Playing around with the new APEX Version 5 there are a few really nice features that have been long requested by developers.
The first thing that hits you when logging on to APEX 5 is the complete redesign of the page editor. What we see now is a visual representation of the page with regions displayed in their appropriate location. Drag and drop is also supported when created new regions or items.
I have to admit, it takes a little getting used to when, like me, you’ve spent many years developing in the old design interface of APEX. But for anyone who just doesn’t like change, you can easily switch back to the old way of doing things by clicking the “Component View” button at the top right hand menu bar.
Interactive Reports have been redesigned with some very useful features.
First off you can now have more than one IR per page. No longer are we stuck with having to revert to the, rather basic, classic reports if we wanted numerous reports on a page!
Also useful is the Fixed Headers feature, so for very long reports displaying a lot of data developers can now fix the column headers so that when the user scrolls down the page they can still what their data relates to.
Pivot reports are also a welcome addition giving users much more ability to manipulate their data rather than exporting it all into Excel.
Modal Dialog Pages
The new Universal Theme brings a much easier way to style and develop a theme based application. With the Theme Roller you can now have complete control over the look and feel of your APEX project and any changes are saved directly into your app.
The design is also responsive and compatible with a full array of screen sizes.
It’s also worth mentioning the continued push towards mobile app development in APEX. If you’re designing an page for mobile you may have noticed the “Reflow” report option. This basically allows a report to be created that will compress its width for mobile platforms and only show two or three columns with the addition of a “plus” icon. Clicking the plus will expand the data for that row in a toggle on/off style. When views on a tablet or mobile you can make the the most of the sometimes limited screen real estate.