Category Archives: Featured

“Oracle APEX Reporting Tips & Tricks” – Out Now!

I am extremely proud to announce the release of my new software development book: “Oracle APEX Reporting Tips & Tricks”.

If you are keen in learning a very robust Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool for web-based applications using Oracle Application Express (APEX), or if you just want to get yourself familiarized with the new trends in database development, this is the book for you. From conception to publication, it took me over 2 years to get this done, with numerous reviews, rewrites and constantly keeping up with the new Oracle Application Express releases (updated for the latest APEX 4.2 release).

Available in iPub format (iPhone, iPad, NOOK, Kindle and PC) and also in paperback format:

iBook Store

iBooks Store

Barnes & Noble - NOOK

Barnes & Noble – NOOK

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle

“Take advantage of all the exciting Reporting features of Oracle Application Express 4.2. Designed for a hands-on approach, this book will give you in-depth practical guidelines from George Bara, a well-known APEX expert and blogger. From Classic to Interactive Reports, Web Services and PDF Printing, this book is must-have for all developers that want to get the most out of the Oracle APEX 4.2. reporting engine.”

Best Regards,

George Bara

Editorial Review: Oracle 11g Anti-hacker’s Cookbook, by Adrian Neagu


As announced, RoOUG organized a workshop on April the 23rd, having Adrian Neagu presenting his latest book: Oracle 11g Anti-hacker’s Cookbook ( Adrian Neagu has over ten years of experience as a database administrator, mainly with DB2 and Oracle databases. He is an Oracle Certified Master 10g, Oracle Certified Professional 9i, 10g, and 11g, IBM DB2 Certified Administrator version 8.1.2 and 9, IBM DB2 9 Advanced Certified Administrator 9, and Sun Certified System Administrator Solaris 10. He is an expert in many areas of database administration such as performance tuning, high availability, replication, backup, and recovery.

This editorial release a cookbook of good practices for securing your Oracle database. The content is well structured along the following topics spread across 7 chapters: Operating Systems, Network Access and Communication Channels, Content Encryption, Authorization and User Security, Privileges and VPD, The Oracle Label feature and Oracle Data Vault.

Adrian Neagu has presented an overview on his book during the three hour workshop, managing to describe the main book topics in an easy-to-follow way.

You can buy his book from the Pack Publishing website:

Unfortunately there was no time left for the second item on the agenda, the “Jasper Reports in APEX” presentation. RoOUG will announce a new workshop focused on this topic soon.


Test the NinjaPress blogging platform!

You can now test the NinjaPress blogging platform on! Just follow the URLs below and you configure the blog, create articles, manage images, link, CSS settings and more. You only need an username or email to access the administrative layer.




This version of the NinjaPress blogging platform is not the full version, due to limitations of

– just 1 schema available, so some of the security features of the blog platform (which uses on w”shadow”schema and a schema for the administrative layer) are not present in this installation

– no role-based user management, as does not allow using Application Context and having a custom authentication scheme with VPN

Please feel free to test it, keeping in mind that others might want to use it, so don’t tamper with the main settings!

Try it out live here:

Administrative Panel (just username required) here:

The ApexNinjas Blog Platform v2.0 is released!

I’ve been promising the release of the new version of our ApexNinjas Blog Platform that is running You can read the initial release notes on the Blog Plaform page. You can download and install it with no costs or hidden agendas.

Soon, we will update the release notes with detailed information about security and CSS customization. Just as a peak preview, the application was tested for security leaks using Recx ApexSec tool and respects all the best practices involved in developing APEX applications. It also has a simple role-based access mechanism, making some pages and features available only for administrator users and separating the data between regular users.

Also, we spent an important amount of time making the platform configurable, so you can customize the sidebar widgets, article bars, CSS layouts and so on. We will get back with instructions on how to work with the Administration Panel soon.

Meanwhile, download it, install it, enjoy it and please, send us some feedback!

Blog Platform download page.

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Making your APEX website Google-friendly

Creating a website in APEX might be an easy tasks for an experienced developer, but what about making your website “Google-friendly”? Or any other “Search-engine-friendly”? By default, APEX applications have very little “out-of-the-box” features for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The URL links look messy, you have no default description or keywords meta-tag. But all this can be fixed by following these simple rules. These rules were enforced on the old versio of (built on APEX NinjaBlog Platform) and have proven to work (over 50% of our daily hits come from Google) and are basically simple SEO guidelines:

1. Make sure each of your site pages has a distinct name. Do not look at an APEX page (which is an application page) as a webpage. They might be same, but might also not.

2. Insert “description” and “keywords” meta tags in each of your pages’ HTML header

3. Create a sitemap and register it to Google Webmaster Tools application. Eliminate the session id from the URLs.

4. Follow basic SEO rules: content is king, use H1 and H2 tags for titles, use bold text for emphasis, add alt tags to your pictures and do not repeat or copy content from other web resources.

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Generate Report Layouts with ALGEN

What is ALGEN?

ALGEN stands for ApexLayoutGenerator and is an application designed by the team to generate customized Report Layouts, in the XSF-FO format. These reports are used to print PDF documents from APEX application using the OC4J application server and the FOP formater. A demo of this application is available here.

What are Report Layouts?

Report Layouts are used in conjunction with a report region or report query to render data in a printer-friendly format, such as PDF, Word or Excel. A report layout can be designed using the Template Builder Word plug-in and uploaded as a file of type RTF or XSL-FO. Report regions use a generic XSL-FO layout, which is customizable. A Report Query is a list of one or more data sources, usually SQL statements. Each report query has an associated template, or Report Layout, the default APEX Generic Report Layout, but also user-defined Report Layouts.

You can manage Report Layouts and Queries from Application Builder -> Shared Components:

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