All posts by Filip Van Vooren

Michael Hichwa on APEX Vision, past, present and future.

I normally don’t include Youtube videos on my blog. However the below presentation by Mike Hichwa about the Vision, past, present and future of APEX is so imporant, that I just had to include it.

It was recorded at APEX Connect 2016 in Berlin, a great event. If you have the chance to visit APEX Connect, go for it. Lots of APEX experts and a great opportunity  to meet up with the good folks that make the APEX community.



Why I think APEX should support OData (“SQL for the web”)

In today’s blog post I’ll explain what OData is about and go into details on my reasoning why Oracle in general and APEX in particular should support the OData standard.


NOTE: This is a blog post I prepared before I went to APEX Connect 2016 in Berlin. But I didn’t manage to verify and post in time. I’ve now slightly edited and added some details I learned about while being at APEX Connect.

OData is a new standardized protocol based on REST. It’s platform independent and uses HTTP, REST, JSON, XML. It basically allows you to do all operations you’d normally do in SQL in a transparent way.

So, if you want the short version why I think Oracle should support OData: Because Microsoft and SAP do and because it’s an open standard here to stay.

Microsoft Office 365,  Sharepoint, SQL Server, IBM DB2, SAP Netweaver and SAP HANA are a few of the products that either support OData natively or via a plugin.

Imagine defining an APEX Interactive Grid against a SAP HANA table without having to write any PL/SQL code or needing to write separate web-services for each of the operations / tables you work with.

Continue reading Why I think APEX should support OData (“SQL for the web”)

Connect with RDP-client to VirtualBox Oracle Developer Day VM

This is more of a reminder for myself (so that next time I don’t have to go looking again)

On my Windows PC I use VirtualBox for running multiple virtual machines with all my Oracle stuff.

This weekend I downloaded and imported the latest “Database App Development VM” appliance, which at the time of writing contains Oracle + APEX 5.0.3 + ORDS 3.0.3


Continue reading Connect with RDP-client to VirtualBox Oracle Developer Day VM

The MVC design pattern in Page Designer – Part 1

Today, I’d like to talk about the “Model, View, Controller”-Design pattern and how all this is reflected in APEX Page Designer.

Picture source: xkcd Flowchart comic
Picture source: xkcd Flowchart comic

This is the first part of a series of blog posts where I’ll share my knowledge on Page Designer internals I gained while working on the Xplug browser add-on.

Disclaimer: I’m not part of the APEX development team and there’s a lot of undocumented stuff. Most of my knowledge I acquired by trial and error and by looking at the APEX javascript source code.
I apologize in advance for any errors my blog posts may contain.
Perhaps some good advice first: don’t take anything for granted and always double-check yourself.

That being said, I’m a speaker at APEX Connect 2016 and the MVC-topic is part of a presentation I’m currently preparing for the Web Technologies track.  It’s called  “Lernen vom Page Designer – Auf den Spuren von Jules Vernes” .

Please bare with me. It’s going to be a rather long and somewhat theoretical blog post.  I’ll do my very best to keep it interesting.

Continue reading The MVC design pattern in Page Designer – Part 1

Page Designer: Know where you are

Work has been a killer lately, and unfortunately that did not include any programming whatsoever. Luckily this evening I finally got some spare time to play with APEX Page Designer again.

When I do am doing development stuff I have many browser tabs open or even multiple browsers at the same time.

I thought it would be cool if you could see the current application and page id in the browser tab.


Continue reading Page Designer: Know where you are

Xplug – How to do minor tweaks to style (contrast enhancement)

The release of Xplug v1.2 was quite a success.  The possibility to add a “dark” style and customize it via a configuration dialog seems to be something many APEX developers appreciate.

But what if you just want to do a small modification like changing the background color of the properties group header? Until now that was hard -if not -impossible- to do, because the CSS that is injected by Xplug is focussing on a dark style.


Continue reading Xplug – How to do minor tweaks to style (contrast enhancement)

Extending APEX 5.0 Page Designer with custom style

One of the things I wanted to do for the Xplug browser plugin, is to check if I can somehow change the Page Designer colors and come up with a custom look-and-feel (style) and
perhaps add some more contrast along the way. In particular I was excited to do a “darker” style. Something you would use at night while you are working on your next fantastic APEX application.

Note that I’m not calling it a theme, because then it could be confused with an APEX theme which definitely is not the case here.
I do am planning on adding a configuration dialog, so you can change colors yourself. Would be cool if these could then be exported as JSON and put online in a gallery.

Anyway, what I find kinda cool is that there’s a button that let you switch between “daylight” and “moonlight” mode.
The daylight/moonlight feature will definitely be part of the next Xplug release (along with some other goodies).

Before that happens I have to refactor the code and work on the “moonlight” mode some more. Adjust colors work on the tabs style, etc.
I definitely need a javascript build system. I haven’t used one before, but I’m currently looking at Grunt and Gulp. So will see how that goes.

If you want to take a peek. Here’s a quick Youtube video I did that shows some of the features. Have to apologize for the bad quality. Will need to find a good screen recorder.