11 October 2016

OTN Appreciation Day: Analytic Functions

This is my contribution to the OTN Appreciation Day, which was initiated by Tim Hall.

One of my favorite features of the Oracle Database are Analytic Functions. They were introduced with Oracle Database 8.1.6 Enterprise Edition, and have been in the Standard Edition since version 9.

With analytic functions you can add inter-row calculations, aggegrate over multiple dimensions, rank assignments based on values. All this without a GROUP BY clause.
The syntax might take some getting used to, but you'll find that it's not that hard.

While I was still working at AMIS, I followed their 7UP training (all new features starting from Oracle 7 onwards) and that's when I first learned about Analytic Functions.
A little bit after that training, while doing consulting work for T-Mobile, I was triggered by a colleague to come up with an analytic function solution to the problem at hand. That was the moment that I really fell in love with Analytic Functions. It provided a very elegant and extremely performant solution.
The blog I wrote back then is still available at the AMIS-site: Analytic Power


07 October 2016

Iconic Breadcrumbs in APEX

Normally when you use a Breadcrumb in an APEX application you enter the data and that's it. The breadcrumb will look something like this:

Or when you reduce the screen, the Breadcrumb will look slightly different:

It's trivial to replace the text that you enter in the Breadcrumb with a little bit of markup and show a Font Awesome (or with APEX 5.1 Font APEX) icon.

<span class="fa fa-home"></span>
Now the text will be replaced with a little house.

And resized, it will look like this

If you want to use this, keep in mind that this solution is not screen-reader-friendly. Personally I would only use it for "top-level" Breadcrumbs, keeping the same images that you use in the Navigation Menu.