Ask anyone who works with Oracle Application Express and they'll probably tell you that the most difficult/unreliable/uncontrollable/unruly ghetto in its whole universe is the tabular form. In truth, I don't really have enough experience to agree with them with any certainty, but hey, if that's what the experts say then who am I to disagree?
This past week I've had to create a few data entry tables (based on an irregularly-structured database table [someone else's fault - of course]) and I found that the regular wizard-driven tabular forms just couldn't cut it. And so I packed my rucksack and headed down the road signposted APEX_ITEM.
Actually I'm exaggerating when I say "signposted", cos like everything else in the Oracledom, the whole thing is very poorly documented, and I only stumbled across it by chance. But now that I'm here I'm having a really great time. It's so easy to use - all you do is write your SQL statement, throw in APEX_ITEM.TEXT(indexNo, defaultValue) (where indexNo is a number counting up from 1) , stick it in an SQL Report and - voila! It's brilliant.
And for data manipulation all you have to do is create a PL/SQL process that'll loop through the rows (you'll need APEX_APPLICATION.G_FindexNo(rowNumber) to read the values) and do what you want with them. To quote someone I like and respect a great deal (me, me!): it's brilliant! It's way better - if a little more fiddly - than the wizard-driven tabular forms.
In other news today: my laptop is old and crappy - the wifi has gone deaf and the keyboard is arthritic. The ctrl is missing and, today, the D key has stiffened. So if you find any words in today's entry that aren't in the lexicon just do like the rap song says and Throw some D's on it.