The APEX Client Extension – a new open source project

Back in July I’ve announced the launch of a new open-source project, the APEX Client Extension or how we like to call it internally: the ACE Browser.

Although it is still in early alpha, the community expressed already some interest around this initiative. Furthermore, there have been some questions which until now I wasn’t able to address. Therefore, I’d like to use this article to answer the initial questions that I got and shed some light on the project’s goal for the future. Here we go…

 

What is the ACE Browser?

The APEX Client Extension (ACE) is a configurable browser based on the Electron framework which adds several client-features to your Oracle APEX application.

 

How does it work?

The ACE Browser automatically injects global Javascript APIs into any loaded APEX Page. Those APIs are available under the top level namespace apexce – we figured that using ace would have been too corny.

 

Why was the ACE Browser created?

The main goal of the ACE Browser is to offer the ability to open up selected resources from the client computer and at the same time provide a secure application. To achieve this we’ll let you access some of the Electron APIs directly while others, typically the more sensitive ones, will be wrapped.

 

Is this a new FOEX product?

No. While FOEX is sponsoring the project, the ACE Browser will not be transformed into a commercial product in the future.

 

Who can contribute to the project?

Anyone. This is an open-source project, so we strongly encourage anyone with a good improvement idea to take action and submit his/her enhancements for the ACE Browser.

 

What features are available at the moment?

The following APIs are available:

 

How about the roadmap for the APEX Client Extension Browser?

There are many moving parts and I think that in 6 months, or maybe a year from now, the ACE Browser will look completely different.

With that being said, here are some of the other functionalities that (so far) have been added to the ‘To Do’ list:

  • Read/Write files
  • Read/Monitor directories
  • Desktop Notification
  • Screen Captures
  • Global (event outside the application) keyboard shortcuts
  • Run Shell scripts/commands
  • Read Client machine information (env)

 

We’ll share more updates on the progress made with the ACE Browser in some future articles. If you’d like to contribute or test the ACE Browser yourself check out its GitHub page.

 

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