On July 18th, 2019, Dan Goerdt presented a webinar on using continuous integration and continuous delivery for Oracle APEX and related technology, like ORDS, SODA, and Database. If you missed it, it is now available on-demand! You can watch it here.
*WARNING: Spoilers ahead!*
The FlexDeploy APEX plugin gives you the power to automate the entire deployment process. This elimination of manual activities increases productivity for many different roles as they can now focus on their specific job. For example, automation allows developers to continuing doing what they do best: developing.
Dan explored the flexibility to deploy the entire application or individual pages! Through a demonstration of FlexDeploy, he showed the incorporation of continuous integration into various applications, examples of workflows, reusable pipelines, and more! Be sure to watch the recording.
Here are the questions and answers from the live event:
Q: Does FlexDeploy use Jenkins under the covers or is it required as a separate tool for the FlexDeploy continuous integration support?
A: No, FlexDeploy has full continuous integration capabilities so Jenkins is not required. Since it is built-in, it simplifies the problem space since automatic builds and deployments can be done without Jenkins. On the other hand, some customers are using it for certain technologies. We do have integration with Jenkins! So, there is a lot of flexibility with it and many other tools. The full list of plugins is available on our website.
Q: We are moving our databases to the Oracle Cloud, including the use of the Autonomous Database. Does FlexDeploy support APEX deployments to the Cloud?
A: Yes, whether you are running on prem, in the cloud, or some mixed version, our support works with APEX, including the Oracle Database plugin that was shown in the demonstration and JDBC. We are qualified with Oracle, including for running on the Autonomous Database. Everything covered in the demonstration will work on prem and in the cloud.
Q: Are plugins supplied out of the box or are they licensed individually?
A: To briefly describe how licensing and pricing works: There is a base set of capabilities in the tool, plus plugins packs that cover additional plugins and integrations. The base has all the features (like build, deploy and release) and all the visibility and control, with some additional plugins. Plugin packs are groups of related plugins. For example, we have a plugin pack for Database and related technologies. Another example is our Oracle Middleware pack which has all of the Fusion Middleware and the Cloud Platform services. All of this information is available for download via the licensing and pricing guide on our website.
Q: Is this tied to specific version of Database, APEX, and ORDS? What if Oracle changed the structures of APEX behind-the-scenes?
A: The Oracle APEX plugin supports version 4.x, 5.x, 18.x, and 19.1. The only exception is partial deployment (page/component level) requires 5.1.4+.
The most current version of the ORDS plugin has been fully tested with version 19.1, but version 18.x and 17.4 should work and will be supported by Flexagon. I believe we have customers using the older version of ORDS, and can verify that if it’s important to you.
The database plugins support Oracle 11g and 12c.
Specifically for APEX, there are Oracle API changes between the various versions supported by FlexDeploy, and the plugin manages them internally within the implementation. So no FlexDeploy changes are required by our customers when upgrading, for example, from 5.1.x to 19.1.
Q: If we have Oracle EBS customizations, can they be included in the same release as APEX, Database, and ORDS? For example, a report, PL/SQL, or AOL?
A: Yes. As we looked at APEX and friends, we showed 5-6 different technologies (i.e. FlexDeploy projects tied to those technologies), but you can include anything in a release. It could be open source, Node.JS, Docker, containers used for microservices, or non-Oracle related capabilities like Salesforce or Mulesoft. Pick your favorite technology (commercial OR open source), they all can be used in the release and pipeline capability shown.
Q: I think I understand the JDBC project and plugin, but I’m not sure how the Oracle Database plugin works. Can you clarify how that works and whether it supports rollback?
A: Basically, it takes an approach where you create baseline environments, so you might be using Toad or SQL Developer to modeling and change your baseline database. As you add columns, sequences, indexes, or the 20 or so object types that we support, you can then make your QA or production environment look like that. We do all of the synchronizations under the covers by generating and executing all the DDL. Some customers use the simulation feature because they want a DBA to review what FlexDeploy is going to do before they let it run. So, there is a simulation model for that. Overall, the Oracle DB plugin eliminates a lot of manual activities performed by the developers and DBA when managing Oracle DB scheme or structure changes.
Q: Is it possible to build physical release packages for releasing to external customers?
A: So physical release packages? Maybe this question is coming from an ISV or someone who has a software product that they ship. If so, we use FlexDeploy at Flexagon as part of our process for major releases, minor releases, fix packs, patches, and everything else, to generate all of those and a full version of FlexDeploy. We generate those to run with different runtimes like Tomcat or WebLogic and those that work with Oracle Database because we require a database. As part of our process, whether it’s a fixpack or a full new version, FlexDeploy produces a version of FlexDeploy and everything associated with it in a fully automated way so that it’s just ready to go. We do that for traditional artifacts and for containers.
If you missed the live event, the recording is available!
Be sure to check out our other on-demand and upcoming webinars!
Please contact [email protected] with any questions or concerns.