The wishing well – 10 features for APEX 5

Niels de Brujin wrote a posting about 10 features he would like to see in APEX 5.0 (which sounds like 2016?, just kidding).

Here are my 10 features:

  1. Plugins for Tabular Forms. Whats possible now for Item Types should also be possible for report column types.
  2. Better Translation support. Translations nowadays are hard work and not understandable for customers. Why do they have to deal with XLIFF files having no information where a text-string is displayed?
  3. Cascading LOV’s in TabForms
  4. Hotkeys for Buttons. To get better keyboard support and more RIA (Rich Internet Application) Feeling those shortcuts for Buttons or Menues are a must.
  5. Syntax Highlighting in APEX Builder. Helps everyone to understand code better.
  6. Tight Integration of Jasper Reports. Not everyone can afford BI-Publisher and some say Jasper is better anyways…
  7. Full control over templates. Define templates for all item types and how APEX puts those items in your region. This would help to get rid of tables (if you want this).
  8. More Row functions in TabForms. The new AddRow-functionality is fine, but what if you want to add the new row on top of your TabForm? A copy-row function would be fine, too.
  9. Application Diff. A Side by Side difference utility would be awesome!
  10. Rights/Privileges for Application Builder. This may sound odd, but some settings in an application (e.g. authentication scheme) should only be changeable for higher privileged developers. This would be a nice feature for bigger companies where “real” developers and power users develop together an application.

What do you want to see in a future APEX Version?



  1. David Gale on October 4, 2010

    Peter,

    I fully agree with #5 on your list–I regularly find myself copying and pasting back-and-forth between APEX and gVim, just to get the syntax highlighting. (Yes, I could go into SQLDeveloper or Toad, but those often bring more to the party than I want to deal with. And they take longer to fire up.)

    Other stuff I’d like to see, in no particular order: a substitution variable for a dynamic LOV to identify which item it’s associated with (or its parent items, in a cascading LOV setup–I detail why I want this on my blog). Defaulting sequences to nocache when creating them through the table wizard (they default to nocache in the sequence creation wizard, but not the table one). Better trees: at a minimum, allow us to put HTML in the titles of tree nodes*, but ideally, allow us to build true pivot-table like behavior. And the ability for users to share interactive report settings with a subset of the public, rather than everybody (for instance, create a standard report filter for an entire team). Oh, and an RTF editor that doesn’t add a bunch of extraneous whitespace to the data.

    * Note: this is actually a limitation of the version of JSTree incorporated into APEX; version 1.0 fixes this. So this should resolve itself once APEX upgrades to the new version.

  2. Niels de Bruijn on October 4, 2010

    Hi Peter,

    thanks for your suggestions that will definitely help the APEX product team to bring out the most wanted features with APEX 5.0.

    I fully agree with you regarding 2,3 and 7.

    Hotkeys are already available with a little help of jQuery, although I’m not sure if that also applies to buttons.

    The Jasper Reports integration can be downloaded from the website of Dietmar Aust. BI Publisher is still my favorite. If only the engine (without the admin interface) was made available without cost, I’m sure that Oracle will sell the product even more than it has today. Let’s hope for the decision makers of the BI Publisher team to read this text. :)

  3. Peter Raganitsch on October 4, 2010

    Hi Niels,

    Hotkeys are declarative available with the amazing ApexLib Framework ;-)

    In fact, i try to cover the most important points with upcoming releases of ApexLib, but still it is important to include stuff like that someday in the product APEX itself.

  4. Patrick Wolf on October 12, 2010

    Ha, next version will be 4.1! So we have quite a lot of time to implement the above features if you want to have them in APEX 5 ;-)

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