Infrastructure at your Service

The day first started with a 5K fun run.

After the Keynote about “APEX: Where we have come from and where we’re heading: Personal insights on Application Express from the Development Team” by John Snyders, Anthony Rayner and Carsten Czarski explaining their work on APEX and some upcoming features, I decided to attend presentations on following topics:
– Know your Browser Dev Tools!
– APEX Devops with Database tooling
– Klick, Klick, Test – Automated Testing for APEX
– Sponsored Session Pitss: Migration from Oracle Forms to APEX – Approaches compared
– APEX-Actions

Potential upcoming features in APEX 19.2:
– APEX_EXEC enabled Interactive Grids
– Enhanced LOV
– New popup LOV
– Filter reports

Know your Browser Dev Tools!

Every web browser has it’s own set of developer tools but all of them mainly allow following functionalities:
– Manipulate HTML in DOM tree
– Execute JavaScript
– Apply CSS
– Client side debugging and logging
– Analyze network activity
– Simulate screensize
The most popular and complet set of tools is provided by Google Chrome with:
– Elements
– Console
– Sources
– Network
– Performance
– Memory
– Application
– Security
– Audits
Note that if you want to see console output as well as details of Dynamic Actions from APEX, you need to activate debug mode in your application.

APEX Devops with Database tooling

One of the goal of DevOps is to bring Development and Operations to work closer together and make deployment of application smoother.
In order to achieve that 100% automation of follwing tasks is helping a lot:
– Build
– Test
– Release
– Deploy
This is mainly supported by RESTful services within Oracle, ORDS being the corner stone.
Beside that Jenkins has been replaced by GitLab with better web services support.
Database changes are tracked based in Liquibase integrated and enhanced in SQLcl. Vault is also integrated in SQLcl to ease and automate the password management.
Another target of DevOps is zero downtime. This can be supported with tools like consul.io and fabiolb which permit to dynamically add ORDS servers covered by dynamic load balancing.

Klick, Klick, Test – Automated Testing for APEX

There are lots of automated testing tools on the market but they mostly are restricted to specific web browsers.
The target is to have a solution that fits most of them and allows testing of APEX web applications.
It needs a testing framework to abstract the scenario from underlying tool: codecept.io
The code generated by the testing framework being standardized it can be generated based on APEX metadata analysis with the help of a templating tool: handlebars
The process is then supported by an APEX application that can retrieve the applications from the workspace and manage the dedicated test scenarios as well as trigger them on docker containers.

Sponsored Session Pitss: Migration from Oracle Forms to APEX – Approaches compared

Migrating forms applications to APEX can be very cumbersome as they can be very large and complex.
The main phases fo such a migration are:
– Forms application preparation and analysis
– Migration
– APEX Application fine tuning
– Rollout
The success of such a migration lays on the combination of skilled FORMS developers and APEX developers.

APEX-Actions

Beside the well known Dynamic Actions in APEX, there is a new JavaScript library introduced in APEX 5.0: apex.actions
Documentation to it came with version 5.1 in the APEX JavaScript API documentation.
It’s used by the APEX development team in the Page Designer and is now available to all developers.
Actions allow to centrally encapsulate and define rendering, associated function and shortcuts of objects from the web pages all of it dynamically.
It uses an observer which allows to have the same behavior for multiple objects of the same type on the same page.

The day ended with Sponsor Pitches & Lightning Talks:
– APEX Competition Winner Plugin
– 5 things that make your life easier when using Docker
– Verwenden Sie kein PL/SQL!
– Improving Tech with Compassionate Coding

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Alain Lacour
Alain Lacour

Delivery Manager and Consultant