Build the Oracle APEX application: the framework

Over the years while developing Oracle APEX application, I noticed in every application I was following the same steps. It was a routine I followed over and over. For example: in every application I created a global page (page 0), enabled Feedback, ran the Advisor multiple times a week, used certain naming conventions etc.

A few years ago I wrote those steps in our APEX R&D development guide, so within our team we would be (more...)

Set up domain and launch page

This post is part of a series of posts: From idea to app or how I do an Oracle APEX project anno 2017

Domain name

When you launch an app or service, you probably want a domain name. I register all my domain names with Godaddy. I'm a long time customer with them and I find them really reliable, not that expensive and they have good support. But I find it hard to come up (more...)

Create the Oracle database objects

This post is part of a series of posts: From idea to app or how I do an Oracle APEX project anno 2017

In a previous post we defined the ERD of the multiplication table application we're going to build. Now I want to go into detail how I create the Oracle database objects like tables, foreign keys, sequences, triggers, etc.

Before I tell you what I do today, let me first walk you through (more...)

Set up an APEX development environment

This post is part of a series of posts: From idea to app or how I do an Oracle APEX project anno 2017

A development environment can mean different things to different people. You can read the definitions on Wikipedia, TechTarget, Techopedia to name a few.

For me, it means on one side you need an environment where you can develop in. In case of an Oracle APEX project this means, you need (more...)

List of the tools I use and why I use them

This post is part of a series of posts: From idea to app or how I do an Oracle APEX project anno 2017

I initially thought to only list the software tools I use, but tools are more than software alone. As a developer I find it important you have everything you need to be successful. For me that means a clean desk, a whiteboard, paper and some writing material (as explained in my previous (more...)

Create user stories and supporting ERD

This post is part of a series of posts: From idea to app or how I do an Oracle APEX project anno 2017

In the first post we defined our high level idea of our application. Now what are the real requirements? what does the app has to do? In an Agile software development approach we typically create user stories to define that. We write sentences in the form of:
As a < type of (more...)

From idea to app or how I do an Oracle APEX project anno 2017

For a long time I had in mind to write in great detail how I do an Oracle APEX project from A to Z. But so far I never took the time to actually do it, until today :)

So here's the idea; I love building projects that help people and I love to share what I know, so I will combine both. I will write exactly my thoughts and things I do as I'm (more...)

Take a few minutes to patch Oracle APEX 5.1

Yesterday a first patch set of Oracle Application Express (APEX) 5.1 has been made available to download.

one-of patches

If you encounter issues, you can ask for support and most likely a bit later a patch is made available through The APEX team is doing a great job with this.

For example some people using APEX Office Print had an issue which was caused by a bug in APEX_JSON (more...)

Comma separated search and search with checkboxes in Oracle APEX

When you have a classic report in Oracle Application Express (APEX) and want to make it searchable you typically add a Text Item in the region, enable Submit on Enter and add a WHERE clause to your SQL statement.

Here’s an example:
Classic Report with Search (text item)

Your SQL statement probably looks like this:


When you want to search for multiple customers separated by (more...) copy

When reviewing Oracle APEX applications I often see hardcoded date or timestamp formats.
You can define your date formats in multiple places in your application. In your item or column attributes, as part of your code e.g.TO_CHAR(sysdate, ‘DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI’) or if you want to make it more reusable you might create a substitution string. That will all work, but you can make your life easier and for the ones looking or needing to (more...)

Changing the label of an item in Oracle APEX dynamically

Today I got the question how to change the label of an item in Oracle Application Express (APEX) based on some condition. I actually had this requirement myself a couple of times, so maybe other people too.

Here’s an example; whenever we change the Source item, we want the Affected Item to change it’s label:

The use case: after change of the source item, the label of the affected item changes

The first thing that comes to mind (if you already know a little bit of APEX); lets use a Dynamic (more...)

My first blog post with

I’m trying to write this blog post with

Just like Martin I’m also searching for alternative ways to write blog posts. I don’t want to completely migrate my blog to a new platform, so I’m searching for a way to write in Markdown and deploy to Blogger.

Why Markdown?
Since our development of APEX Office Print (AOP) we also use Markdown for our documentation as it makes including code samples easier, it can (more...)

Start to develop in APEX 5.1, you will gain at least an hour a day!

Yesterday APEX 5.1 ( was installed on
This means that you can start developing your apps in APEX 5.1 from now on. Unlike the early adopter releases ( you can develop your apps on and later export them and import in your own environment once the on-premise version of APEX 5.1 is available.

APEX 5.1 is again (more...)

OTN Appreciation Day : APEX

If you're following some Oracle blogs or Twitter, you'll see many blog posts starting with "OTN Appreciation Day : " today. You can read the story behind this initiative on Tim Hall's blog. "The blog post content should be short, focusing more on why you like the feature, rather than technical content."
In my life Oracle played (and is still playing) an important role... and it all started because I love working with (more...)

Installing SQLcl on OEL/RHEL

In my previous post I talked about how SQLcl came in handy to work with JavaScript against the database.

The installation of SQLcl is easy... you just download the zip, unpack and run the executable.

But to be fair, before I got SQLcl running (especially the script part) I encountered a number of issues, so hopefully this post helps you be able to run SQLcl with all features in minutes as it's meant to (more...)

SQLcl to the rescue when the Database and APEX fail (with JSON limitations)

In the last two years I've been using JSON in almost every project I was involved in.
For example with APEX Office Print our plugin is sending JSON to the backend. This JSON you can actually see yourself in the Remote Debug screen in your AOP Dashboard.
Another example is the wearables project (IoT) I showed at KScope 16; the wearable is sending data to a smartphone or tablet, which in his turn is (more...)

Enter your bets on now

Looks like I forgot to put on my blog also this year we created a bet site for the European Cup Soccer. Thanks to the people who reminded me to put this post on my blog :)

It all started in 2006 when I first created a site to promote Oracle Application Express (APEX). The site allowed to bet on the games of the World Cup. At that time everybody was using Excel files internally (more...)

Export your APEX Interactive Report to PDF

Interactive Reports (and Grids in 5.1) are one of the nicest features of Oracle Application Express (APEX) as it allows an end-user to look at the data the way they want, without needing a developer to change the underlying code. End-users can show or hide columns, do calculations on columns, filter etc.

Here's an example of an interactive report where highlighting, computation and aggregation is used.

More than once I get the question, how (more...)

Crowdsourced software development experiment

A few days ago I got an email about an experiment how to program with the crowd.

I didn't really heard about it before, but found it an interesting thought. In this experiment people will perform microtasks (10 minutes task), as a member of the crowd. People don't know each other, but will collaborate together. The system is distributing the work and supplies instructions. The challenge is in creating quality code that meets the specifications.

Please, use HTTPS for your APEX apps

Why use HTTPS?

When you Google this question you get many different answers, but this answer of Google Developers answers it for me in short (click the link for more details):
  • HTTPS protects the integrity of your website/APEX app
  • HTTPS protects the privacy and security of your users
  • HTTPS is the future of the web; many new technologies only work with https (for example Service Workers; you can read more about Service Workers and APEX (more...)