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 support.oracle.com. 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:

select CUSTOMER_ID,
CUST_FIRST_NAME,
CUST_LAST_NAME,
CUST_STREET_ADDRESS1,
CUST_CITY,
CUST_STATE,
CUST_POSTAL_CODE,
CUST_EMAIL,
CREDIT_LIMIT
from DEMO_CUSTOMERS
where CUSTOMER_ID = :P4_SEARCH

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

0001_specify_date_format_mask.md 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 classeur.io

I’m trying to write this blog post with classeur.io.

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 (5.1.0.00.43) was installed on apex.oracle.com.
This means that you can start developing your apps in APEX 5.1 from now on. Unlike the early adopter releases (apexea.oracle.com) you can develop your apps on apex.oracle.com 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 Euro2016Challenge.eu 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...)

Web technology in APEX Development

How did you get started with developing your first APEX app? 

My guess is either you went to https://apex.oracle.com and got a free account or Oracle Application Express was already in your company and somebody told you the url you could connect to. For me that is really the power of APEX, you just go to an url and within minutes you created your first app.

Staying within the APEX framework?

With (more...)

Highlight numbers in an APEX Report (SQL and Class)

Last year I blogged about highlighting negative numbers in an APEX Report, the CSS only way.
At that time I gave two alternative approaches; by using JQuery or SQL, but it looks like I didn't do those posts yet, till somebody reminded me. This post is about using SQL to highlight something in a report.

Let's say we want to highlight negative numbers in a report (as in the previous post):


We have some (more...)

Opening of APEX R&D New Zealand

We're really excited to announce that next to our Belgium office, we have opened an office in New Zealand too. This will allow us to cover multiple timezones and better serve the Australian and New Zealand market. You can read more about it on Lino's blog

 APEX R&D

Contact our team of experienced professionals for innovative, reliable and cost effective Oracle Application Express solutions. 

Regarding any custom application development, training/coaching or consulting related to (more...)

Submit your abstract for KScope 16 – only 3 days left

Only 3 days left to submit your abstract for KScope 16... so don't wait longer, submit now! :)


My first ODTUG conference was in 2006 and it was awesome. On this blog you'll find different blog posts about my experience and why I love it, so I won't go over that... but from time to time I get some questions about being a presenter at the event.

"What should I submit, I don't know what (more...)

Column Group Headings in an Interactive Report (APEX 5.0)

In 2008 I blogged about how to add Group Headings into an Interactive Report in Oracle Application Express (APEX 3.x!).

Here's an example what I mean with Group Headings, you want to logically group certain columns (e.g. Empno, Ename) and have a group name above them (e.g. Group 1):


The approach I used at that time worked, but it required a lot of manual work. In 2009 Martin D'Souza improved it (more...)

Custom image on your APEX app login page

In a comment on my post APEX 5.0: pimping the Login page I got a question how to put your own logo or a custom image on the login page, instead of an icon.

You only need a bit of CSS to do the trick:

You can add the above CSS to your login page - Inline CSS in page attributes or you can add it to your page template or custom CSS in (more...)

ORDS… Yes we can!

On September 13th I got a nice surprise, an email of Steven Feuerstein with the message: "You have been selected as a finalist in the ORDS category for the 2015 Oracle Database Developer Choice Awards!"

It's always nice to get recognition for the efforts you do, so thanks so much already for the nomination. I didn't make publicity yet in order to get some up-votes, but I hope by reaching out to the people (more...)