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Using Static Files in APEX has never been easier !

Almost every APEX Developer knows that JavaScript and CSS belongs in separate files and (in 99% of the use cases) not somewhere in your Page properties. If you have this code in separate files it is easier to use them in a Version Control System (SVN or Git) - if the files are outside of APEX. And the code you store in these files can be reused, in contrast to the stuff you store on Page level.
In a lot of environments it is harder to use external files, because deployment of these files to the appropriate location on a webserver requires special privileges that not everybody has. In those cases storing these files as Static Application Files or Static Workspace Files might be a better solution.
It makes deployment easier, because these files will be exported and imported as part of the application. You can't accidentally forget about them. But working with these files is quite a pain. When you need to edit something you have to download that file, make the changes, upload it again and refresh the page to see the result (either positive or negative). One tool that overcomes that repeated cycle in APEX Nitro. Nitro uses JavaScript (node) behind to seems to facilitate the upload / refresh part of the development cycle. Pretty cool. But it is another tool that runs outside your browser and it requires the installation of node. No big deal but still.

Just recently I stumbled upon a tweet of the guys from FOEX telling about a new initiative FOEX Open Source (a.k.a. FOS). And they started this initiative by releasing a browser extension - for Firefox and Chrome - that facilities editing of Static JavaScript and CSS Files straight in the browser. Big advantage: No more uploading, changing, uploading cycle anymore. Just change, save and refresh!

When you install the browser extension, a little Select List appears in the page where you can see your Static Application (or Workspace) Files. You can just select one of your files there and a built-in editor appears with all the nice Visual Studio Code features we all know and love.
So you have syntax highlighting and can edit multiple files at the same time in different tabs - either behind each other or next to each other (left to right or top to bottom).
And it's not just that you van Edit and Save the file, there is also a "Minify" option. So you can even do that directly from with APEX! That is really cool.
And to top that all off, you can also create (or edit) Less files and compile these to CSS (and minify them) in one go. 
So no more excuses for not using files anymore! It will never get easier than this ....
You can download the extension from the webstores for Chrome and Firefox.






Comments

Veerendra P said…
Hi Roel,
I imported the chrome extension. When I open the file, edit and save, it always hangs for for me. After some time I get the error
saying cannot save because the session may have expired.

I am using APEX 19.1, hosted on AWS using standalone ORDS.

Any suggestions please?

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