Apex 5.0 from Early Adopter to Production
I wrote a blog in September 2014 about what I thought of the early adopter release of APEX 5.0 and have been using APEX 5.0 ever since. I thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at what I liked and wrote about in the first version I tried and how these features compare to the production version now available from apex.oracle.com.
The first noticeable change from 4.2 was the page designer. In my opinion this is a huge improvement on the tree layout from 4.2. Not having to open new pages to edit an item saves a great deal of time. This has not changed much since the early adopter releases, however there have been a number of small UI changes and a change from an accordion based tree pane to one utilizing tabs.
I have regularly been making use of the dedicated icon fields in my latest APEX 5.0 applications. This didn’t seem such a huge feature at first as it has always been possible to include icons such as those found in Font Awesome, but having these icons included natively and dedicated fields to declare them really speeds up development and encourages their use.
Here is an example of a great login page that I recreated from this blog post by Dimitri Gielis. The login page is transformed from this:
This was achieved by simply altering a few template options in the universal theme and adding some Font Awesome icons.
Similarly, you can see in this blog that we have created an Explorer themed style for our application. This consisted of spending a few minutes adding the correct colours to the now in-built theme roller instead of spending time editing CSS files or even using theme roller outside of APEX.
The blog I linked to above shows another feature I have been using regularly in APEX 5.0, native modal dialog support. All the hassle is gone from calling modal dialogs and they can now just be built and opened just like any other page!
The code designer and calendar features I mentioned in my original blog are still great and function much like they did in the early adopter releases. Interactive reports have had a number of bug fixes implemented and are looking stable, whilst also now including the option to pivot results. There are some issues still left to iron out regarding pivots and multiple reports, but I believe they should be fixed by the full release.
Overall, I’m still excited to be creating applications in the full Apex 5.0 release and am enjoying finding new features as I create applications and read other blogs. Here are a few of the blogs we have written about our favourite new features:
- Template Options of the APEX 5.0 EA3 Universal Theme
- Creating a Mobile App in Apex 5.0
- Parsing JSON in APEX 5.0
- APEX 5 zip file support
- Component Level Authorization in APEX 5.0
- List of new database objects in APEX 5
- The updated APEX 5.0 Rich Text Editor
Craig is a Senior Development Consultant at Explorer. Craig has an MSc in Computing Science and is an experienced software engineer, utilising development tools such as PL/SQL and APEX to provide bespoke ERP software to both UK and international businesses. Craig has experience developing solutions to connect Oracle systems to a wide range of existing external applications within business environments.