Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Region Events in APEX 4 – This is exciting!

With the right tools just about anything is possible. APEX 4 will be introducing all kinds of new tools many of which are well known at this point. Anthony Rayner recently let me know about another new feature not many people know about: new JavaScript events associated with AJAX enabled regions like the interactive and classic reports.

When such a region refreshes, two events will be triggered:

  • apexbeforerefresh
  • apexafterrefresh

A developer can bind to these events as follows:

apex.jQuery('#[region id]').bind('apexafterrefresh', function(){
  // your code here.

jQuery’s “live” method could have been used in some cases to overcome the lack of such events – but it wasn’t always enough. Some developers came up with clever workarounds using timeouts but like most workarounds the solutions were not  exactly optimal.

The ways in which these new events can be used may not be immediately obvious, but when developing highly interactive web 2.0 applications such events are necessary.  What’s important is that you remember these new events exist so you can employ them when you run into a situation that requires their use.

Here’s an example where someone wanted  to display a “refresh timestamp” when an IR region refreshes. I’ve put together a demo that uses the apexafterrefresh to accomplish that task as well as a more complex one: floating headers!

Have a look at the demo here. Don’t forget scroll down to get the full effect.

For those of you that would like to duplicate this functionality you’ll have to wait for APEX 4 (perhaps I’ll turn it into a plugin), but here’s the code:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Upgrading to APEX 4.0 – it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3

When the APEX development team at Oracle recently moved to the third early adopters release of APEX 4.0, I panicked! I didn’t see the same “warning emails” that were sent with the previous transition and I thought I had lost some code that I had written for some presentations at the upcoming Kaleidoscope event.

Luckily, that was not the case. The second early adopters release was still available so I was able to export my application an import it into the new release.

During the import I stumbled upon a fantastic new feature that I had not yet known about: Upgrade Application  (previously known as the Migration Assistant)!

  1. You can see the icon available on the right after an application import.
  2. After clicking the icon you’re taken to an interactive report which lets you know which types of upgrades are available for your application.
  3. From there you can click on the number associated with the upgrade type to learn more about the upgrade and where it will be applied. Simple check the checkbox where you want to perform the upgrade and click Update. That’s it!

As you can see, taking advantage of some of the great new features of APEX 4.0 will be as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Webinar - Oracle Application Express as a Reporting Solution

I’ll be hosting a free webinar this week, “Oracle Application Express as a Reporting Solution”. The webinar will run on Wednesday, May 5th from 1pm to 2pm EDT. Click here to register.


Many organizations use applications that run on Oracle such as SunGard Banner, FAMIS, and Oracle Applications to name a few. These applications often offer reporting capabilities that are rigid or ineffective when it comes to keeping up with changing business needs and/or business processes viewed as "unusual" or "non-standard". More and more, these organizations are turning to Oracle Application Express (APEX) to fill this reporting void. Because of its small learning curve and impressive capabilities, APEX is the perfect solution to deliver all kinds of reports. In this webinar, learn how to use APEX to build applications used solely for reporting purposes. Topics will include:

  • Creating both standard and interactive reports
  • Creating drill down reports
  • Creating charts
  • Creating report menus for navigation
  • Report printing options
  • Securing access to data and reports

Anyone interested in reporting with APEX.