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Showing posts from June, 2008

APEX 3.1.1 "broke my application" : This is the fix.

In APEX 3.1.1 all compound item types - items that contain HTML layout and multiple inputs - have been surrounded by a fieldset. The result is that some items that previously nicely aligned horizontally now wrap to the next line.

It mainly effects items with Post Element Texts or where a ColSpan > 1 is defined.

This unwanted effect is easily repaired by creating a new CSS file containing:


and referencing this CSS file in your template. The result then looks like it was before:

Drag & Drop feature in APEX

In a previous post I mentioned a Drag & Drop feature we created in APEX. Because there is a lot of interest for this subject, I created a small movie where I show the drag and drop function. The purpose is to load an Open Action (or Order) into a Truck for a specified day.

If you like to see this feature live at OOW - and on a somewhat bigger size screen - , or other nice things we created during our project, please vote for my session on Oracle Mix : (Re)developing-a-logistic-application-in-apex-in-the-real-world. You can register using your OTN account.

Extending SQL Developer with Designer data

Using the Preferences of SQL Developer you can register a User Defined Extension (UDE). This UDE is just a small XML file containing a command or query. If your Oracle Designer Repository is queriable by the user you use for your connection, you can show the Table Definitions in Designer alongside the definitions in the Oracle Database. You just have to create an XML file containing this code:

Register the file as an 'EDITOR' type in SQL Developer using Tools / Preferences / Database / User Defined Extensions. Restart SQLDev and the result is something like:

Is it usefull? Not really with this query, but you can extend the query with a lot of other data, for example to list the modules a table is used in or the column definitions of that table!

Travelling back from New Orleans

From the Sheraton to the airport I shared a cab with Carl Backstrom and arrived around 2 hours before the scheduled departure. I only had a 37 minute transfer time in Houston so I had picked a chair in the front of the plane - just after the business class. The plane left the gate exactly on time, but it stopped on the runway. Due to a thunderstorm the airport closed for 30 minutes....
So when I got out of the plane in Houston my transfer time was reduced to -2 minutes. The plane to Amsterdam was somewhere at the same pier - but that pier is really huge. So I started the 1 kilometer walk without any (positive) expectations. But to my suprise that plane was scheduled 45 to 60 minutes later! I've never been so happy with a delay....
The flight was o.k. In the 10 hours flight I snoozed a little and arrived in Amsterdam at the original scheduled time. My wife and daughters waited there for me, so it was a good homecoming!

ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2008 : Day 4 - ADF vs APEX and Wrap Up

The last morning of this years ODTUG was completely filled with one three hour session: APEX versus ADF 'shootout'. Although the presenters, Lucas and Dimitri, quickly stated that there was no violence to be expected, the audience was hoping for some clear statements.

Lucas and Dimitri both built an application using their favorite tool and demo'ed it to the audience. Both failed on one part - as live demo's tend to do - so it was 1-1 at mid time. After the break the match continued with some nice features shown on both sides. Both presenters where dared to say something positive on the other tools. For Dimitri this was the most difficult part: "I can't come up with anything nice to say about JDeveloper".

After a complete comparison, there was one clear winner: The audience!

Thanks to both of you guys for this joint effort!

So to wrap up: ODTUG is a great event. Not great in the sense that you're overwhelmed with 1,000's of people (there were about 70…

ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2008 : Day 3 - Experts Day

Building Advanced Tabular Forms was the first subject of the day. In APEX you can build tabular forms (a multi record update form) using a wizard or manually (with the APEX_ITEM API and processing with the APEX_APPLICATION API. Another option is using a collection which gives you full control on the processing - like distributing your data over multiple tables.

After that one Dimitri Gielis presented on Creating Advanced Charts with APEX. He showed the audience what you can do using the charting options of APEX. Impressive!

Next was the Oracle APEX Developer of the Year 2007, Patrick Wolf. His main message is that you can speed up your development process (even further!) when you use the right third party tools. The tools you can't do without as an APEX developer are - apart from Firefox itself:
Firebug - a great extension on FirefoxWeb Developer - another Firefox extensionYSlow - a performance monitor, again an Firefox extensionLive HTTP Header - to track traffic between the browser…

ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2008 : Day 2 - You can(’t) do THAT in a browser!

The first session of this day was APEX Development: Watch it live! by Bill Holtzman of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. He built a Grievance Control system for the NATCA used by hundreds of users. Now he showed live how to build a football betting system in only 45 minutes (using some prefab SQL scripts). Another nice example how quick application development in APEX can be! After that Scott Spendolini came on stage with his presentation You can't do THAT in a browser! Although APEX contains a lot of really nice features, like Flash based charting, Export to PDF/Word./Excel and Tree Reports, sometimes you have the need to go a little bit further than that. He demoed how you can achieve MS Outlook integration for your Address Book (vCard) and Calendar (iCal). Then he showed how some third party products seamlessly integrate with APEX:DHTLMX Tree (DHTML eXtensions) : Consists of JS libraries to manage all aspects and uses an XML file as data source. You can create h…

ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2008 : Day 1

Today started off with a keynote of Vince Casarez about ‘Web 2.0 meets the enterprise'. He showed some really cool stuff included in Webcenter, like the carrousel (similar to the iTunes coverflow), dynamic charts that were refreshed using push technology. This is the stuff Oracle itself is using for their Fusion apps.

Next John Scott was on for his APEX Hints, Tricks and Best Practices. They were all very useful so I'll list them all 10.

Don't use the default SYSAUX tablespace for the APEX environment, but use dedicated tablespaces instead to make the installation more manageable.Create specific accounts for all developers, making QA and auditing easier. Always lock a page when you make changes and document these changes using the comment property.Use aliases for applications and pages, so f?p=SALES:HOME instead of f?p:117:17. Use the possibilities of APEX to support re-use of code, like Shared Components, Page 0, UI Defaults and Publish / Subscribe. A little explanation…

ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2008 : The pre-conference conference

The day started with a rather fierce thunderstorm, and I can tell you that if it rains in New Orleans it really rains! This day was a sort of warming-up for the real conference with three full day symposiums on Essbase, APEX and Fusion. I attended the ‘The Seasoning of Application Express - Must hear Succes Stories‘ symposium that started off with an impressive presentation of Scott Spendolini. His theme was ‘Less is more‘, what didn’t refer this own presentation as he managed to go to 431 slides in half an hour! After that Mike Hichwa from Oracle did an ‘Apex Update’. He told us that currently APEX is the most used tool within Oracle for internal applications. Oracle also releases products that are based on APEX, like Database Vault. And we got a sneak preview of the future of APEX: we will get updateable interactive reports, custom item types, easy way to attach files of any kind to a record and declarative AJAX support. And some other good news: SQL Developer will support logical a…

ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2008 : The day before

After an 18 hour trip from my home I arrived at the Sheraton in New Orleans. Luckily this time I also got my bag (at OOW 2007 it arrived a day later). A small wonder, because my transfer time in Houston was reduced from 1 ½ hour to 20 minutes due to the border control officer, who seemed to be very interested in all my predecessors in the queue. So I had to run from gate E to C. On the way I saw at a screen that The Netherlands where ahead against France with 1-0. At the time I arrived in New Orleans I called home and found out it turned out be a 4-1 victory!

When I came outside of the airport the tropical atmosphere hit me. It was about 32 C, but very very humid. After dropping of my luggage and freshening up a little in my room at the 43 floor, overlooking the Mississippi, I went out into the French Quarter. This area is packed with bars and restaurant and every bar seemed to have it’s own live music. I managed to stay awake until 9pm - that makes about 22 hours awake - and slept unt…