Pre-General Availability: 2018-4-26

Namespace: util



The apex.util namespace contains general utility functions of Oracle Application Express.




(static) applyTemplate(pTemplate, pOptionsopt) → {string}

This function applies data to a template. It processes the template string given in pTemplate by substituting values according to the options in pOptions. The template supports Application Express server style placeholder and item substitution syntax.

This function is intended to process Application Express style templates in the browser. However it doesn't have access to all the data that the server has. When substituting page items and column items it uses the current value stored in the browser not what is in session state on the server. It does not support the old non-exact substitutions (with no trailing dot e.g. &ITEM). It does not support the old column reference syntax that uses #COLUMN_NAME#. It cannot do prepare_url (this must be done on the server). Using a template to insert JavaScript into the DOM is not supported. After processing the template all script tags are removed.

The format of a template string is any text intermixed with any number of replacement tokens. Two kinds of replacement tokens are supported: placeholders and substitutions. Placeholders are processed first.

Placeholder syntax is:


The <placeholder-name> is an uppercase alpha numeric plus "_", and "$" string that must be a property name in option object placeholders that gets replaced with the property value. Any placeholder tokens that don't match anything in the placeholders object are left as is (searching for the next placeholder begins with the trailing # character).

Substitution syntax is (any of):


The <item-name> is an uppercase alpha numeric plus "_", "$", and "#" string. The <quoted-item-name> is a string of any characters except "&", carriage return, line feed, and double quote. In both cases the item name is the name of a page item (unless option includePageItems is false), a column item (if model and record options are given), a built-in substitution (unless option includeBuiltinSubstitutions is false), or an extra substitution if option extraSubstitutions is given.

The <message-key> is a message key suitable for use in apex.lang.getMessage and is replaced with the localized message text for the given key. The message must already be loaded on the client by setting the Text Message attribute Used in JavaScript to Yes or otherwise adding it such as with apex.lang.addMessages. If no replacement for a substitution can be found it is replaced with the message key. The language specifier that is supported for server side message substitutions is not supported by the client and will be ignored if present.

When substituting a column item the given record of the given model is used to find a matching column name. If not found and if the model has a parent model then the parent model's columns are checked. This continues as long as there is a parent model. The order to resolve an item name is: page item, column item, column item from ancestor models, built-in substitutions, and finally extra substitutions. Column items support the _LABEL suffix to access the defined column label. For example if there is a column item named NOTE the substitution &NOTE_LABEL. will return the label string for column NOTE.

The built-in substitution names are:

  • &APP_ID.
  • &DEBUG.

The escape-filter controls how the replacement value is escaped or filtered. It can be one of the following values:

  • HTML the value will have HTML characters escaped using apex.util.escapeHTML.
  • ATTR the value will be escaped for an HTML attribute context (currently the same as HTML)
  • RAW does not change the value at all.
  • STRIPHTML the value will have HTML tags removed and HTML characters escaped.

This will override any default escape filter set with option defaultEscapeFilter or from the column definition escape property.

Name Type Attributes Description
pTemplate string A template string with any number of substitution tokens as described above.
pOptions Object <optional>
An options object with the following properties that specifies how the template is to be processed:
Name Type Attributes Description
placeholders Object <optional>
An object map of placeholder names to values. The default is null.
defaultEscapeFilter string <optional>
One of the above escape-filter values. The default is HTML. This is the escaping/filtering that is done if the substitution token doesn't specify an escape-filter. If a model column definition has an escape property then it will override the default escaping.
includePageItems boolean <optional>
If true the current value of page items are substituted. The default is true.
model model <optional>
The model interface used to get column item values. The default is null.
record model.Record <optional>
The record in the model to get column item values from. Option model must also be provided. The default is null.
extraSubstitutions Object <optional>
An object map of extra substitutions. The default is null.
includeBuiltinSubstitutions boolean <optional>
If true built-in substitutions such as APP_ID are done. The default is true.
The template string with replacement tokens substituted with data values.

This example inserts an image tag where the path to the image comes from the built-in IMAGE_PREFIX substitution and a page item called P1_PROFILE_IMAGE_FILE.

apex.jQuery( "#photo" ).html(
        "<img src='&IMAGE_PREFIX.people/&P1_PROFILE_IMAGE_FILE.'>" ) );

This example inserts a div with a message where the message text comes from a placeholder called MESSAGE.

var options = { placeholders: { MESSAGE: "All is well." } };
apex.jQuery( "#notification" ).html( apex.util.applyTemplate( "<div>#MESSAGE#</div>", options ) );

(static) arrayEqual(pArray1, pArray2) → {boolean}

Compare two arrays and return true if they have the same number of elements and each element of the arrays is strictly equal to each other. Returns false otherwise. This is a shallow comparison.

Name Type Description
pArray1 Array The first array.
pArray2 Array The second array.
true if a shallow comparison of the array items are equal

(static) cancelInvokeAfterPaint(pId)

Wrapper around cancelAnimationFrame that can fallback to clearTimeout. Cancels the callback using the id returned from invokeAfterPaint. See also apex.util.invokeAfterPaint.

Name Type Description
pId The id returned from apex.util.invokeAfterPaint.

See example for function apex.util.invokeAfterPaint

(static) debounce(pFunction, pDelay) → {function}

Returns a function that will not call pFunction until after pDelay milliseconds after the last time the returned function is called.

Name Type Description
pFunction function The function to call.
pDelay number The time to wait before calling the function in milliseconds.
The debounced version of pFunction.

This example calls the function formatValue in response to the user typing characters but only after the user pauses typing. In a case like this formatValue would also be called from the blur event on the same item.

function formatValue() {
    var value = $v("P1_PHONE_NUMBER");
    // code to format value as a phone number
    $s("P1_PHONE_NUMBER_DISPLAY", value);
apex.jQuery( "#P1_PHONE_NUMBER" ).on( "keypress", apex.util.debounce( formatValue, 100 ) );

(static) escapeCSS(pValue) → {string}

Returns string pValue with any CSS meta-characters escaped. Use this function when the value is used in a CSS selector. Whenever possible if a value is going to be used as a selector, constrain the value so that it cannot contain CSS meta-characters making it unnecessary to use this function.

Name Type Description
pValue string The string that may contain CSS meta-characters to be escaped.
The escaped string, or an empty string if pValue is null or undefined.

This example escapes an element id that contains a (.) period character so that it finds the element with id = “”. Without using this function the selector would have a completely different meaning.

apex.jQuery( "#" + apex.util.escapeCSS( "" ) );

(static) escapeHTML(pValue) → {string}

Returns string pValue with any special HTML characters (&<>"'/) escaped to prevent cross site scripting (XSS) attacks. It provides the same functionality as sys.htf.escape_sc in PL/SQL.

This function should always be used when inserting untrusted data into the DOM.

Name Type Description
pValue string The string that may contain HTML characters to be escaped.
The escaped string.

This example appends text to a DOM element where the text comes from a page item called P1_UNTRUSTED_NAME. Data entered by the user cannot be trusted to not contain malicious markup.

apex.jQuery( "#show_user" ).append( apex.util.escapeHTML( $v("P1_UNTRUSTED_NAME") ) );

(static) getDateFromISO8601String(pDateStr) → {Date}

Get a JavaScript Date object corresponding to the input date string which must be in simplified ISO 8601 format. In the future Date.parse could be used but currently there are browsers we support that don't yet support the ISO 8601 format. This implementation is a little stricter about what parts of the date and time can be defaulted. The year, month, and day are always required. The whole time including the T can be omitted but if there is a time it must contain at least the hours and minutes. The only supported time zone is "Z". This function is useful for turning the date strings returned by the APEX_JSON.STRINGIFY and APEX_JSON.WRITE procedures that take a DATE value into Date objects that the client can use.
Name Type Description
pDateStr String representation of a date in simplified ISO 8601 format


getDateFromISO8601String( )

(static) getScrollbarSize()

Gets the system scrollbar size for cases in which the addition or subtraction of a scrollbar height or width would effect the layout of elements on the page. The page need not have a scrollbar on it at the time of this call.

An object with height and width properties that describe any scrollbar on the page.

The following example returns an object such as { width: 17, height: 17 }. Note the actual height and width depends on the Operating System and its various display settings.

var size = apex.util.getScrollbarSize();

(static) htmlBuilder() → {htmlBuilder}

Return an htmlBuilder interface.


(static) invokeAfterPaint(pFunction) → {*}

Wrapper around requestAnimationFrame that can fallback to setTimeout. Calls the given function before next browser paint. See also apex.util.cancelInvokeAfterPaint.

See HTML documentation for window.requestAnimationFrame for details.

Name Type Description
pFunction function function to call after paint
id An id that can be passed to apex.util.cancelInvokeAfterPaint

This example will call the function myAnimationFunction before the next browser repaint.

var id = apex.util.invokeAfterPaint( myAnimationFunction );
// ... if needed it can be canceled
apex.util.cancelInvokeAfterPaint( id );

(static) showSpinner(pContaineropt, pOptionsopt) → {jQuery}

Function that renders a spinning alert to show the user that processing is taking place. Note that the alert is defined as an ARIA alert so that assistive technologies such as screen readers are alerted to the processing status.

Name Type Attributes Description
pContainer string | jQuery | Element <optional>
Optional jQuery selector, jQuery, or DOM element identifying the container within which you want to center the spinner. If not passed, the spinner will be centered on the whole page. The default is $("body").
pOptions Object <optional>
Optional object with the following properties:
Name Type Attributes Description
alert string <optional>
Alert text visually hidden, but available to Assistive Technologies. Defaults to "Processing".
spinnerClass string <optional>
Adds a custom class to the outer SPAN for custom styling.
fixed boolean <optional>
if true the spinner will be fixed and will not scroll.
A jQuery object for the spinner. Use the jQuery remove method when processing is complete.

To show the spinner when processing starts.

var lSpinner$ = apex.util.showSpinner( $( "#container_id" ) );

To remove the spinner when processing ends.


(static) stripHTML(pText) → {string}

Returns string pText with all HTML tags removed.

Name Type Description
pText string The string that may contain HTML markup that you want removed.
The input string with all HTML tags removed.

This example removes HTML tags from a text string.

apex.util.stripHTML("Please <a href=''>click here</a>")
// result: "Please click here"

(static) toArray(pValue, pSeparatoropt) → {Array}

Function that returns an array based on the value passed in pValue.

Name Type Attributes Default Description
pValue string | * If this is a string, then the string will be split into an array using the pSeparator parameter. If it's not a string, then we try to convert the value with apex.jQuery.makeArray to an array.
pSeparator string <optional>
":" Separator used to split a string passed in pValue, defaults to colon if not specified. Only needed when pValue is a string. It is ignored otherwise.

This example splits the string into an array with 3 items: ["Bags","Shoes","Shirts"].

lProducts = apex.util.toArray( "Bags:Shoes:Shirts" );

This example splits the string into an array just like in the previous example. The only difference is the separator character is ",".

lProducts = apex.util.toArray( "Bags,Shoes,Shirts", "," );

This example returns the jQuery object as an array.

lTextFields = apex.util.toArray( jQuery("input[type=text]") );