Show APEX IR detail view by default

Since the Detail/Icon views were introduced to Interactive Reports in Oracle APEX 4.0, I've used the detail view a number of times to represent information in ways that don't even look like your standard columnar reports.

One example you may have seen was the original - this was a detail view IR showing aggregated posts of APEX bloggers.
It's now hosted at and this appears to use an alternative method (more...)

APEX Shortcuts Use Case

Recently Martin described APEX Shortcuts, a shared component that I don't often use - and probably even less now.

APEX wizards create them for the delete process in forms, but I thought I'd describe an example of how you might use one for your own needs.

The sole purpose I've used them is to generate HTML text from PL/SQL - often for links to appear near text items. For example, you could use them (more...)

Off topic – 2014 predictions

Here are my predictions for 2014.

I realise that traditionally yearly predictions are made in the first month of the Gregorian calendar year... but I've been busy. So I'm going to make some predictions in my birthday month and see how things eventuate over the next 12 months. Many sites do this over the new year, and I do love the commentary when one looks back over the previous 12 months. It's amazing, well not (more...)

Advert: Packt celebrates 2000 books

No APEX5 blog post today, but it turns out today is the final day of Packt Publishing celebration of 2000 titles since their first book was published in 2004.
I like puns
I have the honour of being one of these titles with my Oracle APEX Techniques video series, and I've had the pleasure of reviewing a number of their books.

They have a buy one get one free offer but it ends today - (more...)

APEX 5 first peek – What I missed

When tackling early adopter versions I've enjoyed having a play before reading too much about it. I did look through the EA1 feature descriptions to get a feel for the sort of things to expect, but I waited before watching David's videos to see how easy it was to adapt to the changes - even though I wasn't concentrating on the new page designer itself.

It was certainly worth watching the videos in the end because (more...)

APEX 5 first peek – Features not yet implemented

It's an early adopter release, the APEX team have come a long way, yet there are still goodies to come.

What's on it's way

Some features aren't quite ready yet. Some you'll see, others you'll find out when you click on them - so no doubt we'll see a second, maybe even third early adopter release.


The first you may notice if you've had a play is the notification message - this will be (more...)

APEX 5 first peek – File Management

A number of changes have been made to dust off the file management facilities, some of which won't be immediately apparent until we get the chance to spread our wings in our own environments.

File Location

A Static File Prefix has been introduced and appears to use repository files when not specified, and virtual path for your webserver if specified.
It could be similar to the way you might parameterise your file locations with an application (more...)

APEX 5 first peek – Themes & Templates

Only a few reported changes in the themes & templates, but they are far reaching and show APEX is continuing to mature as a product.

Supporting Files

The main update mentioned in the new features list is the ability to associate your CSS files within your template definition.
Themes can now store all the files of a theme with the theme definition in the database.
This replicates functionality we already see in plug-ins.
Theme Property (more...)

APEX 5 first peek – Navigation

The new Page Designer has brought with it a number of fundamental changes in how you move around the application builder.

I won't go into the designer itself because David Peake covers that well in his video - but some of the other things I noticed before watching David's videos. I will say, however, in addition to all this you'll find yourself using wizards a lot less

Moving around

If you start playing with property (more...)

APEX 5 first peek – Syntax Highlighting

We're programmers and we need syntax highlighting.

Unfortunately the only way so far to accomplish this in APEX is to use the ApexLib developer addon.
Highlighting <= 4.2 using ApexLib
As promised since the original SOD Oracle APEX 5 has promised to deliver native syntax highlighting and they've done a decent looking job.

Places such as page template body will have HTML highlighting, although it's not widespread through the template editors - I wonder (more...)

APEX 5 first peek – Performance

APEX 5 EA has shown some interesting improvements in regard to performance.


If you haven't noticed the swelling trend of flat designs in the past few years, you haven't been using the internet or held a smart device. Here are three good articles about this modernism, and like me you may learn the word skeuomorphic.

How does this affect APEX? Well of course all the icons have changed again.
How does this affect (more...)

APEX 5 first peek

Last week I finally started to play with the first APEX 5 Early Adopter product at
For a short answer on what's coming, just scroll down on that home page - looks good APEX team.

Instead of talking about the marquee features found in the SOD & those Dimitri described or what's in the page designer videos since the page designer truly is the fundamental game changer in this release - (more...)

Thursday Thought – Look up & avoid boring

In the last slot of last year's Perth user group conference, my boss Penny Cookson & I presented a talk that was originally written by Tim Daniell in Queensland. It was called "Being Productive in IT", and it was an interesting, light-hearted comparison of how the human brain works using analogies with computers systems.

One of the lessons learnt was allowing yourself to be bored. Even to the point of doing some menial (more...)

Australian 2014 Oracle Conference series suggestions

This morning the kind folks at AUSOUG sent me an e-mail asking who I'd like to see present which topics at the Perth/Melbourne conferences in November this year.

To perhaps help get you started, I thought I'd mention who I submitted - in part as a hint to those nominees that there is at least one person who would like to see you present in Austraila this year.

The survey asks for 2 Australian/2 international/2 (more...)