Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Apex 4.1

After several months, new Apex release is here. In this release there are several new features (and fixes) and here they are in comprehensive list:
  • Error Handling
    Release 4.1 includes improved error handling and user-defined exception processing. You can now easily capture error messages generated by the Oracle database and replace the message text with user friendly text. For example, instead of an error message such as "ORA-00001 unique constraint (EMP_UK) violated" the developer can define a message such as "Employee Name must be unique".
    This means that beautiful Patric Wolf solution is somehow directly supported.
  • Use of ROWID
    Application Express now supports the use of ROWID for updates, inserts and deletes as an alternative to specifying primary keys. Previously you could only specific two primary key columns. Therefore, if your table had more than two key columns then you could not use the default DML processes and had to manually write your own processes. Use of ROWID is now the default method for any new DML processes generated.
    Finally for those who had "older" non surogate PK database designs!
  • Data Upload
    Developers can now easily add the capability for end-users to load spreadsheet data into existing tables within an application. The developer can utilize a wizard to create a collection of pages that allow the end user to upload a file or cut and paste data into a table. Additionally the developer can define lookup columns and data transformations. End users are then led through a runtime wizard which allows them to load the data, map the columns, see whether the data will be inserted or updated, and review the results.
    Very handy new feature which really lead to WEB 5.0
  • Calendar
    The calendar wizards have been enhanced to include the ability to create an Edit page as part of creating the calendar. Further calendars can now include drag and drop functionality which allows the end user to change the date and or time of a record by simply dragging it on the calendar itself.
    Another WEB 5.0 like feature
  • Websheets
    Building on their initial introduction in Release 4.0, the look and feel of Websheets in Release 4.1 has been substantially improved and the controls redesigned to make it more intuitive for users. There are also new page section types, and enhanced data grid integration
  • Tabular Forms
    Tabular Forms now support all validation types. Depending on the validation type you can use bind variable syntax, substitution syntax, or just specify the tabular form column name. These enhancements allow developers to declaratively define complex validations instead of having to perform extensive manual PL/SQL coding.
  • Plug-Ins
    Plug-ins enable developers to enhance the existing built-in functionality by writing PL/SQL components for various components. This release expands the plug-in functionality and introduces the ability to create plug-ins for authentication and authorization schemes.
  • Dynamic Actions
    Dynamic Actions allow developers to declaritively define client-side functionality, without needing to master JavaScript and AJAX. With this release, a number of enhancements were added including the ability to define dynamic actions for buttons and also use dynamic actions to set multiple item values.
  • Accessibility
    Release 4.1 includes dramatic improvement in the HTML generated by the Application Express engine, together with accessibility improvements in existing themes and HTML templates.
  • Mobile Applications
    Release 4.1 includes a number of key improvements to improve support for mobile frameworks, including form rendering without HTML tables.

ORA-24344 when upgrade from Release: 4 and later

When upgrading Apex from 4.0.2 to 4.1 results in the following errors /warnings in the log file
Warning: Websheet schema EBUS upgrade_ws_to_040100 
ORA-24344: success with compilation error


Customers do not use Websheets in 4.0.2 but would like to use it in 4.1. If a customer is not using Websheet, the error with trigger will NOT be an issue. This will be an issue only if customer starts to use Websheets. In the future if customer decides to use Websheets, they can use workspace administration interface to validate Websheet objects to correct invalid or missing Websheet objects.
  1. Log into APEX
  2. Administration -> Tasks->WebSheet Database Objects -> Validate Websheet Objects

The End

For all of you who want to see Apex in "live", here is link where you can find that.

Until next Apex version, which would be, IMHO, more oriented in mobile apps ... Cheers!

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