Whilst attending Tech17 at Birmingham this year, I was pleased to see David Peake provide a short demonstration of the Oracle Interactive Grid API documentation. The documentation format/style, using JSDoc, differs from the traditional APEX documentation style we are used to. However, from the quick demo I saw, it does look great, and I cannot wait to get started with it.
In the future, therefore, any APEX 5.1 Interactive Grid developers referring to the APEX 5.2 documentation will mostly likely encounter problems where they are trying to use a documented function, hoping it may be available in APEX 5.1 – ultimately to discover it is not available in their version of APEX.
I am not expecting the documentation to include an APEX version number (see next paragraph); therefore your best bet in this scenario is to upgrade to APEX 5.2. Be aware though that there is also an outside chance that Oracle could have removed an IG function feature that your APEX 5.1 Grid relies on – which is always the danger when using undocumented features.
In the patch sets that follow 5.2, I would ideally like to see the documentation enhanced with each release. For example, in this blog, John Synders mentions, “the information in this article applies to APEX version 5.1.1. Some things may work in 5.1 but I’m not going to bother distinguishing which. Anyone programming Interactive Grid should move to 5.1.1 as soon as possible”. Therefore I reading three things here:
- New Interactive Grid functions have previously been released within patch sets, and this suggests it will continue this way; which is my point that the documentation needs to be kept up to date else more features will remain undocumented and the risk of feature removal starts over again.
- Oracle are unlikely to distinguish version numbers on documentation.
- Upgrade ASAP.
Right at this moment, given the absence of official Oracle Interactive Grid API documentation for APEX 5.1, developers are currently required to turn to alternative sources of information.
For me, these sources include:
- The Explorer Interactive Grid Training Course
- Application Express Community
- The Sample Interactive Grid Packaged Application
- John Synders Blogs & Cookbook
- Oracle APEX Interactive Grid Cookbook
In addition to the above, I add my own presentation “Getting to Grips with the APEX Interactive Grid API” – the video below is a recording I made in preparation for my Tech17 presentation of the same name.
In this video, I wanted to demonstrate the basics of the Interactive Grid API, which are:
- How to customise the Interactive Grid
- What is the model and associated views
- How to loop through the model and selected records
- How to extend functionality using your own menus, buttons and processes
You can also follow the presentation by using the same APEX application here
The Interactive Grid supports much more functionality, but these things are the basics – master these and the more advanced features do not seem as hard as first thought.
Matt is an experienced APEX solution designer having designed numerous complex systems using a broad range of Oracle Technologies. Building on his previous experience of Oracle Forms & PL/SQL, he is entirely focused on providing functionally rich APEX solutions. Matt promotes APEX as a software platform and openly shares best practises, techniques & approaches. Matt has a passion for excellence and enjoys producing high quality software solutions which provide a real business benefit.