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Creating a Cool Dashboard in APEX

In my current project I have to create a dashboards that reflects the actual (and historical) situation in a factory. At first I tried something like the dashboards Anychart provides on it's site, like this. It is possible to create that kind of stuff in APEX, but then you have to generate all the XML data by yourself. And the fastest way to do something is...don't do it at all.

So, since the subregion-feature of APEX 4, you can achieve the same results by only tweaking the Chart XML itself a "little". And now I have something like this:
Kinda cool huh? I also created an example on apex.oracle.com (refreshes every 3 seconds with random data).

UKOUG 2010 Recap - Wednesday

Wednesday I started late, because I skipped the first session to prepare for my second one "Tales from a Parallel Universe: Using 11gR2’s Edition Based Redefinitions". Went also pretty good as well I think, ended nice on time - even, again, with a session chair. And I received some really positive feedback from people like John King and Christian Antognini. Thanks guys!
Then there was a funny debate kind of session between Tony Hasler and Jonathan Lewis about "Does Oracle ignore hints?". In the end it was all about semantics...if you discard bugs, poor or wrong documentation and more or less hidden features and unexpected optimizer processes, Oracle never ignores your hint (which in fact is more a 'directive' than a hint) - otherwise you might say that Oracle actually does  ignore your hint.
After lunch - instead of the good hot lunches we received a school-like lunch bag this time - I chaired my second session : "Edition-Based Redefinition: Testing Li…

UKOUG 2010 Recap - Tuesday

Tuesday started of with a two hour Masterclass by Cary Millsap "Thinking clearly about performance". A really great session that explained clearly what performance actually is (so the content covered the title). Using with a lot of nice stories, examples and analogies Cary has the ability to explain stuff that seems difficult in a way everybody can understand. If you haven't seen this one, it is really a must see if you have the chance!
Because the next session on my agenda was shifted to another place and time a had some time to walk through my own presentation for that afternoon before attending the APEX Roundtable. A nice Q&A about what all APEX stuff. Some person from Oracle even gave us some insight on when to expect APEX 4.1, but I won't repeat the schedule, because he actually was not allowed to say that (but if you are really interested, I already tweeted about that...). After lunch I chaired Anthony Ashton's session about "Practical Oracle 11g XML…

UKOUG 2010 Recap - Monday

Compared to some other attendees I had a fairly easy travel back home from another great UKOUG conference. And now I finally have the time to look back and write a blog post about my experiences over seas. As usual I planned to do a daily blogpost, but - also as usual - I can't find the time during the conference to blog. All those "social commitments" in the evening...sigh... 
I'll split it in three, otherwise it will become too long.

At Monday I started of with Grant Ronald's "The Quick Start Guide to Fusion Development with Oracle ADF". A good session that covered baby's first steps in ADF Development. As always, as Grant shows is, it seems so easy... But, coming from a Oracle Forms/Designer background, to me JDeveloper is still a huge box with tons of options to me. But I think I've forgotten how impressed I was when I first opened up Designer - with also tons of options! So IMHO developing in JDev might be fast (and definitely can result in …

APEX Meetup @ UKOUG 2010

As more or less a tradition, there will be an APEX Meetup during the upcoming UKOUG. Ben (a.k.a. Munky) was so good to organize this social gathering of APEX enthousiasts. 

Venue: Pennyblack's at The Mailbox -  http://www.pennyblacksbar.com

Time: Monday 29th November arrive 8:00pm - 8:30pm

He needs to give a rough confirmation of numbers by the start of next week. So if you are in the neighborhood and would like to attend (and who wouldn't), please leave a comment on this post!

UKOUG Conference right around the corner!

Booked my flight : 
Made a reservation for my hotel : 
Picked sessions for those three days : 

See my (ambitious) schedule below...really looking forward to it!

Chatting with the database

At APEXPosed in Brussels I attended a presentation by Lucas Jellema called "Reaching out from PL/SQL". It was all about leveraging the central position of the Oracle database in the application architecture. Of course the examples were accompanied by some fine demo's. One of them was sending and receiving email by the database: You could ask the database a question, and the database answered that one. Another one was sending instant messages from the database when some data was changed. Interesting stuff!
So I decided to combine those two: Why not chat with the database? Ask the database a question using an IM client and the database will (try to) answer to that question...
I started off with downloading and installing the Oracle-XMPP code (XMPP stands for Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol). Because I needed my own XMPP-server, I also downloaded and installed OpenFire. One of the options when installing OpenFire is to use an Oracle Database for storing the data (u…

The trouble of getting APEX on MySQL to work...

In theory it should be so easy...running an APEX application on an Oracle instance with database links to MySQL for retrieving and modifying data. In theory that is, because in practice it is somewhat more cumbersome. I finally got there, but it took some steps  - and patience...

I started off with the steps provided from a couple of websites. Like these from Birijan, from Pythian, from WebAJ and from Easysoft. They´re all not the most recent ones, so I downloaded the latest versions of MySQL (5.1.51), MySQL Connector for ODBC (5.1.7) and unixODBC (2.3.0) and installed this stuff on top of the Oracle Developer Days Virtual Machine. Following the steps provided on the sites earlier mentioned I had a MySQL database with a demo table within minutes. So far so good!

After changing the odbcinst.ini, odbc.ini, tlistener.ora, tnsnames.ora and the initmysql.ora (in $ORACLE_HOME/hs/admin) file I fired up SQL*Plus and created a databaselink using 
create database link mysql connect to "dem…

First European OPP / APEXposed

Last week the first European OPP / APEXposed ever was held in Brussels. And just like the US originals - which I actually never was able to attend - this also was a huge success, when you listen to all the positive feedback and comments issued in the hallways of the Brussel's Sheraton. 
In two days there were 9 sessions to attend in 4 to 5 tracks. And even which such a relative small number of tracks it was hard to pick just one...so many interesting presentations! APEXposed kicked off with a keynote by Patrick Wolf, in which he addressed all the nice new APEX 4.0 features at a glance. All of these features deserved a presentation on their own, and luckily most of them got one during the conference. Next I attended a session by Steven Feuerstein (he did 8 ! in these two days) about PL/SQL for APEX Developers. The key thing here was: develop your application as it was a regular PL/SQL based application, so use packages, test thoroughly, handle your errors well and code as less PL/SQL…

My OPP/APEXPosed schedule

As you might know, next week (Oct 27 and 28, 2010) the first ODTUG's OPP/APEXposed conference will be held in Europe - in Brussels that is. And even for such a small conference (compared to OOW, ODTUG Kaleidoscope and UKOUG), it is hard to choose the sessions. For every session you select, there are at least two or three other ones you would like to attend also! But I managed to create a nice schedule for myself. During the conference I might change plans - so no guarantee....
And yes, I have one of the final slots - just before the APEX and PL/SQL quizzes.

Create a favicon for your APEX 4.0 application

Probably totally superfluous, but a "favicon" is the little picture that shows up in your browser tab or bookmark list - like the example above. The APEX Page Templates support this nice feature by these two lines in the Header property :


So if you replace that default favicon file - which is not so cool - with your own, then you'll get something like the picture above. However, that file (on your virtual /i/ directory on a standard install) may be overwritten by the APEX default icon when upgrading or patching! That favicon will then be used for all your APEX applications A more flexible alternative is to go through all page templates and change the reference to your own favorite icon file to #APP_IMAGES#.ico (or to something like #IMAGE_PREFIX#my-icons/.ico. And of course upload a nice little icon for every application...

The joy of international travel ... not

This morning I arrived rather early at SFO. When checking in I noticed that the first leg of my trip was delayed by almost 2 hours. And, originally, had a 1.5 hour layover in Minneapolis. So that wouldn't work anymore...
So Delta rescheduled my whole trip: From San Francisco to Los Angeles to Paris to Amsterdam. With a couple of hours of layover at each stop. Initially I would arrive around 11 AM in Amsterdam, but that will be around 8 PM now! So a nice 9 hour delay.
Luckily SFO offers a free 45 wifi service. As I have three wifi enabled devices I am fine for over 2 hours. I must get as much sleep as possible at every leg, to feel just a little bit alive tomorrow. Or the day after that. The one and only positive thing is that I can head straight to bed when I finally get home.
I really realty hope no other delays will pop up... (to be continued)

The continuation
So SFO - LAX took about 1,5 hours, then 3 hours of waiting. Next a 9 hours flight to Paris, and of course I got a seat r…

UKOUG 2010 abstracts accepted

Today I got two e-mails from the organising committee of the upcoming UKOUG Technology Conference in Birmingham saying that both of the abstracts I submitted were selected. That's cool! A 100% score! I will do my presentation on Edition Based Redefinition and APEX and the one about creating a Google Visiualization Plugin for APEX. They will have to change the schedule a bit, because at this time both session have an overlap of half an hour. Or I'll need to split myself in half...
Looking forward to it!

OOW2010 Thursday

The last day of this year's conference. And the day after the event. It was noticeable that it already was a lot more quiet than the days before. And that sure had an effect on the turnout of my session. Being scheduled on the last day isn't an advance.
Just before my session about Edition Based Redefinition and APEX started I checked my demos and they ran perfect. And after my session they ran perfect as well. But during my session they didn't perform at all - and Marco was enjoying that on the front row... But luckily I had a backup: a number of screenprints. Apart from this minor inconvenience the presentation went pretty good! Afterwards I got some really nice compliments of Brynn, Patrick and Joel.
Then it was time to wind down. First in the OTN lounge, and then at the "It's a wrap!" party. That party was really nice: sun, beer and good music. A perfect way to end a good Oracle Open World
See you all again next year...or earlier when possible!

OOW2010 Wednesday

Alas I missed the Benelux cocktail part last night, because the dinner took somewhat longer than expected. The dinner was extremely good though.
This day started with a session by John Scott Spendolini about "Recovering from APEX mistakes" - I didn't know they existed but nevertheless. Good session on how to undo changes you've made, debugging etc. The next one was by Marco Gralike on XML-DB (what else could it be?). Good, detailed info with some nice examples. Not all demos worked like he meant to, but that's the price you pay when you mess with them the night before! Especially the event firing mechanism when you drop a file in an XML folder are very cool! Marco, we definitely need those for our ODTUG presentation!
Then Raj did a presentation on collections, enthusiastic and dynamic us usual. But also his deno didn't turn out as expected. The best take away from this session was the idea to create views on top of your collections, so you can maintain the c…

OOW2010 Tuesday

The day started really early with a 8 o'clock session about ExtJS integrated in APEX. Marc Lancaster is one of the few people I know of who uses ExtJS in an APEX environment, but he still wrote a book about it (due very soon). But I have to admit that the user interface you can create with this framework is very nice. And when you wrap the whole ExtJS stuff in Plugins, it isn't very hard to use. Marc's book will come with a number of Plugins and templates.
The next session was on the Oracle Service Bus. The best thing was that the presenter perfectly demoed how easy (agile) it is to add and change services you need to exchange information from one system to the other.
Next was a session on Edition Based Redefinition. My session is on the same subject, so I was curious what Dan Morgan would tell and show on this matter. But - luckily! - no new stuff for me.
Then I had a very nice lunch with my Logica colleagues here present. Good to meet colleagues from the US, France an…

OOW2010 Monday

The first real day of this Openworld started off with a PLSQLChallenge 'live'. Good fun as alway, but this time no prices to win. The second session was about integrating Adobe Flash into Application Express. My idea is: ok, you can do it, but why would you? Just because you can?
After that Lucas and Alex did a good job about "Xenogentics" as they cold it. It was all about Java best practices for PL/SQL developers. Some fine and good ideas, but some I never would use in a real environment, because they are too complicated to implement and maintain. But the whole idea too look further than your regular scope for some good practices is very useful.
Then I attended a session about replacing mod-plsql modules in an eBusiness Suite with APEX. Mainly because mod-plsql isn't supported in an eBS12 environment. The presenters mainly focussed on getting the security stuff - authentication and authorization - right. Good stuff if you're in that situation.
The last sessio…

OOW2010 Sunday

In the evening of this day Oracle had organised a cruise for all ACE's. At least for who that were on time....(sorry Jacco, had to mention it). It was good fun, a nice trip with beautiful views of San Francisco at night. We had to leave during Larry's keynote, that overrun an hour or so. Larry announced the Exalogic machine. Also called "your own private cloud". He mentioned that Facebook could run on two of those machines. But thinking of that: if Facebook needs two, who needs one? I guess the installed base will not be that big. But you can also buy "half a rack"! The other big thing was the announcement of the general availability of Fusion Apps in 2011Q1, 5 years after it was mentioned first. The third thing was the new unbreakable Linux kernel, to overcome the - according to Oracle - slow development of Linux by Redhat. I wonder what will be left for the Wednesday keynote...probably the new Java roadmap...
Before the keynotes, there were some user group…

Travelling to OOW 2010

Yesterday was one of those days. Crossing the Atlantic and ending up with crossing 9 timezones. So that day had 33 hours...(so you can definitely have more than 24 hours in a day!).
I got up at 6 AM, traveled to Schiphol (Amsterdam Airport) by train. At Schiphol it was crowded! People with large bags everywhere, no one standing in line. Giant congestion for the border security etc. And then there is the obligatory chat with a security officer when boarding (did you pack your bag yourself, brought anything etc..). The strange thing is the US carriers seem to be obliged doing that - but only for inbound flights?? But the good thing was: I managed to upgrade my first leg of the trip (to Minneapolis). Never traveled Business Class before, but, man! what a joy!. Imagine long, broad seats with lots of buttons on the armrest. If you use the right ones, you can get the chair in a 100% horizontal position - while massaging your back! And then there is the drinks and the food... I would love to t…

OOW 2010 about to start!

I just printed out my boarding pass for my 10.50 flight tomorrow morning. From Amsterdam, via Minneapolis to San Francisco takes around 11,5 hours time, with 1,5 hours overlay in Minneapolis. I hope that'll be enough to pass the US-border control!
It will be a busy week, with lots of sessions and networking events. I won't put my whole session schedule up here, that might set the expectation that I also will attend all these sessions...  But in short: Sunday afternoon will mostly be filled by the ODTUG APEX sessions, and maybe pick a part of the Welcome keynote alongside. Monday will be a combination of good old PL/SQL, APEX, Fusion, Fusion Apps, Exadata.  Tuesday has a similar picture: APEX, ESB, JavaFX and Tom Kyte's keynote. Wednesday is of course Larry's keynote (with or without Iron Man), and some database related sessions. Thursday I've planned to attend two more APEX sessions, before I have mine: at 12:30 in Hotel Nikko called "Using Edition-Based Redefini…

Setting the starting point for KScope2011: Get XFILES running...

As a preparation for a joint presentation with Marco Gralike for ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2011, I tried to (re)install the not-yet-so-famous XFILES Application. That application was the result of the collaboration of Mark Drake (Sr Product Manager XMLDB) and Carl Backstrom. They did a presentation about it during OOW2008. The idea behind the presentation/application was leveraging the power of XML-DB with an APEX UI. Due to Carl's tragic car accident, the application never reached a final stage. Marco already did a sequel about XFILES on his blog. You can also find a download link to the latest version of the application there.
But back to the installation....I used the OTN Developer Days VM as a start and patched it with the latest APEX patch (4.0.1). There is a sort of how-to included in the XFILES download, but that isn't flawless (yet). But after executing all the steps I fired up the application and got this:


So all my images where missing. Inspecting the code learned that the i…

Special appearance at Oracle Open World 2010??

At most Oracle Open Worlds I attended, Larry brings on a "very special guest" during his keynote. Last year it was the Governator, Arnold -I'll be back- Schwarzenegger.
This year I'll expect another cool appearance. My bet is on Iron Man a.k.a. Tony Stark a.k.a. Robert Downey jr. Or - that would even be cooler - Larry will make his appearance at his own Stark Expo in an Iron Man suit! There is already a lot written about the similarities between Iron Man/Tony Stark and Larry (see here, here or here). But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so a live appearance will be the logical next step...
And what will he announce? I expect it to be the long awaited Oracle Game Console.
Not sure about anything above, but someone has to be the first to start a rumor huh?

APEX Meetup @ OOW 2010

Just like last year and the year before that, there will be a (semi) official APEX Meetup during Oracle Open World 2010! And as the APEX Developers - just like every other human being - hang on to a good tradition, even the venue, the day and the time will be exactly the same as in previous years.

So write in your agenda / add to your schedule:

What : APEX Meetup
When : Tuesday September 21, 7.30 PM - ???
Where : Fourth Street Bar & Deli (very close to Moscone)

Another not-to-miss event...hope to see you all there!

APEX Listener Confusion

I just downloaded and installed version 1.10.xx of the APEX Listener. After solving some problems - most of them due to "no need reading the manual", I've got it up and running. Now I can access APEX choosing from a variety of ports: APEX Listener, EPG, Apache's mod_plsql.

A few things are confusing me though:

1. At last weeks ODTUG was announced that the APEX Listener made it into production (the version number also indicates that status). But if you're looking at the official download site, it says: "The Application Express Listener is currently an early adopters release and is not supported by Oracle Support.".  So what is the - current - truth?

2. Reading the documentation (after all), I noticed: "The Oracle Application Express Listener supports the following Java Enterprise Edition application servers: Oracle WebLogic Server 11g Release 1 (10.3.3), Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server 3 +, Oracle Containers for J2EE 10.1.3.4 or higher". The fun…

ODTUG: Thursday and the day after...

The last day of this great conference had "only" three presentation slots. The first one I attended, but honestly I didn't pay that much of an attention. I was writing my previous post at that time and I was rather familiar with the subject "Forms to APEX conversion". And I totally agree with the conclusions: Converting simple Forms is easy, but the more complex the Forms, the more work it will take to convert it to APEX!
The second one was called "APEX Stimulus Package". In fact it was more or less a list of things you have to consider to improve the performance of your APEX application - also due to the fact that most demo's didn't work because of a failing internet connection.  To name some of the tips: Reduce images sizes and use png instead of gif or jpg; check the Apache log for errors and resolve them; add a favicon.ico; watch out with pagination schemes; tune your Page 0 processes; use Page and Region caching where appropriate; minify ja…

ODTUG: Wednesday

This day started off with a very nice presentation about the joys of Javascript by Dan "The Man"McGhan. In a very nice pace he took the audience by the hand and increased the difficulty level step-by-step. His key message was; Don't be scared of Javascript, because if you look close enough it is looks more like PL/SQL than you might think at first sight. Get to learn jQuery and do your thing!Another nice presentation was about "RESTful Web Services" by Jason Straub. He demoed how you can use webservices withing APEX to manage the buckets and contents on an Amazon S3 cloud environment. He also pointed out that not only APEX can consume webservices, but also can act as the source of a webservice. In order to achieve that you have to create a report on a public page that returns either XML or Json. He didn't show a demo, but promised to get out a paper or how-to out there next week. Have to try that myself soon! Another fine session was Tim St. Hilaire's s…

ODTUG: Tuesday

One of the highlights of todays conference was the "Plug-In Showcase" where Anton, Dietmar, Dan, Dimitri and Doug each showed a plugin they wrote the last couple of days. They showed some real simple ones, like a hover function up to more complex things like a Netlfix style drag and drop functionality. The conclusion is; Once you get the hang of it, writing Plug-Ins isn't that hard - and using good Plug-Ins is very simple. So Plug-Ins enhance your development speed dramatically and can be an enormous improvement to your end-user experience.
One other session was about changing the look-and-feel of your APEX page, using the templates and changing the css. The new Theme 4 in APEX 4.0 is even shipped with PSD (Photoshop) files that contain the sprites (a collection of images within one file) used within that template. You can edit these files in order to change the look of the buttons, regions and whatever else there's on your page.
Another nice one was "Oracle Trace…

New article in ODTUG Technical Journal

I am very proud to announce that in the latest ODTUG Technical Journal one of the articles is written by yours truly. It is all about the integration of Forms and APEX.
See this link. You have to be a member to download it (but I think you can become an Associated Member for free) - or you have to wait until the next release is out, then the one before will be freely accessible.

ODTUG: Monday

The day started with the General Session. There the ODTUG Board announced when en where the next Kaleidoscope will be held: At Long Beach, California! From June 26 to 30 2011. And you can even submit papers as from now! There is a link somewhere, and if I'll find it I'll add it to this post. Another remarkable thing was that the number of attendees this year was up with 50% to around 900! So ODTUG grows bigger and bigger every year - and so even getting more important in the Oracle world.
Next - and rather important - was the game...The Netherlands against Slovakia. We saw the match with a couple of other attendees, most of them Dutch, but also some other guys - but all supporting Holland And we won with 2-1, which was great. So in the next match we have to beat Brazil - which will be though!
Back to the stuff we all here for...
The first afternoon session was the "APEX 4.0 Keynote", where Mike showed all the cool new APEX 4.0 features for an interested audience of o…

Sunday's APEX Symposium ... from A to X (or Z)

This morning I started with an early walk to the zoo. With the idea in mind that it might be not so hot around 8 or 9 AM. But that was wrong... Even at that time of day it is hot. The temperature would rise to a 37 C this day!
But the zoo is very worthwhile. Not that I have seen all of it, because the whole track is about 15 kilometers... I especially went to see the Giant Panda's. Never seen them before, but they are just as cute and adorable as you would expect. After the zoo I went to the National Cathedral, one of the biggest churches in the US. I thing it is a sort of copy of the St. Peter in Rome - and I heard that Darth Vader is on one of the colored glass windows (didn't see it though). Beautiful church with a number of "Dan Brown" style crypts below. Around 10:30 I got back to the conference to pick up on the ongoing APEX Symposium. At that moment Dan McGhan was talking about Dynamic Actions and PlugIns. Especially his "recurring event" PlugIn is rat…

First impressions of Washington...

On Saturday I had a very well scheduled travel from my home to Washington. Even the plane departed and arrived exactly as scheduled. And while the line for the US Border Security was quite long, it only took half an hour or so to take that hurdle. I have seen worse (1,5 hour in Houston), but also better (5 minutes in Minneapolis).
In my shared shuttle drive to the hotel the impression I didn't get an impressive view of Washington: just the regular broad streets packed with stores and restaurants. Once out of the shuttle the impression is that it is impressively hot and humid. Not as bad as New Orleans, but still. After registration I went for a Indian dinner with Monty and Mark, I even managed to stay up until 10PM (and that with a 6 hour time difference). Due to that time difference I first woke up at 4AM, but managed to stay sort of sleeping until 6AM. Still to early for breakfast, but that gives me the chance to write this short blog post.
Today there are two important things on …

APEX 4.0 available on OTN

As of Wednesday July 23, 14:00 (GMT+1) APEX 4.0 is available from OTN. See Joels post on this.
I am downloading this as I type, but it seems I am not the only one... Takes some time, but we have waited long enough for this release, so adding another 15 minutes doesn't harm.

#APEXinAntwerp - The first OBUG APEX SIG

Last Thursday the first official OBUG (Oracle Benelux User Group) was held in Antwerp with APEX 4.0 as the main subject of all presentations. Over 80 attendees attended this event and listened to six presentations during the day. Although it was very warm (some people would claim even 'hot') in the room, (almost) nobody feel asleep - for long.
After a warm welcome by Dimitri, Patrick Wolf showed a lot of the cool new APEX 4.0 features in a 1,5 hour presentation and demo. 
Next another Patrick (Hellemans) from InterAccess did a presentation on The Maturity Level of APEX.  According to Gartner and Forrester APEX will kick off (even more) the next two years! He also demo'ed an APEX Framework they made, to enable a kick start for APEX Application Development. Looked very good!
After a lunch with some nice sandwiches, I did my first gig on "Developing a Google Visualization Plugin for APEX 4.0" - the same as I will do next week at ODTUG. I think it went pretty well for a…

#APEXinDublin

Last Tuesday CampusIT - in cooperation with Oracle - organized the first APEX event in Ireland. Around 50 people from around the country visited the O'Callaghan Alexander hotel for a series of five presentations around APEX (done by the four presenters on the picture). First on was Dimitri with his "Mastering an APEX Page" presentation - always a success. I was om next doing my "APEX and Forms Integration" presentation and demo.
After a - very good ! - lunch Bary McGillin from Oracle (from the SQL Developer Dev Team) was substituting Hilary Farell (from the APEX Dev Team), who couldn't make it - probably very busy with the last loose ends of APEX 4.0. After the APEX 4.0 presentation Barry did a presentation on SQL Developer 2.1.1.  But he also did a demo on the brand new 3.0 release. And as you might expect this release includes many new features and enhancements. Some of these features are aimed at the DBA, like changing Oracle parameters on the fly, addin…

Suggest-a-session 2010 is live

Since some time last week the third version of "Suggest a Session" for Oracle Open World 2010 is live. You can already pick your favorites from 60 sessions at this moment - that number will probably rise the next couple of weeks.

Warning....shameless plug ahead...

And if you're interested in an extra APEX session, you can vote for mine: Creating a sub-zero dashboard plugin for APEX using Google Visualizations.

Voting is open until June 20!

Final Agenda APEX OBUG SIG on June 17

The agenda for the first APEX OBUG SIG is finalized. From a number of abstracts Dimitri and I picked two to fill the open spaces.
Patrick Hellemans (InterAccess) will do a presentation on the "Maturity level of Oracle APEX" and Olivier Dupont (iAdvise) will emphasize more smaller but nevertheless very powerfull new features in his presentation called "APEX 4.0: Feature 135, 184, 301, 315, 348 … ".
Also the location is defined : congrescentre 't Elzenveld Antwerp. You can see the complete agenda on the OBUG website. You can register there too (be quick, full = full). It is gonna be a long but interesting day with 6 hours of APEX presentations!

Some "small" APEX 4.0 EA3 features...

In the latest release of APEX 4.0 (available on tryapexnow) I noticed two nice new features. First of all, on the far right side of the Home page of the builder, there is a little region called "Available Updates". If you click on the little "i" in the upper right of that region, you'll navigate to another page where you can control if you want to check for those updates. Wonder what will happen if I set it to "No"...will it be switched of for just my workspace or for the whole APEX instance? To me it seems it should be an "Administration" kind of functionality - so instance wide. In the "Help" it says: "This attribute controls if Application Express should check if updates are available for Oracle Application Express and the Oracle Application Express Listener. Note: To perform this check Application Express transmits the version number of Application Express and other system components to Oracle Corporation." This seems…

Two not-to-miss APEX events in June !

June will be a busy month. Not only the famous ODTUG's Kaleidoscope conference will be held that month, but also two events in Europe!
The first one is on Tuesday, June 15 in Dublin. CampusIT organizes a free (!) one day APEX event, packed with good sessions from Dimitri Gielis from Sumneva, Hilary Farell and Barry McGillin from Oracle and Jan Navratil from CampusIT (and I'll do a session myself). You can register using this link.
Later that week, on Thursday, June 17, the first official OBUG APEX SIG event is planned. The location will be conveniently located for all attendees from Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg, somewhere in or around Antwerp. Also this event is jam packed with sessions, all aimed at APEX 4.0. Patrick Wolf, Dimitri Gielis, Iloon Ellen and myself will do a session on one (or more) of the many APEX 4.0 new features. There are still two presentation slots open, so if you do have a good APEX 4.0 idea and want to present on this great event, send a mail …

No Collaborate 2010 for me - thanks to the Icelandic (bank) e-ruption...

I was really looking forward to fly out last Saturday to Las Vegas for my first visit to Collaborate. But the Icelandic vulcano with the unpronounceable name (something like "Eiwjhfdjaajfkjjsirsuj"), threw soot in the food - which is a direct translation of a Dutch saying, the corresponding English saying would be something like: "spoil-sported it".
So both my presentations are canceled, sorry for those who had planned to attend!
The good thing is, I got a 100% refund of both flights and hotel from Expedia, with one single phone call of a few minutes on Sunday. A great service, that I didn't expect, so I was happily surprised by that!
So at least I got cashes for ashes, bucks for dust....
I really hope the air will be clean before the next big conference, ODTUG Kaleidoscope in Washington, and hope to see you all there!

Call for Papers UKOUG TEBS Conference

I just received an email that the Call for Papers for the UKOUG Conference Series Technology & E-Business Suite 2010 has opened. The submission deadline is 2nd August, so you still have some time. The event itself is from 28th November to 1st Devember in Birmingham.
From my experience I can only say that this is the best European Oracle event around, so if you want to be part of it: Just do it! Submit your abstracts here: http://techandebs.ukoug.org/.

Alternative to Alternating Row Colors in an Interactive Report

Almost a year ago I blogged about a solution how to create those nice striping in an Interactive Report. That solution is based on using the onLoad method of an image that you use in the IR for linking to a Form. The downside of that solution is that it doesn't 'support' sorting and filtering. After applying a sort of a filter the coloring is all gone. Also - in some browsers - the order in which the rows (or images) are loaded is not the same order as you see on the screen, resulting in a more or less randomized striping...

But recently I found out about the l_LastFunction attribute of a report. That function is called after all worksheet (report) AJAX calls. So if we define a function that does the striping for just the odd rows in the worksheet after all calls - like sorting, filtering - are done, the striping just keeps working!

The code uses jQuery and is just this:
$(function(){   function altColor(){    $(".apexir_WORKSHEET_DATA tr:odd").addClass("Odd&…

Rumors about APEX 4.0 release date on OGh APEX Day

Yesterday the OGh (Dutch Oracle User Group) organized a full day about APEX. There was a very good turn-up of about 150 attendees and about 10 sessions to choose from.
A couple of attendees already blogged about it like Rob, Michel and Dimitri. I agree what they already have written so I won't repeat it.

There also was a rumor - that I heard of before, so it might be true - that APEX 4.0 is planned to be released just before/after or even during ODTUG... So around the end of June we will experience if the source of the rumor is a reliable source or not...

OGh APEX Day, March 30 2010

On March 30 the OGh (Oracle Usergroup Holland) organizes its first APEX Day. One day packed with success stories from companies and presentations. This meeting offers a lot of in depth presentations, interesting content and meetings with colleagues. Besides user experience, this is another day that will stress the developments of APEX 4.0.
Although the program has not been finalized, it is already announced that Dimitri Gielis (Apex Evangelists), Patrick Wolf (Oracle), Art Melssen (CIBER) and myself will fill a presentation slot.
I guess most presentations will be in Dutch (not Patrick's). At this moment already 57 people signed up...and there is room for only 120. So you better be quick. You can register here.

APEX Plugin Directory

For all you APEX Plugin developers: There is already an operational APEX Plugin Directory available at http://www.apex-plugin.com/. You can add your own Plugins there and view and download the ones your co-APEX developers came up with.
Looks pretty slick, with just one drawback: It is not built in APEX (at this moment).
Oracle also has one under construction at http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database/application_express/html/plugins.html.

APEX 4.0 PlugIn for Google Wave

Better late than never...
I am also happily playing around with APEX 4.0 and busy creating some PlugIns. The first one is rather simple (once you get the hang of it). It can show you a Google Wave by just entering the Wave ID (ok, and a width and height for your convenience).
If you have a Google Wave account you can see the results and download the PlugIn on : http://tryapexnow.com/apex/f?p=PLUGINS:GOOGLEWAVE.

More to come ... : as you can see in the Wave, there are lots of good ideas on PlugIns!!