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New Features In Oracle Visual Builder - March 2020

The Visual Builder team is happy to announce the rollout of a new version of our service with many new features and enhancements. In this blog entry we highlight the key new additions, but you are certain to discover many other enhancements as you go through your daily development process as well. Action Chain Test Automation We all know that following a test driven development approach can help detect coding issues sooner, making it easier to produce a fix. So how come not all developers follow this methodology? Maybe because writing tests for your code is not fun. With the new Action Chains Test Automation features Visual Builder makes test creation easy and painless. Visual Builder looks at your action chain, and automatically suggest helpful information for defining tests. All you have to do is provide examples of values you expect in variables, and typical results from your REST calls, and VB runs through your action chains and offer suggestions for test results you might want to add to your test case. You'll also be able to see what percentage of your code is covered by your test, and be able to run individual or complete test suites easily. Application Profiles When Visual Builder applications access data from other sources, it is quite common to have different backend environments used for the development, test, and production stages. With the new application profiles feature in VB, you can define combinations of different servers and security settings to be used in each stage of your application. These profiles will be picked up when you move your application from dev to stage to publish and applied properly. You can also use the same profiles when you automate your application's CI/CD through the VB grunt lifecycle commands. Further simplifying this switching is the introduction of two new artifacts - backends and servers. Backends - are types of servers you connect to such as Oracle Cloud Apps, Oracle Integration Cloud, and Oracle Process Cloud. The other artifact is called a server - which is constructed from a combination of URL, headers, authentication, and connection settings for a specific server. This allows you to easily switch the server being used as a specific backend in your application when using a specific application profile. Open API 3.0 Support Open API 3.0 is becoming the de-facto industry standard for describing REST based services through metadata. Up until now VB supported Swagger - the predecessor to Open API. With this release Visual Builder adds support to import Open API 3.0 meta-data to help help you consume REST services easily. Improved REST Service Connection Options We've redesigned our REST service definition dialogs to streamline the process of adding REST services to your app. We've also made it easier to understand how to connect to different services in terms of security settings, CORS support, and usage of the Visual Builder Proxy.  In addition, we added support for connecting to resources on Oracle Compute Infrastructure (OCI) using the API signature approach. We also made it easy to specify headers and assign them to specific servers. You'll notice UI improvements all over the service connection dialogs, as well ass the ability to switch to code view to see the service's metadata directly. Easier Component ID manipulation In the new release we exposed the ID attribute of UI components in the Property Inspector - so you can see or modify it quickly. This is quite handy when you later want to refer to the component from action chains, either through a call component method action, or from your JavaScript code when you try to access the UI component. By the way, if you decide to change the ID after you already referred to it from action chains, VB is smart enough to refactor the ID across those places too. Find in Files While on the topic of refactoring across the app, a new "Find in Files" tab allows you to find all the references to a name in the app, so you can refactor all of them more easily.  New Mobile Capabilities To help you further leverage the devices you are running your apps on, the Open URL action allows you to easily access files and open them with dedicated mobile apps.  Two new $application level variables ($application.deployment.appType & $application.deployment.pwa) distinct between applications that are web vs mobile and whether they are packaged as PWA. This can help you better tailor your app behavior while reusing code in the app. Mobile app also benefit from the new Application Profile features mentioned above. JET 8.1 Support We've updated Visual Builder to pick up the latest version of Oracle JET, including new UI components, and, of course, any bug fixes and enhancement that were included in the releases since JET 7.1. You'll also notice new UI components in the Component Palette including treeView and heatMap visualizations. Business Object Resource Editors When you build large data models made up of many inter-related business objects, the service definitions for these business objects can become bloated. This is because, by default, Visual Builder generates a complete set of accessor REST APIs at every level of the relationship between objects.  We've introduced a new Business Object Resource Editors which allow you to tailor exactly which relationships are exposed by REST endpoints and which aren't, thereby maximizing the performance of your apps both at runtime and when using the designer. Wait There's More The features we listed above are by no means a complete list of new features. You should visit our "What's New" document to learn about other features and to be able to directly navigate for the new documentation on the features we added. Let us know what you think by commenting on the blog or on the Oracle Visual Builder Community.  

The Visual Builder team is happy to announce the rollout of a new version of our service with many new features and enhancements. In this blog entry we highlight the key new additions, but you...


Connect PHP 7 to Oracle Database using packages from Oracle Linux Yum Server

Note: This post was updated to include the latest available release of PHP as well as simplified installation intstructions for Oracle Instant Client introduced starting with 19c.   We recently added PHP 7.4 to our repos on Oracle Linux yum server. These repos include also include the PHP OCI8 extenstion to connect your PHP applications to Oracle database. In this post I describe the steps to install PHP 7.4, PHP OCI8 and Oracle Instant Client on Oracle Linux to connect PHP to Oracle Database. For this blog post, I used a free Autonomous Database included in Oracle Cloud Free Tier. Install Oracle Instant Client Oracle Instant Client RPMs are available on Oracle Linux yum server also. To access them, install the oracle-release-el7 package first to setup the appropriate repositories:   $ sudo yum -y install oracle-release-el7 $ sudo yum -y install oracle-instantclient19.5-basic If you want to be able to use SQL*Plus (this can come in handy for some sanity checks), install the SQL*Plus RPM also: $ sudo yum -y install oracle-instantclient19.5-sqlplus Create a Schema and Install the HR Sample Objects (Optional) You can use any schema you already have in your database. I’m going to use the HR schema from the Oracle Database Sample Schemas on github.com If you already have a schema with database objects to work with, you can skip this step. $ yum -y install git $ git clone https://github.com/oracle/db-sample-schemas.git $ cd db-sample-schemas/human_resources As SYSTEM (or ADMIN, if you are using Autonomous Database), create a user PHPTEST SQL> grant connect, resource, create view to phptest identified by <YOUR DATABASE PASSWORD>; SQL> alter user PHPTEST quota 5m on USERS; If you are using Autonomous Database like I am, change the tablespace above to DATA: SQL> alter user phptest quota 5m on DATA; As the PHPTEST user, run the scripts hr_cre.sql and hr_popul.sql to create and populate the HR database objects SQL> connect phptest/<YOUR DATABASE PASSWORD>@<YOUR CONNECT STRING> SQL> @hr_cre.sql SQL> @hr_popul.sql Install PHP and PHP OCI8 To install PHP 7.4, make sure you have the latest oracle-php-release-el7 package installed first. $ sudo yum install -y oracle-php-release-el7 Next, install PHP and the PHP OCI8 extenstion corresponding to the Oracle Instant Client installed earlier: $ sudo yum -y install php php-oci8-19c Running the following php code snippet should verify that we can connect PHP to the database and bring back data. Make sure you replace the schema and connect string as appropriate. Create a file emp.php based on the code above. Run it! $ php emp.php This should produce the following: King Kochhar De Haan Hunold Ernst Austin Pataballa Lorentz Greenberg Faviet Chen Sciarra ...  

Note: This post was updated to include the latest available release of PHP as well as simplified installation intstructions for Oracle Instant Client introduced starting with 19c.   We recently added...