FOS 20.2 Release: Text Snippet Expand and CKEditor4

It’s 2021, so you can be forgiven for thinking this is a repost i.e. we’re releasing 20.2. Admittedly we have been a little bit slow getting this release out, but with holidays, Christmas, New Year etc. time just disappeared. The main factor though was that FOS 20.1 still worked just fine with 20.2, so the pressure to release was missing this time round. You know how that goes 🙂

Having that slight delay meant that we were able to add a couple of extra little gems to this 20.2 release.

New Plug-ins

Lets have a look at each of them in a little more detail:

Text Snippet Expand

This new dynamic action plug-in is the highlight of the release. Using this plug-in you can use shorthand to quickly fill out large amounts of text. At first glance you might be thinking: “I can’t see many use cases for that?” but then think about the data entry forms where your users have to type a lot of common information. Using shorthand abbreviations, you can transform and expand these text snippets on the fly as you type. You have fine grain control over which keys perform the text expanding e.g. tab, enter, space etc.

Text Snippet Expand when which key(s) pressed?

Here’s an example of it in action:


It’s a great time saver and a better alternative to a regular APEX shortcut when you don’t want to replace your entire value, just specific reserved words with longer text snippets. In the case of the CKEditor4 HTML Editor you can even use HTML snippets as per the demo below:




If you didn’t know, in APEX 20.2 the “Rich Text Editor” was upgraded to CKEditor5. Great right? well yes of course, but for some people who require “source” view to edit raw HTML then you won’t be able to do this anymore with CKEdtitor5. So for those of you that need this ongoing support in future version of APEX beyond 20.2, we are introducing a CKEditor4 plug-in for you. We also included the Moono-Lisa theme which fit’s better with the Universal Theme and added resizing using CSS for improved performance to avoid jittering. Oh and it’s also compatible with our text snippet expand plug-in too 🙂

Enhancements to Existing Plug-ins

In addition to new plug-ins we have also made the following enhancements to existing plug-ins based on user feedback.

FOS – Execute PLSQL Code

You can now return the display value for LOV’s in page items to return and when setting values using the “Additional Instructions” JSON. Thanks Pavel Glebov (glebovpavel) for the pull request on GitHub.

FOS – Interactive Grid – Add Button

We have included additional options “Hide On No Selection” and “Hide On No Data”, which will automatically hide/show your buttons according to the state of the grid.

FOS – Message Actions

We have included a new attribute to clear one or more individual item errors, or when left blank clear all errors.

FOS – PL/SQL Dynamic Content

Your content can now come from apex_application.g_clob_01 and we have included the option to allow you to perform HTML sanitization before the HTML is added into the DOM/page e.g. to negate Cross Site Scripting (XSS). You can use the Initialization Javascript Code setting to fine tune what tags and attributes are sanitized.

FOS – Static Content

We have included the same HTML sanitization capability as per the above PLSQL Dynamic Content region plug-in.


Bug Fixes

  • Fixed: FOS – Execute PLSQL Code: in the extra instructions “clearErrors” is now working as expected
  • Fixed: FOS – Interactive Grid – Add Button: now updates correctly on report change
  • Fixed: FOS – Notifications: now works correctly when a title is defined with a blank message
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