Friday, January 23, 2015

Classic report with checkbox

When an action needs to be taken on specific records of a classic report, you need some kind of row-selector.
I came accross a situation where I couldn't used multi-row processing.
So I used the checkbox (apex_item.checkbox) in the SQL for a classic report.
The process fired at page-submit should now only process those rows that are checked.

This is not a difficult thing to do, just some logical steps you need to follow.

In this example you see a screen a supervisor can approve multiple holiday requests in one go for all the people in his team.

The supervisor can only reject a request by going to a detailled screen (clicking on the edit icon). But as a quick approve solution, the supervisor can select multiple requests and approve them in one go.

The checkbox in the first column is displayed with the apex_item.checkbox function:

In the header you notice a "select-all" / "de-select-all" checkbox. This works as a toggle function by editing the header of the column, entering following line:
 <input type="checkbox" title="Selecteer of de-selecteer alle aanvragen" onclick="$f_CheckFirstColumn(this)" />

The button "Goedkeuren" ( = approve button) performs a submit page. And so the process "Multi Select Approve" is launched.

The process needs to figure out wheater or not a line is selected. To play it nice, when you press the approve button, but no rows are selected, you get an error message.

You see that in the select statement in the first step, the internal ID that is used = 1: apex_item.checkbox( 1, p.proposal_id).
By doing this, I can refer to it on the processing side by using the function apex_application.g_f01.

So first thing that is done is to see if there are rows selected. If not the error message is posted to the screen and an error is raised. Hence the page processing is stopped immediately.
If at least one is selected we will go in a loop, performing the action - in this case launching the kick_proposal procedure - for each SELECTED row.

Here you go. Nothing too difficult, but can be handy in many situations.
Happy to share ....

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Logout-URL for APEX applications

Closely linked to my previous post is how to set the Logout URL (&LOGOUT_URL.). Because when working with linked applications, the Logout-URL will possibly need to redirect the user to the login application that contains some kind of portal page for the different applications.

Most often this URL is displayed as a link on top of every page, usely next to the login-user-name.

Setup is done via Navigation Bar Entries in the Shared Components section.

As target there are two available options: a Page in this Application or a URL.
In this case most easy solution is to opt for the URL, pointing to the variable &LOGOUT_URL. that is available throughout the application.

It's as easy as this. But now of course you want to know how to influence this &LOGOUT_URL.-variable.
Well, this is done via Shared Components > Authentication Schemes.

Pick the Current scheme and navigate to the Post-Logout URL tab.

This identifies the URL that the user will navigate to after having correctly logged out of the application. The first parameter after f?p= represents the application alias (or application ID) of the APEX application you want to return to. In this case the application I want to start form has an alias called MYTEST.

For information: the second parameter is the page ID (or alias) of that application.

That's really all there is to it.
Happy to share.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Multiple (linked) applications in one workspace

Shouldn't I start this blog post with the same sentence as I started all the e-mails I wrote today??
Well, yes: HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all and above everything else, I'm wishing you good health for 2015 and beyond!

This blog is about how to manage multiple linked APEX applications in a single workspace.
A workspace is considered a logical work area which is associated with some APEX applications (one or many).
It's no rocket science and has been done many times before. I'm just pointing out how I got around with the issue.
I'm using APEX 4.2.5 on an Oracle 11g database.

Question often is: how do I structure all that? Will I put multiple applications in one single workspace or do I create a workspace per application.

I believe you can't just say one option is better than the other.
Multiple workspaces creates a bit more maintenance work for a DBA, but it's probably nicer to structure your Application Landscape if you have many different applications to maintain for different business areas.
One single workspace is easy, also for the developer by the way. But it's easy to get lost in the list of applications that may or may not have things in common.

My general thought on the matter is to bundle logical applications in one workspace.
But of course, sometimes it may be that you start with one application. You add a second one that is not necessarily linked with the first one, but to go fast you didn't create a second WS. And before you know it you've got too many apps in one WS.
Fact is, if you want to link - in an easy way - from app 1 to app 2, it is far easier if they are in the same WS.
So for this blog, I started from the assumption that all applications are in the same work space.

I came accross a customer who's operating in one single workspace. The main idea is that some of the apps will be made available for their employees (internal only) as a self-service platform. In this case HR or Payroll related.

When I came into play, the whole set of apps already existed and I was extending the existing ones with new functionality. By doing so, I tried to introduce also somewhat more integration and structure  with a minimal effort.
So I also created a new Administrator module, used by the system administrators for declarative work. In this app I created some shared objects like List of Values. Other applications are subscribed to those LOV's to be able to use exactly the same values.

The main (already existing) app is considered as a home page or portal page as you wish.
I'm showing some screenshots, but in order not to invade my customer's privacy, I removed all things that may refer to the customer (any resemblance to actual individuals, or companies, or events are purely coincidental).
The following LIST is part of that main page:

Each of these links points you to a different APEX application.

To be able to make use of links between those applications, it's best to use Application Alias names. You could also refer to application-id's, but that is not my preferred way of doing things. You never know what may happen with ID's once you start moving applications from one environment to another (from DEVELOPMENT to TEST tot PRODUCTION).

Therefore, per application come up with a (short) Application Alias name. In the APEX Builder you edit your application definition and in the name tab, make sure to enter a short, but meaningful Application Alias.

In the example I was writing about, this application 150 is the so called home page. So a sort of banner was created that in APEX is displayed as an image-button that looks like this:

And that button was added to the Breadcrumbs region on Position 01 (you understand that this is just an example and can be put anywhere).

Now the actual thing to do concerning the subject of this blog:

The URL Target is the important part here. It's always structured in the same way and all parts are devided by ':'. But you don't necessarily need to provide all parameters. So keep it as short as possible, but know you can extend with parameters like you would do in refering to (by example) Interactive Reports or passing on bind variables ...

In this simplified case: "f?p=" is the starting point.
First parameter is your application alias (or if you insist the application ID).
Followed by the page you want to refer to in the given application.
Followed by the session, easily referred to as "&SESSION."
You URL Tagret could look like this: f?p=HOME:1:&SESSION.

Oh, you will not be surprised that you can refer to a Page Alias in the same way as you are refering to an Application Alias. But it's not so likely that those page-ID's are going to change. So personally I've rarely given an alias to a page. Perhaps the alias HOMEPAGE would be appropriate if you have a dedicated home page. But other than that I don't really see the point.

Well, as I told you ... no rocket science and no new mind blowing things here, but ...

Happy to share ...