Get Ahead of the Curve with Insum-APEX-Pro
Oracle Application Express (APEX) boasts hundreds of plugins, dozens of talented bloggers, and a thriving help forum. We’d like to release a tool that will help grow the community even further! Introducing Insum-APEX-Pro: A chrome extension that adds extra functionality to APEX Page Designer. To install, open this link and click “Add to Chrome” in the top right. Check out its features below:
- Autocomplete PL/SQL
- Searchable Select Fields
- Altered Property Highlighter
- Altered Property Filter
- Persistent Property Filter
- Persistent Cursor Focus
Do you ever forget the exact spelling of a function? How about the names of its arguments? Now you can see the function as you type it. A tiny pop-up window will show you the function’s arguments. Click the pop-up or hit enter to accept the arguments in the editor. You can also view its documentation by clicking the “more” link. Furthermore, we’ve included almost every documented function from Oracle including the APEX API.
Searchable Select Fields
This feature is exactly as it sounds! Across all of APEX (not just the Page Editor) many select fields are now searchable. The result is no more scrolling through a wall of options! Only select fields with 7 or more options become searchable. Why 7? Applying it to select fields with fewer options was too bulky. The search limits your options as you type, so your choice is often less than a few keystrokes away. We built this using Kevin Brown’s Select2 jQuery plugin.
Altered Property Highlighter
A commonly noted issue with APEX is its ever-increasing number of properties. For example, there are over 100 properties in an Interactive Grid with a single column. However, in most cases, only a few of these properties are ever used. Of course, you want to focus on the properties that matter. So, here’s our solution: highlight only the altered properties. I recommend always having this feature turned on.
Altered Property Filter
You can further reduce eye clutter by filtering out unaltered properties. This is especially helpful for developers who are new to a project and trying to understand how the application works. It also helps you to perform quick “sanity checks” when your application is exhibiting strange behavior. We certainly recommend trying this feature out and becoming comfortable using it on a regular basis.
Persistent Property Filter
In APEX 5.0 and 5.1 filters get reset everytime you click on a new component. However, APEX 5.2 fixes this problem by allowing the user to pin the filter. Still, we wanted users of APEX 5.0 and 5.1 to also have a persistent filter as well. This is especially helpful for viewing a particular property across multiple components.
Focus Last Property Selected
This is a feature in APEX 4 that was in fact removed in APEX 5. It’s the ability to stay focused on the same property as you switch between components. Due to popular demand, we’ve put this feature back in. It can be enabled/disabled by clicking the Insum button in the top right. Note: it is disabled by default, but can be enabled by clicking the Insum logo in the top right of the screen.
How Insum-APEX-Pro Works
The chrome extension uses APEX’s public API object. You can examine this object by navigating to page editor in APEX, opening the console in the Chrome Developer’s Toolbar, and typing “pe” (stands for page editor). This will return the API object for your inspection. You can also learn more about Page Edtior’s Public API by downloading APEX, unzipping it, and navigating to apex/images/apex_ui/js/pe.model.js to view its source code.
In conclusion, please feel free to send us feedback on the Insum-APEX-Pro Github page.