Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Have extra EURO 2020 fun with this Oracle APEX app

For the last 15 years, with every big football tournament (World Cup and Euro Cup), we've launched an Oracle APEX app where you can predict the scores of the games. You can find this year's app at https://euro2020.unitedcodes.com


Many people do a challenge with their friends or company, for fun, for money... Instead of using a custom-made Excel, use of email, or use of paper, you can use the Euro 2020 Challenge site to track who's in the lead.

  • You can enter the scores of every game and see how well your predictions compare to others (overall).
  • You can create a group e.g. your company, or a team, etc and see how well you play within your group.
  • You can see statistics of predictions


15 years ago, I built a site to promote the use of Oracle APEX. People loved it, so I decided to update the site with every new release of APEX. You can find some more history and screenshots of how the app looked here. Not that many changes have been done compared to the app from 2018, but this year it runs on Oracle APEX 21.1, so it shows that upgrading APEX apps is smooth.

Oracle APEX features

When upgrading to the new Oracle APEX version, the Advisor and Upgrade assistant were run. Some plug-ins (e.g. select2) got replaced by built-in features (e.g. Inline Pop-up). Most changes were done in the Admin section, where tabular forms were replaced by Interactive Grids, native Forms regions are now being used, and other parts that showed up in the upgrade assistant were applied.

Social authentication was updated, so you can sign-up and log in with Email, Facebook or Google.

Normally with an upgrade, we also update the Universal Theme version, but as it's using a custom theme we didn't do it for this app.

Go and play!

So, now head  to the site/app and start challenging your friends!

Good luck!

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Upgrading Oracle APEX has never been easier

On May 12th Oracle APEX 21.1 was released. 

This post is not about why Oracle APEX 21.1 is worth an upgrade. You can see for yourself if you like the improvements in the Release Notes. Some companies upgrade once a year, some wait for the patch set bundle, and some upgrade very fast.

We upgraded our production instance this weekend. I blogged about how we do the upgrades and try to minimize downtime in the past. But upgrades have become even easier!

While the Oracle APEX kept running; 15 minutes install which of 5 minutes downtime, and we were done!

Note: it's always good to read the installation guide

Below what we did: 

  1. Download Oracle APEX
  2. Unzip
  3. Go into the directory 
  4. Connect to the Oracle Database with SQLcl or SQLPlus 
  5. Run 1 command:
@apexins.sql SYSAUX SYSAUX TEMP /i/

That was it! ... the installation did everything for us... and again this was in a live environment!
ORDS knows now that an APEX install is busy and suspends traffic for a certain time and next it comes up again:

Phase 1: no downtime

Phase 2 and 3: small downtime during phase 3 switch:

And done:

During Phase 3 downtime, I copied the new images folder.

I believe it wasn't really necessary as everything was working, but I did run the ORDS validate after the APEX install just to check it (while ORDS was still running):

And the proof of the max 5 minutes downtime:

I'm really impressed by the install and upgrade, it's basically an autonomous process these days 😀