6.7 Creating Applications for Mobile Devices

Build applications for mobile devices with mobile-specific design patterns that can provide an optimal user experience for small screens.

6.7.1 About Mobile Application Design

Mobile applications developed with Oracle Application Express are browser-based applications that run inside the browser on the mobile device. Therefore, these applications must have a connection in order to communicate with the Oracle Database and cannot operate in a disconnected environment.

Mobile devices that have HTML5 capabilities can utilize all of the capabilities that can be built into the applications, including HTML5 date-pickers, sub-types that display different keypads based on field definition, and so. Older devices will still render the application they will offer less advanced features. The major advantage of developing browser-based applications is that you only need to develop them once for desktop and mobile devices. However, one major limitation is accessing on-device features such as contact lists. This limitation can be alleviated by integrating with solutions such as PhoneGap that support the creation of hybrid solutions, which use a native application wrapper to display the web applications. Solutions such as Phonegap provide various APIs to access many of the native phone features not currently available using HTML5 or JavaScript. To learn more, see:


6.7.2 About Mobile Support

Advantages of the Universal Theme

Universal Theme - 42 (Universal Theme) enables developers to build modern web applications without requiring extensive knowledge of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript

Key advantages of the Universal Theme include:

  • Responsive Design - Designed to work just as well on small screen devices (such as smartphones and tablets) as it does on larger screen devices (including laptops and desktops). The UI components in Universal Theme work across varying screen resolutions while maintaining the same or similar functionality. In addition, Universal Theme takes full advantage of ultra high screen resolutions by utilizing vector graphics where possible, and relying upon CSS3 features for UI styling.

  • Versatile User Interface - Provides all the components and building blocks necessary to build practically any type of business application user interface. To browse all of the components provided with Universal Theme go to the Universal Theme application at https://apex.oracle.com/ut and select Components.

  • Easy Customization - Effortlessly customize and fully control the look and feel of your applications without becoming an expert in UI design, HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. Using Theme Roller and Template Options, you can easily customize your application to fit your company's brand and customize the look and feel of various components using Template Options. 

About Migrating Existing Mobile Apps to the Universal Theme

jQuery Mobile and the jQuery Mobile User Interface used in previous releases have been desupported and will removed in a future release. If you have an existing mobile application that uses the jQuery Mobile User Interface, you should migrate your existing application to the Universal Theme.


To learn more about migrating existing applications to the Universal Theme, go to the Universal Theme application at https://apex.oracle.com/ut and select Migration Guide.

Reports Optimized for Mobile Environments

Although the Universal Theme is optimized to work well on mobile devices, not all components are mobile friendly. For example, interactive reports and interactive grids do not work well in mobile environments. When creating reports for mobile devices, Oracle recommends the following report types:

  • List View

    Features a responsive design to display data and provide easy navigation on Smartphones. Creates a page that contains the formatted result of a SQL query. You choose a table on which to build the List view and select a database column to be used for the List view entry.

  • Column Toggle Report

    Creates a responsive report designed for mobile applications and Smartphones. By default, column toggle reports are created with all columns set to the same priority. However, the developer can edit the report column attributes and rank columns by importance. Columns with a lesser priority (larger number) are hidden at narrower screen widths. The report includes a Columns button which enables end users to select which columns they want to view.

  • Reflow Report

    Creates a responsive report designed for mobile applications and Smartphones. When there is not enough space available to display the report horizontally, the report responds by collapsing the table columns into a vertical value pairs layout where each column displays on a separate row.

6.7.3 Creating Mobile Applications

To create a mobile application:

  1. Create a new application by running the Create Application Wizard. See "Creating a Database Application Based on a Table or Query."
  2. Run the Create Page Wizard and add mobile pages. See "Adding a New Page to an Application."


    To learn more about the Universal Theme and mobile-friendly design, go to the Universal Theme application at https://apex.oracle.com/ut.