printing from apex using pl/sql

As part of our exercise to convert an excel spreadsheet to APEX, we ran into some simple logic that required more logic and less database select statements. The question comes up how to do an if – then – else statement in APEX. In this example we are trying to advise between using compute on demand or dedicated compute resources. With dedicated compute resources, we can purchase 50 OCPUs as an aggregate. With dedicated we can go as low as 1 OCPU. If we request 14 systems with 4 OCPUs it might be better to request 50 OCPUs.

A typical question form would look like the following image allowing us to ask processor shape as well as quantity. If the total mount exceeds, 50 processors, we output a message suggesting dedicated compute rather than compute on demand.

To get this message on the screen, we first had to pull in the questions that we ask using variables. In this example, we read in the UNMETERED_COMPUTE_SHAPE which is a pick list that allows you to select (1, 2, 4, 8, or 16) OCPU shapes. You can also type in a quantity number into UNMETERED_COMPUTE_QUANTITY. The product of these two values allows us to suggest dedicated or compute on demand for economic reasons.

To execute pl/sql commands, we have to change the content type. To create this area we first create a sub-region. We change the name of the sub-region to represent the question that we are trying to answer. For this example we use the title “Compute on Demand vs Dedicated Compute” as the sub-region header. We then change the type to “PL/SQL Dynamic Content”. Under this we can then enter our dynamic code. The sub-region looks like

If you click on the expand button it opens a full editor allowing you to edit the code. In our example we are going to read the variables :UNMETERED_COMPUTE_SHAPE and :UNMETERED_COMPUTE_QUANTITY. Notice the colon in front of these names. This is how we treat the values as variables read from APEX. The code is very simple. It starts with a begin statement followed by an if statement. The if statements looks to see if we are allocating more than 50 processors. We then output a statement suggesting dedicated or compute on demand using the htp.p function call. This call prints what is passed to it to the screen. The code should look like

Overall, this is a simple way of outputting code that requires control flow. In the previous example we used a select statement to output calculations. In this example we are outputting different sections and different recommendations based on our selections. We could also set variables that would expose or hide different sub-regions below this section. This is done by setting :OUTPUT_VARIABLE = desired_value. If we set the value inside the pl/sql code loop, we can hide or expose sections as we did in a previous blog by setting a value from a pull down menu.

The code used to output the recommendation is as follows

htp.p('You might consider dedicated compute since you have '
|| ' OCPUs which is greater than the smallest dedicated compute of 50 OCPUs');
htp.p('Compute on Demand for a total of '
end if;

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