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Techniques for defining a common, reusable display format?

Howard (... in Training)
Howard (... in Training) Member Posts: 905
edited Sep 6, 2013 11:45PM in APEX Discussions

This is a follow-on to "How can I decouple the pagination for a global region?"  https://forums.oracle.com/message/11169243

I like using a common region from a Global Page but it has some drawbacks such as pagination not being independent on each page where it is used.

I have an example application with eight (8) identically formatted pages.  [The ninth page is an alternate format]  Maybe 15+ columns to display and 4 to 175 data rows per page.  The data display is dense and I've been working, for literally months, to get a similar format to the spreadsheet based application it may replace.  (Which is the reason for all the formatting questions I've been asking.)   Some columns link to edit pages which I have not included for this example.  I went to a Global Page so that changes could be made in one place and be reflected in all 8 pages.  If I need to change a column width, I don't want to do that 8 times.  Nor have to check 8 different pages to make sure I have them all identically formatted.

APEX_EXAMPLES_01

demo/demo

Application 44997 - BPS_f1201

Select the first tab and there select Administrator.  Then select each of tabs G005M, G006M, G007M in turn and select July 4th, 2013 as the Run Date.  1-2 data lines of the display should populate.

Although the query format is common, the "DSD_ID" differs from page to page. In order to make each page independent, the data items at the top of each page are page items defined for that particular page.  The thread mentioned above discusses my problem with the gloabl regions pagination, which was global and which I could not set defferent on each page.

That discussion raised the larger question: Are there other, better techniques for defining a common display format to be used across multiple pages?  I suppose I could put all the formatting details in a template but editing the template every time I need to make (or try) a change seems a chore.  I'm experimenting to see what I can make work and how it will look/work so that means many, many changes.

Can anyone suggest other techniques for reusable formatting?

Thanks,

Howard

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Answers

  • Scott Wesley
    Scott Wesley Member Posts: 6,259 Gold Crown

    I've been thinking about this concept recently, too - but instead of regions, I had a cluster of items/dynamic actions that I was replicating, sometimes on the same page.

    I haven't had the chance to investigate further, but I was wondering if plug-ins could be the solution.

    I figure they don't need to be anything fancy - just a tool to generate content in a repeatable, parameterisable manner. I've done similar things in PL/SQL Regions, so maybe why not a plug-in?

    I've consumed many; read through most; modified some; but only written auth related plugins (which are more mickey mouse). I'm not sure what's involved & what constraints may be faced - particularly with dynamic actions. May need to get the hands dirty.

    As for regions? No idea (yet)... but I'm sure there are some you could consider at apex-plugin.com - the classic report freeze maybe, although I just noticed it's a dynamic action plugin, so problably not.

    Scott.

    Scott Wesley
  • Jorge Rimblas
    Jorge Rimblas Member Posts: 710 Bronze Trophy

    Hi Howard,

    Here are some ideas.

    You can define specific CSS to control columns widths and styles. You can reference specific columns with a syntax like

    td[headers="PROC_CYC_TX"]

    You could use items that hold the column names so that they can all be changed in one place.  For example define G_COL1_PROC_CYC = "Process Cycle" and then use &G_COL1_PROC_CYC. as the heading name.

    Also, I almost always switch from APEX tabs to lists (and make them look identical), but that way I can also control other parameters.  For example, I may want to reset the page or default a specific saved report, etc...

    There's also the option of creating a plugin.  A region plugin could allow you to bundle a lot of things about your "reports" into one generic element. This plugin would probably not be usable for any other application, but if it allows you to re-use code then it may be worth it.

    Bottom line... it does sound like you have a lot of tedious work with this application.

    Thanks

    -Jorge

    http://rimblas.com/blog/

    Jorge Rimblas
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