Thursday, 3 May 2012

Create Rapid Web Applications Using Oracle Application Express

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Book's Overview (This site is best seen in Firefox)
The format of this book is to teach you about Oracle APEX by iteratively developing the sample sales application from scratch provided with Oracle Application Express.

Each chapter explores a basic area of functionality and the development techniques you will need to achieve that functionality. This application is fully functional and scalable and has been chosen as an example because you can learn most of the techniques you will need for your own future work.

The primary purpose of this book is to teach you how to use Oracle Application Express to realize your own development goals. By the time you reach the end of the examples in this book, you will have a clear understanding of Oracle Application Express and will be able to extend the application in almost any direction.


Chapter 1   Oracle Application Express ‐ Introduction
This introductory chapter acquaints you with essential basic concepts  about Oracle Application Express. It briefs:

   - What Oracle APEX is?
   - Why migrate conventional desktop applications
      to the exciting world of web
   - Oracle APEX and MS Excel
   - Oracle APEX vs. MS Access
   - Oracle Application Express Architecture
   - Legacy Oracle Form Application conversion
   - Setup Oracle APEX development environment

Chapter 2   Oracle APEX Building Blocks
In this chapter you will go through the underlying database objects used in the sample application. Besides, you will create the following shared components for your applications:

   - Tabs
   - Lists
   - Breadcrumbs
   - Navigation Bars
   - Authentication Scheme 
   - Authorization Scheme
   - Security Attribute
   - List of Values (LOVs) and more

Chapter 3   The Home Page
This chapter will walk you through to create the Home page of the sample application. It's a dashboard which appear after a user successfully logs into the application and contains the following regions:
   - Sales Quota: Graphically present sales figures in a dial chart against
      the allotted quota for the logged in user
   - Top Customers: List of top customers with most orders
   - Top Products: Displays top selling products
   - Top Orders by Date: Top ordering days
   - List of links to navigate to other application pages

Chapter 4   Manage Customers
You will learn the following techniques in this chapter:

   - Add, modify and delete a customer
   - How to create Master/Detail pages
   - Show order details for the selected customers
   - Enable/Disable objects
   - Create validation to prevent customer removal with existing orders
   - Implement customer Credit Limit check

Chapter 5   Setup Products
Similar to Managing Customers, you will be guided how to add, modify and remove products.
Here you will learn how to browse products' information using three different angles i.e. Icon, Report and Detail views. Moreover, you will add a sidebar region to display five best selling products.

You will also learn how to handle images in Oracle Application Express. Use of dynamic and static LOVs are also covered in this chapter to store legitimate data in tables.


Chapter 6   Place Orders
This chapter will teach you how to create professional looking order forms. Orders from customers will be taken through a sequence of form (wizard). The first form will allow user to select an existing customer or create a new one. In the second step, user will select products to order and the last step will show summary of the placed order. Once an order is created, you can view, modify, and delete it through the Order Details page using the edit icon in the orders’ main page. Couple of other pages will be created as well to create a new customer, if one does not exist, and to display product information such as Description, Category and Price. You will learn the following Oracle APEX features in this chapter:

   - Utilization of wizard using Order Progress list
   - Master/detail forms
   - Primary and Alternative reports
   - Public Reports
   - Report, Chart, and Group by views of data
   - Use of Control Break, Highlight, and Aggregate functions
   - Drill down to data entry page from report
   - Graphical presentation of data
   - Add Processes in Page Rendering
   - Create a new customer without leaving the order’s page
   - Utilize Dynamic Actions to Show/Hide page item
   - How to use style in pages
   - Usage of PL/SQL code in pages
   - Call a popup window to display information
   - Summarize data presentation

Chapter 7   Generate Graphical Reports

Reports are the most significant components of any application that allows to extract information from the raw data to make decisions. This chapter not only demonstrates the power of Oracle Application Express to graphically present the information but also exhibits how to drill down to a deeper level to obtain detailed information. You'll learn:
   - Page zero creation and utilization
   - Graphical presentation of data
   - Use of different types of charts
   - Drill down from charts to browse details
   - Usage of map and tree views

Chapter 8   Advanced Reporting

Complex printing is the essence of modern applications. The introduction of print server in Oracle APEX provides a path to create any kind of report to monitor your business activities in real time. This chapter provides you the following essential hands-on tutorials to fulfill your reporting needs:

- Download, install and use Oracle BI Publisher as your print server
- Configure APEX to use BI Publisher as a print server
- How to enable networking services
- Install BI Publisher Desktop and create report templates in MS Word
- Create PDF version of an interactive report
- Use Pivot Tables
- Create a Commercial Invoice

Chapter 9   Users Management
In this chapter you will implement custom authentication scheme and will create two pages under the
Administration tab to manage users. These two pages will be displayed only to the users with admin privileges. Following are the skills that you will learn in this chapter:
- Implement custom authentication scheme
- Add and Remove users and change their Passwords
- Apply Products authorization scheme through database
- Usage of Tabular Form
- Hiding tab from unauthorized users
- Add feedback page to the application

Chapter 10   Deploy and Access Oracle APEX Application
Oracle APEX application deployment consists of two steps. Export the desired components to a script file, and import the script file into your production environment.
This chapter will provide you the implementation process of your application. You will take the application from your development PC to the production environment. The chapter also includes application access scenario, where you will be guided to access the application internally as well as remotely over the internet.
You'll also learn how to tackle with firewall issues that might prevent you from accessing the application.

This book is the simplest among all the Oracle APEX books available on the market. It provides novices a solid foundation of Oracle Application Express and sets a firm ground to develop robust application systems to fulfill the information requirements of their organizations. If you are new to Oracle APEX, go through the practical stuff provided in this book. I'm sure it will definitely provide you the base that you need to become an APEX master. Keep in touch to see more on this book in subsequent blog post.

Note: This book is available in color and b/w formats on Amazon.



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