Wednesday 31 October 2012

Perth Conference Feedback

Attention all delegates & conference volunteers who saw sessions at the Perth 2012 AUSOUG Conference:

I would strongly encourage you to head here to provide feedback on any sessions you attended in the last two days

Now that it's likely you're back on your desktops - it's even quicker and easier to find your sessions and add feedback. The desktop version of the app has a "Sessions" button, which takes you to the session list
Click "Feedback" on the relevant sessions
Then you can provide star ratings and some comments if you wish.

I also created a special last session so you can provide any general feedback regarding the conference.

Thank you!

Scott Wesley
Program Chair
Perth 2012 AUSOUG Conference

OTDUG Australia / NZ APEX training

ODTUG APEX event training details

If you didn't get enough APEX at the Perth conference, then thanks to ODTUG and AUSOUG, you can supplement it further by welcoming ACE Director Martin D'Souza and Oracle Application Express Product Manager David Peake to Australia and New Zealand.

They will dive deep into the APEX world, including a hands-on lab.

  • Auckland - November 5-6, 2012
  • Melbourne - November 8-9, 2012

Further details can be found here:

I'll be attending the Melbourne event - I might see you there!


Friday 26 October 2012

Easter egg added to mobile app

I've added an easter egg to the mobile application that's accompanying my presentation at the Perth #AUSOUG conference.

If you can find it you will see the answer to an eyebrow-raising trivia question I'll ask at the end of my session. I'll try find something to give away.

At the SAGE booth We'll also have a game you can play with a mobile web browser - more details to come!

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Upgrading to APEX 4.2 in three steps

I found upgrading my laptop's 11gXE instance from APEX 4.1 to APEX 4.2 ridiculously easy:
  1. Stop APEX Listener (5 seconds)
  2. Run install script (19 minutes)
    @apexins.sql apex apex_files TEMP /i/
  3. Restart APEX Listener with new images address (15 seconds)
    java -jar apex.war standalone --apex-images \apex4.2\images
Job done.

Further details & other optional steps found in APEX 4.2 Installation Guide

When I have time I must find out if we can still tweak the APEX login page.


Monday 22 October 2012

Demo Mobile APEX application for AUSOUG

The 2012 Perth AUSOUG Conference is less than a week away and it's time for an announcement.

This year I'm presenting "A Foray into APEX mobile", which will be a look into the 4.2 release. Accompanying this will be a demonstration application ( that allows you to explore the conference sessions from your desktop or mobile device.

My presentation will investigate how this sausage was made; then talk about some of the considerations you'll need to take when exploring the world of mobile development. It will also be powerpoint free :-)

The application isn't super beautiful, I only use the stock theme - and I won't guarantee the application is defect free - in fact you may even encounter some APEX 4.2 bugs. I will however do my best to ensure the session times are up-to-date.

Please feel free to explore the application before & during the conference - in fact, I encourage all of you attending the conference to do three things

  1. explore the application to help decide which sessions to attend
  2. use the links to indicate which sessions you are interested in (or not interested)
  3. after you attend each session, use the links to provide feedback on what you thought
The conference committee will be interested in the results. We will be promoting the application during the conference & reminding delegates after each session to provide feedback. We plan to formalise & extend the application for next year and integrate it with other services. 

To those not fortunate enough to be in Perth for the conference this year, I welcome your ideas & hope to see you in the future.

Scott Wesley
Program Chair
2012 Perth AUSOUG Conference

Friday 19 October 2012

Perth AUSOUG Conference - Day 3 options

This year's Perth AUSOUG conference doesn't end on day 2 - you are three options to extend your learning into day 3:
  1. Oracle database technologists simply musn't miss the Real World Performance day with Tom Kyte, Graham Wood & Andrew Holdsworth. I attended this last year in Sydney and talk about value for money!
  2. Oracle E-Business Reporting users might be interested in attending a breakfast thanks to LogicalTech.
  3. Primavera users may be interested in an all day SIG to help them with a wide range of topics and find other Primavera users within Perth.
And if you haven't even registered for the conference yet, you have only a week to do so - this year is going to be a ripper! It's in the Perth CBD and we have a great line up, lots of exhibitors & I've heard about a few dinners being organised already ;-)


Thursday 18 October 2012

SAGE Green Pigs

SAGE have made an addition to the social media wagon in an attempt to promote our green pig meme:

Do you have a SAGE green pig?

If you do, we'd love to see some photos from anywhere in the world with the little piggy - they don't have to be as nerdy as this one in Las Vegas though...

Send them through to us, or tag it on Twitter with #sagegreenpig and you might just see it on the Tumblr!

If you don't, come by our booth at the conference and if you're lucky we might have one! Oh, and they double as a piggy bank!

Scott & the SAGE Computing Services team.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Are you still on APEX 3.x?

Oracle Application Express 4.2 is now available to the public, and I thought I'd throw in my 5 cents.

I know a few sites out there still on 3.x, so I thought I'd list a few features that have come out in the past 3 major releases that they're missing out on:

  • Improved Error handling
  • Enhanced Interactive Reports
  • DML using ROWID instead of primary key
  • End user CSV upload
  • Websheets
  • Tabular form improvements
  • Plug-ins
  • Dynamic Actions
  • Team development module
  • Accessibility improvements
  • Application builder for Mobile
  • Responsive Themes
  • HTML5 Charts
  • HTML5 Item types
  • Mobile calendars
  • Packaged applications
  • RESTful Web Services

For me, I think the biggest two are Plug-ins and Dynamic Actions - they're hard to split.

Mobile development is not so much a feature, but a whole new ball game!

As for APEX 4.2, I notice the public release is, while is still - so hopefully some of the small bugs I've been encountering have been rectified. I have had to refrain from installing 4.2 on my laptop as I need 4.1 for a side project a little while longer.

Design time bugs can pretty much be ignored - stuff like using previous through the wizards doesn't always behave as expected. Some template tweaks would also be handy, but David Peake mentioned in a recent webinar that this was already being looked at.
Runtime bugs are a little more annoying - for the first time I've been finding intermittent issues in Chrome when IE works fine - usually it's the other way around!
For example, I received a checksum issue on an APEX generated link in Chrome, but not IE.
I'm confident these will be quickly rectified, if not already with the fast uptake and use of this new release.

My presentation at the Perth AUSOUG conference will be talking about an APEX 4.2 application with a desktop & mobile interface - more details to come soon!

Friday 5 October 2012

Create Mobile Accordion with APEX 4.2

It's been a while since I posted some developer content, and I've been playing with APEX 4.2 a fair bit recently - preparing for my conference presentation.

I thought I'd share how I implemented a mobile (smartphone/gadget) accordion sourced from SQL.

I say the because you can do it out of the box using region templates, but only compressing multiple regions together, not rows from a query
Region options
APEX 4.2 Mobile Region templates
There seems to be many ways to skin the cat in APEX 4.2, and this is one way to do it - I'm happy to learn easier ways - I'm sure I will do that for a few things along the mobile journey!
Samsung 3 Screenshot of collapsible accordion
Samsung 3 Screenshot
Consider the following SQL as my list, where column am_info_vw.header shows the accordion heading, and am_info_vw.my_html is the content.
  null lvl
 ,header label
 ,my_html target
 ,decode(rn,1,'YES') is_current
 ,header image
 ,my_html image_attrib
 ,null img_alt
FROM am_info_vw
order by rn
The List Template image shows me commandeering the image attributes, but the same result can be made with the #TEXT# & #LINK# substitution strings.
Template properties
List Template
List Template Current:
<div data-collapsed="false" data-role="collapsible" data-collapsed="false">
List template non-current (just excludes the data-collapsed):
<div data-collapsed="false" data-role="collapsible">
Before List Entry:
<div data-role="collapsible-set">
After List Entry closes the </div>

Then I just had to define the region on my mobile page utilising that template for the list with a plain region template, job done.

I'm still learning various options in the 4.2 environment, but this may seem like an easier method to create dynamic content lists instead of using the Advanced Attributes option in the List View built-in plug-in.

To help me out with the required syntax, I used the jQuery Mobile Docs.