Saturday, 21 November 2015

Using the Apex Auto Complete Item with JQuery Mobile

For long lists mobile applications the Apex Autocomplete Item is way more suited than a Select List Item.

You know what I mean, when you ever needed to choose a country from a Select List ( > 200 items) and your pick was near the end ( The Netherlands, Unites States ). You have to scroll for 10 or 20 seconds to reach to the desired entry, and all the time you need to pay attention whether or not you have already the desired entry.

In this case it is much more user friendly to deploy the good old Auto Complete Item. Within a few key strokes, usually not more than three, the list of possibilities has been reduced to less than ten entries, and you can easily pick the right value. The only drawback for the programmer is, that the Auto Complete Item returns the description instead of the code, so the code need to be looked up before submitting the form. Not a big price for the gain is user friendliness.

The Auto Complete item is not directly available from the list of item types, you need to choose the option Show unsupported to uncover the item type. On the right side the after pressing Show unsupported is visible.

After including the item and attaching a source query to it, it is already functional:

Okay, we can choose a value, but it does not look right, does it? We cannot read the text of some entries, the pick list is transparent and the item have list style bullets.
To fix this we need to apply a bit of CSS:

.ac_results {
   background-color: white;
   border: 1px solid #cccccc;
.ac_results ul {
   margin-top: 0;
   padding-left: 5px;
.ac_results li {
   line-height: 30px;
   list-style: outside none none;

You can put it as Inline CSS on the page or in the template page, if you want to use it on several pages.
Now the item looks a lot better:

PS Do not use the Date Picker Classic,  also a not supported item type, with JQM. When you put such an item on a JQM page, calling the page provides you an eternal load animation, the page is never shown. 

 Happy apexing,

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Change those icons in your Navigation Menu!

Just returned from the DOAG 2015 conference. I really had a good time meeting old friends, making new ones and seeing a lot of impressive and new things on Apex and Oracle.
One thing annoyed me however, and that were the icons in the Apex 5 Navigation Menu. Most of the applications had a menu looking like this, all options using the Folder icon:

While it is so easy to let the menu look like this:

By the way, does anyone know a more suitable fa icon for JSON?

In the Apex builder just navigate to Shared Components > Navigation Menu and select one of the options:

And choose a nice, explanatory icon for Image/Class. The Apex team even provided a list of values with the categorized font Awesome icons. Repeat this for all your menu entries, and you will have a much nicer menu at very little effort.

For the rest keep up the good work ;-).

Happy Apexing