the tools in my garage.
The Developer Garage
My latest power tool investments have increased my appreciation for the process of trying and using software tools. Software development tools may take up some space, but with the size of today's hard disks, it would take a lot of tools to fill your "developer garage." Additionally, with tools such as Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle SQL Developer, you can install and easily continue to use multiple releases, including the latest production and technology preview or early adopter releases. And if space or managing multiple versions of the same tools is an issue, there are hosted instances of tools such as Oracle Application Express (apex.oracle.com) that allow you to use the latest production release along with the latest beta or preview release (when available).
Software tools have another advantage over physical tools in that you can easily try themfor freebefore you buy them. The Oracle products available on OTN (otn.oracle.com/software) come with a standard development license that allows you to use full versions of the products for free both for self-educational purposes and while developing and prototyping your applications. This makes Oracle development tools free to download and free to learn, and the evaluation period is unlimited. (Some Oracle development tools offer an even better license. Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle SQL Developer, for example, are free, without the self-education or development restrictions.)
Information on all Oracle products and technologies is available on OTN, including best-practices information and how-to articles. And when you are ready to share your experience and recommendations about the Oracle products you have tried, there are many ways to interact with Oracle ACEs, technology experts, and users through the discussion forums, blogs, the Oracle Wiki, and one of the newest information exchange vehicles, Oracle Mix.
The Developer Magazine Rack
This is the annual developer issue of Oracle Magazine, and I'm happy to report that the Oracle tools discussed in this issue are available for download, self-educational purposes, developing and prototyping applications, and more through OTN. Note that in Christian Shay's "It Takes All Types" (page 55)about using the new release of Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studiotrial versions of the referenced third-party software are available, but there may be restrictions on the evaluation period and the number of times that a trial product can be installed.
The cover of this issue of Oracle Magazine is a true composite application. The "Developer Nation" cover features pictures of more than 100 Oracle ACEs.
Is your picture on this cover? If you are not yet an Oracle ACE, learn more about the Oracle ACE program and the nomination process at oracle.com/technetwork/community/oracle_ace.
Tom Haunert, Editor in Chief