We Heart Hackers

I love this type of story.

About a week ago, I get an email from Noel Portugal, a guy who works at Oracle and likes to hack around with APEX, Web 2.0 stuff, technology in general.

In one line that stuck out, Noel mentioned that he was recently “bitten” by the Web 2.0 bug and that Twitter especially kept his interest. I snorted to myself, wondering how Twitter could keep anyone’s attention lately, due to its roller coaster status.

Anyway, I tend to forget that Web 2.0 is new to most people, and I was psyched to hear that Noel not only was “bitten” by the bug but that he had been fully zombied.

To gratify his desire to hack around, Noel built and deployed a Twitter clone called OraTweet. He wrote it in APEX and deployed it on his desktop. The feature set is nearly identical to Twitter’s. Noel supports 144 characters, +4 over Twitter, and he support groups, which is a long-standing Twitter enhancement request. He integrated the Twitter API, so you can associate your OraTweet account with your Twitter account and posts OraTweets to Twitter.

His version hasn’t tackled all the Twitter features, but it’s fast and slick and has way more 9s of uptime. Today, he blogged his PL/SQL stored procedure for updating Twitter.

Despite Rich’s scorn for PL/SQL, it’s still a hardcore skill that database and Apps developers need to have, and yes, I has it too.

Anyway, I dig Noel’s work. We can’t integrate it into our stuff just yet, but I really like to see people messing around and hacking together stuff in their spare time. If you work for Oracle and want to check out his work, drop him a note in his comments. Or hit me over email, and I’ll connect the dots.

Keep on hackin’ in the free world.




  1. Thanks Jake for the post. I am currently working to get this project live internally, and also will be available for download as an APEX packaged application (like ARIA).
    As noted in this article http://hivetalk.info/2007/07/28/7-enterprise-us… here are a few examples of using Twitter (OraTweet in my case 🙂 ) in the Enterprise.
    1. Task status updates from team members.
    2. Real-time presence status for IM.
    3. Informal timelog.
    4. Assign tasks while away from the office.
    5. Notify of important wiki updates.
    6. Update everyone on last-minute schedule changes.
    7. Process IM in batches.

  2. Hi my name is David and I like PL/SQL – nothing to be ashamed of, but it has such a bad rep, I want to come out in support of good on pl/sql


    I'd love to use OraTweet for 1. above; Tasks Status updates. I talked about this with the AppsLab possee a while ago and was pleased that one of my team had the same vision, we tried the wordpress twitter like blog template
    but it wasn't quite right. I think my team's appetite for new technology is more than filled with the Fusion middle ware (we keep buying more technology… it's tough to keep up) so nobody has wanted to tackle this – I'll get in touch so we can check it out.

  3. I actually use twitter for keeping track of my teams time already. They tweet tasks their working on to a central account and I grab all the user's messages for the week. I just need to make a way to interface it with the internal time management app and expenses. It's nice for quick trouble shooting questions too between the team members.

  4. Two of the ways we discussed as easy wins for a Twitter-style status tracking app. Tweet @ the project name with updates, use Twitter to get in touch w/distributed teammates. Beautiful.

    Have you tried out Noel's OraTweet? Avoids the confidential information on the 'Tubes bit.

  5. Out of interest, why does Rich scorn PL/SQL? I'm probably way out of my league asking, but I was interested to read that, considering Rich's techy background…

  6. Scorn PL/SQL? I don't scorn PL/SQL… Jake put words in my mouth. I've never even touched PL/SQL. Anyway, I do dislike the thought of a proprietary language. For the same reason, I never really liked PeopleCode. I want to learn things that I can take to any job. I suppose PL/SQL is pretty pervasive. Also, I prefer OO languages that help me get things done very rapidly.

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