Monday, April 16, 2012

The Gauntlet has been Thrown Down

Think you have what it takes to create an APEX plug-in? Well get to it! At this point there's about one month left in the Application Express Plug-in Competition. That’s just under four weeks to plan, develop, and package up your plug-in. Believe it or not, that’s more than enough time.

I've talked to a few people about entering in the competition and their responses were similar - they are worried that they don’t know enough to pull it off.  If you feel the same way I strongly encourage you to reconsider and get started today. One of the best ways to learn is by doing and when you release an APEX plug-in, you not only help yourself, you help the community as well.

Perhaps you have the knowledge but don’t know where to start or what to create… Well I can help you there! I have lots of ideas but, sadly, very little time to bring them to life. Here are some ideas that are based on existing jQuery plug-ins - something that will make the APEX plug-in creation much easier:

  • Countdown Timer
    • Plug-in type: item 
    • jQuery Plug-in:
    • Description: I'd implement this plug-in as an item rather than a region to allow for greater flexibility. This plug-in would show the count down clock and eventually trigger a timeout event on the item that would allow dynamic actions to respond.
  • Feature Hint
    • Plug-in type: dynamic action
    • jQuery Plug-in:
    • Description: Feature hint would allow developers to let end users know of features within an application that aren't immediately obvious. The plug-in should allow developers to specify when the messages should be displayed (conditions could be used) and should maybe use Ajax with APEX preferences to record that a user has seen/dismissed a particular feature hint.
  • News Ticker
    • Plug-in type: region
    • jQuery Plug-in:
    • Description: It's a news ticker! ;)
  • Region Floater
    • Plug-in type: dynamic action
    • jQuery Plug-in:
    • Description: Would allow developers to keep selected regions on the page while users scroll.
  • RSS/ATOM Feed
    • Plug-in type: region
    • jQuery Plug-in:
    • Description: A region that displays various feeds. If done right it could give Google Reader a run for its money :)
  • Org Chart
    • Plug-in type: region
    • jQuery Plug-in:
    • Description: Roel Hartman already put out an org chart from Google, but this is purely JavaScript based and supports drag and drop.

If you have other ideas for plug-ins that would be useful but not overly complex to create, feel free to leave a note in the comments. Remember, you have till May 14th to submit your plug-in. Check out for all the details. I look forward to reviewing the submissions! Good  luck!