Tuesday 3 December 2019

Include new APEX templates in an older APEX instance

Have you seen that super awesome theme in the new APEX version, then wondered how long it will it be before your site upgrades so you can actually use it?

What if I told you that your current version could be retrofitted to use that template?

I really like the look of the Content Row template, I think that's going to serve many developers good purpose.
Sure, I could create something similar now, but if I do as much as I can the same, then it should grease the wheels come upgrade time.

Content Row 18.2 vs 19.2

To make this happen, I
  1. Downloaded APEX 19.2
  2. Copied the /theme_42/1.4 folder to my 18.2 instance
  3. Created the report template, including template options
  4. Added the region component in my app
The first two steps are all about making the relevant CSS available to your instance.

After I had the /1.4 folder in place, I thought I would need to increment the Theme folder, but that just introduced other issues.

Instead, I just referenced the ContentRow.css file in the pages I wanted to use it.
This is the path where you can find it, so it can be placed wherever you like on your older instance.
Alternatively, you could include this for all pages in the User Interface attributes.

Then I needed to create the named column (row template) in my 18.2 application, details of which I just copied from a 19.2 instance.

Content Row syntax

I can even transfer the template options, so I started transferring from details on the page
You can also use this query to find instances within my 19.2 application.
select name, display_name, display_sequence, css_classes, group_id
  ,(select display_name
    where template_opt_group_id = group_id) group_name
  , help_text
where application_id = 32532
and report_template = 'Content Row'
order by display_sequence
Then I created the template options in 18.2.

Add Template Option

And sure enough, they become available on my 18.2 region component.

Page Designer outcomes

Due to the differences in availability of template option groups, some manifest a little differently, but I personally prefer a one click checkbox to the more fiddly select list.

All that said, I'm not sure I'm entirely sold on the small screen format, though maybe thing will change when I get more realistic data in there.

Content Row - mobile

Now I'm sure when I change over to use the actual template when I'm in 19.2, I'll need to re-apply the template options - but Shakeeb likes the idea of retaining shared template options, so you never know.

This was all done in 18.2. If you're on an earlier version, your mileage may vary.

If you're not using the Universal Theme, then you're probably not going to get very far.

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