Meet the people behind RoOUG’s first event!

The RoOUG Startup Meeting is the outstanding result of an outstanding team working together. Meet the RoOUG informal committee behind RoOUG’s first event:

Mirela Ardelean

Mirela is a Computer Science Engineer with more than 12 years experience working with Oracle Technology. Skilled in PLSQL, XML, UML and Business Analysis, she is also a Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate and Oracle Forms Developer Certified Professional.

Mirela will present the Romanian Oracle User Group statement of direction at the “RoOUG Startup Meeting” in Bucharest.

Ciprian Onofreiciuc

Computer Science Engineer with software and hardware architecture systems skill. Interested in all types of distributed systems.

Ciprian will present Oracle 11g XE new features at the RoOUG Startup Meeting in Bucharest.

Paul Catalin Tomoiu

Paul has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and 1-year post graduate studies in management with more than 10 years of computer experience in program/ project management, enterprise system software implementation, design, DBA team coordination and development.Main skills include: Program/ Project Management, Software & technical team coordination, Business Architect, Oracle DBA, Oracle eBusiness SuitemApplications DBA, Virtualisation (VMware software) and Unix Shell scripting.

Catalin will present Oracle Database 11gR2 new features at the RoOUG Startup Meeting in Bucharest.

Also, you can check ou Catalin’s blog: http://www.oracle-home.ro/

George Bara

George Bara has been working with Oracle products since 2006, developing software for automated logistic systems and insurance companies. An Oracle Certified Associate since 2008, he is also an author for the www.ApexNinjas.com, technical blog dedicated to Oracle Application Express.

George designed the RoOUG website and organized the promotion of the RoOUG Startup Meeting outside of Bucharest.

www.rooug.ro

RoOUG Startup Meeting

The Romanian Oracle User Group proudly invites you to its first ever – Startup Meeting! The event will take place on April 5th at 18:30 (EET) in Bucharest.

Location:

Oracle Romania, 1st floor, room CVC6
Floreasca Business Park, Bucharest
169A Calea Floreasca Boulevard, corp B.

Agenda:

  • 18:30-18:45 – Participants registration
  • 18:45-19:00 – RoOUG presentation
  • 19:00-19:30 – Oracle 11g XE presentation – Ciprian Onofreiciuc
  • 19:30-20:00 – Oracle Database 11gR2 new features – Catalin Paul Tomoiu
  • 20:00- 20:30 – Q&A, Networking

For information or registration please send an email to contact@rooug.ro or fill in the registration form: http://www.rooug.ro/rooug-startup-meeting-registration/

Location information here: http://www.rooug.ro/direction-to-the-rooug-startup-meeting-location/

ApexNinjas.com has switched to WordPress

ApexNinjas.com is now running on the latest WordPress version, backed up by a MySQL database. Yes, I know, we’ve done a terrible thing switching from Oracle XE + APEX 4.1, but the hosting costs were too high, the services too poor and overall we were spending too much time maintaining the Linux server + Oracle XE instance just for this blog

We’ re still not 100% functional:

– not all images are uploaded to the new server (moving images stored in the DB is a real pain in the ass!)

– comments are not yet imported

Changing the PlsqlErrorStyle atttribute for EPG

I’ve been having some trouble with my Oracle XE + Apex 4.0 + EPG instance lately and the only way I could debug the error was by switching the way EPG produces the error messages in the web browser.

By default, EPG (Embedded PLSQL Gateway) outputs the web page rendering error messages in ApacheStyle, meaning that when a page results in error, the message displayed in the browser is similar to that output by an Apache HTTP Server (even if you’re not using one):

404 Not found

The requested URL was not found on this server

The way to change the error message style for EPG is by executing as SYS:

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Pre-holidays fatigue has taken us over!

Pre- holidays fatigue has taken us over and this is our last post for 2011. Looking forward to start 2012 with new blog posts and an improved version of the ApexNinjas blogging plaform (thanks for the awesome feedback Jari and Trent!).

This is 2011 in facts and numbers:

– launched www.apexninjas.com

– published 67 APEX-related articles

– received some 180 comments

– developed and released ALGEN – Apex Layout Generator, an APEX tool that allows you to create XSL-FO report layouts: free of charge + sources

– developed and released ApexNinjas blogging platform: free of charge + sources

– participated as a presenter (APEX Printing Techniques) at OUGUK APEX SIG Meeting – London, November the 3rd.

Happy Holidays everyone and have a wonderful New Year!

The ApexNinjas team

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 www.apexninjas.com. 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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Securing your APEX application with ApexSec

I’m just about finished with the ApexNinja blogging platform (v2) that I plan on releasing together with all the sources somewhere next week. Fortunately I met up with security experts Tim and Nathan from Recx (http://www.recx.co.uk/) during the UKOUG APEX SIG Meeting in London, where I did a presentation on APEX Printing Techniques (http://www.ukoug.org/events/5642-apex-sig-meeting/). And these guys, being really friendly and awesome, offered to use their APEX security analysis tool to check out my blog platform, before I release it on the wild and cause all its potential users some serious harm.

Long story short, after they sent me the security report, I realized there are some security best practices for developing APEX applications that I haven’t really followed and generated some vulnerabilities in my applications. And also understood why a tool like ApexSec is a must-have for every APEX development team, no matter how experienced it (thinks it) is.

First of all, you can find all the details about the ApexSec Security Console here: https://secure.recx.co.uk/apexsec/index.jsp. Although this is not a free application, Recx does offer free analysis by uploading the sources of your APEX app to Recx’s online interface here: https://secure.recx.co.uk/apexsec/upload.jsp. You will get back an HTML report together with an XML project, that you can upload and drill down more easily in the security report, by downloading the free version of the Apex Security Console, here: https://secure.recx.co.uk/apexsec/download.jsp?code=free. For paid subscriptions, you don’t need to submit your precious apps to Recx, instead the tool can connect directly to your database and generate the security reports from there.

Just to give you an idea on how the application looks like, here’s a screenshot:

What security issues I found and had to fix:

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Pimp up you APEX application with dynamic CSS styling

I was describing how we added a custom CSS to our ApexNinjas main menu in an article called APEX Creating a horizontal menu from a SQL Report, but while working on the new version of our blogging platform (which will be released together with hte source code by the end of November) we stumbled upon a new and coll way to “pimp up” you APEX app with CSS stylesheets.

Picking up where we left off in the aforementioned article, applying custom CSS would require:

1. copying a CSS file in the APEX themes folder and referencing it directly from there.

or

2. uploading the CSS file in the application Shared Components -> Files: Cascading Stylesheets area and referencing it directly from the APEX repository.

The best solution, however, it to create your own CSS table and encapsulate all the page components into <div> regions.

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Checkboxes in Apex Sql Reports. Alternative to adding checkboxes to reports

A solution to adding checkboxes to reports was presented in the The Complete Guide: Checkboxes in APEX Interactive Reports article. Now, in the current article we present another way that checkboxes can be added in a report. This solution however does not work for an interactive report, so if you need a checkbox in an interactive report then the solution to use is the one in the article mentioned above.

This solution is fairly simple and we would recommended it if you need a report with a checkbox and want to process multiple records of the report at the same time. For example, let's consider that there is a list of comments that need to be moderated, and we want to be able to select multiple records at the same time and set them a certain value: published, deleted, draft, etc. Like we've said before, the solution to do this can become simple. Use the tabular form properties, an "instead of" trigger and context calls to set parameter values. A little blurry? Let us explain ourselves:

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