Did You Know? -- September 2000

By Hervé Deschamps, Oracle Corporation.



Oracle 9i Application Server

Just as Oracle8i manages all your data, Oracle9i Application Server (Oracle9i AS) runs all you applications. For Internet and intranet applications, Oracle9i Application Server offers the most innovative and comprehensive set of middle-tier services. These include: turbocharging Web sites with a combination of web caching plus database caching; enabling mobile devices through wireless access; deploying enterprise portals around a framework offering unified management and security; widening access to business intelligence with integrated reporting and querying; hosting forms-style back-office applications; and much more.

Latest information available on Technet.

8i Admin

This is not news anymore but it was so cool to do it in a real situation for the first time:
alter table budget
drop column surplus;
When I think of what I had to do in the past:

  1. save data in backup mirror table
  2. drop table budget
  3. create new table budget with on less column
  4. write a script to transfer data from mirror table to the new budget table
  5. drop mirror table
Vive Oracle!!!

Wireless Technologies

The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is an open, global specification that empowers mobile users with wireless devices to easily access and interact with information and services instantly.
What is WAP?
WAP is the Wireless Access Protocol, a set of industry standards for wireless data communications.
What is WML?
WML is an industry standard Wireless Markup Language, a markup language specially designed for certain microbrowsers available on cell phones and other wireless devices. Currently, the latest release is WML 1.1, though the origins of the language date back to HDML.
You can get the specifications about all this and more at http://www.wapforum.org/what/technical.htm#Approved

Want to use your cell phone to receive emails for free? Do you have a digital phone? It does not have to be web enabled. If you do check out this web site http://www.oraclemobile.com/ to find what the email address of your phone is. With AT&T I did not even know that my phone could receive email messages!!! It turns out that 3056137217@mobile.att.net is me!!!

How can Palm users access Portal-to-Go services?
First, Palm 7 users can't access the web. They access Palm's own stuff., not the web, so you can't just browse to a Portal-to-Go server. To get any content on Palm 7, Portal-to-Go or not, you need a business relationship with Palm. Anything with a regular modem/browser access to the web can access Portal-to-Go. For things like Palm 3 with modem, then you can get a variety of browsers, WAP and HTML. You just need to configure an appropriate transformer, such as Tiny HTML.

What's POSE?
American people love acronyms! POSE means Palm OS Emulator. There are lots of messages about this on the Pantech email list.

WAP and WML Special

It's estimated that by the year 2002 there will be over 800 million wireless users around the world. Eventually all wireless tools will come equipped with WAP as standard issue. That's a lot of possible viewers for your website. The problem is that wireless net-surfers will not be able to access your HTML-driven site.  Their devices can only read sites built in (get ready for another acronym!) WML.

WML stands for "Wireless Markup Language." (Are you taking notes here?) So if you presently have a website built in HTML and you want mobile users to be able to view it, you'll need to make another version of it in WML. The good news is that WML is not hard to learn and can be picked up easily. Plus, there are plenty of sites online that will teach you everything you'll ever want to know about this new technology.  Some of the better ones are:


Learn what WAP is (and isn't), how to write WAP "cards" (not pages"), and best of all, you'll find some free software you can download to make your own WAP site. Free.


Contains Wap articles, links, tools and more. Make sure you stop in the developers area for all kinds of webmaster tools for creating your own WAP pages.


A ton of helpful information here: leaning WML, books, where you can
host your new WAP sites and more.


100% wireless application development: archives, news, books, and more. Sign up for their helpful newsletter to keep abreast of what's going on in this new field.

As far as building your WAP site you can download free software or use an online editor available at some websites.


WAPPage 1.0 is an  extensive and  powerful design  tool for WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) Sites.


WAP publishing tool for cellular mobile WAP phones.

Nokia has jumped into the arena by offering "The Nokia WML Studio". A free download that adds on to Dreamweaver to create WML content from within Dreamweaver's interface. Get it at: http://www.macromedia.com/software/downloads/ and click on the extensions for Dreamweaver.

For hosting your new wireless-enabled site, check out:

http://www.hoiley.com/  Offering a variety of free services

http://www.tagtag.com/  Build and host your site for free.

http://wappy.to  The first online WAPsite builder complete with hosting.

Keep in mind that the viewing area on a mobile device is a whole lot smaller than that of a computer monitor. So you need to be short and concise. Plan on about 10 text lines per WAP "card" (instead of "page.") Due to slow transmission speeds typically 14.4 to 19.6 Kbps you need to keep text and graphics down to bare minimum.

Wireless phones use "microbrowsers" to surf the web so you need to make sure the web cards in WML look good on a wireless device. But what if you don't have that kind of luxury? No problem, hop over to http://www.wapdrive.net and you'll find something called "The Wapalizer" that will allow you to look at any WAP site using your regular browser. Just type in the URL and a new window opens up that imitates a mobile phones interface. You can browse through the entire site to make sure everything will be viewed correctly by your mobile guests.


A few essential basics:

For the old school people: Not so obvious stuff: In Java for loops can do several inits and several increments:
  for (i=0, node = head, i < count && node != null; i++, node = node.next ) { .... }

The String class has a cool method: equalsIgnoreCase which compares 2 strings and ignore case differences.

There is a really cool Java package that contains a number of classes that will let you examine any class in detail at runtime. The package name is java.lang.reflect. Why is this very powerful? Because it enables you to do really generic coding (very re-usable) by forming the first step for you to dynamically create and manipulate objects. You could write an application that interprets code written by a user and turn it into real classes, invoke its methods, etc. That comes in handy for dynamic business rules type of stuff.

Another extremely usefull feature of OO programming is the concept of an abstract class. Abstract classes let you define only part of a class and provide a shell for the rest, to be extended by sub classes. This is great stuff for defining templates.

Methods declared as final are good for security (final methods cannot be extended by a sub class) but bad for re-use.


A classic on Software Engineering: The Decline and Fall of the American Programmer.  Ed Yourdon. Yourdon Press, 1993. According to the author, many veteran programmers in the U.S. are seeing their jobs being outsourced to other countries; and unless things change, this situation can only worsen. Here, Yourdon shows how U.S. software organizations can survive and become world-class if they exploit the key software technologies of the 1990s. 'View this book as a Tom Peters-style search for excellence in the software world. Be prepared to be angered. Be prepared to be confronted. Be prepared to change.'--Raymond Cote, Byte Magazine, July 1992.


Live Demo of Oracle Designer Web Assistant 6.0
Running on an Application Server in The Netherlands, this is a live demo of the Oracle Designer Web Assistant, providing an overview of all its functionality.

Hervé Deschamps is a Technical Manager with Oracle Corporation. Over the years he has developed a number of applications using Oracle Development Tools and others.  He has an extensive experience of all phases of the development life cycle. He is also known in the technical community for his article publications centered around best custom development practices and for his user group presentations. You can reach him by e-mail at herve.deschamps@.oracle.com. He also maintains a web site full of articles, scripts, tips and techniques at http://www.iherve.com.