The APEX_JSON package: Generating JSON from PL/SQL

In my previous blog post, I took a look at the new APEX_JSON package that ships with Apex 5.0 and its capabilities for parsing JSON.

In this blog post, I am going to look at how the APEX_JSON package can be used to generate JSON from data in your database using PL/SQL.

There are multiple ways of creating JSON output using the APEX_JSON package. There are several overloaded write() procedures which can output (more...)

The APEX_JSON package: Parsing JSON in PL/SQL

As I mentioned a year ago, it looks like Apex 5.0 will include a new package called APEX_JSON for parsing and generating JSON. In this blog post, I will take a quick look at the parsing, and the next blog post will be about generating JSON output.

Since Apex 5.0 is still in Early Adopter (beta) mode and not yet released for download, we can run a query against the data dictionary (more...)

Creating PDF reports from PL/SQL

Do you need to create PDF reports from PL/SQL?

There are a number of options:

  • Anton Scheffer wrote a PL/SQL package called AS_PDF3 that covers all the basics: Different fonts (including TrueType), images, and tables.
  • There's the commercial PL/PDF package that has more features, such as the ability to use existing PDF documents as templates for new documents, compression, encryption, and more. There's also an extra Toolkit component which allows you to extract pages from (more...)

Oracle XE 11g Win64 on Microsoft Azure cloud

(Or: "How to build your own Oracle Cloud in 25 minutes"... ! )

After downloading the recently released Oracle Express Edition for 64-bit Windows, I decided to test it out on a Windows Server 2008 R2 running in the Azure cloud (recently renamed from "Windows Azure" to "Microsoft Azure").

Here are the high-level steps needed to get this up and running:

  1. Sign up for Azure and login to the management portal.
  2. Create a new Virtual (more...)

Oracle Express Edition (XE) 11g for Windows 64 bit

As announced by Kris Rice (who is the product manager for SQL Developer, Apex Listener and Oracle XE), the Oracle Express Edition (XE) Database version 11g is now (finally!) available for 64-bit Windows.

It's been a looong wait; the 64-bit version for Windows was expected to be released around the same time as the 32-bit version, some 3 years ago.

Anyway, it's here now, which is great! Thanks Kris! :-)

Oracle Express Edition 11g (more...)

Useful Git commands

This is not related to Oracle at all, I'm just putting this here as a reminder to myself...

git log

Show a compact list of commits for a given period, formatted nicely:

git log --since="2 weeks ago" --pretty=format:"%h - %an, %ar : %s"


Start the default graphical interface for viewing the logs/commits:


Start the graphical interface and show the history for a single file:

gitk db/src/some_file.sql

More to come...

Oracle on Windows Azure pricing revealed

I just noticed that prices for Oracle Database running on Windows Azure have now been published.

The prices for the virtual machines with the Oracle license included run from about USD 820 per month for Oracle Standard Edition (SE) running on 2 cores, to a whopping USD 9300 per month for Oracle Enterprise Edition (EE) running on 8 cores. These prices are for Oracle software only and do not include the cost of the VM, (more...)

Pivot Table plugin for Apex

An interactive Pivot Table lets the user analyze a data set by selecting which fields to use as rows and columns in a grid. You've probably seen this in Excel, something like this:

I've created a region plugin for Apex which turns any SQL query into an interactive pivot table. (more...)