Introducing Slack to the Oracle APEX community

If you're like me, the first time you ever heard of Slack was when you checked out launch last month.

Since then I've signed up, had a play, interacted with people and with the support of I thought about what it could do for our community. Slack's mission is “make your working life simpler, more pleasant and more productive.” To me that sounds like something we should think about (more...)

ODTUG APEX Gaming competition submission – Boggex

This post announces my humble attempt for the ODTUG APEX Gaming Competition 2015.

You can play the game yourself at
The about section allows you to download the current source I have exported.

I originally wasn't going to submit anything since I was busy writing a book this year, but I got inspired by something one day and thought I could at least submit something as long as I follow two (more...)

Permission to board,

Let's see, what happened in the last 24 hours or so? announced, everyone feeling the awesome.

I joined slack, I must say the curiosity rover self portrait helped sway my decision.

Got involved in some geeky discussions, bounced some ideas around.

Put my hand up to help with content.

Now involved in project.

I must say, after talking with Juergen he's affirmed my first impressions of this project. It's 100% community (more...)

APEX 5.1 revised SOD and

Two big announcements, one awesome product.

Statement of Direction

Today I think David Peake saw the wave generated by the announcement of and decided to also announce a revised Statement of Direction (SOD) for APEX 5.1, or he could try convince me it was a coincidence.

Not long after I started blogged I decided to follow these documents to try keep a feel of what's going on. It seems there have been (more...)

The Oracle Development Community is Buzzing

I don't know about you, but it sure seems like a fire was lit somewhere in Oracle and now there are all sorts of things going on in the development community.

We've had some discussions about this over the water cooler and I think there are many positives we can take out of this engagement, and I think a deeper message being sent to veterans that Oracle is still up for the game against the (more...)

Generating JSON from SQL cursor

It appears there will be a good 1001 uses for the APEX_JSON package in APEX 5, here is one of them.

Previously I had an AJAX PL/SQL callback that returned a relatively simple JSON string, using the LISTAGG technique described by Lucas here.
l_json varchar2(32767);
select listagg('{"id":"'||version||'","content":"'||version||'.x"}',',') within group (order by null) json
into l_json
from (
select distinct substr(version,1,1) version
from apex_timeline
order by version

end getGroups;

Review: The Martian

I think we have a new genre of films for those consumers yearning for science and exploration.

First Gravity took us on a cinematographic journey into low earth orbit.
Then Interstellar took us on an inception style ride.
If you liked these you may enjoy Europa Report, which has a 2001 feel to it.

Now we have The Martian, which only a few years ago was still in the imagination of write Andy (more...)

APEX 5 Change Workspace Authentication

APEX has provided the ability to authenticate your application users against an LDAP server for quite some time.

APEX 5 now provides us the ability to change how we log into the development builder itself, and it's surprisingly easy.

Recently I modified our APEX 5 sandpit to authenticate against LDAP, so we can use our Windows passwords logging into the APEX Development Builder - one less password to manage.

Database ACL

I didn't need to (more...)

APEX 5 Verify Theme Subscription

I was attempting to replicate the navigation bar example from the Opportunity Tracker application and I noticed my application was missing icons from the sub list dropping off the username.
Icons in submenu when visible
Here are the relevant User Interface settings for the Navigation Bar.

User Interface settings
It turns out in newly created application with Theme 42 the following is used as the sublist entry template
<li data-current="true" data-icon="#ICON_CSS_CLASSES#"><a href="#LINK#">#TEXT_ESC_SC#</a></li>

In my application (more...)

APEX 5 Source Used attribute – tolerating less mistakes

If you've upgraded to APEX 5 and find yourself with an error complaining about the 'Source Used' attribute:
then you should thank APEX 5 for finding (and no longer tolerating) a logic bug in your application.

APEX 5 - correcting your applications

Track down that field and set the Source Used attribute to 'Always, replacing any existing value in session state'.

On a side note, setting the application's Compatability Mode to 4. (more...)

Inaugural Developer Choice Awards

Can you think of anyone worthy of being recognised in the following areas?

Developer Choice Awards Categories
Today is the last day for nominations, so visit the website and nominate the first person you think of - right now!

From mid next month you will have a chance to vote for the finalists.

It looks like Oracle are trying really hard to be more involved with the community, so I think good on them for this initiative.

APEX 5 Changing region type

APEX 5 change region type
If only to further emphasise some of the fundamental rebuilds APEX 5 must have undertaken, look at the ability to switch region types.

Prior to APEX 5.0, we could migrate a Classic report to an Interactive Report, but not the reverse. And don't even think about switching to another region type.

Just bear in mind the tweaks and adjustments you'd probably lose as you toggle around. I think it (more...)

Kylie is Dancing with Oracle

Almost five years ago I introduced Kylie to our little Sage flock.

Now she ventures into the world of blogging. She'll no doubt talk about Oracle development in some form, either SQL, PL/SQL, APEX, or for some bizarre reason, JDeveloper.

But who knows where blogging leads, huh?  Check her out at
Aptly named after her passion for dancing.

She's got a related twitter account:

Blog on.

APEX 5.0 Change page in Search bar

One of my favourite features in APEX 4.x was the search bar, often not actually for searching but for opening another page by typing the page number, particularly coming from shared components.
APEX 4.x application search
 For a while I thought I'd lost that feature, since I was expecting to be able to type into were the page number is reported (when in shared components), but you just need to type the page (more...)

APEX blogger from Iran

At Kscope I felt geographically isolated, but I was impressed with all the second language speakers attending.

I can only speak one language, and some would argue I don't do well at that - but people were presenting in a language foreign to their native tongue! Kudos.

The Internet I see and view is predominantly English, and no doubt my search results are skewed accordingly. Occasionally I'll find some bloggers in another language and in (more...)

APEX 5 Colour Contrast

During the APEX 5 early adopter I remember a bit of discussion going around regarding the colour contrast.

I would have been one of the complainers, and it's one topic I forgot to raise with the team when I met them at Kscope.

Use of APEX 5 is ramping up at my current site and I couldn't go any further without having a little play. A while ago I used some filters in my ad (more...)

Thursday Thought: Boredom

Do you ever get bored? I do.

What do you do when you're bored? I eat. I think. I watch.

Sometimes I play on my phone. I whip it out, play some quizzes, read some feeds, send a text.

What I prefer to do is watch the world. There's plenty going on, I walk through a nearby bush regularly and sometimes it's almost like I'm absorbing pleasantness, contentment.

I saw a commercial a few months (more...)

Perth – Free 1/2 day Education Event

Thanks to Sage Computing Services, AUSOUG are hosting a free 1/2 day education event for it's members.

Join us Wednesday 19th August, 2015 at the Duxton Hotel from 2:30pm to be regaled with tales of tuning, APEX, SQL and PL/SQL.

  • Penny - Practical Tuning Tips for Developers
  • Kylie - Snazzy SQL: Titbits to advance your code
  • Katie - PL/SQL: Are you making the most of it?
  • Scott - APEX 5 isn't just a sexy (more...)

My Kscope15 sessions

My Kscope15 sessions are now available on my presentations page.

I linked to the Prezi version as they don't translate well to PDF, as those of you who tried downloading off the Kscope mobile app may have found.

The supporting code from my deep dive demos can be downloaded here:

Thank you to all those who attended, and cheers for all the great feedback, I sincerely appreciate it. I wish I (more...)

Podcast recommendation: SGU

Another item on my backlog is getting up to date on my favourite podcasts. I've got a post drafted that lists my recommendations, but if you're looking for a fun, well produced science podcast then go no further than The Skeptics Guide to the Universe.

They are generally 90 mins an episode and if you're not into podcasts already that may seem daunting. To me they fill my commute with fun but thought provoking stuff (more...)