Monday, April 16, 2012

The Gauntlet has been Thrown Down

Think you have what it takes to create an APEX plug-in? Well get to it! At this point there's about one month left in the Application Express Plug-in Competition. That’s just under four weeks to plan, develop, and package up your plug-in. Believe it or not, that’s more than enough time.

I've talked to a few people about entering in the competition and their responses were similar - they are worried that they don’t know enough to pull it off.  If you feel the same way I strongly encourage you to reconsider and get started today. One of the best ways to learn is by doing and when you release an APEX plug-in, you not only help yourself, you help the community as well.

Perhaps you have the knowledge but don’t know where to start or what to create… Well I can help you there! I have lots of ideas but, sadly, very little time to bring them to life. Here are some ideas that are based on existing jQuery plug-ins - something that will make the APEX plug-in creation much easier:

  • Countdown Timer
    • Plug-in type: item 
    • jQuery Plug-in:
    • Description: I'd implement this plug-in as an item rather than a region to allow for greater flexibility. This plug-in would show the count down clock and eventually trigger a timeout event on the item that would allow dynamic actions to respond.
  • Feature Hint
    • Plug-in type: dynamic action
    • jQuery Plug-in:
    • Description: Feature hint would allow developers to let end users know of features within an application that aren't immediately obvious. The plug-in should allow developers to specify when the messages should be displayed (conditions could be used) and should maybe use Ajax with APEX preferences to record that a user has seen/dismissed a particular feature hint.
  • News Ticker
    • Plug-in type: region
    • jQuery Plug-in:
    • Description: It's a news ticker! ;)
  • Region Floater
    • Plug-in type: dynamic action
    • jQuery Plug-in:
    • Description: Would allow developers to keep selected regions on the page while users scroll.
  • RSS/ATOM Feed
    • Plug-in type: region
    • jQuery Plug-in:
    • Description: A region that displays various feeds. If done right it could give Google Reader a run for its money :)
  • Org Chart
    • Plug-in type: region
    • jQuery Plug-in:
    • Description: Roel Hartman already put out an org chart from Google, but this is purely JavaScript based and supports drag and drop.

If you have other ideas for plug-ins that would be useful but not overly complex to create, feel free to leave a note in the comments. Remember, you have till May 14th to submit your plug-in. Check out for all the details. I look forward to reviewing the submissions! Good  luck!


  1. Great ideas.
    How about - a feature rich plugin around jQuery Slider . I have seen one or two , but none seem to bring it altogether.

  2. How many entries have you received so far?

  3. Martin,

    Great idea, I think a jQuery UI Slider plug-in would go over nicely.


    I'm not sure, but it wouldn't surprise me if nothing has been submitted yet. There's no sign up date so I'm quite certain that any and all entries will come in right around the due date of May 14th.


  4. Great post, thanks Dan! Do you know of any online resources that could help somebody getting started with their first plugin? Any tutorials out there that you are aware of?

  5. Hi Michelle,

    Just created this for you:


  6. Hi Dan,
    I have problem in modal page. I am using 4.2.0 apex version on the workspace. I want to create modal page for the form. I have done following changes on the report page though it is not working. When I click on the create button it displays only dialog box (like a popup as in actual output) without including form in it. It means only empty dialog box is displayed with scroller as output.

    1) Under Action when button clicked
    Action ----> Redirect to URL
    URL Target -----> javascript:return false;
    Button Attributes -----> id="modal"
    Button Template -----> Button

    2) In Button template, I have also copied the #button_substitution# string in the html code of the button. I also tried without copy and paste #button_substitution# string in the HTML code.

    3) Then I have created dynamic action for the click event of the create button on the report page as follow

    Event ----> Click
    Selection Type ----> Jquery Selector
    Jquery Selector ----> #modal
    Action ---> Skill Builders Modal page 2.0.0
    URL Location : Statically defined
    Static URL ----> f?p=&APP_ID.:29:&APP_SESSION.:::29:::

    So I want to know what is problem? I am looking for your quick reply.

    Thanks in Advance

  7. Tushar,

    Please don't post questions that are not related to the original post. I don't make it hard to contact me.

    Also, if you're looking for a fast response, use the APEX forum where more than one person can help you.

    Have you seen this?

    If that doesn't help I'd need to see the problem so you'll need to provide me with developer credentials to the workspace you're using.

    If you need more assistance please email me directly or, even better, create a post in the APEX forum.