Creating an APEX plugin for an Oracle JET component – Part 1

In APEX 5.1 (still Early Adaptor 1 at this moment), Oracle JET - Javascript Extension Toolkit -  is included to facilitate charting.
The APEX Development Team recently mentioned that not only the Data Visualisations part of JET will be included in APEX 5.1, but the complete installation of JET. The whole package. That won't do the size of the downloadable install file any good, but more important is: what can we do with (more...)

Consuming a REST Web Service returning JSON in APEX

In APEX you can define a web service that returns XML as below - all declarative, just a few steps through a wizard.


Then generate a report on top of that web service - again just a few clicks through a wizard. The generated query looks like this:

select xtab."customerName"
     , xtab."customerId"
  from apex_collections c, 
          XMLTable('/Response/S_getCustomerListTableArray/S_getCustomerListArrayItem' passing xmltype001
            COLUMNS (more...)

Prevent general row based search in an APEX Interactive Report

At my current project we use Interactive Reports heavily. But in some cases the underlying queries are rather complex and a query without any filter or with just a filter on all columns doesn't perform that well (understatement...). We already implemented a solution to prevent initial loading of the data by adding an additional criterium to the query ( :P400_SEARCH = 'Y' ). The default value of this hidden item is 'N' and on (more...)

Create a Navigation Bar based on a SQL statement

Creating a Navigation Bar using static values is very straightforward. Just create a list similar to this example below - and you can easily define multiple levels.
Then, in the User Interface Attributes, set that list to be your application's "Navigation Bar List" and specify the template.
And the Navigation Bar pops up nicely in the upper right corner of the screen.
So far so good.

But what if you don't want a Static List, (more...)

Me and the ODTUG Board

This afternoon my Twitter timeline exploded with retweets, likes and congratulations. It all started with this tweet:

So it's official now. As Sarah Zumbrum had to step down due to her (dream) move to Oracle, a position on the ODTUG board opened up. And I was asked whether I was still interested. And of course I was! So after an internal voting procedure, I received the good news last weekend - and had to keep (more...)

Unexpected behaviour using SSO Authentication for APEX

A customer of mine switched to a Singe Sign On Authentication Scheme for their APEX application - using Oracle Access Manager, but that's irrelevant to this case.
In the application there's a function to create an - temporarily - "real" APEX user. That APEX user is used in another JavaScript application that uses ORDS and the built-in APEX authentication - thus requiring the existence of APEX users. That function ran flawlessly when the application was (more...)

Navigating through your APEX Calendar – the easy way

The renewed Calendar Region in APEX is awesome. With just one SQL statement you can provide your users with a calendar view of their data that looks very familiar to what they already know, use and love. Apart from one thing: Navigating to a specific date is cumbersome.
The shortest route is:

  • Navigate to the right month (can be any number of clicks) 
  • Switch to "Week view" 
  • Navigate to the right week (between 0 and (more...)

I *almost* made it to the ODTUG Board of Directors …

Last month was the annual election for the Board of Directors of ODTUG. And just like the year before, I was one of the 19 (!) candidates for one of the 5 spots. 
During the campaign and election periods I received a lot of positive feedback and my hopes were high - but the competition was extremely strong. During Oracle Open World the results were announced and I was notified I hadn't made (more...)

APEX Reports : Double click to edit

Apart from the Current Record Indicator in your APEX Reports, another question often pops up at my client sites. A lot of functionality is implemented using a Report and a (Modal) Form. But to access that Form, the user has to click exactly on the small link icon in the first column of the report. So can that be changed, making it more "accessible"?

Set the Link Attributes of the column you're using for (more...)

Implementing a Current Record Indicator in your APEX Reports

Developers with an Oracle Forms background might still remember this nice feature: If you click on a row in an Oracle Form "report" then it can be highlighted - either the full row or just a small first item of the row. The main difference with the Oracle Forms "reports" and the APEX Reports is that in Forms a "report" is usually comparable to an APEX Tabular Form. But a similar feature is frequently asked (more...)

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t …

Recently at a client site I ran into a strange issue. There was an APEX page where you can set some parameters and then a report would refresh according these new settings. But the strange thing was: Sometimes it worked perfectly, but sometimes it didn't. In the latter case one or more of the parameters seem discarded... WTF ??

So I dived into it and looked at the code. The parameter / refresh mechanism was implemented (more...)

Showing a success message after closing a modal dialog

APEX 5 comes with Modal Dialogs out of the box. Very neat. Especially for adding and changing data. And to minimise the number of time a user has to click, it could be useful to add a "Close Dialog" process after the actual data processing. When the data processing fails, the Dialog stays on top showing the error. When data processing runs fine, the Dialog is closed ... without any confirmation. And this might (more...)

Expert Oracle Application Express, 2nd Edition, is out now !

It took a while, but last month the second edition of the Expert Oracle Application Express was released. It is the natural successor of the first edition (duh), but its not just that. Some of chapters are updated for APEX 5, but about half of the chapters are completely new! And that means also half of the authors are new as well. Because this is a joint project, 14 authors, 14 chapters, one goal. And (more...)

Make even more of UKOUG Tech15: APEX 5.0 UI Training – Dec 10th in Birmingham !


APEX 5.0 has been released this spring. People who have already spent some time on this new version know this version is packed with new features aimed to make APEX developers even more productive, like the Page Designer.
Another striking new subset of features is aimed at creating better looking user interfaces for your APEX applications in an easy and maintainable way.
 The definition of user interface components in APEX 5.0 is very (more...)

APEX 5.0 UI Training – Looking back and towards the future

This week Dimitri Gielis and I ran a training day about all the new APEX 5.0 UI features. We had a full room with 20 enthusiastic attendees from 4 different countries. We covered some general APEX 5 UI features, the Universal Theme, Responsive Grid layouts, Template Options, Theme Roller, Theme Styles and bringing it all together using some advanced features. See the website for more details.
And - as it was the first time (more...)

APEX ReadOnly Pages – The easy way

If your Oracle APEX Application requires different types of access - full access or readonly - for different types of users, you can specify a Read Only Condition on Page level (or Region, Item, Button, etc.). 
You can set an Authorization Scheme on Application level, so it'll be applied to all pages. So if you have an Authorization Scheme named 'User Can Access Page' defined by a PL/SQL function like this:

return apex_authorization. (more...)

Announcement: APEX 5.0 UI Training – May 12th


APEX 5.0 will be released between now and the end of May. People who have already spent some time on the Early Adopter versions know this version is packed with new features aimed to make APEX developers even more productive, like the Page Designer.
Another striking new subset of features is aimed at creating better looking user interfaces for your APEX applications in an easy and maintainable way. 
The definition of user interface (more...)

Riga Dev Day 2015

While waiting at the airport for my plane back to Amsterdam, I have some time to write down my experiences of the last few days in Riga.
After arriving in the hotel, I walked to the old part of town and strolled around. The old part looks very medieval (it is - so no surprises there) with cobblestone streets, old houses and very few cars. Nice!
Then back to hotel, in time for the "official" (more...)

Can you build business critical applications with APEX?

Now and then this question pops up. And today this question was delivered to my mailbox again. A customer is busy starting a project to replace a current Oracle Forms application. So he asked Oracle and one of the Oracle partners: What should we use, APEX or ADF? A valid question that has been asked - and will be asked - by numerous customers. 
Of course, there is only one correct answer and that (more...)

UKOUG 2014 – A special edition

Although I’ve attended the UKOUG conferences since 2008, this year’s edition was somewhat special to me. Based on the attendee reviews of last year’s UKOUG, I was elected as “Best Overseas Speaker”. And for me that’s quite an honour and of course a recognition for years of work - and practice ;-)
And with a title comes a plaque - it’ll get a special place on my bookshelf. 

I didn’t just get (more...)