Category: Oracle

TAPI Generator MkII

The last few weeks I’ve made quite a few improvements to my TAPI generator which I thought I’d share. I’ve also added an Apex API generator which generates code suitable for interfacing between simple Apex applications and my TAPIs. This reduces the volume of PL/SQL required within Apex to a bare minimum.

  • Templates are now defined in a package spec, so they are easier to edit in a tool with syntax highlighting (more or less)
  • Most dynamic code generation is defined within the template using a simple syntax
  • Makes inferences from schema metadata to generate code, including some guesses based on object and column naming conventions.
  • Ability to insert table-specific code into the template so that it is retained after re-generating the TAPI.
  • As much as possible, allow generated code to follow my preferred code formatting rules as possible.
  • The Table API (“TAPI”) package defines two record types; one (rowtype) is based on the table, the other (rvtype) uses mostly VARCHAR2(4000) columns in order to hold a pre-validated record.

Assumptions

My generator makes the following assumptions:

  • All tables and columns are named non-case-sensitive, i.e. no double-quote delimiters required.
  • (APEX API) All columns are max 26 chars long (in order to accommodate the Apex “P99_…” naming convention)
  • (APEX API) Table has no more than 1 CLOB, 1 BLOB and 1 XMLTYPE column (in order to support conversion to/from Apex collections)

If any of the above do not hold true, the TAPI will probably need to be manually adjusted to work. All TAPIs generated should be reviewed prior to use anyway.

Example

For example, given the following schema:

CREATE TABLE emps
  (emp_id       NUMBER NOT NULL
  ,name         VARCHAR2(100 CHAR) NOT NULL
  ,emp_type     VARCHAR2(20 CHAR) DEFAULT 'SALARIED' NOT NULL
  ,start_date   DATE NOT NULL
  ,end_date     DATE
  ,dummy_ts     TIMESTAMP(6)
  ,dummy_tsz    TIMESTAMP(6) WITH TIME ZONE
  ,life_history CLOB
  ,CONSTRAINT emps_pk PRIMARY KEY ( emp_id )
  ,CONSTRAINT emps_name_uk UNIQUE ( name )
  ,CONSTRAINT emp_type_ck
     CHECK ( emp_type IN ('SALARIED','CONTRACTOR')
  );
CREATE SEQUENCE emp_id_seq;

I can run this:

BEGIN GENERATE.tapi('emps'); END;
/

This generates the following package (I’ve removed large portions, the full version is linked below):

create or replace PACKAGE EMPS$TAPI AS 
/**********************************************************
 Table API for emps 
 10-FEB-2016 - Generated by SAMPLE
**********************************************************/ 
 
SUBTYPE rowtype IS emps%ROWTYPE; 
 
TYPE arraytype IS TABLE OF rowtype INDEX BY BINARY_INTEGER; 
 
TYPE rvtype IS RECORD 
  (emp_id       emps.emp_id%TYPE 
  ,name         VARCHAR2(4000) 
  ,emp_type     VARCHAR2(4000) 
  ,start_date   VARCHAR2(4000) 
  ,end_date     VARCHAR2(4000) 
  ,dummy_ts     VARCHAR2(4000) 
  ,dummy_tsz    VARCHAR2(4000) 
  ,life_history emps.life_history%TYPE 
  ,version_id   emps.version_id%TYPE 
  ); 
 
TYPE rvarraytype IS TABLE OF rvtype INDEX BY BINARY_INTEGER; 
 
-- validate the row (returns an error message if invalid) 
FUNCTION val (rv IN rvtype) RETURN VARCHAR2; 
 
-- insert a row 
FUNCTION ins (rv IN rvtype) RETURN rowtype; 
 
-- insert multiple rows, array may be sparse
-- returns no. records inserted 
FUNCTION bulk_ins (arr IN rvarraytype) RETURN NUMBER; 

$if false $then/*need to grant DBMS_CRYPTO*/ 
-- generate a hash for the record 
FUNCTION hash (r IN rowtype) RETURN VARCHAR2; 
$end

...
 
END EMPS$TAPI;
create or replace PACKAGE BODY EMPS$TAPI AS 
/**********************************************************
 Table API for emps 
 10-FEB-2016 - Generated by SAMPLE
**********************************************************/ 
 
FUNCTION val (rv IN rvtype) RETURN VARCHAR2 IS 
  -- Validates the record but without reference to any other rows or tables 
  -- (i.e. avoid any queries in here). 
  -- Unique and referential integrity should be validated via suitable db 
  -- constraints (violations will be raised when the ins/upd/del is attempted). 
  -- Complex cross-record validations should usually be performed by a XAPI 
  -- prior to the call to the TAPI. 
BEGIN 
  log_start('val'); 
 
  UTIL.val_not_null (val => rv.name, column_name => 'NAME'); 
  UTIL.val_not_null (val => rv.emp_type, column_name => 'EMP_TYPE'); 
  UTIL.val_not_null (val => rv.start_date, column_name => 'START_DATE'); 
   
  UTIL.val_max_len (val => rv.name, len => 100, column_name => 'NAME'); 
  UTIL.val_max_len (val => rv.emp_type, len => 20, column_name => 'EMP_TYPE'); 
  UTIL.val_date (val => rv.start_date, column_name => 'START_DATE'); 
  UTIL.val_date (val => rv.end_date, column_name => 'END_DATE'); 
  UTIL.val_timestamp (val => rv.dummy_ts, column_name => 'DUMMY_TS'); 
  UTIL.val_timestamp_tz (val => rv.dummy_tsz, column_name => 'DUMMY_TSZ'); 
   
   
  --TODO: add more validations if necessary 
 
  log_end; 
  RETURN UTIL.first_error; 
EXCEPTION 
  WHEN UTIL.application_error THEN 
    log_end('application_error'); 
    RAISE; 
  WHEN OTHERS THEN 
    UTIL.log_sqlerrm; 
    RAISE; 
END val; 
 
FUNCTION ins (rv IN rvtype) RETURN rowtype IS 
  r         rowtype; 
  error_msg VARCHAR2(32767); 
BEGIN 
  log_start('ins'); 
 
  error_msg := val (rv => rv); 
 
  IF error_msg IS NOT NULL THEN 
    raise_error(error_msg); 
  END IF; 
 
  INSERT INTO emps 
        (emp_id 
        ,name 
        ,emp_type 
        ,start_date 
        ,end_date 
        ,dummy_ts 
        ,dummy_tsz 
        ,life_history) 
  VALUES(emp_id_seq.NEXTVAL 
        ,rv.name 
        ,rv.emp_type 
        ,UTIL.date_val(rv.start_date) 
        ,UTIL.date_val(rv.end_date) 
        ,UTIL.timestamp_val(rv.dummy_ts) 
        ,UTIL.timestamp_tz_val(rv.dummy_tsz) 
        ,rv.life_history) 
  RETURNING 
         emp_id 
        ,name 
        ,emp_type 
        ,start_date 
        ,end_date 
        ,dummy_ts 
        ,dummy_tsz 
        ,life_history 
        ,created_by 
        ,created_dt 
        ,last_updated_by 
        ,last_updated_dt 
        ,version_id 
  INTO   r.emp_id 
        ,r.name 
        ,r.emp_type 
        ,r.start_date 
        ,r.end_date 
        ,r.dummy_ts 
        ,r.dummy_tsz 
        ,r.life_history 
        ,r.created_by 
        ,r.created_dt 
        ,r.last_updated_by 
        ,r.last_updated_dt 
        ,r.version_id; 
 
  msg('INSERT emps: ' || SQL%ROWCOUNT); 
 
  log_end; 
  RETURN r; 
EXCEPTION 
  WHEN DUP_VAL_ON_INDEX THEN 
    UTIL.raise_dup_val_on_index; 
  WHEN UTIL.application_error THEN 
    log_end('application_error'); 
    RAISE; 
  WHEN OTHERS THEN 
    UTIL.log_sqlerrm; 
    RAISE; 
END ins; 
 
FUNCTION bulk_ins (arr IN rvarraytype) RETURN NUMBER IS 
  rowcount NUMBER; 
BEGIN 
  log_start('bulk_ins'); 
 
  bulk_val(arr); 
 
  FORALL i IN INDICES OF arr 
    INSERT INTO emps 
           (emp_id 
           ,name 
           ,emp_type 
           ,start_date 
           ,end_date 
           ,dummy_ts 
           ,dummy_tsz 
           ,life_history) 
    VALUES (emp_id_seq.NEXTVAL 
           ,arr(i).name 
           ,arr(i).emp_type 
           ,UTIL.date_val(arr(i).start_date) 
           ,UTIL.date_val(arr(i).end_date) 
           ,UTIL.timestamp_val(arr(i).dummy_ts) 
           ,UTIL.timestamp_tz_val(arr(i).dummy_tsz) 
           ,arr(i).life_history); 
 
  rowcount := SQL%ROWCOUNT; 
 
  msg('INSERT emps: ' || rowcount); 
 
  log_end('rowcount=' || rowcount); 
  RETURN rowcount; 
EXCEPTION 
  WHEN DUP_VAL_ON_INDEX THEN 
    UTIL.raise_dup_val_on_index; 
  WHEN UTIL.application_error THEN 
    log_end('application_error'); 
    RAISE; 
  WHEN OTHERS THEN 
    UTIL.log_sqlerrm; 
    RAISE; 
END bulk_ins; 

$if false $then/*need to grant DBMS_CRYPTO*/ 
FUNCTION hash (r IN rowtype) RETURN VARCHAR2 IS 
  sep    CONSTANT VARCHAR2(1) := '|'; 
  digest CLOB; 
  ret    RAW(2000); 
BEGIN 
  log_start('hash'); 
 
  digest := digest || sep || r.emp_id; 
  digest := digest || sep || r.name; 
  digest := digest || sep || r.emp_type; 
  digest := digest || sep || TO_CHAR(r.start_date, UTIL.DATE_FORMAT); 
  digest := digest || sep || TO_CHAR(r.end_date, UTIL.DATE_FORMAT); 
  digest := digest || sep || TO_CHAR(r.dummy_ts, UTIL.TIMESTAMP_FORMAT); 
  digest := digest || sep || TO_CHAR(r.dummy_tsz, UTIL.TIMESTAMP_TZ_FORMAT); 
 
  ret := DBMS_CRYPTO.hash(digest, DBMS_CRYPTO.hash_sh1); 
 
  log_end(ret); 
  RETURN ret; 
EXCEPTION 
  WHEN UTIL.application_error THEN 
    log_end('application_error'); 
    RAISE; 
  WHEN OTHERS THEN 
    UTIL.log_sqlerrm; 
    RAISE; 
END hash; 
$end

...

END EMPS$TAPI;

Example Template

The following is a template which provides the source used to generate the above TAPI. The syntax may look very strange, but if you read on you can read my explanation of the syntax below. My goal was not to invent an all-singing all-dancing general-purpose syntax for code generation – but to have “just enough” expressive power to generate the kind of code I require.

create or replace PACKAGE TEMPLATES AS
$if false $then
<%TEMPLATE TAPI_PACKAGE_SPEC>
CREATE OR REPLACE PACKAGE #TAPI# AS
/**********************************************************
 Table API for #table#
 #SYSDATE# - Generated by #USER#
**********************************************************/
<%IF EVENTS>
/*Repeat Types*/
DAILY    CONSTANT VARCHAR2(100) := 'DAILY';
WEEKLY   CONSTANT VARCHAR2(100) := 'WEEKLY';
MONTHLY  CONSTANT VARCHAR2(100) := 'MONTHLY';
ANNUALLY CONSTANT VARCHAR2(100) := 'ANNUALLY';
<%END IF>
SUBTYPE rowtype IS #table#%ROWTYPE;

TYPE arraytype IS TABLE OF rowtype INDEX BY BINARY_INTEGER;

TYPE rvtype IS RECORD
  (<%COLUMNS EXCLUDING AUDIT INCLUDING ROWID,EVENTS.REPEAT_IND>
   #col#--- VARCHAR2(4000)~
   #col#--- #table#.#col#%TYPE{ID}~
   #col#--- #table#.#col#%TYPE{LOB}~
   #col#--- VARCHAR2(20){ROWID}~
   #col#--- VARCHAR2(1){EVENTS.REPEAT_IND}~
  ,<%END>
  );

TYPE rvarraytype IS TABLE OF rvtype INDEX BY BINARY_INTEGER;

-- validate the row (returns an error message if invalid)
FUNCTION val (rv IN rvtype) RETURN VARCHAR2;

-- insert a row
FUNCTION ins (rv IN rvtype) RETURN rowtype;

-- insert multiple rows, array may be sparse; returns no. records inserted
FUNCTION bulk_ins (arr IN rvarraytype) RETURN NUMBER;

...

<%IF DBMS_CRYPTO><%ELSE>$if false $then/*need to grant DBMS_CRYPTO*/<%END IF>
-- generate a hash for the record
FUNCTION hash (r IN rowtype) RETURN VARCHAR2;
<%IF DBMS_CRYPTO><%ELSE>$end<%END IF>

END #TAPI#;
<%END TEMPLATE>

<%TEMPLATE TAPI_PACKAGE_BODY>
CREATE OR REPLACE PACKAGE BODY #TAPI# AS
/**********************************************************
 Table API for #table#
 #SYSDATE# - Generated by #USER#
**********************************************************/

FUNCTION val (rv IN rvtype) RETURN VARCHAR2 IS
  -- Validates the record but without reference to any other rows or tables
  -- (i.e. avoid any queries in here).
  -- Unique and referential integrity should be validated via suitable db
  -- constraints (violations will be raised when the ins/upd/del is attempted).
  -- Complex cross-record validations should usually be performed by a XAPI
  -- prior to the call to the TAPI.
BEGIN
  log_start('val');

  <%COLUMNS EXCLUDING GENERATED,SURROGATE_KEY,NULLABLE>
  UTIL.val_not_null (val => rv.#col#, column_name => '#COL#');~
  <%END>
  <%IF EVENTS>
  IF rv.repeat_ind = 'Y' THEN
    UTIL.val_not_null (val => rv.repeat, column_name => 'REPEAT');
    UTIL.val_not_null (val => rv.repeat_interval, column_name => 'REPEAT_INTERVAL');
  END IF;
  <%END IF>
  <%COLUMNS EXCLUDING GENERATED,SURROGATE_KEY,LOBS INCLUDING EVENTS.REPEAT_IND>
  UTIL.val_ind (val => rv.#col#, column_name => '#COL#');{IND}~
  UTIL.val_yn (val => rv.#col#, column_name => '#COL#');{YN}~
  UTIL.val_max_len (val => rv.#col#, len => #MAXLEN#, column_name => '#COL#');{VARCHAR2}~
  UTIL.val_numeric (val => rv.#col#, column_name => '#COL#');{NUMBER}~
  UTIL.val_date (val => rv.#col#, column_name => '#COL#');{DATE}~
  UTIL.val_datetime (val => rv.#col#, column_name => '#COL#');{DATETIME}~
  UTIL.val_timestamp (val => rv.#col#, column_name => '#COL#');{TIMESTAMP}~
  UTIL.val_timestamp_tz (val => rv.#col#, column_name => '#COL#');{TIMESTAMP_TZ}~
  UTIL.val_integer (val => rv.#col#, range_low => 1, column_name => '#COL#');{EVENTS.REPEAT_INTERVAL}~
  UTIL.val_domain
    (val          => rv.#col#
    ,valid_values => t_str_array(DAILY, WEEKLY, MONTHLY, ANNUALLY)
    ,column_name  => '#COL#');{EVENTS.REPEAT}~
  ~
  <%END>
  <%IF EVENTS>
  UTIL.val_datetime_range
    (start_dt => rv.start_dt
    ,end_dt   => rv.end_dt
    ,label    => 'Event Date/Time Range');
  <%END IF>
  <%IF EVENT_TYPES>
  UTIL.val_cond
    (cond        => rv.event_type = UPPER(rv.event_type)
    ,msg         => 'Event Type Code must be all uppercase'
    ,column_name => 'EVENT_TYPE');
  UTIL.val_cond
    (cond        => rv.event_type = TRANSLATE(rv.event_type,'X -:','X___')
    ,msg         => 'Event Type Code cannot include spaces, dashes (-) or colons (:)'
    ,column_name => 'EVENT_TYPE');
  UTIL.val_date_range
    (start_date => rv.start_date
    ,end_date   => rv.end_date
    ,label      => 'Event Types Date Range');
  <%END IF>
  --TODO: add more validations if necessary

  log_end;
  RETURN UTIL.first_error;
EXCEPTION
  WHEN UTIL.application_error THEN
    log_end('application_error');
    RAISE;
  WHEN OTHERS THEN
    UTIL.log_sqlerrm;
    RAISE;
END val;

FUNCTION ins (rv IN rvtype) RETURN rowtype IS
  r         rowtype;
  error_msg VARCHAR2(32767);
BEGIN
  log_start('ins');

  error_msg := val (rv => rv);

  IF error_msg IS NOT NULL THEN
    raise_error(error_msg);
  END IF;

  INSERT INTO #table#
        (<%COLUMNS EXCLUDING GENERATED>
        #col#~
        ,<%END>)
  VALUES(<%COLUMNS EXCLUDING GENERATED>
         #seq#.NEXTVAL{SURROGATE_KEY}~
         rv.#col#~
         UTIL.num_val(rv.#col#){NUMBER}~
         UTIL.date_val(rv.#col#){DATE}~
         UTIL.datetime_val(rv.#col#){DATETIME}~
         UTIL.timestamp_val(rv.#col#){TIMESTAMP}~
         UTIL.timestamp_tz_val(rv.#col#){TIMESTAMP_TZ}~
        ,<%END>)
  RETURNING
         <%COLUMNS INCLUDING VIRTUAL>
         #col#~
        ,<%END>
  INTO   <%COLUMNS INCLUDING VIRTUAL>
         r.#col#~
        ,<%END>;

  msg('INSERT #table#: ' || SQL%ROWCOUNT);

  log_end;
  RETURN r;
EXCEPTION
  WHEN DUP_VAL_ON_INDEX THEN
    UTIL.raise_dup_val_on_index;
  WHEN UTIL.application_error THEN
    log_end('application_error');
    RAISE;
  WHEN OTHERS THEN
    UTIL.log_sqlerrm;
    RAISE;
END ins;

FUNCTION bulk_ins (arr IN rvarraytype) RETURN NUMBER IS
  rowcount NUMBER;
BEGIN
  log_start('bulk_ins');

  bulk_val(arr);

  FORALL i IN INDICES OF arr
    INSERT INTO #table#
           (<%COLUMNS EXCLUDING GENERATED>
            #col#~
           ,<%END>)
    VALUES (<%COLUMNS EXCLUDING GENERATED>
            #seq#.NEXTVAL{SURROGATE_KEY}~
            arr(i).#col#~
            UTIL.num_val(arr(i).#col#){NUMBER}~
            UTIL.date_val(arr(i).#col#){DATE}~
            UTIL.datetime_val(arr(i).#col#){DATETIME}~
            UTIL.timestamp_val(arr(i).#col#){TIMESTAMP}~
            UTIL.timestamp_tz_val(arr(i).#col#){TIMESTAMP_TZ}~
           ,<%END>);

  rowcount := SQL%ROWCOUNT;

  msg('INSERT #table#: ' || rowcount);

  log_end('rowcount=' || rowcount);
  RETURN rowcount;
EXCEPTION
  WHEN DUP_VAL_ON_INDEX THEN
    UTIL.raise_dup_val_on_index;
  WHEN UTIL.application_error THEN
    log_end('application_error');
    RAISE;
  WHEN OTHERS THEN
    UTIL.log_sqlerrm;
    RAISE;
END bulk_ins;

<%IF DBMS_CRYPTO><%ELSE>$if false $then/*need to grant DBMS_CRYPTO*/<%END IF>
FUNCTION hash (r IN rowtype) RETURN VARCHAR2 IS
  sep    CONSTANT VARCHAR2(1) := '|';
  digest CLOB;
  ret    RAW(2000);
BEGIN
  log_start('hash');

  <%COLUMNS EXCLUDING GENERATED,LOBS>
  digest := digest || sep || r.#col#;~
  digest := digest || sep || TO_CHAR(r.#col#, UTIL.DATE_FORMAT);{DATE}~
  digest := digest || sep || TO_CHAR(r.#col#, UTIL.DATETIME_FORMAT);{DATETIME}~
  digest := digest || sep || TO_CHAR(r.#col#, UTIL.TIMESTAMP_FORMAT);{TIMESTAMP}~
  digest := digest || sep || TO_CHAR(r.#col#, UTIL.TIMESTAMP_TZ_FORMAT);{TIMESTAMP_TZ}~
  <%END>

  ret := DBMS_CRYPTO.hash(digest, DBMS_CRYPTO.hash_sh1);

  log_end(ret);
  RETURN ret;
EXCEPTION
  WHEN UTIL.application_error THEN
    log_end('application_error');
    RAISE;
  WHEN OTHERS THEN
    UTIL.log_sqlerrm;
    RAISE;
END hash;
<%IF DBMS_CRYPTO><%ELSE>$end<%END IF>

END #TAPI#;
<%END TEMPLATE>

$end
END TEMPLATES;

Template Syntax

You may be wondering what all the <%bla> and #bla# tags mean. These are the controlling elements for my code generator.

All template code is embedded within $if false $then ... $end so that the template package spec can be compiled without error in the schema, while still allowing most syntax highlighters to make the template easy to read and edit. This source is then read by the generator from the TEMPLATES database package.

Each template within the TEMPLATES package is delineated by the following structural codes, each of which must appear at the start of a line:

<%TEMPLATE template_name>
...
<%END TEMPLATE>

Anything in the TEMPLATES package not within these structural elements is ignored by the generator.

Some simple placeholders are supported anywhere in a template:

  • #SYSDATE# – Today’s date in DD-MON-YYYY format
  • #TABLE# – Table name in uppercase
  • #table# – Table name in lowercase
  • #USER# – User name who executed the procedure
  • #Entity# – User-friendly name based on table name, singular (e.g. EVENTS -> Event)
  • #Entities# – User-friendly name based on table name
  • #TAPI# – Table API package name
  • #APEXAPI# – Apex API package name
  • \n – Insert a linefeed (not often required, since actual linefeeds in the template are usually retained)

These are all case-sensitive; in some cases an UPPERCASE, lowercase and Initcap version is supported for a placeholder.

Code portions that are only required in certain cases may be surrounded with the IF/ELSE/END IF structure:

<%IF condition>
   ...
<%ELSE>
   ...
<%END IF>

Currently the list of conditions are limited to LOBS (true if the table has any LOB-type columns), ROWID (true if the table does NOT have a surrogate key (i.e. a primary key matched by name to a sequence), or the name of a table (useful to have some code that is only generated for a specific table), or the name of a DBMS_xxx package (useful to have code that is only generated if the owner has been granted EXECUTE on the named DBMS_xxx package).

To negate a condition, simply leave the first part of the IF/ELSE part empty, e.g.:

<%IF LOBS><%ELSE> /*this table has no LOBS*/ <%END IF>

Code portions that need to be repeated for each column (or a subset of columns) in the table use the COLUMNS structure:

(<%COLUMNS>
 #col#--- => :#COL#~
,<%END>)

The COLUMNS structure looks very weird and might take a while to get used to, but basically it contains a list of sub-templates, delimited by tildes (~). The first sub-template (e.g. #col#--- => :#COL#) is used for each column, and the second sub-template (e.g. ,) is inserted between each column (if there is more than one column). In the above example, our emps table would result in the following generated:

(emp_id       => :EMP_ID
,name         => :NAME
,emp_type     => :EMP_TYPE
,start_date   => :START_DATE
,end_date     => :END_DATE
,dummy_ts     => :DUMMY_TS
,dummy_tsz    => :DUMMY_TSZ
,life_history => :LIFE_HISTORY)

Notice that #col# is replaced with the column name in lowercase, and #COL# is replaced with the column name in uppercase. In addition, the --- is a special code that causes the generator to insert additional spaces so that the code is aligned vertically. Notice also that the second sub-template (the separator bit with the comma) also includes a carriage return (after ~ and before ,). If we had instead used the following template:

<%COLUMNS>
#col#--- => :#COL#~,<%END>

This would have been the result:

emp_id       => :EMP_ID,name         => :NAME,emp_type     => :EMP_TYPE,start_date   => :START_DATE,end_date     => :END_DATE,dummy_ts     => :DUMMY_TS,dummy_tsz    => :DUMMY_TSZ,life_history => :LIFE_HISTORY

The generator gives you a great deal of control over which columns are included. The COLUMNS structure supports three optional clauses: INCLUDING, EXCLUDING and ONLY.

<%COLUMNS>
  (all columns in the table, EXCEPT for virtual columns)
<%END>

<%COLUMNS INCLUDING VIRTUAL>
  (all columns in the table, including virtual columns)
<%END>

<%COLUMNS EXCLUDING PK>
  (all columns except for Primary Key columns)
<%END>

<%COLUMNS EXCLUDING LOBS>
  (all columns except for LOB-type columns)
<%END>

<%COLUMNS EXCLUDING EMPS.NAME>
  (all columns - except for the specified column)
<%END>

<%COLUMNS EXCLUDING AUDIT>
  (all columns except for the audit columns such as CREATED_BY, etc.)
<%END>

<%COLUMNS ONLY PK>
  (only Primary Key columns)
<%END>

<%COLUMNS ONLY PK,NAME>
  (only Primary Key columns and columns named NAME)
<%END>

<%COLUMNS INCLUDING ROWID>
  (all columns in the table, plus the pseudocolumn ROWID)
<%END>

<%COLUMNS INCLUDING MADEUPNAME>
  (all columns in the table, plus a fake column)
<%END>

<%COLUMNS INCLUDING EMPS.MADEUPNAME>
  (all columns in the table, plus a fake column for the specified table)
<%END>

<%COLUMNS ONLY SURROGATE_KEY,VERSION_ID INCLUDING ROWID>
  (multiple criteria may be combined)
<%END>

Within a sub-template the following placeholders are recognised:

  • #COL# – column name in uppercase
  • #col# – column name in lowercase
  • #Label# – generated user-friendly label based on column name
  • #MAXLEN# – max length for a CHAR-type column
  • #DATA_DEFAULT# – column default value
  • #SEQ# – surrogate key sequence name
  • #00i# – 001, 002, 003 etc. in order of column id
  • --- – padding (inserts just enough extra spaces depending on length of column name so that code is aligned vertically)

For example, the following generates a comma-delimited list of user-friendly labels for each column in the table:

<%COLUMNS>#Label#~, <%END>
Emp, Name, Emp Type, Start, End, Dummy, Dummy, Life History

Side Note: it’s noteworthy that I have no need for a “#datatype#” placeholder; in most cases my templates will anchor to the column’s datatype anyway, so a template just needs to use #col#%TYPE.

Multiple additional sub-templates may be provided within a <%COLUMNS> structure, to be used for certain columns. These must end with a {X} indicator, where X can be a data type or column name. Other indicators are supported for special cases as well.

<%COLUMNS>
Default subtemplate                       ~
ID column                                 {ID}~
NUMBER column                             {NUMBER}~
Date/time column                          {DATETIME}~
Date column                               {DATE}~
Timestamp column                          {TIMESTAMP}~
Timestamp with time zone                  {TIMESTAMP_TZ}~
Indicator (Y or null) column              {IND}~
Yes/No (Y or N) column                    {YN}~
Any other VARCHAR2 column                 {VARCHAR2}~
Any LOB-type column (e.g. BLOB, CLOB)     {LOB}~
Any specific datatype                     {CLOB}~
Primary key matched to a sequence         {SURROGATE_KEY}~
Special case for a specific column        {TABLE.COLUMN}~
Extra code to be used if NO columns match {NONE}~
,<%END>

The “data type” for a column is usually just the data type from the schema data dictionary; however, there are some special cases where a special data type is derived from the column name:

  • ID: a NUMBER column with a name ending with _ID
  • DATETIME: a DATE column with name ending with _DT
  • IND: a VARCHAR2 column with a name ending with _IND
  • YN: a VARCHAR2 column with a name ending with _YN

Within a template it is possible to import the code from another template (e.g. to share code between multiple templates, or to facilitate a nested-IF structure) using this structure:

<%INCLUDE OTHERTEMPLATE>

This will cause the generator to find a template named OTHERTEMPLATE, evaluate it, then insert it at the given position.

This method has allowed my code generator to be quite flexible and powerful, makes it easy to add additional code to all my API packages and other generated code, and makes it easy to find and fix errors.

You can download all the source for the template and generator below. Note that a new Sample Apex application is included (f560.sql) which works in Apex 5 and uses the new Apex API. Disclaimer:This is a work in progress!

If you find it useful or you have suggestions for improvement please comment.

Source code/download: https://bitbucket.org/jk64/jk64-sample-apex-tapi

Refresh Apex Calendar

calendarwithrefreshbutton.PNG
Sometimes it’s the simple little things that can add polish and make your Apex application shine. One simple little thing that you can do is add a Refresh button to improve the usability of your Apex 5 calendar. This makes it easy for the user to see recent changes on the database, e.g. if events had been added or changed since the page had last been loaded.

  1. Set the Static ID on the Calendar region (e.g. “eventscalendar“)
  2. Add an Icon button (Button Template = “Icon”) to the calendar region
  3. Set the button’s Static ID (e.g. “refreshbutton“)
  4. Set Icon CSS Classes to “fa-refresh
  5. Set Action to “Defined by Dynamic Action”
  6. (optional) Set Template Option -> Style to “Remove UI Decoration”
  7. Add a Dynamic Action to the button, Event = “Click”
  8. Set Fire on Page Load to “No”
  9. Add a True Action “Execute Javascript Code” with the code below:
$("#eventscalendar_calendar").fullCalendar("refetchEvents");

This calls the refetchEvents method of the FullCalendar object. Replace the “eventscalendar” part of the id with whatever static ID you set on the Calendar region in step #1.

Now, to add a bit of pizzazz you can get the refresh button icon to spin while the calendar is being refreshed. To do this, change the dynamic action code to this instead:

$("#refreshbutton span.t-Icon").addClass("fa-spin");
window.setTimeout(function() {
  $("#eventscalendar_calendar").fullCalendar("refetchEvents");
  window.setTimeout(function() {
    $("#refreshbutton span.t-Icon").removeClass("fa-spin");
  }, 1000);
}, 50);

This code starts the refresh icon spinning before invoking refetchEvents, then stops the icon spinning after it has completed. Note that these are done via timeouts (otherwise the icon isn’t repainted until after the entire javascript function has completed). I added a wait of 1 second prior to stopping the spinning because most of the time the refresh is too quick to notice the spinning effect.

You can, if it makes sense in your case, also make the calendar automatically refresh itself periodically, using some simple javascript: add the following function to the page Function and Global Variable Declaration:

function refreshCalendar() {
  $("#refreshbutton span.t-Icon").addClass("fa-spin");
  window.setTimeout(function() {
    $("#eventscalendar_calendar").fullCalendar("refetchEvents");
    window.setTimeout(function() {
      $("#refreshbutton span.t-Icon").removeClass("fa-spin");
    }, 1000);
  }, 50);
}

Then add this to start the timer in the page attribute Execute when Page Loads:

var periodicrefresh = setInterval(function() {
                                    refreshCalendar();
                                  }, 30000);

In this example, I’ve set the timer to go off every 30 seconds. Not only does it refresh the calendar, but the user gets feedback on what’s going on because the refresh button icon is spinning. Be careful not to set the timeout too low, or else your database could get very busy!

The function I’ve declared can now also be reused by the button’s dynamic action, so I can replace the DA javascript with simply:

refreshCalendar();

Apex Developer Toolbar Options

One of the things that used to bug me about the Apex developer toolbar was that it sometimes obscured the content I was trying to test at the bottom of the page; you could turn it off but then next thing you want to access it you have to jump through the hoops to turn it back on again.

I just noticed it now has some new display options which solves this problem perfectly:

devtoolbaroptions1

  • Auto Hide – I turn this on so that it slides almost completely out of the way when I don’t want it (move your mouse over it to make it pop out again, click into your page to hide it)
  • Show Icons Only – once you’re familiar with the options you can shrink the toolbar to show only the icons (hover over the icon to see the label)
  • Display Position – put it on the Right-hand side of the window instead of the bottom

A random string of digits

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I needed to generate a random string with an exact length consisting of numeric digits, that I could send in an SMS to a user as a temporary account “pin”. DBMS_RANDOM.string is unsuitable for this purpose as its supported modes all include alphabetic characters. So I used DBMS_RANDOM.value instead. I call TRUNC afterwards to lop off the decimal portion.

FUNCTION random_pin (digits IN NUMBER)
  RETURN NUMBER IS
BEGIN
  IF digits IS NULL OR digits < 1 OR digits > 39 THEN
    RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR(-20000,'digits must be 1..39');
  END IF;

  IF digits = 1 THEN
    RETURN TRUNC( DBMS_RANDOM.value(0,10) );
  ELSE
    RETURN TRUNC( DBMS_RANDOM.value(
                    POWER(10, digits-1)
                   ,POWER(10, digits) ));
  END IF;
END random_pin;

random_pin(digits => 6);

482372

EDIT 8/1/2016: added special case for 1 digit

ADDENDUM

Because the requirements of my “pin” function was to return a value that would remain unchanged when represented as an integer, it cannot return a string of digits starting with any zeros, which is why the lowerbound for the random function is POWER(10,digits-1). This, unfortunately, makes it somewhat less than perfectly random because zeroes are less frequent – if you call this function 1000 times for a given length of digits, then counted the frequency of each digit from 0..9, you will notice that 0 has a small but significantly lower frequency than the digits 1 to 9.

To fix this, the following function returns a random string of digits, with equal chance of returning a string starting with one or more zeroes:

FUNCTION random_digits (digits IN NUMBER)
  RETURN VARCHAR2 IS
BEGIN
  IF digits IS NULL OR digits < 1 OR digits > 39 THEN
    RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR(-20000,'digits must be 1..39');
  END IF;
 
  RETURN LPAD( TRUNC(
    DBMS_RANDOM.value(0, POWER(10, digits))
    ), digits, '0');
END random_digits;

The above functions may be tested and downloaded from Oracle Live SQL.

Apex 5 Application Context

"under the hood"Just a quick note that (as mentioned by Christian Neumueller earlier) Apex 5 now populates an Application Context APEX$SESSION with the session’s User, Session ID and Workspace ID:

SYS_CONTEXT('APEX$SESSION','APP_USER')
SYS_CONTEXT('APEX$SESSION','APP_SESSION')
SYS_CONTEXT('APEX$SESSION','WORKSPACE_ID')

Using the above should be faster in your queries than calling v() to get these values. Note that the alias 'SESSION' won’t work like it does with v().

The context is managed by the database package APEX_050000.WWV_FLOW_SESSION_CONTEXT which is an undocumented API used internally by Apex to synchronize the context with the associated Apex attibutes. Incidentally, the comments in the package indicate it was authored by Chris himself.

Personally I was hoping that a bit more of the session state would be replicated in the context, e.g. application ID, page ID, request, debug mode, application items and page items.

Sidebar: to see all contexts that are visible to your session, query ALL_CONTEXT. To see all context values set in your session, query SESSION_CONTEXT. Of course, don’t query these in your application code to get individual values – that’s what the SYS_CONTEXT function is for.