Thinking Anew

Social Sign In with Azure

Photo by Gerd Altmann

Since Oracle Application Express (APEX) version 18.1, application developers are able to easily integrate OAuth2-based authentication using many popular identity providers including Google, Facebook and Microsoft. Morten Braten, Anton Nielsen and I have previously written on this subject.

Starting May 2019, Microsoft is changing how developers manage their OAuth2 application registrations.

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Day 15 - 30 Days on the Oracle Cloud

Photo by Genty

One of my fondest memories of my previous job was working with VMware virtualization products. With VMware Workstation, system administrators had the ability to “move” a virtual machine (VM) from a local workstation to vSphere. It was no surprise then that I was very exited (and itching to play) when VirtualBox 6.0 was released with a new feature: support for exporting a VM to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)!

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Day 2 - 30 Days on the Oracle Cloud

Remember this ad?

IBM BladeCenters were revolutionary at its time. System Administrators would know that one of the largest expense when building out a server infrastructure is real estate costs. Shrinking racks of servers and consolidating into blade servers meant you could put more hardware in less space. However, they were expensive and had their fair share of skeptics. Adopting a proprietary backbone simply meant you were investing into a brand and hence subject to vendor lock-in.

Then came virtualization. With more powerful CPUs, cheaper RAMs and more cost-effective storage solutions, we are now able to cramp more servers into a single server. Other pieces of traditional server infrastructure, e.g. network and storage, could be “software-defined”. The server footprint very much “vanished into thin air”!

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Day 0 - 30 Days on the Oracle Cloud

Photo by JuergenPM

I have read many comments on social media and blogs about various experiences using the Oracle Cloud for hosting web applications and databases. There are probably more bad than good accounts, and so I wanted to experience the process myself using a trial subscription.

Typically, a trial account only gets you a US$300 credit to use on the Oracle Cloud. The credits are good 30 days, after that, either your upgrade to a paid plan, or you lose everything. You are also required to provide a valid credit card for verification purposes only. According to the sign up page, users are only billed after choosing to “upgrade” the account.

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Helper Scripts - Build an APEX Stack

Photo by Markus Distelrath

When Oracle Database 18c Express Edition (18cXE) was released late last year, I was motivated to work on an image for running the newly released, FREE database using Docker. The scripts were based on the official Docker images published by Oracle. With much help from Martin D’Souza, we released the scripts to the community with pointers on how to install and run an Oracle Application Express (APEX) stack.

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Announcing the APEX Challenge Coin

USS Chafee (DDG-90)

Late last year, I started binge watching the entire four seasons of The Last Ship. It was one of the rare TV serials that my wife and I shared a common interest in. I think this was mostly because the first season was centered around the ship and its crew’s fight against total human annihilation by an infectious disease. For me though, it was also about the military hardware and camaraderie amongst the soldiers.

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Tell Lora I Need Her

I have written on two occasions, “Just a Drop of Oracle APEX“ and “APEX and the Affordable Cloud!“, about how easy it is to get up and running on hosting providers like Linode and DigitalOcean. The approach largely involves Vagrant, and though it is an easy to use tool, it still needed a little bit of DevOps heroism, and sometimes, dealing with API keys may not necessarily be a priority for someone looking for a quick way to setup a consistent and robust Oracle Application Express environment.

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Certs for APEX Social Sign-In

Verified!

Updated November 18, 2018
Added a help utility to populate an Oracle Wallet with root certificates

Oracle Database 18c Express Edition comes with a usable Oracle Wallet. In a previous article, I had described how to:

  1. Obtain the certificates necessary to make a successful SSL/TLS connection.
  2. Create and add these certificates to the Oracle Wallet.
  3. Configure the APEX instance to use the wallet.

Someone had asked in the comments, what certificates were necessary for Social Sign-in in Oracle Application Express (APEX) to work. It’s something that I think most of us would like to know too, so I did a little more digging and here’s what I found for three of the more popular social platforms: Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

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