Skip to main content

Cloning your Corporate UI with HTML DB - Part V (Re-Post)

The following is a re-post of the "Cloning your Corporate UI with HTML DB" series that I blogged about back in 2005 on the now-defunct Orablogs site. Most of the content and advise is still the same today, and has been reposted here exactly as it was on the old site.

July 8, 2005
Finally! I just deployed the new look for both Oracle HTML DB Studio & Oracle HTML DB References. (I'll get to Best Practices PL/SQL a bit later today - have to do some customer calls first)

I basically gave up on the DHTML menus - it was taking too much time and overall, I think it just didn't add enough value for me to keep pulling my hair out over. The base OTN Menus are there - clicking on them brings you to the appropriate page in OTN - where the menus work just fine...

I did get a little over ambitious, and decided to give the splash page of both Studio & References a make-over. Check them out:

Both of them now "look & feel" like the rest of OTN & oracle.com, making it a more seamless experience for users. And it wasn't all that difficult to pull off, either. Most of the graphics were lifted from either our corporate artwork repository or oracle.com, as was most of the underlying HTML. All you have to do is peek at the HTML source, copy it into your static (or dynamic) region, and then the page, making adjustments when and where they are needed. It was more of an iterative process, not a difficult one.

The only thing that may not seem obvious is how I got gray backgrounds on all of the corporate logos. This was done using the Color Replacer tool in Paint Shop Pro. The Color Replacer tool does what you would think - replaces color A with color B. It was as simple as setting color A to white (#FFFFFF) and color B to a light gray (#EEEEEE) and painting in a new background color. It helps when you have the right tool for the job!

That about wraps up this series. I hope that people learned something about what it takes to create a new Theme in HTML DB based on an existing corporate standard. I like to explain it as part art, part science. You not only need to be skilled in HTML, DHTML, CSS, etc., but you need an eye for good design. It helps to be a perfectionist and pay attention to details, but don't let that consume you, as most people won't notice (or even if they do, won't care about) the slight imperfections. Have a good weekend!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Custom Export to CSV

It's been a while since I've updated my blog. I've been quite busy lately, and just have not had the time that I used to. We're expecting our 1st child in just a few short weeks now, so most of my free time has been spent learning Lamaze breathing, making the weekly run to Babies R Us, and relocating my office from the larger room upstairs to the smaller one downstairs - which I do happen to like MUCH more than I had anticipated. I have everything I need within a short walk - a bathroom, beer fridge, and 52" HD TV. I only need to go upstairs to eat and sleep now, but alas, this will all change soon...

Recently, I was asked if you could change the way Export to CSV in ApEx works. The short answer is, of course, no. But it's not too difficult to "roll your own" CSV export procedure.

Why would you want to do this? Well, the customer's requirement was to manipulate some data when the Export link was clicked, and then export it to CSV in a format…