Oracle Application Express

New Features in Release 5.1

Oracle Application Express 5.1 is a great leap forward in end user productivity and introduces powerful new declarative features, enabling you to develop, design and deploy beautiful, responsive, database-driven desktop and mobile applications using only a browser.


"At Insum, we are very excited with the upcoming APEX 5.1 release. The new declarative Master-Detail-Detail capabilities, possible using the new Interactive Grid, will greatly assist many of our clients convert legacy applications to Oracle Application Express. I am not even mentioning the hundreds of new improvements that the APEX team delivers with each new release" said Francis Mignault, co-founder, CTO, Insum Solutions.

"Oracle Application Express will allow you to build any data-driven web application with less effort as compared to traditional programming languages. The added Interactive Grid component in APEX 5.1 will extend the capabilities of Application Express, thereby covering even the most complex requirements for dialogs out-of-the-box. I therefore foresee a great uptake of customers that will migrate their legacy apps to Application Express" said Niels de Bruijn, Business Unit Manager and Oracle Ace Director, MT AG, Germany.

Introducing Interactive Grid

Interactive Grid is a rich, client-side region type that allows rapid editing of multiple rows of data in a dynamic, JSON-enabled grid. Interactive Grid combines the best features from both Interactive Reports and Tabular Forms. From a functional perspective, an Interactive Grid includes the majority of customization capabilities available in Interactive Reports, plus the ability to resize columns and rearrange the column order directly in the report using drag and drop. You can create both read-only and editable Interactive Grids. In an editable Interactive Grid, users can add, modify, and delete data directly on the page. Built using modern guidelines and techniques, this new component of Application Express provides outstanding keyboard support and usability. Existing tabular forms can be migrated to Interactive Grids using the Upgrade Application wizard.

  • Full Featured Grid Interactive Grid includes all the features you expect for powerful reporting, including fixed headers, frozen columns, scroll pagination, multiple filters, sorting, aggregates, and more.
  • Extensible and Customizable You can easily edit your data using text, numerical columns, date pickers, list of values, and much more. Interactive Grid is designed to support all item types and item type plug-ins.
  • Master > Detail > Detail > Detail With Interactive Grids, you can now easily render master-detail-detail relationships that can be n-levels deep or across. You can create all types of master-detail-detail screens with ease.

Oracle JET Charts Integration

The data visualization engine of Oracle Application Express 5.1 is now powered by Oracle JET (JavaScript Extension Toolkit), a modular open source toolkit based on modern JavaScript, CSS3 and HTML5 design and development principles. This JavaScript charting solution is highly customizable, accessible, interactive, and incorporates automatic responsive design support. With Oracle JET integration into Application Express, you can now build charts that are beautiful, fast, highly customizable, and extremely versatile. The Oracle JET data visualization components include customizable charts, gauges, and other components that you can use to present flat or hierarchical data in a graphical display for data analysis.

  • Fully HTML5 These charts are fully HTML5 capable and work on any modern browser, regardless of platform, or screen size.
  • Easy Migrations Existing AnyChart charts can be migrated using the Upgrade Application wizard.
  • Data Visualization The charts provide dozens of different ways to visualize a data set including bar, line, area, range, combination, scatter, bubble, polar, radar, pie, funnel, and stock charts.
  • Interactivity Each Oracle JET visualization supports animation, accessibility, responsive layout, internationalization, test automation, and a range of interactivity features.

Universal Theme and User Experience Enhancements

Application Express 5.1 builds on the success of the Universal Theme and introduces new templates, theme styles and Live Template Options. Universal Theme has been streamlined and features improved design and UI throughout all of its components.

  • Declarative Right-to-Left Support Application Express 5.1 adds support for declarative right-to-left languages to be properly rendered when using Universal Theme.
  • Per-User Theme Style Preference You can now set a per-user-level preference for theme styles.
  • Live Template Options You can now modify template options for your page components when running the application. Just like Theme Roller, Live Template Options enables you to customize your application in real time, allowing you to try out various template options to get the perfect UI for your application.
  • Font APEX Icon Library Font APEX is a new icon library with 1100+ icons designed as 16x16 line icons. It is specifically designed to complement the development of business applications with Oracle Application Express and Universal Theme.
  • Modal Dialog Auto Resize Modal Dialogs in Universal Theme will automatically grow or shrink in height to fit the contents of your modal dialog contents.
  • Icons for Items and Inline Item Help Text For supported item types, you can now easily select an icon and have it displayed near your item. You can now provide inline help text for your items with the new Inline Help Text attribute. This text will then be displayed immediately below your item.
  • Custom Application Icons in Builder You can now set an image for your application to be used in the App Builder.
  • Asynchronous Dynamic Actions All AJAX requests issued by Dynamic Actions are now asynchronous which allows progress indicators, and so forth, to be displayed for long running transactions.

Enhanced Page Designer: Transition to Page Designer Made Easy!

  • Integration of Component View To assist developers with the transition to Page Designer, a new Component View tab is now included in Page Designer. You can see your page as it looks when viewing the Legacy Component View simply by selecting the Component View tab in the middle pane of Page Designer. The visual representation of your page matches the layout of Component View. However, instead of going back and forth between property pages to make changes, you can now modify your attributes using the Property Editor tab in Page Designer.
  • Two Pane Mode Page Designer now supports a Two Pane mode so you can focus on two panes at a time.
  • Drag and Drop Tab Reordering You can now customize Page Designer by reordering tabs within and across panes.
  • Property Editor: Filter Search and Changed Property Indicator You can now quickly search and find a specific attribute or group in the Property Editor by entering part or all of the associated property name in the search dialog. In the Property Editor, changed properties are now indicated with a blue marker until the page has been saved.

Wizard Simplification

In Oracle Application Express 5.1, wizards have been streamlined with smarter defaults and fewer steps, enabling developers to create components quicker than ever before.

  • Create Application Wizard The Create Application Wizard for desktop applications now supports the creation of interactive grid pages as reports, forms, and master detail. When you create an application from a spreadsheet, the wizard now supports the creation of an interactive grid as either a single page, or report and form page.
  • Create Page Wizard The Create Page Wizard features a more consistent, streamlined interface consisting of fewer steps. Master Detail wizards now support incorporating an interactive grid region on either a single page or on two pages. Tabular Form, AnyChart Chart, and Legacy Calendar now appear under Legacy Page type.

Packaged Apps

Oracle Application Express 5.1 includes enhancements to all existing productivity and sample apps, and also introduces three new productivity apps - Competitive Analysis, Quick SQL and REST Client Assistant:

  • Competitive Analysis Competitive Analysis can be used to create side-by-side comparisons which can be edited by many users simultaneously. These comparisons can be scored and displayed in aggregated chart form, or in a more detailed text form.
  • Quick SQL This app provides a quick and intuitive way to generate a relational SQL data model based on text in a markdown-like format. Additionally, the app provides many options to generate SQL including generating triggers, APIs and history tables.
  • REST Client Assistant REST Client Assistant enables developers to access RESTful services defined in both Application Express workspaces and public services. The app provides metadata-driven mapping from service response data to SQL result set columns. The generated SQL and PL/SQL code can then be used directly in Oracle Application Express applications.

Improvements have been made to all of the Sample and Productivity apps, capitalizing on the new functionality of Oracle Application Express 5.1. The Sample Charts app has been completely revamped to showcase the all new Oracle JET Charts and is an outstanding demonstration of the data visualization capabilities in Oracle Application Express 5.1. The Sample Master-Detail app now highlights the different ways related tables can be displayed using a marquee page or different combinations of Interactive Grids. This release also includes three new Sample apps: Sample Interactive Grids, Sample Projects, and Sample REST Services:

  • Sample Interactive Grids This application highlights the features and functionality of the new Interactive Grid. The sample pages highlight the following features: Read Only capabilities, Pagination options, Editing capabilities, and Advanced techniques
  • Sample Projects The Sample Projects application is an application that highlights the new features in Oracle Application Express 5.1, such as Interactive Grid and JET charts.
  • Sample REST Services This application showcases how to access external REST services from Oracle Application Express pages.

Calendar Enhancements

There are numerous improvements to Calendar in this release:

  • End Date Displayed Inclusively In release 5.0, the CSS calendar considered the end date of an all-day event as exclusive (similar to the jQuery FullCalendar Plugin ). In release 5.1, the end date is inclusive like all other Oracle Application Express components.
  • JavaScript Customization You can add JavaScript code to support customization of the FullCalendar initialization using the new Initialization JavaScript Code attribute
  • Dynamic Actions Events Enables developers to capture events within the calendar and define dynamic actions against these events.
  • Keyboard Support When the calendar grid has focus, the arrow keys can be used to navigate within the calendar.

Other Enhancements

  • Page Submit New Page Attribute "Reload On Submit" allows developers to specify when the page should be reloaded following a page submission. Submitting a page has been changed to not use the parameters of the wwv_flow.accept procedure anymore, instead all page item values are stored in a JSON document which is passed to wwv_flow.accept. With this change,there is no more 200 page items limit per page.
  • APEX Builder UI Enhancements Rather than just being able to upload a single file (or zip file), developers can now upload multiple files or multiple zip files. This is available in Static Workspace Files, Static Application Files, Theme Files, and Plug-In Files.
  • Item Types File Browse page items can be configured to support multiple file uploads, and can be restricted by file types.
For those still on Application Express 4.2 you can also review the Application Express 5.0 New Features.