Monday, 18 March 2013

User friendly APEX date items

Back in my Oracle Forms days, we had a library function associated with our date fields that accepted a value of "t", which then returned today's date.

We had further variations on this, but I thought I'd see how I'd go at implementing this in the APEX environment.

Update - included .change() to invoke trigger
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/8437125/jquery-invoke-change-without-user-action-but-by-val-change

First, well, second after creating some date fields on my page - I defined a dynamic action "t in date"
Event: Key release
Selection type: jQuery Selector
jQuery Selector: .hasDatepicker -- this is a class automatically assigned to my dates, found simply with right-click -> Inspect element in Chrome
Condition: equal to
Value: t

Dynamic Action definition
You only require a true action, executing some JavaScript
$(this.triggeringElement).val(return_date('-')).change();
In my case I used a function to return a date formatted nicely for my Oracle environment - more details below.
Don't fire on page load, and set "Selection Type" to "Triggering Element"
JavaScript action
I must thank Tobias in the OTN forums for to return date function, but I've extended it a little to suit my tastes.
I also added a parameter so I could define another DA that accepts "y" for yesterday - and adjust my call to return_date('-',-1)

function return_date(p_delimiter, p_offset) {
  /* with help from
   https://forums.oracle.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=2186734
   http://stackoverflow.com/questions/894860/set-a-default-parameter-value-for-a-javascript-function
  */
  /* Default delimiter to . */
  p_delimiter = typeof p_delimiter !== 'undefined' ? p_delimiter : '.';
  p_offset    = typeof p_offset    !== 'undefined' ? p_offset : 0;

  /* Create date object */
  var myDate = new Date(Date.now());
  myDate.setDate(myDate.getDate()+p_offset);

  /* Create output string DD.MM.YYYY */
  /* Day */
  var myStr = (myDate.getDate() < 10 ? "0" + myDate.getDate().toString() : myDate.getDate().toString()) +  p_delimiter;
  /* Month */
      myStr = myStr + (myDate.getMonth()+1 < 10 ? "0" + (myDate.getMonth()+1).toString() : (myDate.getMonth()+1).toString()) + p_delimiter;
  /* Year */
      myStr = myStr + myDate.getFullYear().toString();

  /* Set value */
    return myStr;
}
Note how much more difficult it seems to default parameters in JavaScript compared to PL/SQL.

What do you think? The only problem I've found is if you tab quick enough after typing "t", the trigger does not fire.
Oh, and IE8 seems to have a problem with the date constructor - but I've all but lost my patience pandering to IE.

An example can be found here:
http://apex.oracle.com/pls/apex/f?p=SWESLEY_FORUM:6:0::NO::P6_MODE:E

Scott
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