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Alain Lacour

APEX Connect 2016 – Day 2 – APEX

After the great Keynote about “APEX Vision, Past, Present, Future” by Mike Hichwa, the father of APEX, I decided to attend presentations on following topics:
– Dynamic Actions 5.1
– APEX and Oracle JET
– Enterprise UX patterns
– APEX Scripting
– Automation on APEX instance

APEX Vision, Past, Present, Future:
Mike Hichwa provided a very interesting overview of how WEB DB was born, turned into Project Marvel which gave HTML DB and finally became
APEX, with numerous stories around it.
The vision of the future for APEX with upcoming version 5.1 and further challenges and expectations is very promising.
APEX is looking at a bright future.
In addition we got to know about ABCS (Application Business Connector Services), which can be seen as “APEX light” for business users, as they can build their own apps from there.

Dynamic Actions 5.1:
The web browser can be seen as the new desktop. Nowadays you can do almost everything in your browser:
– Create documents
– Edit spreadsheets
– Create presentations
– Mail
– Edit pictures
– …
All of that is enabled for a big part of it, by JavaScript.
APEX tries to abstract JavaScript from the developer with Dynamic Actions which allow to hide some of the complexity.
“If you don’t use Dynamic Actions, you are a forms developer, not a web application developer” according to Juergen Schuster, the host of the presentation.
Thanks to Dynamic Actions APEX went easier into a new dimension with Ajax, so that it can be avoided to submit and reload to the same page. Applications look much more user friendly. You just need to notice that APEX handles Ajax calls like get and not post. So it is impacted by Session State Protection.
To learn more about Dynamic Actions and try them, please visit:

APEX and Oracle JET:
Oracle JavaScript Extension Tool is part of the future of APEX as new charts should appear in APEX 5.1 based on that technology.
Oracle JET is a framework developed for interaction with Oracle Cloud Services, based on different JavaScript libraries:
– JQuery
– JQuery UI
– Hammer
– RequireJS
– Knockout
The given demo was about charting and tables with and without live data.
If you want to know more about Oracle JET and APEX please visit following blog ny Sven Weller:
More details can be found on the Oracle site:

Enterprise UX patterns:
What is the gain of using patterns? The answer is instant familiarity, people don’t have to think about before using it.
There are many patterns in our daily life and so are in the web sites.
For web applications most common patterns are about following items:
– Login page
– Filtering
– Marquee pages
– Modal Dialogs
– Complex Forms
In this area APEX also shows its power and flexibility to stick to the common patterns with few efforts for the developers.
I would suggest you to visit following website if you are interested in UI patterns:

APEX Scripting:
APEX is based on PL/SQL and provides numerous packages, so you can make use of them for scripting purpose as actions from the UI can be done by calling them. There are also tools provided like the java based export tool.
Therefore scripting can be used for following purpose around APEX:
– Export
– Backup
– Deployment
Packages which are useful for those purpose are:
As those packages are in the database, the new upcoming SQLcl tool (replacement of SQL Plus) should be considered.
Please visit following webpage for more details around SQLcl:

Automation on APEX instance:
As a continuity of the previous topic, and based on the same predicates, some tasks related to APEX administration can be automated like workspace provisioning, exports for versioning and regular “system” reporting.
APEX administration is somewhere between the DBA and the developer. Therefore following aspects must be looked at when going for administration automation:
– Responsibility
– Approvals on user requests
– Rights definition
– Resource management
– Administration tasks distribution
APEX provides some functionality for automated workspace delivery, but it can be enhanced by developing a custom solution where for example SSO would be used to identify enterprise users. Also specific roles could be provided and for example default template application installed as well as specific packaged/sample applications.

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Alain Lacour
Alain Lacour

Delivery Manager and Consultant