Screenshot automation for Oracle APEX

Goal: collect screenshots for each page of an Oracle APEX application in order to prepare a user documentation.

I considered a custom developement for automating screenshots but I realized that it was not trivial and I had a look to an online service instead. There are plenty of these kinds of service and I tested the following subset, considering only ones providing a rest API:

On line serviceBasic PlanEvaluationDrawbacks
pikwy3€/month + 0,003/snapshotVery goodok with but Impossible to access a free tier instance (timeout). Possible to access protected pages.
apiflashFree with a limit of 100 snapshots/month (upgrade at 7€/month)Very goodnot possible to access protected pages
screenshotmachineFree with a limit of 100 screenshots/month (upgrade at 9€/month)Very goodnot possible to access protected pages
site-shot5€/mont for 2000 snapshotsVery goodnot possible to access protected pages
url2png29€/month for 5000 screenshotsnot tested
getscreenshotapi5€Month for 2500 screenshotsnot tested

Finally, I realized my prototype with apiflash and I choosed the « Sample Cards » application as a demo case.

It’s just a matter of calling the screenshot API for each page ( and put the result in a companion able (DEMO_BLOB). cf procedure code after and a sample display app.

Important: The API doesn’t deals with authentication, so I set a new scheme at « No authentication », for the duration of the test, at least, then I switch back to the regular auth scheme. Pickwy allows providing credentials, but suffers a specific anomaly in may case (cf above)

Limitations: the modal pages can’t be managed this way, except if API gives opportunity to send keystrokes before, or navigating possibilities.

Sample procedure

procedure buildscreens (pid number)
    turl varchar2(2000) := '   <ACCESS_KEY>&url=<APEX_ENCODED_URL>';
    l_blob    BLOB; 
    tbody    CLOB;
    target varchar2(2000);

    for c in (select page_alias, page_name 
              from APEX_APPLICATION_PAGES 
              where application_id=pid and PAGE_ALIAS IS NOT NULL 
              ) loop
        target := turl || lower(c.PAGE_ALIAS);
        l_blob := APEX_WEB_SERVICE.make_rest_request_b( 
            p_url         => target ,
            p_http_method => 'GET'
        insert into demo_blob(image, page_name) values (l_blob, c.page_name);
        if apex_web_service.g_status_code = 404 then
          -- return '1';
        end if;
    end loop;

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