Oracle® HTML DB Help
Release 1.6
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Understanding URL Syntax

Each application has a number (called an application ID) or alphanumeric alias which uniquely identifies it. Similarly, each page also has a unique number (called a page number) or an alphanumeric alias. When you run an application, the HTML DB engine generates a session number that serves as a key to the user's session state.

The URL that displays for each page indicates the location of Oracle HTML DB and identifies the application ID, page number, and session ID. For example:

http://htmldb.oracle.com/pls/otn/f?p=4350:1:220883407765693447

This example indicates that:

Using f?p Syntax to Link Pages

You can create links between pages in your application using the following syntax:

f?p=App:Page:Session:Request:Debug:ClearCache:itemNames:itemValues:PrinterFriendly

Table 6-3 describes the possible arguments you can pass when using f?p syntax.

Table 6-3 f?p Syntax Arguments

Syntax Description
App Indicates an application ID or alphanumeric alias.
Page Indicates a page number or alphanumeric alias.
Session Identifies a session ID. You can reference a session ID to create hypertext links to other pages that maintain the same session state by passing the session number. You can reference the session ID using the syntax:
  • Short substitution string: &SESSION.

  • PL/SQL: V('SESSION')

  • Bind variable: :APP_SESSION

Request Sets the value of REQUEST. Each application button sets the value of REQUEST to the name of the button. This enables accept processing to reference the name of the button when a user clicks it. You can reference REQUEST using the syntax:
  • Substitution string: &REQUEST.

  • PL/SQL: V('REQUEST')

  • Bind variable: :REQUEST

Debug Displays application processing details. Valid values for the DEBUG flag are YES or NO. Setting this flag to YES displays details about application processing. You can reference the Debug flag using the following syntax:
  • Short substitution string: &DEBUG.

  • PL/SQL: V('DEBUG')

  • Bind variable: :DEBUG

ClearCache Clears cache. Clearing cache for a single item simply sets the value of the list of names to null. To clear cached items, use a comma delimited list of page numbers. Comma delimited lists can also contain collections to be reset or the keyword RP, which resets region pagination on the requested page.
itemNames Comma delimited list of item names used to set session state with a URL.
itemValues List of item values used to set session state within a URL. Item values may not include colons, but may contain commas if enclosed with baskslashes. To pass a comma in an item value, enclose the characters with backslashes. For example:
\123,45\

PrinterFriendly Determines whether the page is being rendered in printer friendly mode. If PrinterFriendly is set to Yes, then the page is rendered in printer friendly mode. The value of PrinterFriendly can be used in rendering conditions to remove elements such as regions from the page to optimize printed output.You can reference the printer friendly preference by using the syntax:
V('PRINTER_FRIENDLY')

When referenced, the HTML DB engine will not display tabs or navigation bars and all items will be displayed as text and not as form elements.


Although it is important to understand how f?p syntax works, you rarely have to construct this syntax yourself. Oracle HTML DB includes many wizards that automatically create these references for you. The sections that follow describe a number of specific instances that utilize f?p syntax to link pages.

Calling a Page Using an Application and Page Alias

Application and page aliases must consist of valid Oracle identifiers, cannot contain any whitespace, and are not case-sensitive. The following example calls a page using an application and a page alias from within an Oracle HTML DB application. It runs the page home of the application myapp and uses the current session ID.

f?p=myapp:home:&SESSION.

Application aliases must be unique within a workspace. If applications in different workspaces within the same Oracle HTML DB instance have the same application alias, use the &c argument to specify the workspace name. For example:

f?p=common_alias:home:&session.&c=WORKSPACE_A

Calling a Page from a Button URL

When you create a button, you can specify a URL to redirect to when the user clicks the button. This example runs page 6001 of application 6000 and uses the current session ID.

f?p=6000:6001:&SESSION.

Note that this is only one approach to using a button in Oracle HTML DB. This method bypasses page submission and acts as a hyperlink on the page. Another method is to submit the page first. In that approach, clicking the button submits the page for processing, allowing forms to be submitted and session state to be saved.