Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to remove the thousands group separator in numbers representing years from apex flash charts

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A quick tip for formatting years when they show up as labels in flash charts inside Oracle Application Express (Apex).
The problem is in that Anychart is too smart, so when it encounters a label that looks like a number, it will format it with the separator for the thousands, i.e. "2012" will be displayed either as "2,012" or "2.012" depending on the application locale settings.

As I don't really liked to see years formatted that way, I thought I had to find a way to suppress the thousands separator without having to resort to using a custom XML chart source file. After a few attempts, it turned out that by prepending a non-breaking space to the string, I could fool anychart's super-smart engine eventually. The technique applies to UTF-8 encoded pages.

UNISTR('\00A0') || TO_CHAR(gl_date, 'YYYY')

Not a big deal but something that may come in handy if you are in a hurry and short of more brilliant ideas. May be there are other ways to achieve the same result, this was just the first one that occurred to me.

The chart clearly displays my annual income as apex freelance, just in case you are wondering :-P

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