Thursday 10 October 2019

OGB Appreciation Day : Oracle Reports Server Queue Monitoring

Today is a day to celebrate what's great about our Oracle 'Groundbreakers' community. Our favourite stuff, what we're learning, horror stories, or just a little thanks.

I missed the second year because of holiday prep - so I decided to beat that this year by writing this the day I saw Tim's call-out on Twitter. Especially since I'm flying out to Melbourne for AUSOUG Connect, plus a little R&R.

I knew I had a few worthy ideas queued up, but I pondered for a moment on the most recent idea I noted.

So this year I'm going a little meta, or recursive, if you will - I'm acknowledging one of the posts from the original year. Oracle Reports Server Job Queue Monitoring. Thanks, Garth.

I wouldn't call this a duplicate post, rather a re-inforcement of this blog-fest, and I add some APEX spice.

I'm not entirely sure how I came across Garth's post, but I'm certain if it wasn't there, I wouldn't have realised I could transform that trusty but transient report queue servlet into table data in 3 easy steps.

A reliable page, but a little dated

And once they're in the database, we can APEX the shit out of it.

Now we can fold this data into awesomness

As Garth details in a second post, and Doc ID 2098657.1, it's a relatively simple matter of
  1. DCL to define table owner
  2. DDL to define some objects
  3. Minor Report Server configuration
Now we can query rw_server_queue to see how many of which reports were executed each day by who.

Why would we want to do this? It's 2019, why am I blogging about an Oracle Reports feature?
So we can analyse reports usage in the legacy system before migrating to AOP, of course!

You can also find the relevant SQL here, to make it easier for some of us to find & utilise.

So that's now two #ThanksOGB references in one, illustrating how worthy participation in such an even can be.

Past posts

2016 OTN - Dynamic Actions
2017 ODC - (dog at my homework)
2018 ODC - APEX Workspace Activity Logs
2019 OGB - Oracle Reports Server Queue Monitoring
2020 OGB - (quite possibly something that also shares a precursor to Oracle Reports)

Monday 7 October 2019

So you want to learn Oracle APEX?

Are you involved with Oracle? Perhaps your a DBA, or a PL/SQL data master, possibly know a bit about Oracle Forms, and you want to learn what all the fuss is about regarding Oracle Application Express (APEX)?

My best elevator description? It's a low code development tool that lives in the browser. Yep, the IDE is a web page that allows you to add SQL, PL/SQL, modify a few attributes - and you've got a data driven web based application that runs on any device. Easy for any Oracle technologist to learn.

This is not a new tool, it's been around since 2004, conceptually even before then.
We've built applications that have lasted for years with minimal inteference. They've outlasted other popular frameworks, and they're still within touch of the present. Still doing the basics of the web, in a clever, interactive way.

AskTom has been using this technology before it was called HTML DB.

It's also being mentioned out there, in the world beyond our bubble.

And it's hitting the news for the right reasons - helping natural disasters.

And helping people take action regarding climate change.

This all started from Kscope19, and it appears momentum continues to grow.

So do you want to board this hardy vessel?
The community is strong & passionate.

Use this as your starting resource

Sign up for a (no obligation) workspace on

Your web page is your IDE now. Lucky, the modern browser is a nifty place to be.

That's APEX. You paste SQL queries / PL/SQL API calls in a box, change some attributes, and there you go. Simples. You have data driven web applications, ready to use on any device.

As for skillset, I have a few JavaScript one-liners I use regularly, sometimes I embed some simple HTML, and I have a mechanical understanding of CSS - which is just queries against your page content.
You know how a web page works? You know Oracle stuff (SQL, stored procedures)? You'll be fine.

If you have Oracle Forms experience, maybe check this out.

Empty the cup.

Try the documented tutorial
Install some packaged applications, check out how certain features tick.

Looking for your source code? It is just meta-data in some tables, check out
select * from apex_dictionary;
select * from apex_applications;
See how far the rabbit hole goes.
SQL developer has some dedicated tools for the job.

Try the Maze Runner presentation by Jorge & Jackie, to find your feet.
Want to know what components are available? go to
Charts are particularly awesome:
Got a question? Try the forums.
Like a conversation? Try Slack
Happy to chip in for some help? askMax.
Want a place to visit, learn & keep in touch for 5 minutes every day? Try
They have a page titled "How to start as a developer".
Also check out the plug-ins page, to fill any gaps in the builder.
Steady blog stream available here.
Do you like to listen? There are currently two active podcasts.
If you like books, I particularly recommend the collaborative efforts.
If you like videos, I have a series, and plan another. Caleb Curry also has our back.

Need to load spreadsheet data? This. And this.
Want to talk to web services? Find Carsten.
Do you really need to produce a PDF? AOP (APEX Office Print) is your best option.
Moet dingen vertalen? Translate APEX
Want to get a little funky with your page interactions? Check out Maxime's award winning demo app.
I recommend you learn not what you can do for Dynamic Actions, but what dynamic actions can do for you.

Want a second opinion on this list? Try this Github, because it adapts.

Want to get serious about delivering your app? Get a piece of an 'always free' tier, and check out Dimitri's guide. Or you could build you own stack with the free Oracle XE.

Note, the preferred pronounciation is a-pex, not app-ex. I blame my accent for any mispronounciations ;p This guy knows.

It's also "APEX", not "Apex". Possibly as not to be confused with SaleForce 'Apex', which if I recall is something pretending to be Java. "ApEx" is as painful as camelCase.

You generally need to prefix any searches with "oracle apex"

Or just ask a question on Twitter with the hashtag #orclapex. Someone is bound to point you in the right direction.

Note that even those without a Twitter account can browser activity in this tag. I recommend getting involved, it's an active zone for the Oracle team.
You might see it as #orclAPEX, which not only helps get it right, but helps #a11y

Let me know if you think something else belongs here.