By: Lauren Prezby On: September 12, 2022 In: Insum Life, News, Oracle APEX Comments: 0

It seems only fitting to SUM up (see what I did there?) our 20th Insum Anniversary series with a focus on the APEX community. I am not sure that Michel, Francis, and Patrick knew what they were getting into when they decided to take a leap of faith on APEX. This product carries with it an amazing group of people who join together, and the team at Insum is honored to be a part of it. The APEX Community is a tight group of individuals from all over the globe. Just look at apex.world, a large onestop online location for anything APEX. This group shows membership ranging from places like South Africa, Russia, Italy, etc.  

The collective goal of the Oracle APEX community is to actively assist each other in using APEX to the product’s fullest abilities. They write blogs, ask and answer questions, and contribute plugins and open-source tools, all while continuously learning and growing together. Insum has been a contributor to this community from the very beginning. Avid question askers at the start, Insum team members are now among the experts to assist with answering the questions. Insum, along with partners at FOEX, United Codes, and  MT-AG, even created the APEXD2D event in order to help connect APEX developers in the community.  

Image courtacy of Apex.World Maps

So many questions about APEX

There are usually a lot of questions that arise when you begin using a new product, and the Insum team had their fair share. In the beginning, they would hop on to the Oracle forums and hit up the Oracle APEX Team whenever they got stuck. Francis recalls, “The whole APEX team was very present and accessible. We were able to directly ask questions to the dev team: Scott Spadafore, Scott Spendolini, Joel Kallman, Carl Backstrom, and more.” 

“It was at our first ODTUG (Oracle Developer Technical User Group) conference where we met the APEX team for the first time in person.” Patrick remembers, “It was also one of the first meetings Francis had with Joel Kallman (Vice President  of Software Development at Oracle until his passing in 2021). Funnily enough, Joel was apologizing that his company couldn’t answer our questions {sooner} quick enough.”

“I remember David Peake (APEX Product Manager at Oracle) asking us about our work: “How do you do it? What do you do all day to [be feeding people so many questions?] be asking my {APEX} team so many questions?”  Patrick explained at the time that Insum was already doing entire projects with APEX, not just simple applications. “He thought we were Low-code developers. I would tell him, “No, we explain to our clients that we are going to do everything for them, from A to Z. Analysis, development, product management, testing. We did it all.” It was there that the APEX team began to realize the size of projects Insum was taking on. This revelation certainly affected their outlook on where the product was headed.  

Things slowly grew and grew with the community. Thanks to Oracle’s Joel Kallman, members felt heard and important. “I would say that Joel was the initiator of all of this,” Francis remembers Joel’s key role in the community. “He was at the center of the community keeping everyone in and feeling important, and part of it.” 

Events added the next level

As the community grew, it started having more opportunities to gather at conferences and events, like Oracle User Group Events, ODTUG’s Kscope, APEX Connect, APEX Alpe Adria, Oracle OpenWorld and many more.These events gave APEX users a chance to attend APEXspecific sessions and socialize with other APEX users in person. “We would all find ourselves gathering around the Oracle APEX booth asking similar questions and exchanging personal experiences,” Patrick remembers. The community was brought to a new level by relationships established at these events.  


What is next for the community?

The success of the community originated with the team at Oracle. Now it stands on its own with a large group of individuals who use APEX every day and, in many cases, just like at Insum, have careers, products, and businesses based on it. A strong reciprocal relationship has grown over the years between these individuals and between them and the Oracle team: One that includes questioning, critique, challenges, encouragement, sharing, enthusiastic discovery, celebration, and lots of humor.  

Celebrating 20 years of Insum wouldn’t be complete without expressing gratitude for the APEX Community. As we reflect on the journey that got us to this incredible milestone, we would be remiss not to highlight the support and camaraderie we all enjoy daily. 

Thank you to our supporters, the Oracle team, the APEX Community, Past and Current Employees, and Talan. 


We look forward to 20 more years of Insum with you all.

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