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Insum Oracle APEX Blog

Learn more about Oracle APEX development best practices, E-Business Suite, IT Strategy, and all things Insum in our blog.

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Introducing a White Paper on SQL Developer SSH Connections

Oracle SQL Developer is a much-appreciated tool for designing, building, documenting, managing and enhancing software systems. It’s also good for testing databases and deploying/administering Oracle Rest Data Services (ORDS). It’s useful for APEX developers, too. It allows them to browse, import or export applications or pages, as well as modify […]

Stop exposing your passwords in your database connection strings!

This blog topic was inspired by Connor McDonald’s excellent YouTube video ‘Rock solid secure database connections’, in which he discusses 3 methods to stop exposing your passwords in your database connection strings: In the spirit of continuing the conversation, I’ll contribute my $0.02 to his 3 methods. Also, I’ll contribute […]

Advantages of Modernizing Oracle Forms with APEX

In my previous blog (2 of 4 in this series) I explained how similar the web-based development platform called Oracle APEX is to Oracle Forms. These similarities give your Forms developers the confidence and efficiency that come with working in familiar territory.  This brings me to the business advantages of modernizing Oracle Forms […]

Developing PWA with Oracle APEX – why now is a good time

A PWA (Progressive Web App) is essentially a website that can act very much as an app does on a mobile phone or tablet. This is beyond simple responsive design, a technology that’s been almost universally adopted these past few years. Whereas responsive design adjusts the same information (desktop page) for […]

Custom software development – possible and desirable, with the right tools

In any company, one of IT’s primary responsibilities is to continually increase the profitability of the organization’s information. In that perspective, IT innovation is vital to the company’s future. Innovation is necessary for survival, and sometimes, custom software development is the fastest way to achieve what’s necessary. ERPs can’t do […]

Oracle Forms Modernization, Forms-APEX Similarities

In this second installment of my series on Oracle Forms and Reports, I’ll explain why Oracle APEX is ideally suited for Forms Modernization (My first blog was about Forms Challenges). APEX is a web-based Rapid Application Development tool that comes with the Oracle Database. If you already run an Oracle […]

Oracle OpenWorld18 session suggestions

Oracle OpenWorld18 is nigh. This year Insum’s own, Francis Mignault and I will be in attendance. We are looking forward to meeting with the Oracle Product Development teams, our wonderful partners and most importantly clients and potential clients. Still with tens of thousands of people in attendance it can be […]

A PL/SQL package for handling the MailChimp API

What’s the optimal technical solution for sending do-not-reply / marketing / notification / batch emails? Is it wiser to in-house or outsource the service? What are my options if I’m considering outsourcing? These questions are difficult and I don’t propose to answer any of them with much thoroughness. They are, […]

SQL Connection via an Encrypted SSH Tunnel

Background I recently did multiple upgrades on my Mac: the O/S to High Sierra, SQL Developer to 18.1, and then the JDK to bring it up to a level that SQL Dev requires. Naturally, I updated to the latest JDK, which is higher than SQL Dev 18.1 supports, but hey, […]

Oracle Forms and Reports Modernization – Forms Challenges

This post kicks off a four-part series of blogs dedicated to Oracle Forms and Reports Modernization. If your company still uses Forms applications, is looking to modernize them, but have not yet found a realistic and reliable solution, then this blog series will be well worth your time.   Forms and […]

So, does my business need REST Services?

We sometimes get questions about REST. “What is it exactly?” “How does it work?”. In its long form, “Representational State Transfer” doesn’t make it easier to understand. Nor do the words usually associated with it, such as in “Should I have a REST API?” or “Should I have RESTful Services?”. And, […]

Get to the facts – Your Business Will Be the Better For It

Lack of time, lack of knowledge and too many preconceptions can hold back your business, especially when it comes to its technological evolution. Where does this problem come from? How can you solve it? Start by seeking out the facts.   These days, it’s getting harder to rely on newspapers, […]

Search Engine Optimization With APEX: Creating a Google Sitemap

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex combination of website qualities that combine to improve the site’s ranking by search engines. As we all should hope, the most important factor is content. The goal of search engines is to display the most relevant, compelling and current content to users. Accordingly, […]

User-specific web services using ORDS

Web services are an efficient means of providing access to web resources to a variety of clients. This access can be provided regardless of client by relying a standardized architecture to ensure interoperability and predictable behavior. REST Currently REST, or Representational State Transfer, is the most popular of these web […]

Simplified E-Business Suite Development -Think Oracle APEX

When it comes to extending applications in the Oracle E-Business Suite Environment, EBS Developers and their managers have been presented with some difficult options over the years. To understand where they are coming from, you must go back to the beginnings of EBS Development. Forms Development in E-Business Suite EBS […]

Autonomous Blockchain, It’s Almost Here!

ICYMI (in case you missed it), Oracle is having a special live webcast on July 16, 2018. After several false expectations from the media, Oracle’s finally (probably) announcing the general availability of the Autonomous Blockchain service. I have been longing for the day! At Kscope18, I had the honour of […]

Kscope Highlights – Ideas, Friends, Fun

Kscope 2018 was held in Orlando, Fl. from June 10 to June 14  Seeing as only a fraction of the total APEX community can actually attend in person, it becomes necessary to report back and to provide our take, our opinions of the week that was KScope. This is also good information […]

Power Ranking Oracle APEX 18.1 New Features – May

FINALLY! After months of anticipation, Oracle Application Express (APEX) version 18.1 has arrived! Taking a look at the new features included definitely makes it appear it’s been worth the wait. There really is something for everyone. Where does your favorite APEX 18.1 feature rank? Biggest Mover Up:  New Create App Wizard […]

Dynamic Actions in Oracle Application Express – Go From Basic to Awesome

If you’re just starting out in Oracle Application Express, know that Dynamic Actions can take your applications from basic to awesome very quickly. And, just like a lot of things in APEX, they aren’t that hard to learn or implement. So, What Do They Do? In a nutshell, Dynamic Actions […]

Collaborative Development in Oracle APEX – Steering Clear of Trouble

The ability to work collaboratively as a team is certainly one of the wonderful aspects of Application Express, Oracle’s rapid application development platform. Developers work on a shared server and update their changes in real time.

Progressive Web Apps: Two worlds colliding to everyone’s benefit

The Story of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) is now playing out at the frontier of two worlds, inside your smartphone. Once upon a time, inside your smartphone,  the worlds of Web browsers and mobile apps were very different. It never really bothered you. It was just like that, and you went […]

Blockchain – Technology you’ll have to Address, Sooner or Later

Blockchain is a technology buzzword getting a lot of attention these days. At its core, this technology is a means for securing data in a distributed database. The data is de-centralized as opposed to all together in one place such as in a traditional database structure. Its design makes it […]

Insum at Kscope18 – Something APEX for Everyone

This year at Kscope18, Insum will dish out no less than 16 Oracle APEX-related presentations in only 3 days. Every one of them is designed to capture your developer’s imagination and feed you practical information and guidelines throughout your discovery of the many facets of this powerful Rapid Application Development tool. what’s […]

Collaborate18 – more interest in Oracle APEX than ever!

It’s time for the Insum Collaborate18 wrap-up Our APEX experts were at OAUG’s premiere event from April 22nd to April 28th. According to all present it was, in many ways, our most successful Collaborate participation yet, garnering more interest in Oracle APEX than we’d seen in previous years. To everyone’s […]

City of Montreal Recognizes Insum with Intercultural Award

On April 17th, 2018, the City of Montreal honored Insum with the Abe-Limonchik intercultural award.  This distinction recognizes “exceptional contribution to intercultural relations and the promotion of diversity”. The evaluation criteria for this unique award are as follows: The distinct, innovative and exemplary nature of the practices put in place […]

Power Ranking Oracle APEX 18.1 New Features – April

It’s quiet. Too quiet. And while I have no official word from Oracle, something tells me we’re getting close to announcing 18.1 as being generally available.

How Oracle Application Express fits in with your ERP on a Cloud infrastructure

Many companies are now planning some kind of migration to the cloud for their Enterprise Resource Planning systems. This is because there are many advantages to getting your ERP on a Cloud infrastructure.

Oracle Discoverer Replacement – There’s Another Oracle Option

Extended support for Oracle Discoverer ended almost a year ago now, in June 2017. Enterprises using this once premier ad hoc reporting software are hearing the clock tick louder than ever. This is because, without further upgrades or support, Discoverer could become prey to bugs, end up incompatible with web […]

Debating whether to Keep Oracle Forms or to Migrate from it?

It’s tough for companies with Oracle Forms. They are often told they should replace this 30-year-old application development technology. But then, Oracle will tell you that the latest version of  Forms will easily integrate with almost any modern technology your enterprise requires. So where does that leave you? Oracle Forms […]

Vincent Morneau’s full collection of APEX Nitro tips, right here

These quickly digestible tips are to help you appreciate what a fabulous front-end development tool APEX Nitro is for Oracle Application Express (APEX), which is, of course, an awesome Rapid Application Development tool for Oracle Database users.

It’s spring and we’re on the Road to Collaborate18

Spring is here and Collaborate18 is coming soon. Spring, for those who have winter, is the season where you can’t wait for that melting snow to be totally gone and start enjoying your favorite summer activities.  Getting to your BBQ without having to walk through 3 feet of snow (or […]

InsumHack18 – The teams and the apps they created

InsumHack18, our 3rd annual Hackathon was both the most challenging and the most rewarding to date. Teams had to develop an application for the Amazon Echo, as well as work with its personal assistant, Alexa. The entries were varied and each of them, rich in possibilities. A significant portion of the points […]

Power Ranking Oracle APEX 18.1 New Features – March

As of March 12, we now know rather than 5.2, the new version of APEX will be 18.1. March 12th also gave us Early Adopter 2 along with eight new enhancements. Where does your favorite APEX 18.1 feature rank? Biggest Mover Up: Oracle JET and jQuery Upgrades [ +2 ] Biggest […]

The Hackathon – an opportunity to play and work with new technology

In the middle of Insum’s 2018 Hackathon, we spoke to Martin D’Souza, Innovation Director at Insum. Martin explained the guiding principles behind Insum’s Annual Hackathon and how he and the InsumHack18 teams have experienced this year’s theme, Alexa.

We’ll be at Alliance 2018 March 25th to March 28th

Is it possible that in this day and age, at an Ivy League University, an internal process can consist of a combination of Excel spreadsheets, paper forms, emails, and bits of SQL script? The short answer is yes. And, this kind of situation is more widespread than you may think. […]

Zero to Sixty Fast, with Insum APEX Developer Training

So you have decided that you want to use Oracle Application Express (APEX) to build secure and scalable web-based software applications on top of an Oracle database. Cool. So, now what? How do you get your development team up and running on this highly productive and versatile platform? Insum’s APEX developer […]

Women in tech – Still in the minority but seeing positive change

As in many other industries, there is a gender gap in IT. One look at the workforce will tell you that women in tech are underrepresented. Yet, according to the World Economic Forum, closing this gender gap is urgent and essential to ensure competitiveness and future-readiness in companies across the […]

Get Ahead of the Curve with Insum-APEX-Pro

Oracle Application Express (APEX) boasts hundreds of plugins, dozens of talented bloggers, and a thriving help forum. We’d like to release a tool that will help grow the community even further! Introducing Insum-APEX-Pro: A chrome extension that adds extra functionality to APEX Page Designer. To install, open this link and […]

APEX Nitro streamlines front-end development – meet its creator, Vincent Morneau

On June 25th, 2017 at the ODTUG KScope general session in San Antonio, Vincent Morneau a long-time Insum employee was presented with the ODTUG innovation award for his development of an application called APEX Nitro. APEX Nitro streamlines the use of HTML, JavaScript and CSS when Programming within Oracle Application Express.  […]

Power Ranking Oracle APEX 5.2 New Features – February

New month. New leader. All in all some twelve features changed positions. Where does your favorite APEX 5.2 feature rank? Biggest Mover Up: REST Enabled SQL Support [ +4 ] Biggest Mover Down: New Create App Wizard [ -2 ] Previous Rankings: January 2018 Editor’s note: Each month, we’ll power rank […]

Well done Insum, and here’s to the next 15 years!

Funny to say it now, in the middle of February 2018, but happy anniversary Insum! It had actually been 15 years in 2017. Happy belated birthday? No, not really, since we had the anniversary cake and all, but I’ve only just now had some time to myself to sit down […]

Simplifying address input with Oracle APEX and Google Places Autocomplete

Recently I was working on a project that relied heavily on location data. It required entering addresses, over and over again. Country, state, street address, city, zip code, etc… I was thinking that there must be a better way. Turns out there is: Google Autocomplete! I am sure you have […]

Power Ranking Oracle APEX 5.2 New Features – January

Oracle APEX 5.2  may be considered a minor release, but it promises major functionality enhancements.  Which of these will move the needle? Each month, we’ll power rank the rumored enhancements ahead of Oracle APEX 5.2’s GA release. We’ll take the pulse of the APEX community, monitoring comments, talking to you all […]

An Easy Recipe to SAML2 Single Sign-on with Oracle Application Express

The Security Assertion Markup Language 2.0 (SAML2) is an XML-based markup language and an open standard for identity and service providers to communicate authentication and authorization information.

OpenWorld Session Suggestions

OpenWorld17 is but a few days away. If you haven’t built your agenda, here are some suggestions

OpenWorld Survival Guide

For those first-timers it can be daunting and overwhelming. Read on and find out how to survive your first OpenWorld.

What Do Breadboards, Lego-Style Innovation, and Oracle APEX Have in Common?

What Do Breadboards, Lego-Style Innovation, and Oracle APEX Have in Common? Oracle APEX is purposely built for “combining components” to build solutions.

How DBAs Can Boost (or Kill) Innovation

How DBAs Can Boost (or Kill) Innovation – when DBAs promote and encourage the use of high-productivity tools, innovation can flourish. When they don’t, it suffers.

Oracle APEX Version Control: Give a Little, Gain a Lot

Oracle APEX Version Control – Mitigate APEX’s version control constraints by using good development practices that work well with APEX.

5 Oracle EBS & APEX Sessions to Attend at COLLABORATE 17

Learn more about extending Oracle EBS with Oracle APEX with some of our experts at COLLABORATE 17.

Oracle APEX: Low Code, High Innovation

Oracle APEX: Low Code, High Innovation – biggest benefit of low code platforms is increasing the number people who can delivering technical solutions.

Understanding Slashes and Semicolons in Oracle DDL Scripts

Understand and master how to use slashes and semicolons in Oracle DDL Scripts. Terminate your SQL and PL/SQL statements properly.

Oracle APEX and Statistics – R U Serious?

Learn how to integrate statistical calculations or machine learning algorithms in your Oracle APEX application with R functions.

Ready to get “Up and Running” with Oracle APEX and EBS?

We’ve developed an EBS & APEX Up and Running Package designed specifically to help you quickly get started with developing EBS extensions using APEX.

Why you should upgrade to Oracle APEX 5.1

Our top Oracle APEX minds highlight their favourite new features (IG, Theme Roller, new APIs) and share why you should upgrade to Oracle APEX 5.1.

Road to Alliance18 – Higher Ed Oracle APEX Success Stories: Valdosta State

Alliance – Higher Education Oracle Conference – Valdosta State uses Oracle APEX for enterprise-level applications with thousands of daily users.

Road to Alliance – Higher Ed Oracle APEX Success Stories: UC Berkeley

HEUG Alliance – Higher Education Oracle Conference – UC Berkeley shares the benefits of integrating Oracle APEX into an OBIEE dashboard.

Oracle Forms Conversion to Oracle APEX – Where to Start

Having done multiple conversions from Oracle Forms to Oracle APEX, I will answer questions that you should be asking before starting this project.

Manage Technical Debt with Oracle APEX

Every software project carries some technical debt, however, Oracle APEX can minimize that initial debt load. Learn about how APEX helps you do so.

Migrating to Oracle APEX 5.0 is PIVOT-AL

With Oracle APEX 5.0, you can pivot data within an Interactive Report and it’s quite easy. To accomplish this, go to Actions / Format / Pivot.

Top 3 Use Cases of EBS Extensions with Oracle APEX

Using a modern application framework like Oracle APEX allows organizations to create Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) extensions like never before.

An Oracle APEX Methodology for Success

Our Oracle APEX methodology is composed of different elements related to all aspects of an APEX development project from architecture to project management.

OBIEE and Oracle APEX: “Discovering” Interactive Reports

Here are five common tasks that should be familiar with Discoverer users and explains how those same tasks are performed using Oracle APEX Interactive Reports.

Oracle APEX Printing Options

Insum Solutions – Oracle APEX Printing Options. Decide between BI Publisher, JasperReports, PL/PDF, ORDS and APEX Office Print.

Plotting Open Data with Oracle APEX

As part of our no-code to low-code show at the recent Oracle Developer Day Vancouver, we created a demo Oracle APEX application that uses both historical and live Open511 data from DriveBC. The application also allows any resident in the city to contribute events using any device.

Oracle APEX is an EXCEL-lent Choice

If your organization is overly-dependant on spreadsheets, Oracle Application Express (APEX) is a free, fully supported, “no-code” solution that allows anyone to create a beautiful application that is multi-user, secure and mobile-ready.

Vancouver Oracle Developer Day Highlights

On October 27th, we hosted a Vancouver Oracle Developer Day in conjunction with the BC Oracle Users Group (BCOUG) and ODTUG.

Oracle APEX Security: Where Do I Start?

When someone asks if an Oracle APEX application is secure, here are some of the aspects to that question that should probably be addressed.

The Oracle Forms Modernization Journey

For many users, new business requirements demand new solutions, and while Oracle Forms does a lot of things well, “new” isn’t really one of them.

Options for Replacing Oracle Discoverer

There are a multitude of options available to replace the functionality of Discoverer, both from Oracle and third party vendors.

How You Know It’s Time To Modernize Your Oracle Forms & Reports App

Oracle Forms and Reports has some significant limitations, especially when it comes to the user experience. Is it time to modernize?

5 Reasons to Upgrade to Oracle APEX 5.0

Oracle APEX 5.0 is faster than 4.2; development in APEX 5.0 takes less time. Oracle APEX 5.0 looks better. You will stay supported.

Top 5 Reasons to Use Oracle APEX to Build EBS Extensions

Looking for options to extend EBS? We’ve compiled the top 5 reasons why organizations choose Oracle APEX when they need to build EBS Extensions

Oracle APEX Hackathon: Seriously Rapid Development

We hosted a Oracle APEX hackathon. Participants were encouraged to use new technology and solve a business problem in 48 hours.

Oracle Open World APEX Sessions

Heading to Oracle Open World? Check out these APEX sessions!

How to Structure Your Oracle APEX Workspaces

We dive into Security, Users/Developer Accounts, IDs and Interactive Reports, and RESTful Services.

Oracle APEX Global Items Workflow

An application Item, a page 0 item, or a substitution string? This workflow will help you determine which Oracle APEX Global Items to use.

Best of Both Worlds: Oracle APEX and VR

With low-cost viewers and a VR framework, developers can easily create a ground-breaking experience for their APEX applications.

Oracle APEX Deployments: You’re Doing It Wrong

This article will cover how to automatically export and import Oracle APEX applications via scripts rather than a manual process.

Our Kscope16 Highlights

Before we finally close the book on this year’s conference, we’d like to share some of our personal highlights.

Visio-like Functionality in an Oracle APEX Page

My Hackathon team included Jason Aughenbaugh and Adrian Png, and we decided to bring Visio-like capabilities to an APEX application. The sample application we developed over those two days demonstrated a process flow one would normally document using Visio.

Insum Solutions will be well-represented at Kscope16!

You won’t have to look far to find Insum Solutions at KScope 16. President, Michel St. Amour, leads our largest contingent ever.

New to APEX? These Kscope16 sessions are for you!

I took a stab at building a session list I feel would have particular appeal to someone looking at APEX for the first time, or someone without much experience with the tool.

Think you know APEX? Check out these KScope16 sessions!

We’ve got something for the seasoned APEX developers among us.

Auto Selecting Text on Focus

The user experience during data entry can be improved by auto selecting the content of a text field before the user starts typing.

How Oracle APEX Changed My Life

I still remember the first time I used Oracle APEX (HTMLDB) in 2004.

Oracle APEX & the Future of Enterprise Development

APEX is no-cost option to the database; it’s already included. APEX truly facilitates rapid application development.

Oracle APEX and Bimodal IT

2-speed IT is about reconciling the different technology goals between business units who want to focus on iterative innovation with rapid application evolution, and IT departments who are accountable for maintaining enterprise class SLAs and understandably want to focus on stability and reliability.

Top 5 Questions People Ask About APEX

1. What is APEX? Oracle Application Express (APEX) is a Rapid Application Development framework for the Oracle database – rapid should be stressed. With basic SQL and PL/SQL skills, you can quickly create applications that add real value for businesses.

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