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Adding items to your Interactive Grid Toolbar

The APEX Interactive Grid uses the Toolbar widget to create the default Toolbar showing the Search box, Actions menu, Save button etc. And since quite a while there is a nice Plugin "Extend IG Toolbar" by Marko Goricki that makes it very easy to add additional buttons to the Toolbar.

But what if you need more than a button? 
Inspecting the contents of widget.toolbar.js, you can easily spot there can be added more to the Toolbar than just a button: The type of control, available values:
"STATIC", "TEXT", "SELECT", "BUTTON", "MENU", "RADIO_GROUP", "TOGGLE".
The first example will show a way to easily switch from one filter to another. Of course we could use the standard functionality and create two different Report views, but using a Radio Group on the Toolbar gives a more "Tab" like user experience.

So how can we create a Radio Group that looks like a switch in the Toolbar?
In the Javascript Code …
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Startup your ORDS container after your Oracle DB container is ready

If you are using multiple containers to set up your Oracle Development (or Test or Production) environment - as I described here - you probably ran into the issue that your ORDS container was started before the Database was started up. This results in an ORDS container that is not working - at least not as you need to.

Using Docker Compose you can specify a depends_on option, for instance in the ORDS container configuration you specify (where "oracle" refers to the container that holds the Oracle database) : depends_on : - oracle but this only means the ORDS container will start after the "oracle" container has been started. That does not mean the Oracle database inside the container is started and available!

So how do we tell the ORDS to configure itself in one container to wait for the database in another container is ready to use?
Step 1: Start the Oracle database (container), connect to it and enable a port - in this example 8080 - in the Oracle database 
begin   d…

Some conditions are more equal than others ...

Imagine you have a nice APEX application, but on a certain day your client asks you to remove a column from the application. So after a thorough dependency analysis it appears that that column is only used in two pages : One Interactive Report and one Form. 

So you go ahead and start with the hard work and delete the column from the table. Now you only have to fix the application, right? So - just in case of "you never know whether the client will change his mind again" - you decide to set the "Server Side Condition" of the column in both the Report and the Form to "Never". That should do the trick!
Of course you do test, and fire up the report. Works as expected, the column is not shown on the report anymore. Then you click the little pencil link to open the Form. 
And an error pops up:
WTF? I was pretty sure I set the Condition to Never! So why is it still trying to fetch that column?
Luckily there are more ways to not show an Item on a Page, so I creat…

Kscope18 flashback

After a few nights of good sleep (that means more than the average 4 to 5 hours at Kscope), it is time to sit back and evaluate what happened last week. I arrived on Thursday night before the event, just in time to catch Danny Bryant at the bar for "just one last beer" (I don't know how often I heard, and used, that phrase last week).
The whole Friday was filled with an all day Board Meeting, mainly discussing the future of ODTUG, a reception and a fine dinner. Since a couple of years, Saturday is the Community Service Day. This year, an impressive number of people showed up and were transferred to "Up Orlando", to make its easier for them to help the people that really need some help. All kinds of different activities were done, like cleaning, filling shelves, painting chairs etc.
 After that there is another tradition: bag stuffing. All those (about 1500) bags didn't get delivered with all those goodies in there! A number of volunteers created the most e…

apex_application.g_f0x array processing in Oracle 12

If you created your own "updatable reports" or your custom version of tabular forms in Oracle Application Express, you'll end up with a query that looks similar to this one:
then you disable the "Escape special characters" property and the result is an updatable multirecord form.
That was easy, right? But now we need to process the changes in the Ename column when the form is submitted, but only if the checkbox is checked. All the columns are submitted as separated arrays, named apex_application.g_f0x - where the "x" is the value of the "p_idx" parameter you specified in the apex_item calls. So we have apex_application.g_f01, g_f02 and g_f03. But then you discover APEX has the oddity that the "checkbox" array only contains values for the checked rows. Thus if you just check "Jones", the length of g_f02 is 1 and it contains only the empno of Jones - while the other two arrays will contain all (14) rows. So for processing y…

Using multiple Authentication Schemes for your APEX application

Recently someone asked me how he could implement multiple authentication schemes for his APEX application. He would like to use (some kind of) Single Sign-on authentication and - as an alternative - an Application Express Authentication. The problem is ... you can only define one Authentication Scheme being "Current" for an application! So how can we solve this issue?

First, we need te be aware that multiple applications can share their authentication by using the same cookie. Thus if you specify "MYCOOKIE" as the Cookie Name in Application A as well as in Application B, you can switch from A to B and back without the need of logging in again. It doesn't matter what Authentication Scheme Type you are using!

Knowing this, we are halfway our solution. We need two Applications. One - the "real" application - using the Application Express Authentication, let's name this one "LAUNCHPAD". And another one using the Single Sign-on Authentication…

Dockerize your APEX development environment

Nowadays Docker is everywhere. It is one of the main components of Continuous Integration / Continuous Development environments. That alone indicates Docker has to be seen more as a Software Delivery Platform than as a replacement of a virtual machine.

However ...

If you are running an Oracle database using Docker on your local machine to develop some APEX application, you will probably not move that container is a whole to test and production environments. Because in that case you would not only deliver a new APEX application to the production environment - which is a good thing - but also overwrite the data in production with the data from your development environment. And that won't make your users very excited.
So in this set up you will be using Docker as a replacement of a Virtual Machine and not as a Delivery Platform.
And that's exactly the way Martin is using it as he described in this recent blog post. It is an ideal way to get up and running with an Oracle database …