APEX 5.0 Interactive Reports: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Revisited

This presentation covers the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of APEX 5.0 Interactive Reports. In short, the good news is APEX 5.0 brings us multiple IR’s on a single page, plus some other enhancements like improved Group By and Pivot. 

The Bad is, to do this, the APEX Team changed the guts – CSS and JavaScript / jQuery – so anything you may have built previously that does not use the standard APEX APIs will need to be refactored.  Fortunately, I found the mapping between the old and the new quite easy to follow.  While the changes are tedious to make and test, I was fairly quickly able to get my customized IRs back in working order on APEX 5.0.

The Ugly remains the default look and feel, and WYSIWYG printing options.  In APEX 5.0 Theme Option will make applying consistent styles easier  – all told less work to make you IRs match the rest of your application.  As for WYSIWYG PDF output, so far there are no advances here.  The best option I have found is to capture the as-is IR query (different APEX_IR_QUERY solutions for APEX 4.1 vs APEX 4.2, and again for APEX 5.0 – improvements each version) combined with a function that returns a table in the Report Query, combined with a custom Report Layout.  One could use the generic layout, but since this does not allow for varying column widths or highlighting and other conditional formatting, for my case I needed a customized XLS-FO template.  No worries, I found once I  built the first few the process gets easier. I also used a generator for the first pass – a time-saver – then customized. That is a topic for it’s own post on another day.  Any way you slice it, PDF output beyond the default generic for IRs is time-consuming and tedious.

See the full presentation here:

APEX 5 Interactive Reports: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:  kcannell.GoodBadAPEXIR.presentation

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