Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pre-Review: Oracle Application Express 4.0 with Ext JS : RAW

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Language : English
Paperback : 320 pages
Release Date : March 2011
ISBN : 1849681066
ISBN 13 : 978-1-84968-106-3
Author : Mark Lancaster

 

March 2011 the book “Oracle Application Express 4.0 with Ext JS”, written by Mark Lancaster, is expected to be published by Packt Publishing, but it’s available NOW already as a RAW edition.

RAW?

What is a RAW edition? Well, basically, it’s a prerelease (Read As we Write). Some chapters are still missing and no guaranties, that anything you’re reading in this RAW edition will actually be in the final book release. So, this article will be a pre-review. Is it worth reading? I think it is. You will see: for this book, RAW means VERY WELL DONE already.

Do be mislead by the title. This book is not solely about how to spice up your APEX GUI with ExtJS. This book discusses application GUI development with APEX in general and extending APEX functionality with ExtJS in particular.

What will you learn from the book?

The book will guide you through the whole installation and setup process of your APEX development environment, discussing the different web server alternatives. One of my favorite chapters here is the explanation of how to combine APEX with Subversion as version control system to automate your build process.

If you’re not familiar with Ext you will get an (APEX free) introduction to get acquainted with Ext, starting with a simple hello-world-like example , learn about CSS manipulation, DOM navigation and manipulation, event handling and finally advance to object notation and namespacing. All in about 30 pages, code examples included. Just enough to get stated without getting bored.

Ext offers lots of web GUI enhancements, but to use those in APEX you will have to work with templates and themes. The book explains the of the APEX model, how to create your own template step-by-step and integrate ExtJS into it.

Once familiar to the basics of ExtJS enabled APEX GUI building, you now will go through a number of detailed examples, creating, modifying and enhancing templates with ExtJS and CSS techniques: Regions, Labels, Lists, Button, Popups, Breadcrumps, Calendars and Reports to start with. Next you will get some examples of how to add some more advanced Ext layout elements to your Application, like the Ext.DatePicker, Auto-growing text areas, auto-completing text fields, tab panels, toolbars and menus.

A book about APEX 4.0, especially when covering GUI aspects, should spent some pages on Plug-ins and Dynamic Actions. This book will teach you, how to build your (first?) own Plug-in with a simple example, step-by-step and create a AJAX enabled Plug-in and Dynamic Actions.

So far the well done RAW version of the book. What’s still to come? The Mark Lancaster plans include chapters about:

· Interactive Components

· IFramed Tabs and Popup Windows

· Mixing Ext with jQuery

· Performance tuning your JavaScript

Conclusion

I like this book already. Lots of I’m-going-to-try-this-immediately examples, clear writing, good basics and well explained advanced examples make me recommend this book. You should have some experience with Application Express, experience with Ext is not required.

Pity the complete source code of the examples is not yet available on the Packt Publishing site.

I’m looking forward to the finished version. Meanwhile, if you are interested in the RAW edition of the book. Packt offers a nice deal: buy the RAW version of this book and place a pre-order for the print book right now, with a 40% discount on both.

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