Peeking behind the scenes…

It’s been a while since my last post but this is simply because I’ve never been so busy in my life. Both Peter, myself, and the team have been working long hours 7 days a week, but… today I’m taking a moment to breathe and give you some insight what’s happening behind the scenes within the formation of our new company FOEX GmbH.

It’s all about plugins

We have built (and continue to build) a framework of plugins called FOEX that is essentially a new foundation layer for APEX application development. We have been modularly building these plugins for over 12 months and constantly refactoring them to work cohesively together or independently. Using several plugins or the entire suite, developers can build rich internet applications backed by the Sencha Ext JS 4 UI library and Application Express. Visit tryfoexnow.com to keep an eye on our progress.

But plugins are just the beginning

My personal drive for building plugins is not for the achievement/reward of writing them, but to use them, and use them in multiple different ways. The ultimate goal is so we can achieve any complex development requirement thrown at us. Now that we have the first version of the framework almost ready, we can start building applications. This is the exciting part which allows us to see a whole range of different possibilities and understand where we still need to improve to make things even better than they currently are.

Framework Experiments

In order to document and use the plugins we are working on ways to demo their features in a real world usable way. One of the most usable ways we can think of is to build a new application to assist the current APEX builder and look for ways to help improve developer productivity whilst building applications using our plugins. Both Peter and myself are devoted SQL Developer users and we want to bring some of those GUI capabilities to APEX. Here’s a screenshot from our LAB of our FBuilder project that we’re designing to do just that! (and built using just our plugins in APEX)

APEX Builder Assistant

Inspiration has come from a lot of places, a special mention goes out to Noel Portugal for his OraTweet solution released a number of years ago… I hope Noel doesn’t mind us promoting his work and drawing inspiration from with our tweet deck inspired demo using our twitter and layout plugins.

Tweet Deck & Oratweet inspired sample page


To ensure we have the most secure plugins available we have formed an alliance with Recx Ltd but our partnership goes beyond that. We want people to build the most beautiful and secure applications possible, and to do that we want to evangelize how important security is and embed it within the cycle of your development process. But we aren’t security specialists and that’s why we called on the best in the business, Recx Ltd, to be part of a new era in APEX development setting a whole new standard.

Release Dates

It won’t be long before we’re releasing our new company website and opening an invitation up for interested parties willing to be involved in our hosted framework beta testing program, not dissimilar to apex.oracle.com, with a downloadable release to follow after completion of the beta trials. For those that have immediate project requirements we will be open to discussions to help get you moving ASAP before our official release launch.

Spreading the Word

Peter and I will both be at the Austrian User Group conference day in June, and will also be attending Kscope 12 and presenting. If your interested in what we are doing we urge you to come and meet us and talk with us. We’re both passionate about APEX development and want to plant the same seeds in you, that were planted in us.


The amount of work to get where we are has been huge, but it pales in comparison to the mountain that is ahead of us which we have started to climb. We’re on a long journey and sometimes we underestimate the amount of time it takes to get to the next base camp. The point to take away is that we’re always moving forwards and our first base camp is now in sight. We have an ambitious roadmap to bring new applications to life, release version 2.0, produce a Sencha Touch framework for APEX, introduce new modular solutions similar to interactive reports, the list goes on… and on…

So on a final note, as the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and it wasn’t…. but soon your applications might be ;-)

  1. Raoul says:

    Seeing the previews and reading what’s still ahead it makes me very exited. I can’t wait to start “playing” with it. But I do have one question. Will using the framework still give you the same freedom you have in the normal Apex environment (making your own plugins, templates, Javavscript, Ajax calls etc)?


    • mnolan says:

      Hi Raoul

      You will still build applications with the APEX builder, and use all the standard features. We are not taking anything away we are just adding to and enhancing. The framework consists of a tonne of plugins and a theme.

      The FBuilder app is currently just an expirment and a demo of the capabilities of the framework, we just made it useable to show you some really cool capabilities with the plugins, whilst adding some improvements over APEX’s SQL Workshop and the ability to have multiple APEX pages open at the same time. More details will follow and you’ll get a better understanding when you see it in the wild, which should be soon.


  2. This looks very exciting, and I wish you the best of luck on this venture! I can only imagine the hours you are putting in.. Look forward to more updates and previews!


  3. Johannes de Jong says:

    Hi Matt, I’ll make sure you product(s) will get exposure within the company I work for.


  4. gb says:

    I’m ready to start with a new project but i want to try your framework and I am looking forward to participate in your beta testing program asap.


  5. Claudio Palladini says:

    Truly a great job Matt!
    I follow your posts from when you worked for “E-DBA”.
    I’m an your fan!


    • mnolan says:

      Hi Caludio

      e-DBA days, wow that’s quite some tim ago now, thanks for your kind words.

      Things are going to get a whole lot better, I can’t wait to see what great jobs others like yourself can do with the framework once it’s released.