An item in the Universal Theme using the Optional – Floating template looks like this:
An item using the Required – Floating template looks like this:
In addition, if the item is required we would most probably set the Value Required attribute to Yes. What if the item is sometimes required but not always? How do we create a Conditionally Required field?
Firstly, we would make sure there is a Validation on the field that checks that the value is provided if required. This way, regardless of what the form may or may not send to the database, it is validated appropriately.
Secondly, to indicate to the user that the item is required or optional, based on the value of another item, we can use a Dynamic Action that sets the required item property (this triggers the client-side validation) and adds or removes the is-required class from the item’s container (this shows the little red “required” indicator on the page).
For example, let’s say that whether item P1_COST_CENTRE is required or not is dependent on whether a hidden item, P1_COST_CENTRE_REQUIRED, has the value 'Y'.
Create a Dynamic Action
Selection Type: Item(s)
Client-side Condition Type: Item = Value
var item = $("#P1_COST_CENTRE");
var item = $("#P1_COST_CENTRE");
The above code works for all item templates (“Optional”, “Optional – Above”, “Optional – Floating”, etc.) in the Universal Theme; I’ve tested this on APEX 18.2 and 19.1.
Note: this is custom code for the Universal Theme, so it may or may not work for other themes; and might stop working in a future revision of the theme.
UPDATE 29/7/2019: I’ve created some simple Dynamic Action plugins (for APEX 18.2 and later) to implement this, if you’re interested you can download them from here:
To use these plugins, select them as an Action to take on a Dynamic Action:
EDIT 29/7/2019: modified to use a better method to find the container div.
In other themes, the way that a required field is rendered is different. For example, in Theme 26 (Productivity Applications) the label for a required item is rendered in bold, along with a red asterisk; if the item is optional, no red asterisk is rendered. The way to make an item conditionally mandatory in this theme is:
Set the item to use the Required template (so that the red asterisk is rendered).
var itemLabel = $("label[for='P1_COST_CENTRE']");
To make the item required again:
var itemLabel = $("label[for='P1_COST_CENTRE']");
The plugin has been updated to Oracle APEX 18.2 (as that is the version my current system is using). Unfortunately this means that people still on older versions will miss out, unless someone is willing to give me a few hours on their APEX 5.0 or 5.1 instance so I can backport the plugin.
EDIT: Release 1.0.1 includes some bugfixes and a backport for APEX 5.0, 5.1 and 18.1.
The plugin is easy to install and use. You provide a SQL Query that returns latitude, longitude, and information for the pins, and the plugin does all the work to show them on the map.
The beta releases of the plugin (0.1 to 0.10) kept adding more and more plugin attributes until it hit the APEX limit of 25 region-level attributes. This was obviously not very scaleable for future enhancements, so in Release 1.0 I ran the scythe through all the attributes and consolidated, replaced, or removed more than half of them – while preserving almost every single feature. This means v1.0 is not backwards compatible with the beta versions; although many attributes are preserved, others (including the SQL Query itself, which is rather important) would be lost in the conversion if the plugin was merely replaced. For this reason I’ve changed the Internal ID of the plugin. This is so that customers who are currently using a beta version can safely install Release 1.0 alongside it, without affecting all the pages where they are using the plugin. They can then follow the instructions to gradually upgrade each page that uses the plugin.
New features include, but are not limited to:
Geo Heatmap visualisation (this replaces the functionality previous provided in a separate plugin)
Lazy Load (data is now loaded in a separate Ajax call after the page is loaded)
The plugin attributes that have been added, changed or removed are listed here.
I am very keen to hear from everyone who is using the plugin, and how it is being used – please let me know in the comments below. If you notice a bug or have a great idea to enhance the plugin, please raise an issue on GitHub.
The floating item type has an optional “Icon” property that allows you to render an icon next to the item, which can help users quickly identify what the item is for. This is especially helpful when the form has a lot of items.
The icon attribute can be static, e.g. fa-hashtag, or it can be chosen based on the value of another item, e.g. &P1_FA_ICON..
If you want the icon to change dynamically as the user enters or modifies data, it’s a little bit more complicated. I have a list item based on a table of asset categories, and each asset category has an icon assigned to it. When the user selects an asset category from the list I want it to get the icon from the table and show it in the item straight away.
The Execute PL/SQL Code action is a simple PL/SQL block which gets the icon from the reference table for the selected category code. Make sure the “Wait for Result” is “Yes”, and make sure the Items to Submit and Items to Return are set to P260_CATEGORY_CODE and P260_CATEGORY_FA_ICON, respectively.
from asset_categories x
where x.code = :P260_CATEGORY_CODE;
On examining the source of the page, we see that the select item is immediately followed by a span which shows the icon:
It’s a little gimmicky but it’s an easy way to delight users, and it might help them to quickly identify data entry mistakes.
Refreshing any of our non-prod environments (e.g. dev, test, etc.) with a clone from production is a fairly regular process at my client. A recurring issue with this is emails: we’ve had occasion where users have received a second copy of an email immediately after the clone has completed. This was confusing because they thought the event that had triggered the email actually occurred twice.
As it turns out, the duplicate emails were caused by the fact that the emails happened to be waiting in the APEX mail queue in production at the time of the export. After the export, the APEX mail queue was processed normally in production and the users received their emails as expected; after the clone was completed, the database jobs were restarted in the cloned environment which duly processed the emails sitting in the cloned queue and the users effectively got the same emails a second time.
What’s worse, if the same export were to be used for multiple clones, the users might get the same emails again and again!
A good way to solve this sort of issue would be to isolate the non-prod environments behind a specially configured mail server with a whitelist of people who want (and expect) to get emails from the non-prod systems. We don’t have this luxury at this client, however.
Instead, we have a post_clone.sql script which is run by the DBAs immediately after creating the clone. They already stop all the jobs by setting job_queue_processes=0.
In case the mail queue happens to have any emails waiting to be sent, the post clone script now includes the following step:
*** WARNING: DO NOT RUN THIS IN PRODUCTION! ***
for r in (
(p_security_group_id => apex_application_install.get_workspace_id);
This script is run as SYS but it could also be run as SYSTEM or as APEX_nnnnnn, depending on your preference.
ADDENDUM: Overriding the From Email Address
Christian Neumüller commented that an additional technique that might be useful is to override the From (sender) email address to indicate which environment each email was sent from. To do this, run something like the following:
'apex-' || sys_context('userenv','db_name') || '@mydomain');
I’ve tested this in APEX 19.1 and it seems to work fine. Regardless of the p_from parameter that the code passes to apex_mail.send, the EMAIL_FROM_OVERRIDE email address is used instead. Note that this is currently undocumented, so this may stop working or change in a future release.
The updated Universal Theme has added new “Floating” item templates which look great, e.g.:
I had a list item which I wanted to leave optional; if the user leaves it null, I wanted it to show a “default” display value (derived at runtime). To implement this, I added a hidden item (P10_DEPTNO_DEFAULT) and on the list item set Null Display Value to &P10_DEPTNO_DEFAULT..
If the page is shown in read-only mode, however, the list item is rendered as a Display Item, and the Null Display Value attribute is ignored:
To solve this, I added a Dynamic Action which injects the default value into the HTML for display (without affecting the value of the underlying item):
Event: Page Load
Server-side Condition: <page is readonly> AND :P10_DEPTNO IS NULL
Fire on Initialization: No
This finds the span for the display-only item and injects the default display value for display: