Monday, 17 March 2014

APEX 5 first peek

Last week I finally started to play with the first APEX 5 Early Adopter product at apexea.oracle.com.
For a short answer on what's coming, just scroll down on that home page - looks good APEX team.

Instead of talking about the marquee features found in the SOD & those Dimitri described or what's in the page designer videos since the page designer truly is the fundamental game changer in this release - I thought I'd explore other areas of the APEX 5 release, starting by looking at the new feature descriptions and accompanying known issues.

You would have to say the very first thing you notice is the flat icon style - yep, once again screenshots from training manuals everywhere need to be adjusted. I'll talk more on that later, but I also notice the login sequence has been adjusted.

Administrators will now be able to define other authentication schemes for the Application Builder - this is evident as we use our Oracle account (same as used at OTN) to authenticate (SSO).
Logged in, select workspace from list
We'll then select from a list of workspaces. It will be interesting to see what this looks like in our own environments.

I aim to post on the following topics in further detail during the next week or so
but I'll mention a few other miscellaneous items I spotted in the new features list.
  • 3rd party libraries - as usual these have been brought forward: AnyChart; CKEditor 4.3; jQuery Mobile 1.4; jQuery UI 1.10.3. These always bring better options to the developer.
  • Calendars - I don't often use them, but the new features sound sweet. Head to Dimitri's blog post for more.
  • Data loading - among other improvements, the incoming date format has been address - a huge pain in past releases.
  • File handling - it seems there are some key changes in the way you can manage your supplementary files including some new attributes, making it easier to load from a web server. This needs further exploring.
  • Themes - can also have their files stored within the definition, just like plug-ins
  • Mobile - reflow table and column toggle - features relating to responsive design that look 
  • Interactive Reports - pivot views have been introduced, as well as a welcome increase to the Group By column limit. You can also manage them at the application level - I hope this brings other management improvements.
  • Navigation lists - modern alternative to tabs... yes!
  • Other extras
    • little things like trim spaces attribute to text fields, saving on extra computations
    • an APEX sys_context() for performance
    • developer toolbar updates
    • optimised export
Great looking release so far looking at calendar year 2014 release - short odds for months starting with J after 1-2 more EA releases.
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