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13 Replies Latest reply: May 14, 2013 10:20 AM by mhichwa RSS

Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)

Jayson Hanes Explorer
Currently Being Moderated
I've noticed on page #85, where you can "Email Action Item", that there is an "about" region that says:

Email project summary (included as an HTML email attachment). When recipients reply to the email their replies will be logged as a status update. -- that'd be HUGE! I want this! (I've done similar work myself years ago [but not with Apex], so I'm fully aware of how much work such a feature would take to implement)

Anyway, this made me curious. I have been through dozens of pages in this application, and hadn't noticed such a feature... I then noticed page #39 "Ingest Log", which lead me to the table EBA_PROJ_STATUS_INGEST_LOG, which was (not surprisingly) empty.

I then exported the application to a .sql file and searched for "INGEST" and found that there was indeed a build option that was relevant. However, it's default is set to (exclude).

Furthermore, I found only code that created the table/sequence/trigger, and NO supporting API package -- no code to schedule a job to poll an email box or anything.

Is there some hidden ability deep inside APEX that would enable this such functionality?? I've googled every conceivable combination of "ORACLE APEX PTRACK", "ORACLE APEX P-TRACK", "ORACLE APEX INGEST", "ORACLE APEX EMAIL INGEST", and so forth and found absolutely nothing at all on the subject. In fact, I'm truly surprised that there were only 3 hits on this forum for "P-TRACK" -- but they only had to do with install issues.

I think the Apex Dev's have done a great job on this packaged application (even though it has some incomplete features), and I've modified it extensively for my needs -- it has saved me a lot of time not having to reinvent the wheel.

Can anyone offer any insight at all? Thanks!

update: I noticed the author's name on page #39 -- "ALLAN 3 months ago" -- how on earth would I find out how to reach out to Allan?

AND... the Help actually states this:

"*P-Track also includes built-in integration with email. You can request status updates through an email message, and team members who receive this type of message can directly update status, milestones or action items, as well as add annotations to a project.*"

So if this is technically a "supported packaged application" in it's default configuration, was the feature just left out? On purpose? Accidentally? Still under development?... can I get it from somewhere else?

Edited by: 987869 on Feb 13, 2013 9:08 AM
  • 1. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    991190 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I got excited when I saw this thread, I hope someone around here has some insight into this though! This is a very interesting feature that I can't seem to find any documentation about.
  • 2. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    Hilary Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Jayson,

    I've forwarded your questions to my colleagues responsible for the P-Track packaged application, so hopefully they'll be able to provide more information on the functionality you have referred to. The best way to reach the relevant developers is through this forum, so please keep an eye on this thread for their response.

    Regards,
    Hilary
  • 3. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    Jayson Hanes Explorer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Hilary -- any chance of you inquiring with those people you forwarded this topic to?
  • 4. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    Hilary Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Jayson,

    Our apologies for the delay in responding to your question.

    Iv'e followed up with my colleagues, and I understand that the functionality is not available in the 4.2.1 release of P-Track. While it had been hoped to incorporate such functionality in the application, due to time constraints it unfortunately wasn't feasible. The associated text referring to it should have been removed from the UI, so our apologies for any confusion this may have caused.

    I'm awaiting confirmation as to whether or not the email digest functionality will be incorporated in a future version of the packaged application. We'll ensure we update this thread with the follow-up response.

    Regards,
    Hilary
  • 5. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    Jayson Hanes Explorer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Thanks Hilary -- I appreciate yours and the teams' effort all around.
  • 6. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    Jayson Hanes Explorer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi again -- I've updated to latest 4.2.2, and I'm seeing the "fresher" looking P-Track. I see a variety of minor changes.. however, no email intake features. Furthermore, it has been posted in several places that "each application has a What's New [section]".. I'm not seeing anything of the sort, for any application? Where are they? The "help" doesn't really offer much except a very high-level summary.

    Can we get a document that outlines the CHANGES and thus the enhancements? A change log per application would really be appreciated.

    As I'm sure you know, the P-track application is quite large -- I'd like to be able to tell people what's new specifically. Right now, we're all in a guessing game, and it's very time consuming.

    Also, I would think that due to the complexity of these applications, some kind of VISUAL workflow must exist already -- a visio diagram or some kind of visual representation of how the logic of the application works from top - down. I've been asked to document such for end-users, and I feel I'd be reinventing the wheel here -- surely there were power-point style meetings held by the dev team? I'm not asking for anything polished and worthy of print -- anything would help.

    thoughts?
  • 7. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    LeightonLNelson Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    I second Jayson's comments. The app looks fantastic but besides the demos I find the documentation very lacking. I'd love to roll this out to our team but I'm afraid that there is just not enough help available online to support it.

    -Thanks,
    Leighton
  • 8. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    Hilary Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Jayson,

    To respond to your questions:

    +1) I see a variety of minor changes.. however, no email intake features.+
    I understand that the email digest functionality was not incorporated in our 4.2.2 release, but will hopefully be addressed in a future release of the application. Unfortunately I can't provide any further information on that proposed functionality.

    +2) Furthermore, it has been posted in several places that "each application has a What's New [section]".. I'm not seeing anything of the sort, for any application? Where are they? The "help" doesn't really offer much except a very high-level summary.+
    The "What's New" information is displayed on the 'Packaged Application Details' page,4000:81 of the Packaged Application pages in Application Builder, for any installed and locked packaged application which now has an upgraded version available with 4.2.2. Select the 'Packaged Applications' tab, and then select an application with the "Update Available" flag, which will navigate to page 4000:81. The "What's New" information is displayed immediately under the application description.

    +3) Can we get a document that outlines the CHANGES and thus the enhancements? A change log per application would really be appreciated. As I'm sure you know, the P-track application is quite large -- I'd like to be able to tell people what's new specifically. Right now, we're all in a guessing game, and it's very time consuming.+
    See response to Q2 above. Specifically, for the P-Track application, the change log is as follows:

    <ul>
    <li>Updated mobile user interface with Oracle APEX 4.2 mobile features</li>
    <li>Improved icons and graphics</li>
    <li>Ability to follow projects and action items</li>
    <li>Changes to milestones and action items now show in status updates</li>
    <li>Improved accessibility</li>
    <li>DATE columns are now TIMESTAMP with Local Time Zone</li>
    <li>Hide and show child projects is now sticky by user</li>
    <li>Implementation of some features now use Oracle APEX plugins</li>
    <li>Status reporting has been build optioned out for this release</li>
    <li>Bug fixes and minor functional improvements</li>
    <li>Requires Oracle APEX 4.2 or greater</li>
    </ul>


    +4) Also, I would think that due to the complexity of these applications, some kind of VISUAL workflow must exist already -- a visio diagram or some kind of visual representation of how the logic of the application works from top - down. I've been asked to document such for end-users, and I feel I'd be reinventing the wheel here -- surely there were power-point style meetings held by the dev team? I'm not asking for anything polished and worthy of print -- anything would help.+
    Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with such documentation.

    Regards,
    Hilary
  • 9. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    Jayson Hanes Explorer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Okay... well since i've unlocked every instance that I've ever installed, I cannot see that such "update" path, thus that explains why I cannot see the "what's new" information. Thanks for posting the details. I created a new workspace/schema, and installed the app.. None of my current installs of P-Track from 4.2.1 are locked, thus none of them can be upgraded (I knew this and am ok with this)

    Is there any one else who could be contacted about any documentation? Surely the Apex development team doesn't have "how P-Track" works (or any of the other packages apps) all in their head and not in some form of document, right? -- and if they do, why on earth would it be so intangible?? I hate to sound like an ungrateful whiny brat -- but why should I have to experiment with and reverse engineer something just to use it (properly, even)? -- for applications that are overtly advertised as "supported"..?

    I cannot believe that this amounts to: "Hey, it works, right?"
  • 10. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    Jayson Hanes Explorer
    Currently Being Moderated
    In the end, I think that it would be prudent for Oracle to encourage the Apex's Packaged Applications team to maintain both change logs and an FAQ -- maybe even a subforum under Application Express -- specifically for each packaged application. At least then we'd be able to work together as a community.. and I'd be able to send out an email saying "check the P-Track forum for information on..."

    Thanks for your attention again, Hilary.
  • 11. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    Hilary Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Jayson,

    Is there any one else who could be contacted about any documentation? Surely the Apex development team doesn't have "how P-Track" works (or any of the other packages apps) all in their head and not in some form of document, right? -- and if they do, why on earth would it be so intangible?? I hate to sound like an ungrateful whiny brat -- but why should I have to experiment with and reverse engineer something just to use it (properly, even)? -- for applications that are overtly advertised as "supported"..?

    I'm on the APEX development team, and have forwarded your query on to the relevant people on the team. We appreciate your feedback, and hopefully we'll be able to address your request for improved documentation in a future release. In the meantime, please do contribute the idea on our http://apex.oracle.com/vote site. You may also find it useful to refer to my colleague, Kris Rice's blog posting on "*Adding mail processing to your database*", here: http://krisrice.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/adding-mail-processing-to-your-database.html.

    Thanks for your feedback, and I hope this helps.

    Regards,
    Hilary
  • 12. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    Jayson Hanes Explorer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Thanks for the link Hilary, it looks like it might be worth investigating! I'll also work some magic on the voting site.
  • 13. Re: Apex 4.2 ~ P-Track packaged Application question(s)
    mhichwa Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jayson, thanks for your interest in p-track and automated email ingest. Here at Oracle we did have an in internal ability to support email ingest as well as instant message integration, however it has been problematic to deliver this feature. Here is a blog Kris Rice wrote that describes how to implement ingest outside of the context of p-track (http://krisrice.blogspot.com/2010/11/adding-mail-processing-to-your-database.html). Please do visit http://apex.oracle.com/vote and add a feature request and see if the community votes on the ideas; I think you have some good ones.

    Mike

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