APEX Interactive Grid: Customize Toolbar

APEX Interactive Grids allow customization of the Toolbar, the Grid Menu and the Column Heading options using JavaScript in the appropriate Grid or Column Attributes Advanced –> JavaScript Code element. This post discusses how to build a function to make simple changes to the Interactive Grid Toolbar.


The toolbar is implemented by a toolbar widget ,which is created by the interactive grid widget. To learn more about the toolbar widget, read library file widget.toolbar.js.  That file documents the properties of the toolbar widget,  the toolbarData array, control types and their properties.


toolbarData is an array that describes the toolbar – the buttons, fields and menus visible to the user, and their actions. Toolbar objects are grouped into control groups.  Each control group has one or more controls, of type Static, Text, Select, Button, Menu, Radio Group or Toggle.

By default, the toolbarData is based on the Grid default options and declarative settings.

Developers (you) can override the toolbarData property by adding a function to the Advanced–> JavaScript Code section of the Interactive Grid Attributes. Basically, you write a function that resets the toolbarData array to the configuration you want.

There are two general approaches to writing an override function:

  1. Totally replace
  2. Copy and adjust

That is, your custom configuration function can completely (re)define the toolbar, or, it can make adjustments to the default or current toolbarData.    Which approach is best depends on your requirements – the degree of customization required.

If you are totally replacing, you can fill the array as you want. You might want to examine the default toolbarData to see what is possible.

If you are adjusting, you need to understand the default toolbarData array to know where to add your customization.

Default toolbarData Array

By default, for an editable grid,  there are 7 control groups in the toolbar, as shown below:


Note that the reports, views, actions2 and actions3 toolbar groups are conditionally visible: the reports group becomes visible when there are multiple reports, the views group becomes visible when there are multiple views; the actions2 and actions3 groups become visible when edit mode is on.

To examine all of the elements in the toolbarData object (as well as all other objects of the interactiveGrid widget) use this command in the Console:


using the static id of your interactive Grid for “emp_igrid”. This command says, Show me the config options for the emp_igrid Interactive Grid region.

Examine the returned contents by clicking through all the objects.  Look at the toolbarData object, expanding the elements beneath it.  After a few clicks you will no doubt recognize menu and button elements of the interactive grid Actions menu and other toolbar features.

The default toolbarData array has 7 elements, for 7 control groups, shown below:


If we look at just “actions1” object, you will see that it is a menu containing  the familiar elements of the Actions menu. This image shows the download dialog menu element expanded.


Let’s say our users do not like doing two clicks (Actions –> Download) to get to Download – they want a Download button on their toolbar.  In fact, they want it all the way over to the right.

To do this, we need to construct a JavaScript function to adjust the toolbarData to add a Download button in the actions4 (the rightmost) control group.

This function does the trick:

function(config) {
 var $ = apex.jQuery,
 toolbarData = $.apex.interactiveGrid.copyDefaultToolbar(),
 toolbarGroup = toolbarData.toolbarFind("actions4"); // this IS the rightmost GROUP WITH the RESET button

// add a Download button next to the Reset button
 toolbarGroup.controls.push( {
 type: "BUTTON",
 action: "show-download-dialog",
 iconBeforeLabel: true,
 hide: false,
 disabled: false
 config.toolbarData = toolbarData;
 return config;

The toolbar stuff adds the button, with the action show-download-dialog.  The show-download-dialog action is the same definition found while examining the actions menu.

If you are a PL/SQL developer, and relatively new to JavaScript, the above JavaScript is very readable:

  • Copy the default toolbarData – we will make changes to a copy
  • Get the actions4 toolbar group
  • Add (Push) the download dialog to the actions4 toolbar group
  • Copy the modified toolbar to the return config

Very easy to follow.  But this is a very basic example.  If you will be doing a lot of such customization, pursue additional JavaScript training.  Hint: Remember that JavaScript is case sensitive, where PL./SQL is not.  That alone will save some grief.

Note that Download is a declarative option –


So, if/when a (the next?) developer sets Download Off … your newly-placed Download button disappears.  The declarative nature of the show-download-dialog action is contained within the action – our moving the button around does not overwrite that declarative toggle.

One can also turn off Download (and other features) programmatically. To do so, we use this command:

config.features.download = false;

as part of you Advanced –> JavaScript Code function, or in a dynamic action.  This command will also turn off your newly-placed Download button.

This simple example show how to add one button – you can of course add more, or redefine the entire toolbarData area.  For additional, more complex toolbar customization examples, see the examples in the Sample Interactive Grid packaged application.  And read the Interactive Grid posts in the HardLikeSoftware blog by John Snyders of the Oracle APEX team.

Interactive Grid is a great new region type – and it is still evolving. This writing is for APEX 5.1.2 – APEX 5.2 may bring more declarative options, and/or may bring documented APIs for customizing the toolbar – who knows.  Stay tuned!




APEX Interactive Grid: JavaScript Basics Cheat Sheet

APEX Interactive Grid can be customized by JavaScript in the Advanced –> JavaScript Code attribute of the Grid or a Grid column.  Yup – JavaScript.

JavaScript may be out of the comfort zone for PL/SQL developers, even those who implemented extensive tabular form customization working with PL/SQL collections.  Time to say Goodbye to those collections … Welcome JavaScript!

The following is a collection of simple JavaScript lines most likely to be needed by a developer wanting to customize an Interactive Grid, or access data elements in the Grid.

This is not a comprehensive list or a complete function – just a simple collection of lines to give you an idea of the process and examples of  – a reference for – the syntax.


Taken line by line:

var $te = $(this.triggeringElement);

This line gets the triggering element – the element that caused the dynamic action (DA) to fire. Usually we want to do this in a Grid to get the value of a particular cell – the one clicked on in this case. To get the value of the cell, we need to know which row id,  then we can narrow things down to a column using the column static id.

To get the row id, we start with the triggering element.

Next, we find the closest row – a ‘tr’ – and get the “id” data from it.  It helps to know that Interactive Grid has an “id” data element on each row:


var rowId = $te.closest('tr').data('id');

If our data element was data-thingamajig, we would access it via

 ... .data('thingamajig');

The next line gets the grid widget. The apex.region function is the preferred way to access region widgets.  “grid_static_id” is the Static ID of the Interactive Grid, set by the developer in the Advanced –> Static Id attribute of the Grid.  If you do not set one, a static id gets assigned, but it will be a long difficult-to-read identifier – it is much easier and better practice to set a meaningful static id, then use that meaningful static id in your code.

var ig$ = apex.region("grid_static_id").widget();

Given the Grid, we can now get the data model.  The data set is referred to as a data model.  There is a data model for every view:  grid,  chart, group by, icon, detail.  The following line gets the grid data model.

var model = ig$.interactiveGrid("getViews", "grid").model;

Given the grid data model, which we know is a table, we can get the record of the model, using our rowId which we identified via properties of the triggering element.

var record = model.getRecord(rowId);

Once we have the record,  we can access properties of any column in our Grid – any column in that record, using the column name – or the aliased name we assigned to the column.  Here my column name is COMM for commission.

var comm = model.getValue( record, "COMM");

model.getValue gives us the value of a cell in a record.  The corresponding model.setValue sets the value of a cell in a record.

if (comm < 100) { 

The above examples are easy on purpose. In fact, I bet any PL/SQL developer could follow these lines without headache.

Now you know how to access a row id, access the grid widget, access the data model of a grid, access rows – records – in that data model, and how to get and set values of the columns in that data model record.  That covers most of the basics!

You will need to learn more if you plan on complex customization or perhaps on building plugins.  For now, I recommend examining the grid in the Console, and reading the APEX widget js files.  Looking forward to APEX 5.2 (Oracle Safe Harbor), there may be documentation for all the Interactive Grid widget APIs.  Won’t that be nice!

Happy coding!

I highly recommend reviewing all of the examples in the Sample Interactive Grid packaged application.  And, read John Snyders’ hardlikesoftware.com blog posts on How to Hack the Interactive Grid.


APEX Interactive Grid: Column Widths and noStretch

Setting column widths in Interactive Grid is totally different than how you may have set column widths in Interactive Reports.  While it is nice to blindly let APEX and the browser handle it, there are times when you need to explicitly set a column width, or at least set the width of one column relative to another, and for that you need to know how Interactive Grid handles column widths.

Recall that Interactive Reports let the browser figure out the column width, using table-layout:auto;  We could do little tricks like making the column heading longer or shorter to trick the browser into making the column wider or narrower.  That won’t work with Interactive Grids.  Interactive Grids are Fixed Table Width – table-layout:fixed;.  APEX will, by default, try to fill the full table width with the displayed columns, adjusting  – stretching or shrinking – the width of columns to  fit the full width of the table.

So how to set Interactive Grid column widths?

First,  the Width property (visible in the Appearance property group) for an Interactive Grid column does not set the width of the column.


Instead, run the Interactive Grid, then set the column widths interactively using Drag and Drop on the columns themselves.

Select the || divider to dynamically adjust column width:


Select the 4-way divider between columns to activate Drag and Drop column order:


Hover over the divider between column headings to grab either the column width adjustment icon or the drag-and-drop column order icon.

Adjust column widths and column order as desired.  (Notice that APEX will adjust column widths so the full width of the table is filled.  This auto-adjustment may not be what you want – more on “noStretch” later on in this post).  Then save the report: Action –> Report –> Save.   The column order and the relative column widths are saved with the report.   When a user adjusts column widths, or does any other actions, a Reset action will restore the column order and column widths to the default set by the Developer’s Save Report.  Much easier that messing with numbers!


You can, in the Column action, set a minimum column width. This sets just that – sets a minimum column width for the column that APEX tries to honor.


What about Max width?  You may have a Yes/No column, or a single-digit column, and do not want that column to get auto-stretched to some absurd-looking width.



This is where the noStretch option comes in.

Setting noStretch on a column will hopefully (Oracle Safe Harbor) be declarative as of  APEX 5.2.0.

Until then, to set noStretch, as of APEX 5.1.1, in the Advanced –> JavaScript for the column you do not want stretched, set the noStretch grid column option to true:

function(config) {
   config.defaultGridColumnOptions = {
       noStretch: true
   return config;

If you want noStretch true for all columns, the solution is similar, but this time we adjust the configuration in the Advanced–> JavaScript region for the Grid:

function(config) {
   var cfg = cfg;
  cfg.stretchColumns = false;
  return config;

With noStretch on, APEX will not resize your noStretch column(s) to fill the full table width:



While this works perfectly if the current view is your Grid view, remember that there are also Chart, Group By, Icon and Detail views – the above code will fail if the current view is not Grid.  So one should make that code that code a bit smarter, so it only acts on – changes the configuration for – a Grid view:

function(config) {
   var cfg = cfg;
  "views.grid.features".split(".").forEach( function (p) {
      if ( !cfg[p] ) {           cfg[p] = {};      cfg = cfg[p];  });
  cfg.stretch.noStretch = true;
Columns = false;
  return config;

In version APEX 5.1.0, setting noStretch is a bit different.  If you can, upgrade to APEX 5.1.1 or higher.  There are significant updates to Interactive Grid widgets and APIs in APEX 5.1.1.  IF you cannot upgrade and need noStretch, it can be implemented per column, by adding JavaScript to the Page Execute When Page Loads element:

var igrid = apex.region ("my igrid").widget().interactiveGrid("getViews", "grid");igrid.modelColumns.COLUMN1_NAME.noStretch = true;igrid.modelColumns.COLUMN2_NAME.noStretch = true;

That’s it!

I highly recommend checking out the APEX Sample Interactive Grid packaged application. Your best source of Interactive Grid documented examples.

Good luck!