Wednesday 29 April 2015

Customising APEX 5 Open Door Credentials

The polish that comes with APEX 5 also extends to the generic login screen used for the Open Door Credentials authentication scheme.

This scheme is great for testing. It allows you to log into the application by supplying just a username, as if you logged in normally - saving on user management in test servers.

The login screen used isn't page 101, but a generic page generated via wwv_flow_custom_auth_std.login_page. Prior to APEX 5 the page looked rather ugly.

APEX 4 Open Door login

As with many other aspects, the page now looks much tidier in APEX 5.
APEX 5 Open Door login

I think this upgrade can also encourage a little sprucing up with some script that can be applied via the authentication screen Help Text, in the same manner as the workspace login can be customised.
Authentication Scheme settings

$('h1.a-Wizard-title').text('Open Door Credentials, great for testing')

Actual help content could also be supplied, so the login screen could be adjusted to suit your needs.
Customised APEX 5 Open Door login
Runtime example here.

Amazing what a little jQuery can do.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

The Oracle APEX Talkshow
Not only has Juergen been adding style, pride and awareness to laptops worldwide, he's also launched a podcast.

I love podcasts. I listen to a few good science shows every week and I've been looking for some decent software related shows, and this one hits the subject matter right on the head.

Juergen states he hopes to interview many developers from the APEX team, offering perhaps a recording per month. Not limiting to the APEX team (or the product), he says
I'm happy to interview everybody who has a story to tell about APEX
So head to and put this on your audio feed. I listened to it in the car to & from work last week. It's an hour of an interesting interview with APEX brainchild Mike Hichwa describing such things as the origins of Oracle Application Express.

You may think "oh yeah, heard it all before", but I think there are some great insights to learn from how APEX has arrived in this position and what it means for it's future.

I think a telling point was near the end of the interview where Mike points out the big difference between the Oracle Forms and Oracle APEX development teams - the latter use the product day-to-day and have a vested interest in driving it in the right direction. As a former Forms developer, I can appreciate how valuable the packaged applications are to the broader community, whether you use them or not. 

I often wonder how important the chicken/egg paradox of the APEX builder is to it's long term survival. I think it provides a productive, long future, with a great relationship to the database.

See? It'll get you thinking ;p

Monday 20 April 2015

apeks sticker, check.

There are some stickers are out there causing quite the sensation in the Oracle APEX Twitter community. Check it out and join the conversation.

A couple of weeks ago I received my sticker from the master dealer, Juergen, so I thought I'd share my pimped up laptop, complete with sticker friend.

Pimp my laptop
Fun fact: the photo was taken on the same grass that formed my blog's title image.

And now I also learn that Juergen as started an APEX podcast!  Kudos to you, sir!

Friday 10 April 2015

Things learnt during APEX5 Universal Theme seminar by Shakeeb

Tonight I stayed up way past my bedtime (well, in the days of writing a book and Kscope presentations, midnight isn't that late).

I watched and listened to Shakeeb Rahman from the APEX team on an ODTUG webinar, which was recorded and available for ODTUG members.

I did, however, take some notes. I thought I'd share:



No need for css/javascript, or design

Not shy about reference to Douglas Adams.

Theme can be left locked & untouched, managed by APEX team for future version upgrades.

Vector based, will work on any screen size from smartphone to super dooper tv.

Template options make for fewer templates but more consistent yet customisable.

Accessible, keyboard friendly.

Top 5 Features

Enhanced Grid Layout

Addressing concerns from Theme 25, for better responsive applications.
eg: Attribute for label column span.

Show/hide grid got it's mojo back, and then some.

Template options are brilliant.

Region layout, using Grid Layout editor. Based on a few recent discussions I've seen on the forums, I wonder if people will change their tune one they start building some new apps in APEX 5.

Improved Navigation

Navigation lists, navigation bars, all behaving just like we wanted back in 3.x.
Many options, all declarative. App (interface) and page level.

icon-only css options found around - are these going to be published anywhere in documentation, not blog? Post seminar response was: that's the plan, in conjunction with theme sample app.

Template attributes a1-a10 coupled closer within builder so it's easy to reference what the values mean.

Font Awesome

Font Awesome now integrated. All classes to be found are integrated in select lists, with iconic previews. Great way to add polish.

Template Options

Scrolling/maximise options available out of box in region templates.

Carousel of regions. What a great idea.

Tweaking any templates easy using template options. Packaged application for Theme 42 shows all template features very well.


ThemeRoller. Change colour/look/feel of theme live. No CSS.
Built into developer toolbar.
Can save back into theme selections.
So easy to style your entire application. Theme styles available to kickstart re-design - Google, Metro...


Responsive behaviour easily much better than Theme 25. Time will tell when it comes to customisations in real projects, particularly for projects targeting specific size.

Universal theme is very impressive, I can't wait to use it for a dashboard project we have coming up.

White paper is coming to help migrate migrate to Universal Theme, which I applaud.

Alta UI theme style to be available as Vista.

APEX Team will have a Hangout next week on April 15.


Theme style shareable across applications via JSON. What a cool move.
Don't have to use Universal Theme to use Font Awesome.
CSS calendar included in 5.0
Chrome/Firefox/Safari recommended for development.
IE9+ for some customers



I can't even watch webinars without some pain. When lots going on the screen my audio dropped out. At least I think it was my end.

How awesome is APEX5 going to be?!