Saturday, June 11, 2011

Translations in Application Express 4.1 Early Adopter 2

With Application Express 4.1 Early Adopter 2 recently announced, one of the enhancements that needs clarification are those affecting translations. The purpose of this post isn't necessarily to explain how the translation process works in Application Express but, instead, to explain the improvements. These aren't earth-shattering enhancements, but they're intended to improve the process and information for the developer.

It does begin with a revision to the translation home. Here, a developer should be able to quickly see what translations are defined for the current application and if any of them require synchronization. A translated version requires synchronization when the primary application has been changed, but the translated version hasn't been published, to pick up this change. Anyone who has worked with translations in the past has gone through the pain of debugging a translated version of their application, only later to realize that it's out of sync with the primary application.

When it comes to seeding and publishing, these operations can now be performed on the same page and in bulk. If you have multiple languages mapped for your application, you can quickly seed and publish them all from the same page.

And the same type of improvement has been made to the XLIFF file upload and apply translation process. You can now upload up to 10 XLIFF files at a time and also apply these files to different translations in one operation.

Lastly, and most importantly, is the ability to include the application translations in an application export. Prior to Application Express 4.1, if you ever needed to move your application to a different workspace or different application ID, there was no practical way to bring along your translations. You basically hit the end of the road. Now, as an option to application export, you have the choice to include all of your translations in the application export file.

While these enhancements aren't perfect, they are at least an improvement over the previous interface and process. I must give credit to a few people for pushing for these changes.

  • David Bliss from the Oracle Store team has cringed every time he has to perform the translations in Application Express 4.0 for the Oracle Store. The Oracle Store is translated into a multitude of languages and the process he must follow is very cumbersome. He offered to even write the necessary changes in Application Express Application Builder for us if we didn't have time. David provided a very detailed recommendation and extensive feedback on how this should be improved. There is nothing like getting feedback from an end-customer who frequently lives and breathes through this process.

  • Francis Mignault from Insum has been asking for years for a way to move translations from one instance to another, and to different applications. I praise his persistence. He also helped to rationalize the numerous ways to accomplish the same tasks.

  • And lastly, credit must be given to Roel Hartman and Peter Raganitsch - for Peter's presentation at Oracle Gebruikersclub Holland and Roel's blog post about it. When someone says about translations in APEX "In short: it works, but takes a lot of work and maintenance is not so simple. So if you can stay away from multi-lingual applications, you should.", that is not to be perceived as a compliment. And justifiably so.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Application Express 4.1 Early Adopter 2 is now available

As promised earlier this week, Application Express 4.1 Early Adopter 2 is now available at Thanks to the many participants (1,136 total workspaces) who participated in the Early Adopter 1 of Application Express 4.1. The feedback has been extraordinarily valuable.

A few notes about Early Adopter 2:
  • Nothing was migrated or updated from Early Adopter 1. You'll need to sign up for a new workspace again in Early Adopter 2.

  • Some of the issues of using Internet Explorer 7 with Application Express 4.1 have been corrected, but not all of them. You will be best-served to use IE8 or higher (if you're stuck on using Internet Explorer).

  • Click the "What's New" link to see what's new in APEX 4.1, as well as what's new in Early Adopter 2. Some notable additions include Data Loading wizard, Drag & Drop Calendar, and numerous translation improvements (including the ability, finally, to include translations in your application export).

  • And just to state the obvious, this is evaluation software. You can't contact Oracle Support about any issues on They won't have any idea what you're talking about.

Thank you once again for all of your support and many contributions.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Advanced Registration for ODTUG KScope11 ends tomorrow

The Oracle Development Tools User Group is holding their annual technical conference (named KScope11) in Long Beach, California in a few weeks. If you're into Oracle Application Express, this is the conference for you. There is a separate track dedicated to Oracle Application Express.

Advanced registration, with the opportunity to save $250 off of the normal conference fee, ends tomorrow, June 9, 2011.

Hope to see you there.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Application Express 4.1 Early Adopter 2 is coming

The Early Adopter of Application Express 4.1 is progressing nicely. There are 998 workspaces on and the feedback has been invaluable.

Early Adopter 2 of Application Express 4.1 is coming. It will introduce a number of features which didn't make the cut for EA1, including Data Loading, Drag & Drop Calendars, and numerous translation improvements.

On or after this Friday, 10-JUN-2011, the current Application Express instance on will be terminated and a new one will be created. Nothing will be migrated. If there is any information you would like to save from your workspace, I encourage you to export it before Friday, 10-JUN-2011.

Thanks once again for the tremendous response and extremely valuable feedback and guidance. It is our customers who ultimately help make Application Express what it is.