Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Removing old public Interactive Reports

By saving public Apex Interactive Reports you can offer various custom reports to users without programming. The user opens the page and can choose the reports from the Reports drop down list.
New reports can be added by defining the new report and then exporting the application and importing it in the production environment. Changing existing reports can in some cases cause double entries in the Reports drop down list. This is because the changed report has received a new ID and therefor the original report is not overwritten.
The following procedure can be run for each relevant page before importing the application. It deletes the existing public reports for a specific application and page.

create or replace 
  procedure delete_public_ir_report
                ( p_app_id      in  number
                , p_page_id     in  number
                ) is
  dbms_output.put_line('Deleting public IR reports for application '||p_app_id||' page '||p_page_id);
  for r in ( select * 
             from   apex_application_page_ir_rpt
             where  application_id = p_app_id
               and  page_id        = p_page_id
               and  report_type    = 'PUBLIC'
    dbms_output.put_line('Deleting report '||nvl(r.report_name,'with id '||r.report_id));
  end loop;

This procedure works in my situation but each situation is different. Be careful to apply this procedure to your environment and test the results thoroughly before applying it to a production environment.

Happy apexing

Monday, 2 September 2013

Automatically generating images for styles

Lately I have been developing a kind of SaaS website with Apex. Several companies were to be represented in this website and each company wanted to have its own logo and colors. Should be a piece of cake with CSS, shouldn’t it?

But the requirements said rounded corners for tabs and buttons, and support for IE7. That rules out HTML5 :-(.
Using plugins for rounded corners I was not able to get a stable result, so I turned to the good old sliding windows solution using background images. This way the website was stable and reliable. Below two examples of look-and-feel using the same HTML.

The only drawback of this was that a set of 12 images was needed for each company. Creating these images manually using drawing software is a time consuming, tedious and error-prone process.
So I created a webpage containing SVG-images. The webmaster could enter the colors and generate the images. Then these images could be grabbed and cut on the surrounding dotted lines in GIMP. Sounds a lot like kindergarten, doesn’t it? This was already better, but still a tedious and error-prone.

Then my 15 year old son –who is a computer programming addict like myself ;-)- came up with a solution. The open source program ImageMagick is able to convert images including SVG to PNG. The only challenge was that it runs on the command line and Apex is webbased!

The solution is to generate a Windows BAT-file that can be run on a client where ImageMagick is installed. In the BAT-file the SVG images are generated with ECHO-statements. After this ImageMagick is called to do the conversion to PNG. With this solution the neccesary images can be generated in a few minutes, just the time needed to enter the colors and to execute the BAT-file. Below is an example of the generation of the image for a button background.

echo <svg height="22px" version="1.1" width="400px" xmlns="http:www.w3.org2000svg">                  >button.svg
echo </svg>      >>button.svg

convert button.svg button.png
convert button.png -transparent white button.png

The echo statements generate the 2 lines SVG file. The first convert statement converts the SVG file to a PNG. The second convert command changes the white background to transparent in order to use the button on other than white backgrounds.

Happy Apexing! (but you can use this for any kind of website)