Oracle Application Express
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Release 3.0 New Feature Demos
Click on the screenshots below to run on-line demos of some of our new features.
Charting

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Item Types

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PDF Printing

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Release 3.0 New Feature Details
Below is a summary of the new features in Oracle Application Express 3.0.

PDF Printing

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You can now include the ability to export a report region to PDF - essentially, printing a report. When you click to edit a report region, you will notice a new tab, Print Attributes. You can also define Report Queries and Report Layouts under Shared Components. For Printing, please note that you can have the end user access this using our built-in link or via your own custom button.

Access Migration

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Application Migration enables you to migrate a Microsoft Access application and generate an Oracle Application Express application. The migration process involves the following steps:
  • Use the Exporter tool to export metadata from Microsoft Access.
  • Use Oracle Migration Workbench to migrate a Microsoft Access database to Oracle.
  • Create an Oracle Application Express workspace and then a migration project.
  • Validate and update the retrieved objects.
  • Generate an Oracle Application Express application.

Flash Charts

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When you select to create a new page or region of type chart, you will see a new type - Flash Chart. There are 18 types of charts that are supported and during the creation process, you can preview the selected type and set most attributes for your resulting chart. In addition to creating new Flash Charts, you can also convert your existing SVG Charts to Flash Charts. The migration utility is available under Application Reports > Page Components and also under Tasks if you edit a region that contains an SVG Chart.

Drag and Drop Item Layout

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On the Page Definition page, you will notice a new icon to the right of the Reorder Items icons. This icon, Drag and Drop, brings you to the new Drag and Drop Item Layout feature. You can reorder items with the current region, change select attributes (item name, label, and type within the current item-type range), delete items and quickly create new items. You can place items to the left or right of an existing item and can insert a new row to quickly add items in the middle of an existing form. To remove an item, simply drag it into the recycle bucket at the bottom. Before your changes are permanent, you will be brought to a confirmation page.

Improved Web Services

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The Application Express Web services engine now supports more loosely defined types and document style Web services. Both enhancements make it possible to support JDeveloper created Web services and Oracle BPEL synchronous Web services. It is now also possible to interact with Web services over SSL (HTTPS) and Web services that require basic authentication. Finally, there is now support for manually creating a Web service reference if the Application Express engine cannot correctly parse the WSDL document for a particular service. You supply the SOAP request envelope and the URL endpoint among other information about the Web service.

New Item Types

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Several new items types have been added. These include:
   - Shuttle
   - HTML Editor Minimal - available under Textarea
   - HTML Editor Standard - available under Textarea
   - Popup Color Picker - available under Popup List of Values
   - Date Picker (use format mask)


Calendar Enhancement

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Now, when you create a calendar page or region, you will automatically get a Monthly, Weekly, and Daily Calendar. The user will be able to toggle between the mode that they want using buttons.

Supporting Objects Enhancements

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The Supporting Objects feature that was introduced in Application Express 2.2 has been enhanced to allow for the definition of upgrade scripts. This will allow us to post upgrades to the Packaged Applications that we distribute on OTN and have you install an upgrade using the same wizard that you do for initial installation. You can also use this feature for distributing upgrades. We have also added the ability to include your Access Control Table definitions with your Installation Scripts.

Page and Region Caching

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Page and Region caching allows you to write parts of your application to a cache to improve performance. The cache attributes are set on the Page and Region attributes pages. This is great for static pages and regions such as lists that do not have any conditions and regions containing HTML text.

Shared Components Enhancements

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There have been several enhancements made to Shared Components. These include:
  • New icon for quick navigation to Shared Components
  • Application Definition and Application Comments are now accessible from Shared Components, rather than the Application home page
  • Lists - can now reparent list entries
  • Lists - can now copy a list entry
  • Breadcrumbs - can now reparent breadcrumb entries
  • Breadcrumbs - synchronize breadcrumbs (when you create or edit a breadcrumb, there is a checkbox on the right that allows you to 'push' the breadcrumb name to both the page name and page title)


Item Finder Enhancements

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From within the Application Builder, there are two new tabs on the Item Finder. One for CSS - this allows you to identify cascading style sheets that are available to any Application Express application, regardless of theme. The second is for Images - it displays an Icon gallery of generic art for use with applications. We have also added a Table Finder to both the Object Browser and SQL Commands components of the SQL Workshop. Next time you are creating a trigger in the Object Browser or writing some custom SQL in SQL Commands and just can't recall the column name you need, click the flashlight icon. Within SQL Commands, you can also click [Return Value], under the displayed select statement, and the displayed statement will be appended to your current SQL.

Other Item Enhancements

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From the Edit All Items, there is a new tab for Reassign Region items. This function allows you to quickly reassign multiple items to a new region. We have also added a new Pre Element Text to the Item-level attributes. It allows you to specify additional attributes for the HTML table cell used to display each individual option in a radio group or set of check boxes and may include HTML, JavaScript, and shortcuts.

New Multi-Delete Functions

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There are now Delete Multiple functions available for Buttons, Processes, Computations and Validations. You access the new features by clicking the Edit All icon in the appropriate section of the Page Definition.

Null Sort Order for Reports

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For reports with column heading sorting, you can now set whether you want null valued columns to sort first or last. You will notice this new attribute on the Report Attributes page under Layout and Pagination.

Navigation Improvements

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Within the Application Builder, in addition to the new icon to navigate quickly to Shared Components, there is another new icon to navigate quickly to Application Reports. You can also access your most recently accessed applications and pages using the new 'Recent' region on the Application Builder home page and the Application home page. Lastly, you might also notice that we have removed some of the menu pages to reduce navigation to certain functions. Examples of this include Manage Application Express Users and Object Reports (under Utilities).

Application and Schema Comparison

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The new Application Comparison utility is found under Application Reports > Cross Application. It can be used to identify differences between two selected applications. The Schema Comparison is found under Utilities. It is used to identify differences between objects in two different schemas.

Application Home Page - Additional Display Types

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You can now view pages 'by Type' or 'by Group', in addition to Icons and Details. We categorize each page by type to give you an overview of your application. We use a hierarchy and each page is assigned only one type. For example, if the Page Alias is 'LOGIN', we classify it as Login regardless of what other content it may have. A Master Detail form will be classified as a DML Form and a page with a report and chart will be a Report. When viewing details, the type and page group are also displayed.

Application Builder Defaults

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Application Builder Defaults allow you to define a preferred Tab implementation, Authentication Scheme, Theme, and Globalization to be used by the Create Application Wizard. These defaults are not only used as the defaults as you use the wizard but are used if you opt for the 'early out' that we have built in (i.e. the Create button appears on the pages once the mandatory steps have been completed). These defaults are specific to a workspace, not each developer. Application Builder Defaults are accessible under Tasks on the Application Builder home page.

Developer Preferences

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Developer Preferences are available from the Tasks region on the Application Builder home page. This allows you to set your view mode and report rows for all displays within the Application Builder. The default for View mode is Icons and the default for Rows displayed is 15. If you like viewing Details and 50 rows per page, just use this function. Developer Preferences are accessible under Tasks on the Application Builder home page.

Developer Toolbar Additions

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The Developer tool bar has been enhanced with the addition of Home and Activity. Home allows you to quickly jump from running an application to creating a new user or accessing the SQL Workshop and Activity Reports allow you to check the statistics or clear the cache for the page you are running.

Friendly URL Syntax to Facilitate Bookmarks

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This feature allows links to use a session ID of zero for public applications. This makes all public page links consistent which makes them much more search engine and bookmark friendly. The actual session ID is stored in a cookie (this is not a security issue because this feature is only for public pages).

Support of Locking with WAIT/NOWAIT in Automatic DML

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You can now control how Application Express responds for Automatic DML when a record is locked by another user (e.g. an Oracle Forms User). You simply define a new Application Item, APEX_DML_LOCK_WAIT_TIME, with values of NULL (default - wait indefinitely), 0 (no wait), or x (seconds to wait). This modifies the default response.

SQL Workshop - Saved SQL and Scripts Change

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If you are not and administrator and have limited schema access (your user is only allowed to view a particular schema), the Saved SQL that you will see in both SQL Commands and the Query Builder will be just those saved by you. The same is true for SQL Scripts. If you have limited access, you will only see your own SQL Scripts. This is a change from 2.0/2.2 but is the same way these areas were handled in version 1.6 and below.

SQL Workshop - Other Enhancements

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You can now navigate between the SQL Workshop components without needing to back out to the menu. You just change the component using the dropdown located in the upper right of the display. The Command Processor has also been enhanced with the addition of the eraser icon. This will remove the contents of your SQL Command. Lastly, as mentioned above, we have also added a Table Finder to both the Object Browser and SQL Commands components of the SQL Workshop. Next time you are creating a trigger in the Object Browser or writing some custom SQL in SQL Commands and just can't recall the column name you need, click the flashlight icon. Within SQL Commands, you can also click [Return Value], under the displayed select statement, and the displayed statement will be appended to your current SQL.

APEX Views Exposed

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In Application Express 2.2, we debuted data dictionary views that exposed the metadata for applications. Although you can still access them by querying the APEX_DICTIONARY view, you can now view not only the views, but the data they contain from within Application Express. The APEX Views feature is under Utilities and is essentially a query builder built atop the Views.

New Password and Account Controls

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At the instance and Workspace level, you can now specify rules for password expiration, mandate strong passwords (minimum number of characters, containing number and letters, etc), require change password on first use (very useful for system generated initial passwords), and lock accounts.

Improved Workspace Management

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In addition to the password controls above, we have made several other workspace management improvements. You can now define the sizes that you want for your workspaces (selection presented to the user requesting and the default that will be selected), request an email of your Workspace Names (how many of us have workspaces out that that we just can't recall the name of but we always know our email address), and review a log of login attempts.

New Look for Managing Users

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The navigation for managing workspace users has been simplified. You are immediately brought to a display of all your existing users. Enhanced icons are displayed to identify the user type, password expiration status and whether or not the account has been locked.