SQL Developer Connection Tip

I have recently been playing with SQLdeveloper and came around an interesting feature: you can group connections in folder. This will prevent you from having a very big list of connections.

To group your connections you must do the next thing:
1. Select two or more connections
2. Press your right mouse button
3. Choose “Add To Folder” -> “New Folder”

The result will look like this:

Nothing very special but it’s a very handy feature!

ODTUG first day ApEx roundup

The ApEx Symposium on the first day of ODTUG is over. It was a great day full of very interesting presentations. The day started with Joell Kallman presenting the keynote: Application Express: Ahead of the Curve. A very interesting and amusing presentation about the possible future of ApEx.

After Joell it was my time to present ‘APEX at Brussels Airport‘. I had a limited time slot of 30 minutes but at the end I had a good feeling about my presentation. Seeing I got several questions after the presentation, I hope I helped some people with giving them new ideas for possible technical solutions.

During the symposium I saw some very nice presentations giving all sorts of approaches for developing ApEx applications. At the end of the day there was an ApEx Panel Discussion with:
- David Peak
- Joell Kallman
- Patrick Wolf
- John Scott

Everyone (including moderator Scott Spendolini) got a chance to ask questions about ApEx with some interesting discussions following.

I’m looking forward to monday where Michael Hitchwa will be presenting Oracle Application Express 4.0.

ODTUG : ApEx Symposium

ODTUG 2009 in Kaleidoscope is coming very close. I will be presenting: Mission Critical APEX – APEX at Brussels Airport in the category Customer Success.

The ApEx Symposium will start on Sunday 21 JUN and I will be first after the keynote of Joel Kallman.

I started to prepare quite late as I never got an answer on my abstract BUT it seemed that all mails from ODTUG for some reason came into my junk mail folder. A good reason to not just delete any message that lands into it, totally my own fault.

A colleague found my name on this website, from then on I could confirm for ODTUG.

I’m looking forward to the next sessions:

- Dietmar Aust: PDF Printing with APEX—A Cost-free Alternative
- Roel Hartman: How to Integrate APEX and Oracle Forms?
- John Scott: Increasing Scalability with Oracle Application Express
- Patrick Wolf: The Quest for the Hidden Treasure of Oracle APEX

And there are at least 10 other sessions I want to attend to, there are so many session that it is very difficult to choose from them.

See you at ODTUG!!

ApEx 3.2 : Page Security -> Autocomplete

A nice enhancement in the new ApEx version 3.2 is that you can set autocomplete off under page security. AutoComplete in HTML forms stores information entered into INPUT_text, the next time that a user visits your Web page a list of previously used data will appear.

Go to Edit Page -> Page Attributes -> Security and you will see the new option Form Auto Complete.

The default value when creating a page is “On”, setting it to “Off” will generate autocomplete=”off” in your page FORM tag, now a user will not see a list of previously entered data anymore.

ApEx 3.2 : Session Timeout

If you are planning to play the new Oracle APEX 3.2 version then be sure to checkout the new security feature Session Timeout.

Session Timeout will automatically invalidate your apex session if you use it. You can find session timeout under Shared Components -> Edit Security Attributes where you have have 2 options:

- Maximum Session Length: setting this property will allow you to define how long a user can use his session when logging in into your application, after witch the user will be forced to login again.

- Maximum Session Idle Time: Setting this property will define how many seconds a user can be idle before his/her session will be invalidated and the user will be forced to login again.

Optionally you can set a logout URL where you will redirect the user to, if the URL is an ApEx page then remeber to redirect the user to a public page.

The documentation of this new feature says that you can use three substitution items for your url: &APP_SESSION., &SESSION., and &APP_ID., although the session substitution items would probably have little value seeing the session has ended.

Business Course introducing ApEx and SOA for High Schools/Universities

This week me and Nathalie Roman (Oracle Fusion Middleware developer of the year) went to a High School in Antwerp to organize a 3-day theoretical and practical course about APEX and SOA.

During these 3 days we gave the students insight in what SOA and ApEx is all about and what they can achieve with it.

A short summary:

Day 1
Nathalie introduced iAdvise as an innovative Oracle Company that is active in Oracle Fusion Middleware, SOA Governance, Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence, Infrastructure and Hosting and of course front-end development using ADF, Java Open Source Technology, Client/Server technologies (such as Forms), Flex and of course ApEx. After that we did an overview for the three days and Nathalie started with her presentation on SOA.

When Nathalie was finished It was my turn. I gave the students a full presentation about ApEx with a live demo. For my demo I had an excel file with some data and asked some students to give me a realistic guess on how long it would take to build an online application starting from my excel data. Answers from 30 to 50 minutes were given so students were immediately very interested when they saw that I could make such an functional application in under 2 minutes.

In the afternoon we started with a hands-on Apex session. As I expected most of the students had no problem building some basic reports and forms, their first impression was that the tool is very quick and easy to use.

Day 2
Our second day started with the assignment of making another apex application, after that an introduction to web services and bpel was given by Nathalie. In this presentation Nathalie gave an insight in web services, the difference between synchronous and asynchronous threading and how the different API’s can be used for authentication/authorization/encryption … After an insight into web services, Nathalie explained the main differences between BPEL and ESB using some common use cases. Using these Use Cases the students could anticipate when to use which methodology when functional requirements were outlined.

For BPEL Nathalie also explained the importance of BPMN so business processes could be analyzed and automated within a governance-structure with as well IT, business as analysts as the key stakeholders. After the theoretical part we gave the students an hands-on introduction to web services and bpel processes. The bpel process was used to automate the HRM application that was build in ApEx.

Day 3
On day 3 the students made their second BPEL process and saw a little bit of ESB. In the afternoon we expanded the earlier made ApEx applications with the pl/sql webservice we made. Students learned how to call a webservice using the apex wizard and also using the manually manual option. They had to construct the soap envelope and got a better insight in the whole process.

Me and Nathalie were very satisfied after 3 days, all students were very interested in the oracle technology and a lot of students realized that you can do a lot more with sql and pl/sql then they had done before.

ApEx: Session 0 problems fixed in new patchset 3.1.2.

Just received the news that there will probably be a new path release (3.1.2) in September fixing some Session 0 issues.

I recently came across some problems with the use of session 0 in ApEx. My first problem was with the use of public pages and an Authentication Scheme current to Application Express. I kept getting the next error while branching:

Not Found
The requested URL /pls/apexsaas2/wwv_flow.accept was not found on this server.

So actually a 404 Not Found error. Scott Spadafore acknowledged the problem on the Oracle Forum and said it could be fixed in the next patch release.

My other problem with the use of session 0 was with a rewrite rule for a domainname. A Polish ApEx Application (Yes: ApEx can work easily with other languages) could not be found because we kept getting a 404 Not Found Error, it would only work if you refresh the page each time in Internet Explorer.

Metalink note 468402.1 (HTTP 404 notfound error when trying to access a page by using zero session id) described the exact problem for us but the workaround could not be applied in our case.

Production management of Oracle advised us to wait until the next patch release in September.