Oracle Application Express (APEX) is a low code development tool for building web applications on the Oracle Database. APEX allows you to develop and deploy responsive web applications through a browser, either on premise or in the cloud using only a web browser.

The use cases for APEX range from spreadsheet replacement to enterprise systems used by thousands on a daily basis, via Forms modernization, EBS Extensions, APEX also runs Oracle Corp!

Oracle use APEX to develop their own applications, so the best examples are probably their own: apex.oracle.com/en/solutions/use-cases/, livesql.oracle.com and shop.oracle.com.

An application can be created from a spreadsheet within a few minutes, by stepping through a few simple, declarative steps of a wizard. Straight-forward and quick.

Applications built for Desktop are perfectly adaptable for mobile with the responsive design of APEX’s Universal Theme.

Avoid customisations in eBusiness Suite by seamlessly integrating with APEX applications. Navigating from EBS Menus, there’s no need to reauthenticate and access to functionality within APEX applications can be controlled by EBS user responsibilities. Make your APEX application look and feel like EBS or your Corporate colours too using the Universal Theme.

You can listen to the British pronunciation here: https://www.macmillandictionary.com/pronunciation/british/apex_1

It’s a fully supported, no-cost option of all versions of the Oracle database from 11g.

APEX is a fully supported feature of the Oracle Database. If you are supported for Oracle Database or have an Oracle Database Cloud Service, you are supported for APEX.

APEX is a key component of the Oracle Database and Oracle DBaaS Cloud service, APEX is continuously being improved by Oracle. The current statement of direction consists of further improvements to the remote data access capabilities (continuously updated REST features) and multiple on-going UI improvements such as integrations with Oracle’s JET library.

Oracle Forms has been a very stable product and is probably the largest middleware support revenue stream for Oracle worldwide. However, the following means you should probably be looking to redevelop any Oracle Forms applications sooner rather than later:

  • Browsers de-supporting Java
  • Costly and complex operational support
  • Costly support renewals to Oracle
  • An evolving user base no longer satisfied with just client server style screens and who base “what good looks like” against the Googles and Facebooks of the internet world
  • Changing business models and consumption behaviour from on-premise implementations to a Cloud (SaaS) mindset
  • An ever decreasing “Forms-first” developer skillset making staff retention and new employment difficult and expensive.

Read more: https://explorer.co.uk/oracle-forms-venerable-statesman-cloudy-future/

If you already have your data and business processes in an Oracle Database then the answer is almost certainly APEX, you will find you will be able to build your application much quicker and for a lower cost. Choose the right horse for the right course!

APEX is secure out of the box and comes with a large amount of customisable security options. If your database is secure, then your application likely is. If you would like to know more, we have a number of blogs on the subject: https://explorer.co.uk/apex-security-considerations-part-1/

APEX is extemely scalable – it can scale with your database. As the database takes advantage of features to meet performance, availability and big data requirements, so APEX can benefit – it is built on top of the database.

Universal Theme is a responsive, versatile, and customisable user interface for your Application Express apps. Choose from a variety of components that respond to the user’s device and that can be effortlessly styled to fit your branding and colouring.

An Interactive Report allows users to perform powerful searches and customise their own personal view of the data. An Interactive Grid not only has the aforementioned features but also provides a set of tools which allows users the create & modify records within a grid/table structure similar to Excel and Oracle Forms

Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) makes it easy to develop modern REST interfaces for relational data in the Oracle Database, Oracle Database 12c JSON Document Store, and Oracle NoSQL Database. A mid-tier Java application, ORDS maps HTTP(S) verbs (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, etc.) to database transactions and returns any results formatted using JSON. https://explorer.co.uk/ordsinary/

Explorer offers a number of APEX training courses, written by developers for developers. More information can be found here: https://explorer.co.uk/oracle-application-development/oracle-apex-training/

The Oracle Cloud is the best way to host an APEX application.

In the same way you would deploy to any Oracle Database environment.

This is a sandbox environment suitable for education, training, demos and any non-commercial usage. It is the first to receive updates to the latest version of APEX.

You can attend our APEX Fundamentals course with no prior experience in Oracle Technologies. However we find APEX developers benefit greatly having at least a basic understanding of SQL and PL/SQL. Web developers can also repurpose their HTML, CSS & JavaScript skills when transitioning to APEX.

As well as standing for Rapid Application Development, Oracle have started using the #OracleRAD hashtag, standing for REST APEX Database – the whole stack you need to create an application.

There is no tool to migrate your Oracle Forms application to APEX or any other technology. At Explorer we are extremely experienced in analysing Oracle Forms applications and helping clients build new APEX applications which leverage their existing code.

#orclapex is the twitter hashtag used to track tweets about APEX: https://twitter.com/hashtag/orclapex

Upgrading APEX is as simple as running a script on the database. Existing applications will be automatically upgraded and should mostly work without any code changes.

Salesforce is a stand-alone CRM product and is completely un-related to Oracle APEX.

‘Salesforce APEX’ allows Salesforce developers to execute flow and transaction control statements on Salesforce servers in conjunction with calls to the API.

The APEX community is extremely active and spans many sites such as the Oracle forums, apex.world, slack and stack overflow. There are many developers blogging about what they have built with APEX and in our own blogs you will find a huge amount of information about Oracle APEX. https://explorer.co.uk/blog/

QuickSQL (found at apex.oracle.com/quicksql or in any APEX installation) is a tool to allow developers to create complete DDL scripts based on a simple, shorthand notation. More information can be found here: https://explorer.co.uk/quicksql-saves-time/

Oracle JavaScript Extension Toolkit (Oracle JET) is a complete yet modular JavaScript development toolkit helping developers build engaging user interfaces. Many JET components are used within APEX with more to be added in future releases.

It is easy to create reporting solutions with Oracle APEX. Interactive reports allow users to manipulate a results set to give them their own view of the data. These reports can be saved for future use and even saved for all users to access.

There are many tools available to create documents from APEX (PDF, DOCX, XLSX etc). Explorer choose to use and partner with PLPDF which resides in the database and allows documents to be created from within PL/SQL code and in APEX applications. Low cost, easy to use and great support.

The UKOUG Technology event is the biggest in the UK with a dedicated APEX Stream, there is also events hosted in the South, Midlands, North, Scotland and Ireland. Meetups are held frequently in Leeds, UK. Throughout Europe the biggest APEX events are organised by NLOUG & DOAG. In the states; ODTUG are organisers of the annual KScope event.

There are lots of blogs relating to Oracle APEX. There are over 100 blogs in our own archive available here: https://explorer.co.uk/blog/

RESTful web services can be used within APEX components to allow data from external sources to be used within an APEX application. Examples of how to do this can be found here: https://explorer.co.uk/web-services-part-1/

Explorer have a team of APEX developers that can develop applications or work with you to help you develop your own.

The Statement of Direction contains information on the next versions of APEX and the general direction of the product. Find out more: https://apex.oracle.com/en/learn/resources/sod/

APEX applications can be managed in popular version control systems. More on this in the Oracle APEX Lifecycle Whitepaper
https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/developer-tools/apex/application-express/apex-white-papers-1866964.html

Explorer run courses in Leeds a number of times each year. We can also deliver training courses at customer sites depending on the number of people that need to be trained.

APEX performance is directly linked to the database and 99% of performance issues end up being the results of poorly written queries or missing indexes.

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APEX Solutions

“APEX gives organisations incredible flexibility to develop powerful business applications that can be deployed anywhere and on any device. “

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Craig Sykes

Senior Oracle Development Consultant