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Engage!

One month in at Oracle, and I’ve been moving at what feels like warp speed – both literally and figuratively.  My team has been hard at work building the intake survey and that will solicit volunteers for the Phase 3 efficacy trials.  We’re also building all of the backend applications that will be used run analytics to select qualified participants and assign them to a local clinic to receive the actual vaccine.  This project is actually a part of the US Government’s Operation Warp Speed program – a program whose goal is to deliver 300 million doses of a safe and effective vaccine by January 2021.  
It should come as no surprise that we’re building 100% of this solution with Oracle’s low code platform, Oracle APEX.  Oracle APEX was the natural choice here, given the rapidly changing requirements, the need for a 100% responsive and custom UI, and the ability to deliver something substantial in just a couple of weeks.  The entire infrastructure – and it’s a lot more than just APEX &…
Recent posts

Don't Call it a Comeback

Exactly twenty-four years ago to the date, I started my first job out of college with Oracle in Bethesda, MD.  I still vividly remember that day – right down to the part where I descended into the tunnel that passes under Wisconsin Ave. thinking it was the Metro, only to end up on the other side of the street looking totally lost. 
For the first few years there, I moved from one sales consulting role to another, supporting clients across state, local, federal, higher education and even communications verticals with their eBusiness Suite technical needs.  Most of my days were spent preparing and delivering demonstrations to all kinds of customers.  I cut my teeth on both Oracle and UNIX in those days, as we had to build our own portable demo systems that ran on “portable” SPARC-clones called Tadpoles.  Remember those?  Didn’t think so.
It wasn’t until around 2002 that I was introduced to APEX and tasked to build a couple of demos with a pre-release version of it.  Even after that brief e…

Logging APEX Report Downloads

A customer recently asked how APEX could track who clicked “download” from an Interactive Grid.  After some quick searching of the logs, I realized that APEX simply does not record this type of activity, aside from a simple page view type of “AJAX” entry.  This was not specific enough, and of course, led to the next question - can we prevent users from downloading data from a grid entirely?

I knew that any Javascript-based solution would fall short of their security requirements, since it is trivial to reconstruct the URL pattern required to initiate a download, even if the Javascript had removed the option from the menu.  Thus, I had to consider a PL/SQL-based approach - one that could not be bypassed by a malicious end user.

To solve this problem, I turned to APEX’s Initialization PL/SQL Code parameter.  Any PL/SQL code entered in this region will be executed before any other APEX-related process.  Thus, it is literally the first place that a developer can interact with an APEX page…

Thanks, ODC (Oracle Developer Community)!

I owe a lot of thanks to the ODC - which stands for Oracle Developer Community.  What is ODC?  You may remember it as OTN, or the Oracle Technology Network.  Same people, different name.  Why they changed it I can't say.  People just liked it better that way... (love that song)

In any case, what am I thankful for?  A lot.  To start, the tools that I use day in and day out: SQL Developer, ORDS, Oracle Data Modeler, SQLcl and - of course - APEX.  Without these tools, I'm likely on a completely different career path, perhaps even one that aligns more closely with my degree in television management.

While the tools are great, it's really the people that make up the community that make ODC stand out. From the folks who run ODC and the Oracle ACE program to the developers and product managers who are behind the awesome tools, the ODC community is one of, if not the greatest asset of being involved with Oracle's products.

If you have yet to get more involved with this communi…

Spaced Out

A while back, I wrote about how to give the Universal Theme a face lift.  If you follow the steps in that post, the base font for an APEX application with the Universal Theme can easily be changed.

While that's all well and good, sometimes you only want to change the font for a report, not the entire page.  One of the applications that I'm building contains a number of IRs based mostly on log data.  Thus, having that data in a monospaced font would make it a whole lot easier to read.

You can search Google Fonts for monospaced fonts by selecting only that option on the right-side menubar.  You can also opt for the standard yet kinda boring Courier and achieve the same thing.

To implement this in your application, follow the steps in my other post, but stop shy of the final step.  Instead of pasting in the text that I specify, paste in the following to the Custom CSS field in Theme Roller, using the name of the font you selected for the font-family:

.a-IRR-table tr td { font-fam…

Whose Deck is it Anyways?

This year at KScope, we're going to try something new.  And fun.  And funny to watch - we hope.  It's called "Whose Deck is it Anyways?", and will occur on Sunday at 8:30pm.  It's only 30 minutes, but it will likely be the best 30 minutes of the conference.  Or at least the most embarrassing.

Here's what we're going to do: the will be four 5-minute presentations - one on each of the following: BI, EPM, Database & APEX.

Sound interesting?  Probably not.  We get that, too.  So here's what we did.

Each 5-minute session will be presented by a non-expert.  For example, it's highly likely that I'll be presenting on BI or EPM.

To make it even better, each slide deck will be prepared by the corresponding expert.  So again, it's highly likely that my slide deck's creator will be either Stewart Bryson or Edward Roske.  If nothing else, this session will be a crash course in how not to make cohesive, easy to read slides.

Interested now?  Ya,…

#fakecode

Unless you've managed to somehow filter out everything about US politics over the last few months (and if you have, please let me know your secret), then you've likely heard about "fake news".  From a high level, my basic understanding of "fake news" is that it refers to stories or websites that are fabricated to advance the political beliefs and/or ideologies of one site or the other.  Your definition may differ.

So what is fake code?  That, I can at least try to explain in a bit more detail.

The other day, I saw this image posted on Kris Rice's twitter feed:



I thought it was a joke, but it's actually a real book. That made me laugh.  Then cry.  Then I read the book, mainly since it's only 4 pages.  Believe it or not,  there's actually some really good content packed in there.  Let me summarize:

If you choose to copy code from Stack Overflow, the OTN forum, or anywhere, really, there's a few things to keep in mind:


Who owns the code.  It…