11Oct
Oracle APEX 20.2 New Features
By: Michelle Skamene On: October 11, 2020 In: APEX Basics Comments: 0

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

The year is 2020, which means a lot of us are scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with things to be thankful for. It’s been that sort of year. But lo and behold, the Oracle APEX team decided we needed a bit of cheering up, and has given us something to be truly thankful for! A brand spanking shiny new release. Way better than turkey any day! So let’s run through some of the Oracle APEX 20.2 new features.

At the time of publication, official 20.2 documentation is not yet out. However the Oracle APEX team has published a great document highlighting the main elements of this release. You can find it here.

Many thanks to Patrick Wolf, who spent the day of the release live tweeting and highlighting the new features. This post is an attempt at capturing them all for those that may have missed them!

New Card Region

From the release notes: The new Cards Region is a lightweight report region, declaratively supporting customizations of layout, appearance, icon, badge, media and actions. Use cards to embed and share media sourced from BLOB column, URL or video in iFrame.

As Cards usually provide entry to more detailed information, you can include a number of actions as button or links declaratively.

Check out the samples in the UT Sample App, and Chatianya’s great post here.

Read on to see what the community had to say!

Faceted Search Enhancements

From the Oracle APEX 20.2 New Features notes:

  • Bar or pie charts of facet value counts. Quickly display a chart of facet value counts in a dialog or ‘dashboard’ area.
  • Groups of checkbox facets for Boolean columns. Checking the facet will find records that match the ‘yes’ or ‘true’ value of the column.
  • Input Field facet type supports comparing a user-entered value with the facet column. This enables faceted searches such as finding stores within a user entered number of miles or records where a column contains the user entered text.
  • Performance optimization for distinct value facets

See a thorough blog post from Monica Godoy about the new enhancements here

Automations

From the Oracle APEX 20.2 New Features notes:

Automations are a sequential set of PL/SQL actions, triggered by query results. They are used to monitor data and then perform the appropriate action (examples are auto-approving specific requests and sending email alerts). An automation can be triggered on Schedule or on Demand, by invoking the APEX_AUTOMATION package. Query results can be derived from:

  • Table or View, SQL Query or a PL/SQL function returning a SQL Query.
  • Local Database or REST Enabled SQL
  • REST Data Source (aka Web Source Modules)

Report Printing

Native Excel download for IR, IG

New APEX_REGION.EXPORT_DATA and APEX_DATA_EXPORT APIs to programmatically generate PDF, CSV, Excel, HTML, JSON and XML files.

Built-in PDF now supports Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages.

REST Data Source Synchronization

From the Oracle APEX 20.2 New Features notes: APEX supports data synchronization from a REST Data Source (formerly known as Web Source Modules) to a local table. Synchronization can run either on Schedule or on Demand, by calling the APEX_REST_SOURCE_SYNC package. Developers don’t need to build custom PL/SQL code in order to copy data from REST services to local tables; APEX provides this as a declarative option.

  • APEX can generate the local target table automatically, based on the attributes of the REST Data Source.
  • REST Source Data can be appended or merged to the local table. Replacing all local data is also supported.
  • APEX components using the REST Data Source can be configured to use the local table instead.
  • Technical details like HTTP request limits, commit intervals or delete methods for the Replace mode are configurable.

Stew seems to think it’s a good idea!

REST Data Source Connector Plug-Ins

From the Oracle APEX 20.2 New Features notes: The APEX Plug-In infrastructure has been extended to support Connector Plug-Ins for external REST APIs. This enables APEX to fully leverage REST API features like result pagination or server-side filtering, also for 3rd Party REST Services which are not ORDS or Oracle Fusion SaaS Services.

  • The Developer creates a Plug-In of the REST Data Source type.
  • The Plug-In code handles REST service-specific implementation details like the pagination style or how filters are passed to the REST API.
  • When APEX invokes a REST Data Source (e.g. to render a report), the engine will invoke the Plug-In code and pass all relevant context information.
  • The Plug-In code executes one or multiple HTTP requests and passes results back to the APEX engine.
  • APEX processes the REST response received from the Plug-In.

Questions & Comments

Juergen asked about ODATA support:

Developer Experience

Region attributes

Page Designer has been enhanced to support multiple tabs in the Property Editor pane, making it more efficient to access the attributes of a region.

New code editor

A new code editor has been implemented throughout the development environment, resulting in a greatly improved code editing experience. The improved editor includes enhanced code completion, syntax highlighting and vastly improved accessibility.

Daniel seems to approve!

 

New and Improved Items

Text Item improvements

File Browse item type

Got a thumbs up from Denes!

New Checkbox item type

Lots of excited comments about this one!

Miscellaneous

Web Source Modules are now “REST Data Sources”

Tree Region lazy loading

Send the payload of a REST request in multipart/form-data format

Saved Report Static ID Support

Client side symbol substitution supports if and case conditions and simple loops

 

Review embedded code!

 

Since I have a Thanksgiving meal to prepare, I’ll have to stop playing with all the new Oracle APEX 20.2 new features for now.

I am very much looking forward to learning more about Automations. Which of the new Oracle APEX 20.2 features are you most excited about? I hope you’ll share in the comments.

Happy Thanksgiving to those that are celebrating!

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