Friday, January 17, 2014

Developing Mobile Web Applications with Oracle Application Express 4.2

If you’re interested in developing Mobile Web Apps on the Oracle Database – and if you’re following my Blog, chances are that you are – then here’s a great opportunity to get up to speed on the latest trends and learn how you can quickly and easily develop your own mobile web apps and extend your existing APEX apps for mobile use: attend my upcoming free ODTUG Webinar on February 20th:


Here’s what I will be covering: 

Smartphones and tablets are now commonly used throughout the enterprise. Thanks to easy to use mobile apps, ready access to the Internet, and widespread use of web- and cloud-based applications, mobile devices are a logical choice for many employees. Businesses need to respond to these trends by modernizing their public facing websites for mobile use and providing employees with access to in-house applications that support a variety of different devices and screen sizes. Solely building for desktop use and standardizing on IE only won’t cut it anymore. 



Oracle Application Express (APEX) provides you with powerful tools to quickly and efficiently build mobile web apps and to easily extend your existing desktop applications for mobile use. Regardless of whether these applications were built with APEX originally or use other technologies—as long as they’re running on top of an Oracle Database, APEX will enable you to quickly build mobile apps that provide access to your data and interact with your business processes. 



During this session, we’ll discuss mobile development trends and responsive web design, walk you through the basics of the jQuery Mobile framework, and provide you with an overview of the mobile development capabilities built into the current release of Oracle Application Express 4.2. We will include several live demos to get you started, so have your phone or tablet ready to try out our sample apps live while they are being built.

Additional information on ODTUG Webinars and a list of other upcoming Webinars can be found here:


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

See APEX at the Bulgarian Oracle User Group Conference this November


Are you interested in developing Mobile web applications with Oracle Application Express? Do you want to see some of the features that are going to be introduced with Oracle Application Express 5.0? Then join us at the Bulgarian Oracle User Group Conference, taking place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria from November 22nd to November 24th. Roel Hartman and I will be doing four sessions on Oracle Application Express, covering everything from what’s new in APEX 5.0, starting mobile development with APEX, taking a sneak peek at the new mobile development capabilities coming in 5.0 to building hybrid apps with APEX and PhoneGap / Cordova. Additionally I’ll also cover some SQL Developer tips and tricks and best practices:
  • 11/22 14:15 - Top 10 Oracle SQL Developer Tips and Tricks (Marc Sewtz)
  • 11/23 10:00 - Oracle Application Express 5.0 (Marc Sewtz)
  • 11/23 11:15 - My First Mobi : Starting Mobile Development with APEX (Roel Hartman)
  • 11/23 12:30 -  Mobile Development with Oracle Application Express 5.0 (Marc Sewtz)
  • 11/23 14:30 -  The best of both worlds : Going hybrid with Oracle Application Express (Roel Hartman)
You can register for the conference and review the full agenda here:

http://www.bgoug.org/en/events/details/90.html

Thursday, May 30, 2013

White Paper on Custom PDF Reports in APEX


As I’ve previously blogged about and outlined in my video tutorials, it is now possible to create custom PDF reports with APEX 4.2.2 using the APEX Listener 2.0.2 and third-party tools like Altova Stylevision or Stylus Studio. To help our customers getting started with this, we’ve just released a white paper that outlines the system requirements, explains the configuration steps and options and then walks you through the creation of PDF reports using custom layouts step by step. The white paper is available on out Oracle Application Express OTN page:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

PDF Reports with APEX at NYOUG


The New York Oracle User Group Summer Meeting takes place on June 5th at St. John's University, right next to the World Trade Center in Downtown Manhattan. This looks like it’s going to be a very interesting meeting for Oracle DBAs and Oracle Developers. There are two session scheduled covering the Oracle Database 12c and also two APEX sessions. There’s going to be a session on building mobile apps with APEX, which looks to be very hands-on. And I’ll be showing how to build custom PDF reports with APEX. I’ll walk you step by step through creating the report in APEX, downloading the XML, creating a report layout with tools like Stylevision, loading the layout back into APEX and associating the layout with your report. If you have a laptop running APEX 4.2.2 and the APEX Listener 2.0.2, you’re welcome to bring it and follow along – you will need at least a trial version of either Altova Stylevision or Stylus Studio.

Details about this event can be found on the NYOUG website:


Monday, April 29, 2013

APEX-Community meets Development - Munich, May 16th


Mark your calendars for May 16th. Following the Cloud World events in London and Munich on May 14th and 15th, we’re organizing an APEX Community day at the Oracle office in Munich, Germany on Thursday, May 16th. I’ll be showing the just-release APEX 4.2.2, talk about what’s new, what to consider when upgrading and we'll do a demonstration of some of the PDF printing enhancements in this release. Then we’re going to take a look at our upgraded packaged applications and sample applications, including a demonstration of our newly added Survey Builder. And with APEX 5.0 development on the way, we’re also going to take a look at some of the features we’re currently working on and of course I’d be happy to discuss your questions, suggestions and feature requests during our meeting.

A detailed agenda and information on how to sign up for this free event can be found here:

Friday, April 26, 2013

Oracle OTN Developer Day in New York on May 7th


Are you interested in developing and running your Oracle Application Express applications on the Cloud? And do you want to learn more about Oracle’s Database Cloud Service? Then join us on May 7 at the Oracle OTN Developer Day in New York. At this event, you will be able to network with peers and Oracle experts while learning about Oracle Cloud's Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings and the speed, flexibility, and productivity they offer.

I’ll be doing an Oracle Cloud overview presentation in the morning and then we'll do a Database Cloud Hands-On lab with you in the afternoon. You’ll get hands-on experience with the Oracle Database Cloud and learn about our suite of packaged productivity applications. You’ll learn how to load bulk data to the Oracle Database Cloud, build applications on this data, add reports and charts, setup RESTful webservices and  build and deploy mobile web apps – all as part of this free workshop.

PDF Printing with Oracle Application Express 4.2.2


Oracle Application Express 4.2.2 was released today, you can download the full release from the Download page on OTN. As always, there have been numerous improvements and bug fixes. We’ve updated many of our included packaged applications and we’ve introduced a new packaged application: the Survey Builder, which you can use to easily create and run surveys.

With APEX 4.2.2 and the APEX Listener 2.0 we’re also introducing a number of report printing enhancements. Using the APEX Listener for PDF printing has been added as a third option in addition to using Apache FOP or Oracle BI Publisher as external print rendering engine. The main difference in using the APEX Listener for PDF printing is that the FOP libraries are actually built into the Lister, thus no complicated configuration of an external engine is required in this setup. All that’s required is to log into the APEX Instance Administration, select the APEX Listener as the Print Server, and then enable PDF printing for your Classic Reports, Interactive Reports or Report Queries.

And unless you’re calling the APEX Print APIs directly in your custom PL/SQL code, you also won’t have to enable networking services in the Oracle database anymore, because the APEX Listener based printing option loads your reports straight to the APEX Listener, which then renders them in PDF format and downloads them to your browser.

To help you get started with using the APEX Listener for PDF Printing I’ve created a short video that walks you through the configuration steps in the APEX Instance Administration and then shows you how to create a simple report with PDF export enabled:



We’ve also improved support for custom XSL-FO layouts in APEX 4.2.2. This means, you can now more easily customize your PDF reports to your requirements using third-party tools like Altova Stylevision or Stylus Studio that allow for drag and drop layout of XSLT stylesheets. So if you have a Report Query or Classic Report Region, you can now simply download your report data in XML format and use this XML data as the data source for any of these tools. Once loaded into the tool, all components of your report data, including information about your application, page, report region, user name as well as session state can be easily included in the layout via drag and drop. Once you completed your layout, you can safe it as a XSLT 1.0 file and upload this file into APEX as a report layout (under Shared Components). Now you can update your report query or classic report region to use this custom layout when exporting your report in PDF format.

I’ve created a second video, which walks your through all the details. Starting with the sample app created in the first video, I’m showing you how to export your report in XML format, load this XML file into Altova Stylevision or Stylus Studio, then I'm demonstrating how to use these tools to create custom layouts and finally how to upload your completed layouts and use them for your reports in APEX: