Just before the holidays, the long-awaited FOS Browser Extension 21.2 is finally here! This release includes a number of new features which we think will boost your productivity, and speed up your development whilst subtly improving your APEX builder experience.
For transparency purposes we acknowledge the fact that this release is somewhat late after the official release of APEX 21.2. One of the main reasons behind the delay was our involvement in building the community project apexd2d.
It was a great initiative to be a part of, and we plan to discuss all the technical details, design concepts and how the FOS plug-ins contributed to it in an upcoming blog post.
And now, let’s take a closer look at this release.
APEX 21.2 compatibility
Our extension is now compatible with APEX 21.2, the best APEX release ever (like every release before it). From this version onwards, APEX now includes a “Static File Editor” for editing your files inline in the browser. It provides the same set of features that our extension does, so does that mean I should stop using the FOS static file editor? No. There are still some benefits to using the FOS static file editing that APEX does not currently provide:
- no need to go the a separate page to edit the file => less clicks
- it’s simpler to switch between files – just choose from the select list
- edit multiple files at the same time and control the position using a drag & drop style tabbed layout
The following new features have been added:
Full screen option – (almost) everywhere
Most likely, plug-in developers like ourselves will appreciate this feature the most – we have added a new “Full Screen” button in the code editor header that you can simply toggle to maximize/minimize your code! So you can now edit all your PLSQL code in full screen mode, giving you that extra real estate you need.
This full screen option is added to the majority of code editors in the builder e.g. “Page Designer”, “Application Processes”, “Email Templates”, and many more pages. (One notable omission is the “Edit Templates” page, we aim to support that in a future version).
Page Designer – Quick Save
In combination with full screen mode we also add a “Save” button to the dialog editor toolbar. By clicking on the button (or just using the keyboard shortcut Cmd + S ), the code will be validated and saved immediately, without closing the dialog. This will streamline the process of editing and saving code without losing your editing context.
Page Designer – Autofill “Items To Submit” field
Autosaving would not be complete without updating “Page Items to Submit” with any page item references found in your region source. We auto fill this for you just before saving. Don’t worry we will keep any existing items that you’ve previously added there.
Note: it only works with the native APEX components (e.g Interactive Grid, Interactive Report,..), we’re planning to support the FOS plug-ins as well in a future release.
Page Designer – Auto dismiss success notification
Every “Success message” in the page designer will be removed after 2 seconds. This means you don’t have to click on the “X” to close it any more. Every click adds up when you’re working all day, so this one may save quite a few across the day depending upon how annoying you find notifications.
Note: this auto dismiss does not apply to “Error messages”, you will still need to click to close them since you probably want to know what the error is…
As we can see, with time APEX keeps getting better, every release includes more and better components. But there’s always a place for improvements and small additions from the “outside”. Our team is building apps all day every day, so the little improvements we make can actually end up saving you a bunch of time! We hope you find them useful.
If you have any suggestions of where you think you are losing time and have an idea how it could be improved, let us know, and hopefully we can add it to our extension to help you and others be that little bit more productive.