APEX Plugin – Ext JS 4.0 Editable Grid

Update: this plugin is only available from FOEX and not through me personally.

Over the past couple of months between assignments I’ve been working on a commercial Ext JS 4.0 Editable grid plugin. The sole purpose of the plugin is to provide an AJAX centric robust replacement for Tabular forms. With this plugin you will be able to create spreadsheet like data grids in a matter of mere minutes using the exact same wizards and fields you are already familiar with in the APEX IDE builder.

The plugin will support the following functionality:

  • Read Only, Cell, or Row Editing Capability
  • Date, LOV, AJAX LOV, Spinner, and Text form fields
  • Client Side Validation support using Ext JS vtypes e.g. date format, email address, phone numbers etc.
  • Column locking/freezing capability
  • Column Header Groups
  • Data Grouping and Summary features
  • Filtering support based on column data types, e.g. date filtering is performed by a date picker selection
  • Customization of column width/sorting/alignment/headers
  • Supports column link definitions and highlight words
  • Additional custom config can be added at the grid and down to the column level, e.g. allows the developer to set custom renderers etc.
  • Export to CSV Support
  • MD5 support to detect data collisions, i.e. concurrent users updating the same data/row
  • Computed columns are supported
  • Conditions and Authorisations are supported down to the column level
  • Unlike Interactive Reports, multiple editable grids are supported on the same APEX page, Yay!

The plugin is packed with functionality whilst being simple and easy to use. The plugin simply takes an existing APEX classic report definition and transforms it into an Ext JS grid. The above list of features are controlled by either the plugin settings or within the actual classic report definition. This means that there are no additional steps to export pages/components/applications across APEX environments, and managing the plugin is performed the same way in which you manage tabular forms.

Here’s a YouTube video which shows you how simple and easy it is to use the plugin.

Here’s where you can demo the plugin in action. So if this is something you think will benefit your business/application please contact me via the contact form on my website to order an evaluation trial of the plugin.

Here’s what one happy customer has to say:

The editable grid is extremely easy to use and has saved a significant amount development time and $$$. It does not require any advanced knowledge of APEX, Ext JS, or coding of JavaScript. The plug-in has satisfied a critical business need within our flagship application which the APEX product was not able to provide out of the box. It is a must have tool within any APEX developers tool chest“. Raja Pabba (Founder & CEO, Claritia, Inc)


Ext.tree.TreePanel – Server Side Search **NEW**

One of the great things about the APEX plugin – Ext.tree.TreePanel – is that you can either load the tree in one AJAX call on page load or in multiple calls when each node is expanded the direct children are returned. In addition to the expand of each node via AJAX, you can also control the number of levels to fetch, whether its 1 (the direct children), 2, 3, 4 or more you have the flexibility to choose. The other great feature is the ability to search the tree and still retain the parent level hierarchy for child nodes which match the search criteria e.g.

However when using both these features in combination, there was a performance problem in the initial plugin release. This was due to the search being performed on the client side. The entire tree would be expanded in order to locate the search results. In cases of large tree’s this could cause significant number of AJAX processes to be fired and place an overhead on the database. In order to combat this problem I have introduced a new server side search feature which will perform the search on the database and return the results in a single AJAX call. The results mimic the client side search by returning the parent level hierarchy for child nodes which match the search criteria.

This serverside search results in optimal performance and means that large tree structures of 10000+ records are now easily searchable without having to load the entire tree structure on the client, which most other Ext implementations are prone to. This new feature is automatically enabled when expanding each node via AJAX is enabled.

Now here’s the really good news… Until the end of May I’m offering a “FREE plugin license” for the Ext tree or Multifile upload plugin when 2+ development services/support are purchased. These 2+ days can be used from anything from training/mentoring on APEX/PLSQL/Javascript/CSS, design advice, troubleshooting, environment setup, security reviews, plugin development, prototype builds, theme design, etc.

The great news is that the days do not have to be used in full, you can decide to schedule it in sessions as little as 30 mins depending upon your requirement. But remember this offer is limited and only until the end of May, so don’t delay.


APEX Plugin – Ext.tree.TreePanel (RC1 Release)

I’m very proud to announce the first public release of a new commercial APEX plugin based on the tree widget from the Ext JS library developed by Sencha. It’s jam-packed full of functionality and customisation ability. It’s simple to use with predefined defaults “Out of the Box”, but also allows you to use every config parameter, method, and event documented in the Ext JS API.

APEX Plugin - Ext.tree.TreePanel

APEX Plugin - Ext.tree.TreePanel

Here’s a list of the plugin’s features:

  • AJAX enabled with the choice of loading the entire tree in one call or on node by node or X many levels expanding ability
  • Search: Dynamic filtering of the tree contents
  • Customisable Expand & Collapse & Refresh buttons
  • Tree drill down capability
  • Drag & Drop Reordering Support
  • Tree Label Editing
  • Checkbox Nodes with state saving using an existing APEX item
  • Context Menu with complex object Support (from a single SQL Query)
  • Cookie based state saving for expanded nodes.
  • Order by “Display Sequence” support
  • Fully integrated into dynamic actions. Bind click, drag & drop, edit complete, expand, collapse, context menu selection etc. events
  • In it’s basic form opens URL targets
  • Tree config is fully customizable with application level defaults
  • Support for node by node custom config, e.g. enableDrag = false
  • Full support for replacing substitution strings in both config & data
  • Custom icon support
  • Help Text/Quick Tip support
  • Supports unlimited tree’s on a single page
  • Theme changing support

and here’s where you can find the documentation, demo’s, and download.

I’m hoping to get some feedback and enhancement requests over the next few weeks before releasing the final production version towards the end of May. One point to note: it does require the purchase of a plugin license and that you also hold/purchase a license from Sencha to use the Ext JS library; but before this changes your mind you may want to consider the following:

  • It’s simple to use. All you need to define is a simple flat SQL query, no CONNECT BY needed.
  • It will save you time every single time. You can create an AJAX enabled tree with context menu support in a couple of minutes. It’s arguably the fastest way to create a complex Ext JS tree end to end, thanks to the RAD architecture of APEX.
  • With AJAX node by node expanding capability you can create a tree based on large datasets, it’s been tested on 20,000+ record hierarchical tree’s.
  • It provides feature rich options not available in the standard APEX jsTree. Such as checkboxes, label editing, drag & drop reordering, AJAX fetching by X many levels, searching, the list goes on… all within the one plugin.
  • It’s integrated into Dynamic Actions, which means it’s easy to bind events and actions within the actual APEX framework/IDE. Refreshing standard APEX reports via AJAX on different tree events is simple.
  • It’s fully supported, will stay actively developed, and you can file enhancement requests.
  • Once you choose Ext JS you’re opening up endless of possibilities for developing feature rich applications, whilst safely knowing you can still use standard APEX components and jQuery. It’s the best of both worlds!
  • Ext JS provides cross browser support, it’s built on Web Standards, which translates into reduced maintenance & troubleshooting.
  • This is the first of many plugins in the pipeline. The license revenue will fund future plugin development, so your support is essential. I’m passionate about bringing as much Ext functionality to APEX as possible in a future proof, maintainable approach so “we all” can build amazing web applications, amazingly fast.

Test it out, I’m positive you won’t be disappointed….. and if you are let me know, I want your feedback :) good or bad.

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