APEX 5.0: Upgrade to the newest FontAwesome Icon Library

Patrick Wolf - Wed, 2015-05-13 04:39
Oracle APEX 5.0 ships with FontAwesome version 4.2.0 which will automatically be loaded if your application is using the Universal Theme. This makes it super easy to add nice looking icons to your buttons, lists and regions. But how can you integrate the most … Continue reading
Categories: Development

Leveraging Icon Fonts (Font Awesome) in Oracle ADF - 500 New Icons for your app

Shay Shmeltzer - Thu, 2015-05-07 16:51

Icon fonts are a growing trend among web developers, they make it quite simple to add icons to your web site and resize them for better responsive design.

Font Awesome is a popular open source icon font - providing over 500 icons that you can add to your application. I got several questions over the past couple of weeks about using these icons in ADF applications, so here is a short video showing you how to set this up with ADF 12.1.3 and using skins. (Quick note - before 12.1.3 you couldn't include these type of font in the skin css file - and you would have needed to directly refer to the CSS file from each page in your app - one more reason to upgrade your application to 12.1.3).

The basic steps:

  • Create a new skin for your ADF application (if you don't know how to do this, see this blog entry).
  • Download font awesome and copy the font-awesome-4.3.0 directory into your new skin directory
  • Copy the @font-face entry from the font-awesome.min.css file into your new skin.css file
  • Update the path in the various URI entries so it reflects the new relative location of the font files
  • Create class entries in your skin CSS for the icons you want to use - remember to add a font-family: FontAwesome; to make sure they use the new font.
  • Assign the classes to the styleclass property of your ADF Faces components.

Here is a demo showing how it is set up and how it works:

The skin1.css in the video is this:

@charset "UTF-8";

/**ADFFaces_Skin_File / DO NOT REMOVE**/

@namespace af "";

@namespace dvt "";

@font-face {

    font-family: 'FontAwesome';

    src: url('font-awesome-4.3.0/fonts/fontawesome-webfont.eot?v=4.3.0');

    src: url('font-awesome-4.3.0/fonts/fontawesome-webfont.eot?#iefix&v=4.3.0')format('embedded-opentype'), url('font-awesome-4.3.0/fonts/fontawesome-webfont.woff2?v=4.3.0')format('woff2'), url('font-awesome-4.3.0/fonts/fontawesome-webfont.woff?v=4.3.0')format('woff'), url('font-awesome-4.3.0/fonts/fontawesome-webfont.ttf?v=4.3.0')format('truetype'), url('font-awesome-4.3.0/fonts/fontawesome-webfont.svg?v=4.3.0#fontawesomeregular')format('svg');

    font-weight: normal;

    font-style: normal;


.heart:before {

    content: "\f004";

    font-family: FontAwesome;


.mail:before {

    content: "\f003";

    font-family: FontAwesome;

If you want to see how this could help with responsive design try this in your CSS as an example. Then resize the width of the browser window to see how the icons will change their size dynamically:

.heart:before {

    content: "\f004";

    font-family: FontAwesome;

    font-size: x-large;


.mail:before {

    content: "\f003";

    font-family: FontAwesome;

    font-size: x-large;


@media screen and (max-width:950px) {

    .heart:before {

        content: "\f004";

        font-family: FontAwesome;

        font-size: small;


    .mail:before {

        content: "\f003";

        font-family: FontAwesome;

        font-size: small;


Categories: Development

APEX 5.0: Universal Theme Migration Guide available!

Patrick Wolf - Thu, 2015-05-07 03:59
Do you want to use the new Universal Theme for your existing applications? Then you should definitely have a look at the Universal Theme Migration Guide my colleagues Shakeeb Rahman and Tim Chambers have just published.
Categories: Development

APEX 5.0: Custom Favicon for Applications using Universal Theme

Patrick Wolf - Mon, 2015-05-04 07:08
For applications which are using Universal Theme you don’t have to modify the Page Template anymore if you want to replace the default favicon with a custom one. Instead follow these steps: Go to Shared Components Click Application Definition Attributes (in Application … Continue reading
Categories: Development

Our new Oracle APEX YouTube Channel is up and running!

Patrick Wolf - Sat, 2015-05-02 08:12
Check out our new Oracle APEX YouTube Channel! Our Product Manager David Peake has started a Video Series about the new Page Designer in Oracle Application Express 5.0. It’s a great start to get familiarized with the new IDE to edit … Continue reading
Categories: Development

Oracle Developer Cloud Service - Automating Builds for Oracle ADF Applications

Shay Shmeltzer - Tue, 2015-04-28 12:49

Following up on the previous blog that showed how to get your ADF application into the Developer Cloud Service git repository, this entry will show you the next step in the lifecycle - executing builds.

The Oracle Developer Cloud Service (DevCS) supports build automation with both Maven and Ant scripts - and in this demo I'm showing you how to use the Ant option. One of the unique aspects of DevCS for customers who are  using Oracle ADF and JDeveloper is that the cloud comes pre-configured with the ADF libraries needed to compile your code, and also with support for OJDeploy so you can leverage deployment profiles that you defined for your application.

In fact DevCS comes with support for two ADF versions - and 12.1.3 (as of the time of this blog).

In the video below you'll see

  • How to add a build file for your ADF application
  • How to  configure the build file to work in the cloud environment
  • How to define a build job and execute it
  • How to look at the log files for the build job
  • How to automate the build execution to happen when changes are committed to the git repository


The build in the example above just does the packaging, but in more realistic scenarios you can use similar build processes to create ADF libraries from projects, automate testing, modify configuration and more.

There are a couple of files that are used in the demo that you might want to use in your implementation:

The build.xml file: 

  <property environment="env" /> 
  <property file=""/>
    <target name="deploy" description="Deploy JDeveloper profiles">
    <taskdef name="ojdeploy"
    <ora:ojdeploy xmlns:ora="oraclelib:OJDeployAntTask"
        <ora:parameter name="workspace"
        <ora:parameter name="profile"
        <ora:parameter name="nocompile" value="false"/>
        <ora:parameter name="outputfile"

The file I used can be found here.

The mask for the build automatic execution is */1 * * * *

Note that in the properties file there are references to environment variables that you will need to change if you are looking to deploy an 11.1.1.* app - specifically the options for 12 and 11 are:


The next logical step in your app lifecycle is to automate the deployment of the ADF application to the Oracle Java Cloud Service. If you are interested in this check out - Automating Deployment of the Summit ADF Sample Application to the Oracle Java Cloud Service

Categories: Development

Little quiz: Ordering/Grouping – Guess the output

XTended Oracle SQL - Tue, 2015-04-28 07:20

How many times have you guessed the right answer? :)

select * from dual order by -1;
select * from dual order by 0;

select *                   from dual                                     order by -(0.1+0/1) desc;
select 1 n,0 n,2 n,0 n,1 n from dual group by grouping sets(1,2,3,2,1,0) order by -(0.1+0/1) desc;

select 1 n,0 n,2 n,0 n,1 n from dual group by grouping sets(1,2,3,2,1,0) order by 0;
select 1 n,0 n,2 n,0 n,1 n from dual group by grouping sets(1,2,3,2,1,0) order by 0+0;
select 1 n,0 n,2 n,0 n,1 n from dual group by grouping sets(1,2,3,2,1,0) order by 3+7 desc;
select 1 n,0 n,2 n,0 n,1 n from dual group by grouping sets(1,2,3,2,1,0) order by -(3.1+0f) desc;

select column_value x,10-column_value y from table(ku$_objnumset(5,4,3,1,2,3,4)) order by 1.9;
select column_value x,10-column_value y from table(ku$_objnumset(5,4,3,1,2,3,4)) order by 2.5;
select column_value x,10-column_value y from table(ku$_objnumset(5,4,3,1,2,3,4)) order by 2.7 desc;
select column_value x,10-column_value y from table(ku$_objnumset(5,4,3,1,2,3,4)) order by -2.7 desc;


Categories: Development

Using the Oracle Developer Cloud Service for Git version management for JDeveloper/ADF apps

Shay Shmeltzer - Thu, 2015-04-23 11:35

The Oracle Developer Cloud Service (DevCS for short) provides a complete cloud-hosted development platform for your team. This makes it very easy to start adopting development best practices for your team, and adopt a more agile development approach.

If you haven't tried it yet, you should!

It's simple to get a free trial instance - just sign up for a trial of the Java cloud service (which, by the way, will take you through anOracle ADF based registration wizard) and an instance of the Developer cloud service will be provisioned for you as part of the trial. No need for any additional machines or installations on your side.

I'm going to write a couple of blogs about the various features that DevCS provides such as build and continuous integration, but let's start with the very basic feature we all should be using - source code management.

Every project needs to do version management - even if you are a single developer - and with DevCS there is no server and network setup required. Create a new DevCS project and 10 seconds later you have your git server accessible from any computer that has internet access.

The demo below is using JDeveloper 12.1.3 and the sample summit ADF application that you can get from OTN. 

In the demo I start from scratch and demo how to

  • create a new DevCS project
  • check code into the git repository
  • branch my code to work on fixes
  • submit the changes back
  • how to do code review by team members
  • merge fixes to the master branch


Go ahead try it out with your project and your team.

If you are new to git (which has quickly became the new standard for source management) - check out the Oracle A-Team blog entry that explains a good workflow for team work with git that you can adopt. 

Have any further questions about using the Developer Cloud Service? Ask them on the DevCS community page

Categories: Development

Dynamically refresh a part of a page (PPR) in Oracle MAF

Shay Shmeltzer - Wed, 2015-04-22 11:23

A common question for developers who are just starting with Oracle MAF, especially if they have a background in Oracle ADF, is how do you do a partial page refresh in Oracle MAF.

Partial Page Refresh basically means that I want to change something in my UI based on another event in the UI - for example hide or show a section of the page. (In ADF there is a partialTrigger property for components which is not there in MAF).

In MAF the UI behaves differently - it is not based on JSF after all - the UI directly reflects changes in managed beans as long as it knows about changes there. How does it know about changes? For this you need to enable firing change event notifications. This is actually quite easy to do - just turn on the checkbox in JDeveloper's accessors generation and it will do the job for you.

Here is a quick demo showing you how to achieve  this:

Here is the code used.

in AMX page:

     <amx:tableLayout id="tl1">

      <amx:rowLayout id="rl1">

        <amx:cellFormat id="cf2">

          <amx:listView var="row" showMoreStrategy="autoScroll" bufferStrategy="viewport" id="lv1">

            <amx:listItem id="li1">

              <amx:outputText value="ListItem Text" id="ot2"/>

              <amx:setPropertyListener id="spl1" from="#{'true'}" to="#{viewScope.backingPPR.showIt}"


              <amx:setPropertyListener id="spl2" from="#{'false'}" to="#{viewScope.backingPPR.showIt}"






      <amx:rowLayout id="rl2" rendered="#{viewScope.backingPPR.showIt}">

        <amx:cellFormat id="cf1">

          <amx:commandButton text="commandButton1" id="cb3"/>




in managed bean:

     boolean showIt = false;

    public void setShowIt(boolean showIt) {

        boolean oldShowIt = this.showIt;

        this.showIt = showIt;

        propertyChangeSupport.firePropertyChange("showIt", oldShowIt, showIt);


    public boolean isShowIt() {

        return showIt;


    public void addPropertyChangeListener(PropertyChangeListener l) {



    public void removePropertyChangeListener(PropertyChangeListener l) {



Categories: Development

Enable Real Application Security (RAS) in APEX 5.0

Dimitri Gielis - Mon, 2015-04-20 16:25
Oracle Database 12c introduced Oracle Real Application Security (RAS), the next generation Oracle Virtual Private Database (VPD). In APEX 5.0 RAS is declaratively build-in. Follow the below steps to enable it:

Login to the INTERNAL workspace and go to Manage Instance > Security:

In the Real Application Security section set Allow Real Application Security to Yes.

Next login to the Workspace your Application is build in and go to your Authentication Scheme.
You'll see a new section in there called Real Application Security.

The dropdown has following possibilities:

  • Disabled: Real Application Security does not get used in the application. 
  • Internal Users: APEX creates a RAS session and assumes that all users are internal and passes false via the is_external parameter to dbms_xs_sessions.assign_user. 
  • External Users: RAS session created and true gets passed via the is_external parameter to dbms_xs_sessions.assign_user. 

The last two options enable RAS Mode and make the Dynamic Roles and Namespaces shuttle available. (from the help in APEX) Make sure that the users get privileges to access the application's schema objects. For External Users, you can for example grant database privileges to a RAS Dynamic Application Role and configure it in this authentication scheme as a Dynamic Role. You can also enable roles via a call to apex_authorization.enable_dynamic_groups, e.g. in a Post-Authentication procedure.

You can read more about Oracle Real Application Security and view an entire example how to set up RAS at the database side. I'm still learning about all the RAS features myself too, but thought to already share the above. I plan to include a chapter in my e-book about RAS and APEX 5.0 with a real-case example, as I see a big benefit for using it in a highly regulatory, secure and audited environment.

Categories: Development

JSON for APEX Developers (part 3): Querying JSON in Oracle DB 12c

Dimitri Gielis - Fri, 2015-04-17 10:34
In previous blog posts I talked about JSON for APEX Developers:
In this post I want to show how you store and query JSON data straight in the database.

To start, create a table to store the JSON object:

    date_loaded DATE,
    json_document CLOB
    CONSTRAINT ensure_json CHECK (json_document IS JSON));

I inserted a couple of records in the table:

Here's in more detail the JSON in the json_document column:

Now to query the JSON data I can do :

You basically say j (table) . json_document (column) . analyses (first entry in JSON) . ... (other fields of the hierarchy you want to navigate to)
You see the data I get back is actually two records as I actually get back the JSON array.

To go into the array and see for example the first record, I can use json_value:

Note that the array start with 0.

And finally to see both records that are in the JSON array I can make use of json_table like this:

The above is just a grasp of what you can do with JSON directly in the database (12c) by using SQL.
If you're interested to read more about how to manipulate JSON in the database, have a look at the documentation, it contains a wealth on information with great examples.

As you can basically query the JSON with SQL you can use this SQL in your APEX reports... in the coming days I'll show you a real case where I used the above techniques to do some interesting searching in data.
Categories: Development

Oracle APEX 5.0 released today

Dimitri Gielis - Wed, 2015-04-15 15:34
After 2.5 years of development, today is the day APEX 5.0 is publicly released and ready to be downloaded to install on your own environment.

In my view it's the best release ever. Not so much of the new Page Designer - although that is definitely a piece of art and it increased productivity even further - but because it's the first time whole of APEX got refreshed and every piece was put under a radar to see how it could be improved. All the small changes and the new UI, together with the Page Designer makes it a whole new development tool, without losing it's strengths from before.

Also note that APEX 5.0 enables many new features build on top of the Oracle Database 12c features, so if you're on that database, you'll see even more nice features.

If you wonder if you should wait with upgrading to APEX 5.0 because you're afraid that your current APEX applications break, I can only share that I upgraded many of my applications as part of EA/beta and most of my apps kept running without issues. As always you have to try your applications yourself, but the APEX development team spend a lot of time trying to keep things backwards compatible. But make sure to have a look at the APEX 5.0 release notes and known issues as they contain important information about changes, expected behaviour and workarounds.

You can develop online on or you can download APEX 5.0 and install into your own environment.
Categories: Development

Oracle APEX 5.0 Available for Download!

Patrick Wolf - Wed, 2015-04-15 12:43
After a longer development cycle than usual, Oracle Application Express 5.0 is finally available for download! I think it was worth the wait. It comes with a ton of features, here are just a few marquee features. Page Designer Universal … Continue reading
Categories: Development

APEX 5.0: Set Cursor Focus for Region Type Plug-Ins

Patrick Wolf - Tue, 2015-04-14 08:19
Complex Region Type Plug-ins might render their own input fields, like our Interactive Report component does with the search field. If a developer had set the page level attribute Cursor Focus to First item on Page in Oracle APEX 4.x, … Continue reading
Categories: Development

In what ways is buckthorn harmful?

FeuerThoughts - Sun, 2015-04-12 17:54
I spent 10-15 hours a week in various locations of still-wooded Chicago (and now nearby Lincolnwood) cutting down buckthorn. Some people have taken me to task for it ("Just let it be, let nature take it's course, etc.). So I thought I would share this excellent, concise sum up of the damage that can be wrought by buckthorn.

And if anyone lives on the north side of Chicago and would like to help out, there is both "heavy" work (cutting large trees and dragging them around) and now lots of "light" work (clipping the new growth from the stumps from last year's cutting - I don't use poison). 

It's great exercise and without a doubt you will be helping rescue native trees and ensure that the next generation of those trees will survive and thrive!

Buckthorn should be on America's "Most Wanted" list, with its picture hanging up in every US Post Office! Here are a few of the dangers of Buckthorn:

a) Buckthorn squeezes out native plants for nutrients, sunlight, and moisture. It literally chokes out surrounding healthy trees and makes it impossible for any new growth to take root under its cancerous canopy of dense vegetation.

b) Buckthorn degrades wildlife habitats and alters the natural food chain in and growth of an otherwise healthy forest. It disrupts the whole natural balance of the ecosystem.

c) Buckthorn can host pests like Crown Rust Fungus and Soybean Aphids. Crown Rust can devastate oat crops and a wide variety of other grasses. Soybean Aphids can have a devastating effect on the yield of soybean crops. Without buckthorn as host, these pests couldn't survive to blight crops.

d) Buckthorn contributes to erosion by overshadowing plants that grow on the forest floor, causing them to die and causing the soil to lose the integrity and structure created by such plants.

e) Buckthorn lacks "natural controls" like insects or diseases that would curb its growth. A Buckthorn-infested forest is too dense to walk through, and the thorns of Common Buckthorn will leave you bloodied.

f) Buckthorn attracts many species of birds (especially robins and cedar waxwings) that eat the berries and spread the seeds through excrement. Not only are the birds attracted to the plentiful berries, but because the buckthorn berries have a diuretic and cathartic effect, the birds pass the seeds very quickly to the surrounding areas of the forest. This makes Buckthorn spread even more widely and rapidly, making it harder for us to control and contain.
Categories: Development

Consumer Reports guide on which fruits and veggies to always buy organic

FeuerThoughts - Mon, 2015-04-06 10:32
First, I encourage everyone reading this (and beyond) to subscribe to Consumer Reports and make use of their unbiased, science-based reviews of products and services.

It is the best antidote to advertising you will ever find.

In their May 2015 issue, they analyze the "perils of pesticides" and offer a guide to fruits and vegetables. When you should buy organic? When might conventional be OK for you?

[or, as CR puts it, "Though we believe that organic is always the best choice because it promotes sustainable agriculture, getting plenty of fruits and vegetables - even if you can't obtain organic - takes precedence when it comes to your health.]

Here are the most important findings:


CR found that for these fruits and vegetables, you should always buy organic - the pesticide risk in conventional is too high.




Green Beans
Sweet Bell Peppers
Hot Peppers
Sweet Potatoes
Categories: Development

Working with multiple Trees on the same APEX Page (4.2/5.0)

Dimitri Gielis - Mon, 2015-03-16 16:36
Ever tried to put multiple Trees on the same page in APEX 4.2?

Here's my example:

On the left Tree the "Selected Node Link with" is set to hidden item P1_TREE1, on the right Tree the value that sets the tree is set to P1_TREE2. At least it should do that, but by default if you're values are not unique - in this case empno is the value behind both trees - it doesn't work...
Your first tree will be highlighted twice; one time for ALLEN and one time for SCOTT and not as it should be, on the left ALLEN selected and on the right SCOTT selected.

To fix this issue in APEX 4.2, you need to adapt your select statement so you have unique values for both trees. I typically put a meaningful character in front of the value; for example you can concatenate 'N' for new values (new tree) and 'O' for old values (old tree).

So that fixes the issue of the "Selected Node Page Item" issue with non unique values.
Behind the tree implementation in APEX 4.2, jsTree is used. APEX is not using the most recent version and the way the JavaScript is coded doesn't really work that nicely. If you really like jsTree and for example want to search in it, or you have a very large dataset, check out Tom Petrus' tree plugin and explanation.

So what about APEX 5.0? The tree implementation in APEX 5.0 has the same functionalities, but is a lot better. Behind the scenes jsTree is not used anymore, instead the tree that is also used in the Page Designer is used. The issue with unique values is off the table, so no worries anymore in APEX 5.0.

Categories: Development

Implementing the Tree Navigation Oracle Alta UI Design Pattern

Shay Shmeltzer - Fri, 2015-03-13 16:10

The Oracle Alta UI design patterns offer many new approaches for navigation in your application as you can see in the navigation patterns section. One of those is the Tree Navigation pattern - which is an updated approach to the way that many applications display menus today.

While the "old" way of building these menus was using the tree component, the new design uses an interface that works better on mobile devices and is easier on the eyes. It uses animation to do in-place replacement of one level in the menu with the next one. 

old new img

You could also use this approach to represent other types of hierarchical/master-detail relationships. 

In the demo below I show you how to quickly implement such navigation pattern with ADF Faces and a combination of af:listView components along with the af:deck component.

There are a bunch of further things you might want to do in your actual application beyond what the demo does.

One is to show on the right side of the page the information on the object you select on the left side. Using a deck component there you can also switch that section to show either Dept or Emp data in the same area. You'll already have the actionListener in place to do the switch of display, and ADF already has the right record selected - so just dropping the same data control on the right as a form will be enough.

Another nice enhancement would be to condition the showing of the right caret to be based on whether there are actually details. This should be easy to achieve with a calculated attribute using groovy - as shown here

In the demo I also show how to invoke the makeCurrent row selection functionality from a managed bean, this allows me to do two operations when a menu option is selected. The code I use ,which is based on code I found on Ashish's blog, is:

public void deptSelect(SelectionEvent selectionEvent) {
        ELContext elcontext = FacesContext.getCurrentInstance().getELContext();
        MethodExpression methodExpression =
                                                                                                             Object.class, new Class[] {
                                                                                                             SelectionEvent.class });
        methodExpression.invoke(elcontext, new Object[] { selectionEvent });

I also use styleClass="AFAppNavbarButton" for the "back" button to make it look a bit better. 

The full source of the JSF page is:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<f:view xmlns:f="" xmlns:af="">
    <af:document title="untitled3.jsf" id="d1">
        <af:messages id="m1"/>
        <af:form id="f1">
            <af:pageTemplate viewId="/oracle/templates/tabletFirstTemplate.jspx" id="pt1">
                <f:facet name="header"/>
                <f:facet name="status"/>
                <f:facet name="appNav"/>
                <f:facet name="globalLinks"/>
                <f:facet name="footer"/>
                <f:facet name="center"/>
                <f:facet name="start">
                    <af:deck id="d2" binding="#{mb3.deck}" displayedChild="pgl1">
                        <af:panelGroupLayout id="pgl1">
                            <af:listView value="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.collectionModel}" var="item"
                                         emptyText="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.viewable ? 'No data to display.' : 'Access Denied.'}"
                                         fetchSize="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.rangeSize}" id="lv1" selection="single"
                                <af:listItem id="li1">
                                    <af:panelGridLayout id="pgl3">
                                        <af:gridRow marginTop="5px" height="auto" marginBottom="5px" id="gr1">
                                            <af:gridCell marginStart="5px" width="80%" id="gc1">
                                                <af:outputFormatted value="#{item.bindings.DepartmentName.inputValue}"
                                            <af:gridCell marginStart="5px" width="20%" marginEnd="5px" id="gc2">
                                                <af:image source="func_caretright_16_ena.png" id="i1"/>
                        <af:panelGroupLayout id="pgl2">
                            <af:button text="#{bindings.DepartmentName.inputValue}" id="b1"
                                       actionListener="#{mb3.backToDept}" styleClass="AFAppNavbarButton"
                            <af:listView value="#{bindings.EmployeesView4.collectionModel}" var="item"
                                         emptyText="#{bindings.EmployeesView4.viewable ? 'No data to display.' : 'Access Denied.'}"
                                         fetchSize="#{bindings.EmployeesView4.rangeSize}" id="lv2">
                                <af:listItem id="li2">
                                    <af:panelGridLayout id="pgl4">
                                        <af:gridRow marginTop="5px" height="auto" marginBottom="5px" id="gr2">
                                            <af:gridCell marginStart="5px" width="80%" id="gc3">
                                                <af:outputFormatted value="#{item.bindings.LastName.inputValue}"
                                            <af:gridCell marginStart="5px" width="20%" marginEnd="5px" id="gc4">
                                                <af:image source="func_caretright_16_ena.png" id="i2"/>
                        <af:transition triggerType="forwardNavigate" transition="slideLeft"/>
                        <af:transition triggerType="backNavigate" transition="slideRight"/>
                <f:facet name="end"/>
                <f:attribute name="endWidth" value="0px"/>
                <f:attribute name="startWidth" value="200px"/>

Categories: Development

APEX 5.0: pimping the Login page

Dimitri Gielis - Wed, 2015-03-11 18:29
When you create a new application in APEX 5.0, the login page probably looks like this:

I love the build-in login page of APEX itself - luckily it's easy enough to build that in our own apps too. Thank you APEX Dev team!

The first step is to change the region type to be of Login Region Template:

We want to add a nice icon on top of the Login text. You can use the Icon CSS Class in the Region options - in this case I opted for fa-medkit:

Next up is making the Login button bigger and make it the complete width like the items.
In APEX 5.0 you can use the Template Options to do that:

Once we stretched the Login button it fits the entire size.

Next up is getting some icons in the username and password field.
For the username we use the "icon-login-username" css class.
Instead of the label we make that hidden and specify a placeholder, so before you start typing you see the word username and when you start typing the text disappears.

For the password field we do the same thing, but for the css class we specify "icon-login-password".

Finally your login screen looks like this:

Great? Absolutely - and so easy with APEX 5.0!

What's next? Is there anything better? Euh... yes, what about live validation?
Sure we can do that in APEX 5.0 without too much hassle :)) Thanks once again APEX Dev Team!

In the item make sure the item is set to Value Required and add in the Post Text following span:

That will give you a nice visual indication if you entered text:

Cool? Creating login pages in APEX 5.0 is ... (you fill in the word)

Interested in more? We're doing an APEX 5.0 UI Training in May.
Categories: Development

Loading CSV files with special characters in Oracle DB

Dimitri Gielis - Tue, 2015-03-10 11:08
I often need to load the data of Excel or CSV files into the Oracle Database.

Ever got those annoying question marks when you try to load the data? or instead of question marks you just get empty blanks when the file is using special characters? Here's an example:

My database characterset is UTF-8, so ideally you want to load your data UTF-8 encoded.

With Excel I've not found an easy way to specify the encoding to UTF-8 when saving to a CSV file.
Although in Excel (OSX) - Preferences - General - Web Options - Encoding, I specified UTF-8, it still saves the file as Western (Mac OS Roman).

I've two workarounds I use to get around the issue. Open the file in a text editor e.g. BBEdit and click the encoding option and select UTF-8.

Another way is to open Terminal and use the iconv command line tool to convert the file

iconv -t UTF8 -f MACROMAN < file.csv > file-utf8.csv

If you get a CSV file and you want to import it in Excel first, the best way I found is to create a new Workbook and import the CSV file (instead of opening directly). You can import either by using File - Import or Data - Get External Data - Import Text File. During the import you can specify the File origin and you can see which data format works for you.

After the manipulations in Excel you can save again as CSV as outlines above to make sure you resulting CSV file is UTF-8 encoded.

Finally to import the data you can use APEX, SQL Developer or SQLcl to load your CSV file into your table.
Categories: Development


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