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5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 21, 2012 8:07 AM by adrianp RSS

Apache FOP in Apex listener 2?

685473 Newbie
Currently Being Moderated
During the APEX day of OGH in the Netherlands I heard about the next Apex Listener may have Apache FOP integrated in it.
Currently we have an issue with the Apache FOP shipped with APEX 4.1 in combination with Oracle Weblogic 10.3.4 for PDF printing.
So we need to fall back to OC4J or Apache Tomcat as a report server.
Our customers who are using our APEX application don't like this in their architectural environment. They would prefer their Oracle Weblogic server as the report server for PDF printing.

When the APEX listener 2 is in the Early Adopters phase and it is containing the Apache FOP integration, would it be possible for us to test it?
We have a testcase of a master-detail PDF report that we would like to print from APEX 4.1

With kind regards,

Mathieu Meeuwissen
  • 1. Re: Apache FOP in Apex listener 2?
    Udo Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hello Mathieu,

    currently (as of Release 1.1.3), APEX Listener does not have FOP integrated, although this had been announced in the EA Phase. In addition to these announcements, there are references in documents based on these early roadmaps that were published without reviewing them against the actual production release, probably because they have been released before APEX Listener got its actual shape.

    The APEX 4.0 Install Guide for instance has a section on [url http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E17556_01/doc/install.40/e15513/pre_require.htm#HTMIG381]HTTP Server Requirements that refers to the APEX Listener as follows
    Oracle Application Express Listener is a Java-based Web server. It features file system caching, support for FOP transformations to PDF, offers improved file upload capability, and is certified against Web Logic, Tomcat, and OC4J with Oracle WebLogic Server, OC4J, and Oracle Glassfish Server.
    APEX Listener didn't get FOP integration, and XLS import support is only partly implemented, but undocumented. My guess is that APEX Listener only got minor priority on finishing feature-complete within the initial schedule and finally failed to do so. Additionally, even though Kris developed on Tomcat, Oracle decided to drop official support for non-Oracle products and you won't find anything about Tomcat in any document on APEX Listener any more. This was different in the EA stage of the development.

    The requirements section in the APEX 4.1 document has been corrected accordingly and now reads
    Oracle Application Express Listener is a Java-based Web server. It features file system caching, offers improved file upload capability, and is certified with Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle Glassfish Server, and OC4J.
    Probably the APEX 4.0 documents had been finished long before the decisions on the feature cut in APEX Listener had been made, because the APEX release was to be released earlier. The announcements had been spread already, whereas the feature cut went through quite silent.
    When the APEX listener 2 is in the Early Adopters phase and it is containing the Apache FOP integration, would it be possible for us to test it?
    There are rumors that the next release of APEX Listener will at least contain full XLS import support, and possibly also integrate FOP. But I haven't heard anything about a release date or even an EA phase yet.
    Currently we have an issue with the Apache FOP shipped with APEX 4.1 in combination with Oracle Weblogic 10.3.4 for PDF printing.
    So we need to fall back to OC4J or Apache Tomcat as a report server.
    I think it won't work on Tomcat either, at least earlier releases didn't. The reason is that the FOP version shipped with APEX is a special one that relies on certain libraries that seem to be specific for OC4J.
    However, you can build your own FOP engine using Cocoon, as described in [url http://carlback.blogspot.com/2007/03/apex-cocoon-pdf-and-more.html]Carl`s blogpost. I was able to get it working with the current Cocoon release (2.1.11) on Tomcat, but it will most likely also work on your WLS.

    I hope you don't mind I changed the order of your post for my quotes, but it feels natural for me to answer it from current release over next (unannounced) release to an approach that would work right now.

    -Udo
  • 2. Re: Apache FOP in Apex listener 2?
    ascheffer Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    Does Apex Listener 2.0 get FOP integrated? I don't see it in the 2.0 Beta release. But in my Apex 4.2 installation I can choose Apex Listener as Print server
    APEX Listener - Select this option if you are using the APEX Listener 2.0 or newer.
    This option enables you to use the basic printing functionality,
    which includes creating report queries and printing report regions using the default templates provided in Application Express and using your own customized XSL-FO templates.
  • 3. Re: Apache FOP in Apex listener 2?
    Udo Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hello Anton,
    Does Apex Listener 2.0 get FOP integrated? I don't see it in the 2.0 Beta release. But in my Apex 4.2 installation I can choose Apex Listener as Print server
    There's still hope... The current APEX Listener 2.0 EA2 doesn't seem to have the complete FOP integration yet, but you see the fop.jar (again) in the libs APEX Listener carries along. This makes me think that the work started with APEX Listener 1.0 EAs is being continued, but not yet finished. I'm not sure if it will, because, as mentioned above, the announcements and documentation hints had been there for the first release as well.
    On the other hand, APEX 4.2 is due to be released soon, and it's unlikely to wait for APEX Listener. So let's see if the next days bring up a new EA-release for APEX Listener... I didn't put much efforts in the first and current EA versions, because I'm actually waiting for something substantial closer to the rumors to appear.

    -Udo
  • 4. Re: Apache FOP in Apex listener 2?
    user13420250 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi,

    Any idea if Apache FOP is implemented in final release?
    I'ts not mentioned in the new feature list.

    kind regards,

    Sebastiaan Wildenboer
  • 5. Re: Apache FOP in Apex listener 2?
    adrianp Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    It was there for me in EA2 and now in the final release. HTH

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