Friday, September 18, 2009

AnyChart AnyMap updated in Application Express 3.2.1

As John Allen pointed out in the APEX discussion forum on OTN, when using the recently bundled and licensed AnyMap files with Application Express 3.2.1, a license message of "Your license does not include the AnyMap extension" was displayed on the rendered map.

This problem is now corrected in Application Express 3.2.1. The full download from OTN has been updated with this new file as well as the Application Express 3.2.1 patch set on Oracle MetaLink (Patch Number 8548651). The file that has been updated is /images/flashchart/swf/AnyChart.swf, and this would need to be replaced in your current images directory for Application Express 3.2.1. This has also been corrected on

If you have already installed/upgraded to Application Express 3.2.1 and you want to get this new file:

  1. Download the Application Express 3.2.1 patch set from MetaLink and apply it to your Application Express 3.2.1 instance. If you're running the XDB HTTP Protocol Server/embedded PL/SQL Gateway, all you'll really need to do is run the SQL script apxldimg.sql to restage all of the files in the /images/ directory in XDB. If you're using Oracle HTTP Server, then you can just simply copy the updated /images/flaschart/swf/AnyChart.swf file to your existing /images/ directory.

  2. If you don't have access to MetaLink, then you'll need to download the full Application Express 3.2.1 distribution and put this new AnyChart.swf file in place - either in XDB or in your existing /images/ directory.

Unfortunately, Oracle Database 11gR2 will continue to ship with this previous AnyChart.swf file, and if you wish to use the maps or Gantt charts, you'll need to download the Application Express 3.2.1 patch set from Oracle MetaLink and apply it.

There is no declarative interface in Application Express 3.2.1 to create maps or Gantt charts. You'll need to understand their respective APIs to be able to use these components in your Application Express application. But the maps and Gantt charts are included in the license for Application Express 3.2.1. The declarative interface to maps and Gantt charts is coming in Application Express 4.0, and you'll be able to see this in action at Oracle Open World 2009.

Who uses (an update)

In February 2008, I posted "Who uses". I thought it was time for a quick update.

I have left the same Google Analytics code in place. And keep in mind - this has only been tracking users who hit the login page on and nowhere else - not within Application Express after logging in, not those users who go directly to Carl Backstrom's or Denes Kubicek's or Mark Lancaster's sample applications, nor those users who go directly to ProMED Mail. It only tracks those who go to the login page. Google Analytics - 20090918

So what can we conclude?

  1. United States still holds the top spot - not surprisingly since we tend to talk about APEX a little more (as a lot of us live and work in the U.S.)
  2. India has surpassed the United Kingdom
  3. Colombia shot up from 22 to 9.
  4. Romania moved from 8th to 4th - a strong showing.
  5. There were previously 122 distinct countries that touched Now it's up to 152 distinct countries.
  6. Some dude in New Caledonia checked out Application Express and never came back.

In hindsight, I should have left this Analytics JavaScript code in place in the System Message itself, so I could track who actually logs in and uses Application Express - I'll add it back now. But this explains why you see a difference with statistics from February 2008 with the Pages/Visit and Average Time on Site - I've only been tracking the login page.

Oracle Multimedia DICOM demonstration application available

I won't pretend to be an expert in DICOM - Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine. But I do know that the Oracle Multimedia team are experts in this field, and they recently released a new packaged application which demonstrates the use of DICOM Medical Image Support in the Oracle Database 11g, all from within an Application Express application. This just further illustrates my point that Oracle Application Express, instead of insulating you from the database via multiple layers and stacks and tiers, enables you to readily exploit the native functionality of the Oracle Database, like Oracle Multimedia and the DICOM features.

From Melli, the Oracle Multimedia Product Manager:

The DICOM sample application shows how the database can be used to store and manage DICOM medical images and illustrates how quickly Oracle technology (DICOM functionality and Application Express) can be used to build an archive to manage medical images. With this archive application, clinicians can easily browse the images, share images with other clinicians, and search images.

The DICOM sample application is demonstrated in a browser. Because a DICOM viewer is not available, full-size JPEG images and JPEG thumbnail images are created using Oracle Multimedia DICOM features. These images are stored in a main archive table, along with the original DICOM images. Additionally, all the meta data from the DICOM images is extracted from the DICOM images to enable searching based on DICOM meta data.

The DICOM Image Archive Demonstration application can be downloaded from the Oracle Application Express Packaged Applications. You can also preview the DICOM Image Archive Demonstration as well as the DICOM Image Archive Administration applications, all running on (you guessed it)

Ask Tom moved to

For those who are familiar with Tom Kyte and his site Ask Tom, this is now running on Don't believe me? Then compare and

This turned out to be a fairly painless exercise. I actually moved the application about 4 months ago, created the workspace, created the ASKTOM database user, did an initial database import of his database objects and data, imported his application, changed all of the references to images and CSS's in a custom /i/asktom_i directory to be Shared Components of the application, and then worked with Global IT to setup the proper definition of this new Virtual Host and other Web Server configuration. Then it was just a simple matter of timing, to coordinate the DNS switch (which Global IT handled) and the Data Pump export and import (which Tom handled - I tried to think of someone more qualified and could not).

The switch from the old server to the new application on happened yesterday at 16:48P EDT (GMT - 04:00). Since then, roughly 16 hours ago, we've had 24,701 page views on the AskTom application. And Tom went so far as to describe the performance as "snappy".

I warned Tom that there is an ongoing issue with some users and the network performance to, and that the new AskTom would be inheriting this issue, but so far, no issues have been reported. And for the person who will undoubtedly call me out and say " is not intended for production applications", that is a correct statement - if you're not ProMED or AskTom and you don't work in my group, consider it only your playground and demonstration instance.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Minimum database version for Application Express 4.0

Today, Anthony Rayner sent me a message, describing the issue he had installing a recent build of Application Express 4.0 on his database. He ran into all sorts of compilation errors. As it turns out, Anthony was using Oracle Database version And that won't work with Application Express 4.0.

Starting with Oracle Application Express 4.0 (most likely due out some time in 2010), the minimum database version will be Database version or less will not work. Application Express 4.0 cannot be installed and function and be supported in the earlier database versions - hacking the installation scripts won't work this time.

I say this with one caveat, though. Application Express 4.0 will still work with XE. Even though the database version of XE is, it's not really the same software as of the released database software (i.e., Standard Edition). XE is really