FOEX v1.2.0 Public Release

We’re pleased to announce the v1.2.0 release of the FOEX Plugin Framework for Oracle APEX just in time for OOW13. This release marks a major milestone for the framework having reached 100 plugin mark. Within the release we’ve introduced 10 new plugins made some significant enhancements to the FOEX Developer Addon (FDA) and zapped our fair share of bugs. You can find out the full list of changes here.

To highlight a couple of the important enhancements we’ve now introduced the following capabilities:

New Plugins

  1. FOEX Developer Addon– we’ve made some significant changes to the addon UI and included support to create all FOEX region types within the “Create FOEX Region” wizard, and within the “Create FOEX Page” wizard you can now choose to create either a Viewport or Desktop page. Never before has it been so easy and so fast to create pages and components in APEX with FOEX.
  2. Content Loader Region – the content loader dynamic action is one of the most popular plugins within the framework allowing you to open content in any region plugin which has layout capability. In this release we’ve introduced his twin brother which is a content loading region. Using this region you can lazily load any page in your application, another application, or external url right into a predefined area/region on the page. Your region can be a tab, accordion slice, or panel it’s your choice. This is great for breaking up your application into more reusable and maintainable pages whilst decreasing page complexity and load time.
  3. Rating Item – you’ve probably seen the similar jQuery plugin available in the Oracle Plugin repository. The added benefit with our FOEX rating plugin is you can customize the sprite image, include half, quarter, 1/10th ratings, and use client side validations (vtypes) . We’ve also included support within the read only and editable grid.
  4. Slider Item – similar to the rating item you can now visualize a number range using the slider item. The plugin allows you to control the step size between the allowed number range and also includes read only grid and editable grid support.
  5. Display Image Item – the image display item plugin supports the same features as the standard APEX Display Image with the additional option of showing the image in a full size preview using a modal overlay.

Form Enhancements

The form has gone through a significant overhaul and we’ve improved support for non-DML forms making them easily refreshable to grab the latest item source. We have also added first/last navigation and the ability to control where it is placed. We then rolled up our sleeves to make sure that our 100% AJAX based form supports complex requirements like catering for conditional, read only, authorization support across every AJAX request. The form is now one action packed beast of a plugin.

Item Enhancements

We’ve made improvements to our cascading LOV solution and optimized the number of AJAX requests being made and also added support for items defined in toolbars.  We have addressed the display value issue for setting form items using dynamic actions when the value is not located in the associated data store e.g. for Popup LOV ‘s, AutoCompletes, Grid Combo, Tree Combo’s etc. We have also added a new FOEX “Set Values” dynamic action to the FOEX Actions plugin that gives you the option to set items across any child page opened on the current page (not just the current page).

Grid Enhancements

As mentioned earlier we’ve added support for the new slider and rating item grid column formats. We’ve also made many improvements the most notable making sure Popup LOV key display values are shown correctly in the grid when the value doesn’t currently exist within the current Popup LOV page set. Plus we added a new dynamic action to support grid header refreshing which include substitution strings referencing item values that are dynamically changing on the page e.g. external grid filter items.

Desktop Enhancements

The desktop plugin has had a number of important fixes, most notably the ability to correctly retain maximized window state across sessions and page reloads and also supporting an X level deep start menu list of programs.

In Summary

We’ve made some great progress with this release to make sure it’s even easier and faster to create Rich Internet Applications (RIA) in APEX. We like to call it RRIADRapid Rich Internet Application Development. To give you an idea of what sort of interface you can build here’s a simple example of how much content you can pack into just one web page:

Impressive?

Like always we welcome you to come and give the tyres a good kick and form your own opinion, and if you haven’t yet signed up for one of our demo workspaces then now is the perfect time. Don’t forget to ask any question on our Q&A site if you have any questions or troubles, we’re here to help.

And for the future… now that we’ve got v1.2.0 out the door we can focus on v2.0 which is going to bring new features like charts and custom theming capabilities (including flat design). On the improvement side we’ll be tweaking the grid & form experiences, improving localization and translation support and debugging and instrumentation. With APEX 5.0 due out soon we’ve got our sights set on improving the FDA to take full advantage of the new page builder design, and making sure we support all the new APEX goodness coming like multiple interactive reports on a page. We can’t wait to get started!

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