Developing Applications on Oracle 10g XE: Generating a Report

This tutorial shows you how to create a report based on a table in the Oracle 10g XE database without stepping out of the IDE. It will show you how to manipulate the report and create a UI.

Introduction

Reporting is an important aspect, especially when it comes to customer satisfaction. The report created by this IDE can be conveniently manipulated. While sorting, searching, limiting the records to a page and pagination are all possible, more advanced manipulation of editing the application, editing a page, and so on are also possible.  The user interface created has an aesthetically pleasing look.

Getting into the XE IDE

Unlock the HR account and if you have not,  please review the following tutorial. Go to the short cut: Start –>All Programs–>Oracle 10g Express Edition–>Go to Database Home Page… which opens up the Database Login. You will log in to the HR database with the username: hr  and the password: hr as shown in the next picture.

{mospagebreak title=Building an Application}

In the next screen shown, click on Application Builder. Click on the down arrow  to reveal various application-related items. You have an option to create, view and demonstrate applications. Once created,  you may be able to administer the application in addition to importing and exporting applications.

We will only look at creating an application from scratch. Hover over the various items with your mouse and verify the sub nodes and their related information.

 

In the next screen, click on the Create application shortcut.

This opens up the next screen. In this screen, you will create an application from scratch (this is the default choice). You need to provide a name for the application. For Application you accept the default value 101. However the application will be based on the schema of the HR database. On the left you will see the various stages of your application building process. Right now you are parked in “Name.” You will navigate through the process of building the application using the NEXT> and < Previous buttons. For the Name, we will use HrView for this tutorial.

 

Click on the Next> button. This opens up the next screen, and the stage marker moves to “Pages.” The term “stage marker” was coined by the author; it is not an Oracle term. There are several types of forms you can create, including Blank, Report, Form, Tabular Form, and Report & Form.

{mospagebreak title=Creating a report from scratch}

We will create a Report. Click on the Report radio button.

The Table Name: drop-down is added and you will be Adding a Report (Action: Add a report). The report page  needs a source, which is a Table on which the report will be based. The UI changes, as shown in the next picture.

Adding a Table

Click on the UP[ ^ ] arrow. This opens up a separate window with all the objects in the HR database as shown in the next picture.

When you click on the Employees in the list, the Employees table will be added to the Add a Report screen as shown in the next picture.

Do not place a check mark against the Include Analysis Pages check box. However, you should add at least one page before you go to the next stage. Now click on the Add Page button. The program is forgiving, as it will let you know that an error has occurred, and you can back out of the situation should you hit Add Page before adding the table.

This opens up the screen shown in the next picture, where you will be adding the page. The tabulated region at the top refers to the application being created. Page number, page name, page type, source type and source have been defined at this point.

{mospagebreak title=Adding a Page}

Click on the Next> button. This takes you to the next screen. In this screen, the stage marker has moved to the “Tabs.” The icon for the one-level tabs is the default,  which we will accept for this tutorial.

Click on the Next> button to open the next screen. In this screen,  we will look at sharing resources. Please take time to read the message in this screen, which explains what shared components are, and how application development time can be reduced while still maintaining a consistent look and feel across applications. Since this is the first application,  we accept the default choice, “No.

Adding authentication information

Click on the Next> button, which brings up the next window. In this window,  three choices are to be made regarding Authentication Scheme, Language and User Language derivative. We use the defaults in this case, except for Authentication, for which we choose No Authentication (the default being Database Account) from the drop-down.

{mospagebreak title=Adding a User Interface}

Click on the Next> button to open the next window. Cool! In this window you have a choice of several themes for the User Interface. Theme 1 is the default,  but Theme 11 was chosen.

Click on the next button. This opens up the next screen. In this confirmation stage (observe the stage parking), we are presented with all the details of the application, and the UI. We will use this as a design model, and therefore we accept the default check mark against this choice (save the definition as a design model for future reuse check box).

Now we click on the create button. This takes us to the next  step of the application builder for our Application 101.

In this window, the future tasks have been listed out on the right. Two pages are already present, the Employees page as well as the login page. We can add many more pages by creating them in this page.

{mospagebreak title=Running a report, searching and sorting}

At this point we can run the application by clicking on the Run Application icon to see the result of the design we carried out thus far. This opens up the report as shown in the next picture. At the very top is an annotation saying Anonymous User.

In this window we see the top part of this report. The report has been cut into a top half and a bottom half for display in this tutorial. The report title is “Employees.” By default it shows 15 rows, but you can change it (10 to 5000). You can also carry out a search on this page.

For example, when the page is searched for “John,”  the result shown in the next screen pops up.  It looked for “John” everywhere and displayed what it found.

The default sorting was EmployeeID (see picture above), but clicking on the LastName column heading sorted the results for this column as shown in the next picture. Review the Last Name column and also observe the little UP arrow alongside the column name.

The screen in the next picture shows the bottom half of the Employees report screen. Here you can scroll the pages to show all the 107 rows, in pages of 15 rows each.

Clicking on the hyperlink SpreadSheet (bottom left) brings up the next screen where you can download  the report to a CSV spreadsheet, as shown in the next screen.

At the bottom-center of the screen shown above, there are several hyperlinks that allow you perform a number of report manipulations. These will not be discussed in this tutorial.

Summary

Oracle XE, with its streamlined application building process, makes it very easy  to create applications. This tutorial described the creation of a simple report, but it exposed the immense possibilities for designing and reusing the user interface in a consistent manner across applications. The generated report looks cool, can be sorted, searched, and exported very easily. With no fussy paging problems, and a smooth UI, it is an excellent RAD tool, totally integrated with the backend both for data and security.

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