Today iAdvise has given a presentation during the OBUG APEX SIG at Oracle Belgium. The title of the presentation was “APEX Plug Ins: How to use them, How to build them.“.
The goal of the session was to give a general introduction on
- What are plug-ins ?
- How can you use them as an APEX Developer.
- How can you write them as an PLUG In Developer.
Especially part 3 of the presentation was a real challenge. We did a live demonstration of how you can gradually build up a new plug in from scratch. In 5 steps Stijn Van Raes demonstrated how to construct a “Clearable Text Item” plug-in. It is not the most complex plug-in, but it allowed us to describe every single step, pointing out the existing Plug-In API’s that you may use when writing your code. At every step, the necessary PL/SQL code was explained, the resulting options for the APEX Developer demo’ed and the effect at run time for the end user. Where relevant the resulting HTML code was inspected by using Firebug.
Because there is not yet that much documentation on those Plug-In API’s and their usage — unless in the internal PL/SQL Packages of the APEX engine itself or in existing plug-ins–, we decided to make a kind of APEX4.0 Plugin Cheatsheet which lists the most important API procedures and functions and the different record types they use.
For the people who were interested, it was also possible in the afternoon to attend a hands-on session and try out everything we explained in the morning. We have elaborated two tutorials that repeated every single step with some extra explanation and the necessary code snippet. Everybody who attended the hands-on finished both tutorials without any problem.