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Showing posts from 2015

Refreshing PL/SQL Regions in APEX

If you've been using APEX long enough, you've probably used a PL/SQL Region to render some sort of HTML that the APEX built-in components simply can't handle. Perhaps a complex chart or region that has a lot of custom content and/or layout. While best practices may be to use an APEX component, or if not, build a plugin, we all know that sometimes reality doesn't give us that kind of time or flexibility.While the PL/SQL Region is quite powerful, it still lacks a key feature: the ability to be refreshed by a Dynamic Action. This is true even in APEX 5. Fortunately, there's a simple workaround that only requires a small change to your code: change your procedure to a function and call it from a Classic Report region.In changing your procedure to a function, you'll likely only need to make one type of change: converting and htp.prn calls to instead populate and return a variable at the end of the function. Most, if not all of the rest of the code can remain un…

Hide and Seek

In migrating SERT from 4.2 to 5.0, there's a number of challenges that I'm facing. This has to do with the fact that I am also migrating a custom theme to the Universal Theme, as almost 100% of the application just worked if I chose to leave it alone. I didn't. More on that journey in a longer post later.In any case, some of the IR filters that I have on by default can get a bit... ugly. Even in the Universal Theme:In APEX 4.2, you could click on the little arrow, and it would collapse the region entirely, leaving only a small trace that there's a filter. That's no longer the case:So what to do... Enter CSS & the Universal Theme.Simply edit the page and add the following to the Inline CSS region (or add the CSS to the Theme Roller if you want this change to impact all IRs):.a-IRR-reportSummary-item { display: none; } This will cause most of the region to simply not display at all - until you click on the small triangle icon, which will expand the entire s…

Universal Theme Face Lift

I'm a huge fan of APEX's new Universal Theme, and have been working quite a bit with it.  One of the coolest features is how easy it is to change the colors.  You don't even need to be good at design - just click Theme Roller, and spin all the things!

However, as much as you change the colors, the look and feel still largely looks the same, since the base font is unchanged.

So let's change it up! More importantly, let's change it up without making any changes to the Universal Theme itself, so that when we upgrade to APEX 5.1, our changes will be preserved.

First, head on over to Google Fonts (https://www.google.com/fonts) and pick a font to use as your new base font.  It doesn't really matter which one you use.  For this example, I’m going to use Montserrat.  Once you've chosen which font to use, click on the Quick Use icon.  This will render a page with a number of different options as to how to include the font in your application.

Select which styles of t…

Next Oracle APEX NOVA Meetup Date Set

The next Oracle APEX NOVA MeetUp is going to be held on November 12th, 2015 at 7PM.  We decided to mix things up a bit and are going to have it at Vapianos in the Reston Town Center.  We're also going to try a more informal agenda.  In other words, there will be no agenda.

So if you're around Reston on November 12th from 7-9PM (or so), feel free to stop by.  Here's the MeetUp.com link: http://www.meetup.com/orclapex-NOVA/events/226009784/

Drop It Like It's Not

I just ran the following script:

-- TABLES
FOR x IN (SELECT table_name FROM user_tables)
LOOP
  EXECUTE IMMEDIATE('DROP TABLE ' || x.table_name || ' CASCADE CONSTRAINTS');
END LOOP;

-- SEQUENCES
FOR x IN (SELECT sequence_name FROM user_sequences)
LOOP
  EXECUTE IMMEDIATE ('DROP SEQUENCE ' || x.sequence_name);
END LOOP;

-- VIEWS
FOR x IN (SELECT view_name FROM user_views)
LOOP
  EXECUTE IMMEDIATE ('DROP VIEW ' || x.view_name);
END LOOP;

Basically, drop all tables, views and sequences.  It worked great, cleaning out those objects in my schema without touching any packages, producers or functions.  The was just one problem:  I ran it in the wrong schema.

Maybe I didn't have enough coffee, or maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but I essentially wiped out a schema that I really would rather not have.  But I didn't even flinch, and here's why.

All tables & views were safely stored in my data model.  All sequences and triggers (and packages, procedures…

Sumner Technologies: Take Two

About a month ago, I left my position at Accenture Enkitec Group. I had a couple of ideas as to what I wanted to do next, but nothing was 100% solid.  After considering a couple of different options, I'm happy to announce that together with Doug Gault & Tim St. Hilaire, we're re-launching Sumner Technologies.Much like last time, the focus will be on Oracle APEX; but we’re going to refine that focus a little bit.  In addition to traditional consulting, we’re going to focus more on higher-level services, such as security reviews and APEX health checks, as well as produce a library of on-demand training content.  APEX has matured tremendously over the past few years, and we feel that these services will complement the needs of the marketplace.It’s exciting to be starting things over, so to speak.  Lots will be the same, but even more will be different.  There’s a lot of work to be done (yes, I know the site is not in APEX - yet), but we’re excited at the potential of what we’…

Destroying The Moon

Just under three years ago, I joined Enkitec when they acquired Sumneva.  The next three years brought a whirlwind of change and excitement - new products, additional training, and expanding the APEX practice from an almost nonexistent state to one of the best in the world.

Like all good things, that run has come to an end.  Last Friday was my final day at Accenture, and I am once again back in the arena of being self-employed.  Without any doubt, I am leaving behind some of the best minds in the Oracle community.  However, I am not leaving behind the new friendships that I have forged over the past three years.  Those will come with me and hopefully remain with me for many, many years to come.

Making the jump for the second time is not nearly as scary as it was the first time, but it's still an emotional move.  Specifically what's next for me?  That's a good questions, as the answer is not 100% clear yet.  There's a lot of possibilities, and hopefully things will be …

Little League, Big Data

Last week, I participated in my first Little League draft for my son's baseball team.  This was new territory, as up until now, play has been non-competitive.  This year we will actually have to keep score, and there will be winners and losers.

In preparation for the draft, we had tryouts a few weeks ago where we evaluated the kids on a number of different criteria.  Never have I seen so many scared 7 and 8 year olds march through the cages as dozens of coaches with clipboards watched and recorded their every move.  I camped out and watched them pitch, as from what many veteran coaches told me, the key to keeping the game moving along is the pitcher.

In preparation for the draft, we were sent a couple of key spreadsheets.  The first one had an average rating of all of the kids tryouts assessments, done by the board members.  The second one contained coaches evaluations for some of the players from past seasons. Lots and lots of nothing more than raw data.

Time to fire up APEX.  I …

Screaming at Each Other

Every time I attend a conference, the Twitter traffic about said conference is obviously higher.  It starts a couple weeks or even months before, builds steadily as the conference approaches, and then hits a crescendo during the conference.  For the past few conferences, I’ve started my sessions by asking who in the audience uses Twitter.  Time and time again, I only get about 10-20% of the participants say that they do.  That means that up to 90% of the participants don’t.  That’s a lot of people.  My informal surveys also indicate a clear generation gap.  Of those that do use Twitter, they tend to be around 40 years old or younger.  There are of course exceptions to this rule, but by and large this is the evidence that I have seen.

I actually took about 10 minutes before my session today to attempt to find out why most people don’t care about Twitter.  The answer was very clear and consistent: there’s too much crap on there.  And they are correct.  I’d guess that almost 100% of all …