Oracle APEX Best Practices

Oracle APEX Best Practices
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • "Oracle APEX Best Practices" will get you started with Oracle APEX for developing real-world applications that perform and maximize the full potential of Oracle APEX
  • You will also learn to take advantage of advanced SQL and PL/SQL along the way
  • Combines the knowledge of Oracle Apex Experts -- Alex Nuijten, Iloon Ellen-Wollf, and Learco Brizzi
  • Setting up your environment and getting ready for developing applications

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 298 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : November 2012
ISBN : 1849684006
ISBN 13 : 9781849684002
Author(s) : Alex Nuijten, Iloon Ellen-Wolff, Learco Brizzi
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Enterprise Products and Platforms, Oracle Applications, Oracle Database, Enterprise, Oracle

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Prepare and Build
Chapter 2: Leveraging the Database
Chapter 3: Printing
Chapter 4: Security
Chapter 5: Debugging and Troubleshooting
Chapter 6: Deploy and Maintain
Appendix A: Database Cloud Service and APEX 4.2
  • Chapter 1: Prepare and Build
    • History and background
    • Installing APEX
      • Runtime or full development environment
        • Build status
      • Tablespaces
      • Converting runtime environment into a full development environment and vice versa
    • Choosing a web server
      • OHS
      • EPG
      • APEX Listener
    • Creating a second administrator
      • APEX web interface
      • Command line
      • Other accounts
    • Database
      • Data model
      • Creating the database objects
      • Other tools
      • PL/SQL usage
    • Creating a workspace
      • Creating administrators, developers, and users
    • User Interface Defaults
      • Attribute Dictionary
      • Table Dictionary
      • Creating User Interface Defaults
    • Page Zero
    • Structure of multiple applications
      • Subscribe and publish
      • Creating a framework
        • Master and template application
        • Login application—optional
        • System application—optional
      • Deploying
      • Template workspace
    • Creating applications
      • List of values
      • Mapping the model to pages
        • Base tables
        • Master detail
        • Intersection
        • Simple report
        • Other pages
    • Summary
    • Chapter 2: Leveraging the Database
      • Instrumentation
      • Efficient lookup tables
        • Single-table hash clusters
        • Index-organized tables
      • Analytic functions
        • Syntax overview
        • Examples
          • Running totals
          • Visualizing the window
          • Accessing values from other records
          • Another way of accessing other rows in the result set
          • Ranking—top N
          • Stringing it all together
          • Caveats
      • Aggregate functions
        • Grouping sets
          • Rollup
          • Cube
          • Identifying the totals and subtotals with grouping
        • Offloading your frontend and scheduling a job
          • One-off job
          • Pipelined table functions
          • Pipelined table functions in APEX
          • Using images
      • Searching the contents of documents
      • Summary
      • Chapter 3: Printing
        • Printing architecture
          • What is planned for the future version of APEX Listener?
        • Installation and configuration of the Apache FOP report server
          • How to configure Apache FOP
          • Business Intelligence Publisher
            • Installation of Business Intelligence Publisher Version 11
            • Simple print test using BI Publisher
        • How to debug or troubleshoot printing issues
        • How to check if network services are enabled
        • Creating a report with BI Publisher
          • Creating the report query
          • Designing the report layout
            • Downloading XML data
            • Designing with the RTF template (MS Word)
          • Uploading the report layout
          • Linking the report to your application
        • How to create a report that can deliver output in different formats
        • How to add a chart to a report
          • Creating a chart in a report
        • How to add dynamic images to a report
        • Print API
        • How to bypass the 32K limit
        • Alternatives to use for PDF printing
          • Integration with Oracle Reports
          • Integration with Cocoon
          • Integration with JasperReports
            • Architecture
        • Plugins
          • Reports 2 PDF
          • Embedded PDF
        • Summary
        • Chapter 4: Security
          • Securing Oracle Application Express for administrators
            • Protecting the database environment
          • Virtual Private Database
            • VPD policy
            • VPD and Application Context
            • Implementing VPD in APEX
            • What to do when you get a runtime exception
            • Securing the web listener
              • HTTP server
            • Embedded PL/SQL gateway
            • Oracle Application Express Listener
              • Enabling SSL for the web server
          • Security considerations when installing Oracle Application Express
            • Runtime installation
            • Access Control Lists (ACLs)
            • Enabling builders in Oracle Application Express
            • Session timeout
              • Instance level
              • Application level
            • Password complexity rules
            • Patching strategy
          • Security considerations for the developer
            • Browser attacks
              • Cross-site scripting (XSS)
              • Protecting HTML regions and other static areas
              • Protecting dynamic output
              • Protecting reports regions
              • Protecting form items
            • SQL injection
              • Insecure use of variables
              • Correct use of Bind variables
              • SYS.DBMS_ASSERT
            • Security attributes
              • Authentication
              • Authorization
              • Database schema
            • URL tampering
              • Session state protection against URL tampering
            • Browser security attributes
              • Cache
              • Embed in Frames
              • Database session
            • Authorization and authentication plugin
            • Secure items in an application
              • Item encryption
              • Hidden items protection
              • Items of type password
              • File upload items
              • Managing instance security
              • Application data
              • Fake input
              • Saving state before branching
            • Utilities
              • Application dashboard
            • How to check the security of your application
              • Oracle Application Express Advisor
              • Third-party tools to check on security
          • Summary
          • Chapter 5: Debugging and Troubleshooting
            • Debugging an APEX page
              • Instrumentation of the APEX code
              • The debug Advanced Programming Interface (API)
              • The APEX debug message
            • APEX and Oracle SQL Developer
            • Remote debugging
              • Steps to be performed in APEX
            • JavaScript console wrapper
              • Installation of the console wrapper
            • Web development tools
              • Firebug
                • APEX and Firebug
              • Debugging dynamic actions
              • Yslow
              • Error handling
              • Logging and tracing
              • Enabling/disabling logging
              • Reports in Application Express that facilitate troubleshooting
              • Application Express Advisor
            • Summary
            • Chapter 6: Deploy and Maintain
              • Package your application, or not?
                • Version control
                  • Subversion
              • Deploying the database packages
              • Deploying the APEX application
                • Using the APEX environment
                • Using the command-line interface
                • Housekeeping the APEX repository
              • Being active and proactive
                • Feedback
                  • Activate feedback
                  • Processing entered feedback
                • Weighted page performance
              • Summary

                Alex Nuijten

                Alex Nuijten works as a database developer and Expertise Lead (database development) for AMIS Services BV in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands. Besides his consultancy work, he conducts training classes, mainly in SQL and PL/SQL. Alex has been a speaker at numerous international conferences, such as ODTUG, Oracle Open World, UKOUG, IOUG, OGh, and OBUG. He is also a frequent contributor at the Oracle Technology Network forum for SQL and PL/SQL. He has written many articles in Oracle-related magazines, and at regular intervals he writes about Oracle database development on the AMIS Technology Blog (, as well as on his own blog, Notes on Oracle ( In August 2010, Alex was awarded the Oracle ACE Director membership.

                Iloon Ellen-Wolff

                Iloon Ellen-Wolff started working with Oracle 21 years ago, employed by several software houses in the Netherlands. Her experience goes back to Oracle Forms version 2 and Report Writer. Almost 14 years ago, she started working for Oracle Support Services for the developer competency (Oracle Forms, Oracle Reports, SQL Developer, and Application Express), assisting customers by solving their software-related problems. During those years, she applied the knowledge she had gained in many ways such as coaching new engineers, team leading, teaching the Application Express courses, and seminars for Oracle University. Aside from being a very senior team member with excellent troubleshooting and customer skills, in Oracle Support, she acts as Advanced Resolution Engineer. One of her responsibilities in Oracle Support is Global Technical Lead Application Express. She works closely with Sustaining Engineering, Product Development, and Product Management of the Application Express team. Starting last year, she is now involved in the Oracle Cloud project. She is member of the platform as a service readiness team. Involved in testing Application Express in the Cloud and being a trainer in this area, she enjoys the challenge to prepare her engineers for the Cloud and ultimately to support Oracle customers in the very near future! Besides that, she is a frequent speaker for different Oracle User Groups about Application Express, SQL Developer, and Oracle Public Cloud.

                Learco Brizzi

                Learco Brizzi received his MSc in Informatics in 1993 and then he started working with the early versions of Oracle Forms (3.0), Reports (1.1), and Designer (1.2.1). When WebDB was launched, he created his first steps towards building Internet applications. When APEX (HTMLDB) hit the market, he saw the potential of this tool and built a complete music download store with it in 2004, including integration with e-mail, reports, and payment service providers. This was one of the very first serious applications ever built with APEX. Nowadays, Learco is dedicated to the APEX and PL/SQL development. He is a very enthusiastic technician, trainer of advanced APEX courses, presenter at conferences, organizer of seminars, committee member of the OGh (Oracle user group in Holland) and member of the editorial-committee for the Oracle magazine OGh Visie. Together with a companion Learco started his own company, Itium, in 1999, which specializes in Oracle technology. In May 2010, Learco was awarded the Oracle ACE membership. You can contact Learco at

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                Sample chapters

                You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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                What you will learn from this book

                • Lesser known features of SQL and PL/SQL
                • Incorporate printing capabilities
                • Create secure applications
                • Troubleshooting and Debugging
                • Setting up your environment
                • Best practices for building real life applications

                In Detail

                Have you ever wanted to create real-world database applications? In this book you’re not only getting APEX best practices, but will also take into account the total environment of an APEX application and benefit from it.

                "Oracle APEX Best Practices" will guide you through the development of real-world applications. It will give you a broader view of APEX. The various aspects include setting up APEX environment, testing and debugging, security, and getting the best out of SQL and PL/SQL.

                In six distinct chapters you will learn about different features of Oracle APEX as well as SQL and PL/SQL.

                Do you maximize the capabilities of Oracle APEX? Do you use all the power that SQL and PL/SQL have to offer? Do you want to learn how to build a secure, fully functional application? Then this is the book you’ll need.

                "Oracle APEX: Best Practices" is where practical development begins!


                In clearly written chapters you will be guided through different aspects of Oracle Application Express. Varying from setting up your environment to maximizing SQL and PL/SQL. Examples are given based on a simple but appealing case.

                Who this book is for

                This book is filled with best practices on how to make the most of Oracle APEX. Developers beginning with application development as well as those who are experienced will benefit from this book. You will need to have basic knowledge of SQL and PL/SQL to follow the examples in this book.

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