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Oracle® Application Express Application Builder User's Guide
Release 4.1

Part Number E21674-05
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PDF · Mobi · ePub

About Creating a Database Application

By using the Create Application Wizard, you can create a complete application containing multiple pages including reports, interactive reports, forms, tabular forms, and master detail forms. The Create Application Wizard is designed to easily and quickly create basic Oracle Application Express applications. After you create an application using this wizard, you can modify pages and add additional pages using the Create Page Wizard. See "About Creating Pages in a Database Application".

You can use the Create Application Wizard to create blank pages, or pages based on SQL queries or existing database tables. Applications based on tables can consist of a simple report, a form and report, or a tabular form. To learn more, see and "Creating Forms". You can create SQL queries by manually typing SQL, or by using the graphical user interface of Query Builder.

At the workspace level, you have the option of setting defaults that are used for applications built in that workspace. Setting these defaults enables you to exit the wizard without paging through each step. When you exit the wizard, the application you create uses the values you specified as defaults.

See Also:

"Building Queries with Query Builder" in Oracle Application Express SQL Workshop Guide and "Leveraging Application Builder Defaults" in Oracle Application Express Administration Guide

Topics:

Creating an Database Application From Scratch

You can create an application based on a table, query, or drill-down query by selecting Create Application in the Create Application Wizard.

To create an application based on a table, query, or drill-down query:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click the Application Builder icon.

  2. Click the Create button.

  3. For Application Type, select Database and click Next.

  4. For Method, select From Scratch and click Next.

    Tip:

    To instantly create an application containing a Login page and a blank page, select the Instant Application link.
  5. For Name:

    1. Name - Enter a name to identify the application.

    2. Application - Enter a unique integer value to identify the application. Note that Application IDs between 3000 to 9000 are reserved for internal use.

    3. Create Application - Select a creation method:

      • From scratch - Enables you to manually add all pages

      • Based on existing application design model - Copies page definitions from a previous application model.

        Note that you will still have to define all other application attributes, or you can choose to copy some attributes by choosing to copy shared components from another application (See step 7 and "About Application Models and User Interface Defaults").

    4. Schema - Identify the database schema owner. Your application will obtain its privileges by parsing all SQL as a specific database schema.

    5. Click Next.

    Next, add pages to your application.

  6. For Pages:

    1. Select the type of page you want to add:

      • Blank - Creates a page with no built-in functionality.

      • Report - Creates a page that contains the formatted result of a SQL query. You can choose to build a report based on a table you select, or based on a custom SQL SELECT statement or a PL/SQL function returning a SQL SELECT statement that you provide.

      • Form - Creates a form to update a single row in a database table.

      • Report and Form - Builds a two page report and form combination. On the first page, users select a row to update. On the second page, users can add a record or update or delete an existing record.

      • Tabular Form - Creates a form to perform update, insert, and delete operations on multiple rows in a database table.

      • Master Detail - Creates a form that displays a master row and multiple detail rows within a single HTML form. With this form, users can query, insert, update, and delete values from two tables or views.

      • Chart - Creates a page with a flash chart to represent the result of a SQL query.

      Page Name - Enables you to specify the name of this page within your application.

      Action displays the currently selected page type. For each selection, the wizard prompts you for different types of information, such as selecting a table name or report implementation.

    2. Click Add Page.

      The page (or pages) appear at the top of the page. To delete a page, click the Delete icon.

    3. Repeat the previous steps until all pages have been added.

    4. Click Next.

      Tip:

      To exit this wizard early and utilize Application Builder Defaults, click the Create button. To configure Application Builder Defaults, see "Leveraging Application Builder Defaults" in Oracle Application Express Administration Guide.
  7. For Tabs, determine whether to include tabs in your application and click Next.

  8. For Shared Components, determine whether to import shared components from another application. Shared components are common elements that can display or be applied on any page within an application.

    To include shared components, specify the following:

    1. Copy Shared Components from Another Application - Select Yes.

    2. Copy from Application - Select the application from which you want to import shared components.

    3. Select Components to Import - Select the components to import.

    4. Click Next.

    Next, select a default authentication scheme. Authentication is the process of establishing a user's identity before they can access an application. See "Establishing User Identity Through Authentication".

  9. For Attributes:

    1. Authentication Scheme - Determine how establish user identity before accessing an application. Options include:

      • Application Express - Uses the user account credentials created and maintained with the Application Express Service Administration application. These are the accounts you use to log in to the Application Express development environment. You can also create accounts in this user account repository for end users of your applications.

      • Database Account - Requires users logging into your application to enter a database schema name (or user name) and a password in order to authenticate. This account information is managed entirely within the Oracle database.

      • No Authentication - Also known as Database Account Credentials. This option enables users to access your application using the account credentials stored in the mod_plsql DAD definition. In most cases this results in users not having to login when accessing your application. This is the quickest way to create a “public” application.

    2. Language - Select the primary language for this application.

      This attribute identifies the language in which an application is developed. This language is the base language from which all translations are made.

    3. User Language Preference Derived From - Specifies how the engine determines the application language. The application primary language can be static (that is, derived from the Web browser language) or determined from a user preference or item. The database language setting determines date display and sorting characteristics.

      You can alter the Language and User Language Preference Derived From attributes later on the Edit Globalization attributes page. See "Configuring Globalization Attributes".

    4. Date Format - Specifies the date format to be used in the application.

      This date format is used to alter the NLS_DATE_FORMAT database session setting before showing or submitting any page within the application. This value can be a literal string containing a valid Oracle date format mask or an item reference through substitution syntax. If no value is specified, the default date format is derived from the database session at runtime. If supplied, this is also used as the date format for any items resulting from columns of type DATE.

    5. Timestamp Format - Specifies the timestamp format to be used in your application.

      This timestamp format will be used to alter the NLS_TIMESTAMP_FORMAT database session setting prior to showing or submitting any page within the application. This value can be a literal string containing a valid Oracle timestamp format mask or an item reference through substitution syntax. If no value is specified, the default timestamp format will be derived from the database session at runtime.

    6. Timestamp Time Zone format - Specifies the timestamp with time zone format to be used in your application.

      This timestamp with time zone format will be used to alter the NLS_TIMESTAMP_TZ_FORMAT database session setting prior to showing or submitting any page within the application. This value can be a literal string containing a valid Oracle timestamp with time zone format mask or an item reference through substitution syntax. If no value is specified, the default timestamp with time zone format will be derived from the database session at runtime.

    7. Click Next.

  10. For User Interface Theme, select a theme and click Next.

    Themes are collections of templates that can be used to define the layout and style of an entire application. See "Managing Themes".

  11. Confirm your selections and click Create.

Creating an Application from a Spreadsheet

You can create an application based on spreadsheet data by selecting Create from Spreadsheet in the Create Application Wizard.

To create an application from spreadsheet data:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click the Application Builder icon.

  2. Click the Create button.

  3. For Application Type, select Database.

  4. Select From Spreadsheet.

  5. For Load Method, specify how spreadsheet data will be uploaded. Select one of the following and click Next:

    1. Upload file, comma separated (*.csv) or tab delimited. Specify the following and click Next:

      • Text File - Click Choose File to locate the file to be uploaded.

      • Separator - Specify the column separator character. Use \t for tab separators.

      • Optionally Enclosed By - Enter a delimiter character. You can use this character to deliminate the starting and ending boundary of a data value. If you specify a delimiter character, the wizard ignores white space occurring before the starting and ending boundary of a data value. You can also use this option to enclose a data value with the specified delimiter character.

      • File Character Set - Choose the character set in which the text file is encoded.

    2. Copy and paste. Copy and paste the tab delimited data you want to import.

  6. For Table Properties, review how your table will display and click Next. Specify the table name and column names, or modify the data types. To specify whether to include a column, make a selection from the Upload list.

  7. For User Interface Defaults:

    1. Review the displayed Singular Name and enter a Plural Name.

    2. (Optional) Under Column User Interface Defaults, review the displayed column labels.

    3. Click Next.

  8. For Application Options, specify the following:

    1. Application Name - Enter an alphanumeric name for this application.

    2. Create Mode - Options include:

      • Read Only does not include insert and update pages.

      • Read and Write includes insert and update pages.

    3. Report Implementation:

      • Classic creates a SQL report.

      • Interactive creates an interactive report.

    4. Click Next.

  9. For User Interface Theme, select a theme and click Next.

    Themes are collections of templates that can be used to define the layout and style of an entire application. See "Managing Themes".

  10. Confirm your selections and click Create.

See Also:

"Building Queries with Query Builder" in Oracle Application Express SQL Workshop Guide

Creating an Instant Database Application

You can create an instant application consisting of a login page and blank page.

To create an instant application:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click the Application Builder icon.

  2. Click the Create button.

  3. For Application Type, select Database and click Next.

  4. For Method, click the Instant Application link.

  5. Review the following:

    1. Application ID - Enter a unique integer value to identify the application. Note that Application IDs between 3000 to 9000 are reserved for internal use.

    2. Name - Enter a name to identify the application.

    3. Parsing Schema - Your application will obtain its privileges by parsing all SQL as a specific database schema. Identify the database schema owner.

  6. Click Create.

Creating a Database Application from a Template

Instance administrators manage the template application repository for an entire Oracle Application Express instance. Developers can create robust applications based on template applications stored in the template application repository.

Only an instance administrator can add or remove an application template from the repository. To create a template application, an instance administrator must first export the application and then add it to the template application repository.

See Also:

"Managing Template Applications" in Oracle Application Express Administration Guide

To create an application based on a template application:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click the Application Builder icon.

  2. Click the Create button.

  3. Click the Template Application link.

  4. On Select Application:

    1. Application Type - Select the type of template application on which to base your new application. Select either Database or Websheet.

    2. Template Application - Select the name of the template application on which to base your new application.

    3. Name - Enter a short descriptive name for the application, helping to distinguish the new application in select lists and reports.

    4. Application - Specify an integer value that identifies the application. The application ID must be unique within your Application Express instance.

      Application IDs in the range of 3000 to 9000 are reserved for internal use by Application Express.

    5. Schema - Your application obtains its privileges by parsing all SQL as a specific database schema. Identify the database schema owner. This option only displays if you select Database for Application Type.

    6. Install Supporting Objects - This option will only display if you select Database for Application Type and the Template Application selected contains supporting objects.

      Identify whether to install database objects, images, and seed data as part of the application creation process. Supporting objects associated with the application template can also be installed later.

    7. Install Supporting Object - This option only displays if you select Yes for Copy Supporting Object Definitions.

      Identify whether to install database objects, images, and seed data as part of the application creation process. Supporting objects associated with the application template can also be installed later.

    8. Click Next.

  5. Confirm your selections and click Create Application.

Copying a Database Application

You can create a copy of an existing application by running the Create Application Wizard or by selecting the application and then Copy this Application on the Application home page.

Topics:

Copying a Database Application Using the Create Application Wizard

To copy application by running the Create Application Wizard:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click the Application Builder icon.

  2. Click the Create button.

  3. For Application Type, select Database and click Next.

  4. For Method, click the As a copy of an existing application link.

  5. For Method:

    1. Copy From - Select the name of the application to copy.

    2. Copy To - Enter a short descriptive name for the application to distinguish the new application in select lists and reports.

    3. New Application ID - Enter a unique integer value to identify the application. Note that Application IDs between 3000 to 9000 are reserved for internal use.

    4. Copy Supporting Object Definitions - Specify whether to include supporting object definitions. Options include:

      • Yes - Include database object definitions, image definitions, and seed data SQL statements encapsulated in a single file.

      • No - Do not include supporting object definitions.

    5. Click Next.

  6. Click Create Application.

Copying an Application from the Application Home Page

To copy a database application from the Application home page:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click the Application Builder icon.

  2. Select an application.

    The Application home page appears.

  3. From the Tasks list, click Copy this Application.

  4. On Copy Application:

    1. Copy From - Select the name of the application to copy.

    2. New Application ID - Enter a unique integer value to identify the application. Note that Application IDs between 3000 to 9000 are reserved for internal use.

    3. Copy Supporting Object Definitions - Specify whether to include supporting object definitions. Options include:

      • Yes - Include database object definitions, image definitions, and seed data SQL statements encapsulated in a single file.

      • No - Do not include supporting object definitions.

    4. Click Next.

  5. Click Copy Application.

Deleting a Database Application

You can delete an application from within Application Builder, or while editing application attributes. If you delete an application you also delete all defined components (reports, charts, or forms), page controls (buttons, items, list of values), and shared components (breadcrumbs, lists, and tabs, but not user interface defaults).

Topics:

Deleting an Application from the Application Builder Home Page

To delete an application from Application Builder:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click the Application Builder icon.

  2. Select an application.

  3. When Application Builder appears, verify the application ID and name at the top of the page.

  4. On the Tasks list, click Delete this Application.

  5. When prompted, click Permanently Delete Now.

Deleting an Application from the Edit Application Page

To delete an application from the Edit Application page:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click the Application Builder icon.

  2. Select an application.

  3. Click the Edit Application Properties button to the right of the application name.

    The Edit Application page appears.

  4. Verify the application ID and name.

  5. Click Delete at the top of the page.

  6. When prompted, click Permanently Delete Now.

About Application Models and User Interface Defaults

The Create Application Wizard is designed with the assumption that the developer may run it multiple times. To facilitate this iterative approach to application development, every time you run the wizard it saves the page definitions to an application model.

Consider the following example. You create an application by running the Create Application Wizard. After viewing the application, you realize it is not quite what you wanted. Instead of altering it, you can run the wizard again and select an application model. By selecting an existing application model when you rerun the wizard, you can quickly improve your application with minimal time and effort.

See Also:

"Managing Application Models" in Oracle Application Express Administration Guide

Another way to increase your productivity when creating an application is to specify user interface defaults. User interface defaults are metadata that enable you to assign default user interface properties to a table, column, or view within a specified schema.

See Also:

"Managing User Interface Defaults" in Oracle Application Express SQL Workshop Guide

Leveraging Application Models and User Interface Defaults

You can increase your productivity when creating applications by leveraging application models and user interface defaults. Consider the following scenario:

  1. Create an application based on tables or views by running the Create Application Wizard.

  2. Run the generated application. Note any functional deficiencies.

  3. Evaluate whether to create or edit user interface defaults.

    For example, you can use user interface defaults to control how form field or report labels display. You can also utilize user interface defaults to display specific columns or have columns display in an alternate order.

  4. Navigate to the Application home page and create an application by clicking Create.

  5. Select Create Application.

  6. When prompted to enter application details, specify the following:

    1. Name - Enter a name to identify the application.

    2. Application - Enter a unique integer value to identify the application, or accept the default.

    3. Create Application - Select Based on existing application design model.

  7. Select an application model.

    Note the pages you previously created already appear.

  8. Add pages, edit pages, or remove pages.

  9. Complete the wizard.

  10. Repeat steps 2 through 9 until the application meets your functional requirements.