This is just a quick note to self, but may be useful to others experiencing similar problems. I would not recommend the Fix Two solution for production environments before conducting further research though...
Recently I installed Oracle Apex 3.2 in an existing database. Plain vanilla install on an Oracle 188.8.131.52 database with an Oracle iAS 184.108.40.206 in front. Installation went smooth, demo application works. Shift. Different site, same plain install, but this time on a 10.2.0.4 database, and 10.1.2 application server.
The Demo Effect
What is the first thing you show off when demonstrating Apex? The interactive reports, that is a no-brainer :-) But at both of these installations, something goes wrong. When clicking a report column, I just get the spinning wheel, no other response. What is amiss?
Dissecting the Problem
At the first location, I had no time and no Firebug. At the second location I had both, and two failed installations creating some sort of consistency.
Patching the Apex installation to 3.2.1 worked for the installation on the 10g system. IR's started working when the patch was applied.
One down, one to go...
Fix Two (The Dirty Fix)
Examining dads.conf for the 9i installation, I see previously configured dads has a different setting of PlsqlNLSLanguage. Both installs go against databases with NLS_LANG=AMERICAN_AMERICA.WE8MSWIN1252 (don't ask me why, seems like a popular choice for older systems in Norway).
Changing from PlsqlNLSLanguage from AMERICAN_AMERICA.ALUTF8 to AMERICAN_AMERICA.WE8MSWIN1252 did the trick, IR's are now working as expected. I have not noticed anything else breaking (yet), but I am not at all comfortable with the workaround.
The documentation clearly states:
"The character set portion of the PlsqlNLSLanguage value must be set to AL32UTF8, regardless of whether or not the database character set is AL32UTF8."
or for older versions of iAS:
"The character set portion of the nls_lang value must always be set to AL32UTF8, regardless of whether or not the database character set is AL32UTF8."
Luckily, the 9i installation will not go to production in it's current state. Phew...