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Saturday, December 8, 2012PrintSubscribe
HR Sample App (Oracle)

Sample database HR (Human Resources) comes standard with Oracle database server. Let’s create a web application straight from this database.

Getting Oracle on Your Computer

First, download the Oracle Database Express Edition 11g Release 2 installation files.

When the download is complete, extract the zip folder. Run the file at DISK1\setup.exe. Follow the steps to install Oracle Express Edition 11g on your computer.

When the database server has been installed, log in to the management website. The link to the page is available at C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\11.2.0\server\Get_Started.url. In the web browser, click on the Application Express tab, and create a workspace in order to access the database.

Native vs. Managed Data Provider

Code On Time web application generator creates web apps based on Microsoft ASP.NET, a component of Microsoft.NET technology. Database vendors offer middleware that allows ASP.NET applications to communicate with their servers. Oracle offers two providers:

The ODP.NET (Oracle Data Provider) is included in the Oracle Data Access Components (ODAC) for Windows package. The provider is a managed .NET wrapper that “speaks” to unmanaged native API of Oracle database server.

Because of this mix of managed and unmanaged code, there is a need to install both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of ODP.NET when working with Windows 7 and 8. Some components of development tools for Windows support only 32-bit architecture. Each version of ODP is around 230 MB in size.

The ODP.NET, Managed Driver is less than 2 MB in size and written purely in .NET. It has better performance and is easier to configure. This is the recommended .NET provider for ASP.NET web applications.

Click on one of the links above and install one of the providers for Oracle.

Creating a Web Application

Start the code generator, and click on the Create a new web application link on the start page. Select Web Site Factory to create the project.

Creating a 'Web Site Factory' project on the New Project screen.

Assign the project a name of “HR”, select the programming language of your choice (C# or Visual Basic), and press Create.

Assigning a name of 'HR' to the project.

Leave the default Namespace and Framework values and press Next.

Select the desired ODP provider in the Data Provider dropdown, and click on the “…” button next to Connection String field to access the Oracle Connection screen.

Selecting the 'Oracle Data Provider for .NET, Managed Driver' for the Data provider dropdown on the Database Connection screen.

'Oracle Data Provider for .NET' data provider selected. The '...' button next to Connection String field will activate the 'Oracle Connection' screen.

Enter your Server name, User name, and Password in the appropriate fields.

If you are working with Oracle Express Edition and using ODP.NET Managed Driver, leave the Server name blank. If you are using ODP.NET , then enter “127.0.0.1” in the Server name.

Press the Test button to test the connection string.

Alert showing that test connection succeeded for the Oracle connection string.

Press OK to dismiss the Connection Status window, and press OK to insert the configured connection string into the field.

Press Next twice to reach the Reporting page. Check the box to enable reporting.

Enabling reporting for the web application.

Press Next to reach the Themes page. Select Social from the list box.

Selecting a theme for the web application.

Hold down Shift, and press Next to skip to the Summary screen.

Activating the 'Generate' button on the Summary screen.

Press Generate to start the code generation. A window will open in your default web browser with the web app when complete.

Generated web application loaded in the default web browser.

Learn how to configure Custom Membership and Role Provider for your Oracle database.

Friday, December 7, 2012PrintSubscribe
Creating a Custom Report Template

When it becomes necessary to customize your reports beyond the scope of the settings available in the Project Designer, you will need to create a custom report template.

The default report for Customers view of “grid1” is displayed below.

Default report for Customers view of 'grid1'.

Let’s change make the following changes to the report:

  1. Highlight the Contact Name column in yellow.
  2. Change the color of Address header to red.

Start the Project Designer. In the Project Explorer, switch to the Controllers tab and double-click on Customers / Views / grid1 node.

View 'grid1' of Customers controller in the Project Explorer.

Change the following:

Property New Value
Create custom report template true

Press OK to save your changes. On the toolbar, press Browse to generate the template. When complete, select Develop option to open the project in Visual Studio.

In the Solution Explorer, double-click on ~\Reports\Customers_grid1.rdlc file.

Custom report template file selected in Visual Studio's Solution Explorer.

In the Design window that was opened, highlight the cell containing the text “[ContactName]”. On the toolbar, press the Background Color icon.

Changing the background color of the 'Contact Name' column.

Change the background color to yellow and press OK to apply.

Next, highlight the cell containing the “Address” header. On the toolbar, select the Foreground Color icon.

Changing the foreground color of 'Address' column header.

Select the color red and press OK. Save the file.

Switch back to the web application open in your browser and refresh the web page. If you closed it, press Browse in the Project Designer window.

Navigate to the Customers page, and activate the Report | PDF Document option on the action bar.

Creating a report from the list of customers.

Open the file that was saved to your hard drive. The report will be created from the template and will display the customizations.

Customers report with yellow highlight on 'Contact Name' column and red text in 'Address' header.

Friday, December 7, 2012PrintSubscribe
“Font” Property

In Code On Time web applications, default reports will be generated with a “Medium” font size, such as the picture below.

Customers report with 'Medium' font size.

The report font size can be changed to fit more data or be easier to read.

Start the Project Designer. In the Project Explorer, switch to the Controllers tab and double-click on Customers / Views / grid1 node.

View 'grid1' of Customers controller.

Change the Font property:

Property New Value
Report Font X-Small

Press OK to save. On the toolbar, press Browse.

Navigate to the Customers page. On the action bar, press Report | PDF Document.

Creating a PDF report from the list of customers.

The report font size is now smaller, and fits a lot more information on each page.

Customers report with 'X-Small' font size.

A larger font size may also be used. Go back to the Designer, and change the following:

Property New Value
Report Font X-Large

Press OK to save and Browse the project. Create another report.

Customers report with 'X-Large' font size.

Intermediate font sizes of “Small” and “Large” are also available.