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Why upgrade to APEX 5

Why upgrade to APEX 5

Whilst performing my research I read in the Migration Guide about the many reasons why you should update to the Universal Theme but not many on why to update to APEX 5.

I read in the release notes that “Oracle strongly recommends that you regularly upgrade to the latest version available” but I found the reasons for this statement lacking.

I wanted to find out for myself; what are the reasons to upgrade to APEX 5.

I’m aware that APEX is the #1 choice for database web applications and I know that, even with APEX 4.2, development time & time to market is fast. So let me explain what I think is a convincing argument of why APEX 5 is much better than the previous versions.

The answer is a multitude of reasons:

  • You are going to get more Support

APEX 4.2 premier support ends Oct 2017 however APEX 5.0 has just begun and does not end until Apr 2020.

  • It’s about productivity

Having used APEX 5 almost continuously from the Early Adopter 1; it’s clear I can develop much quicker in APEX 5. Why is this so? Well there are fewer clicks and much fewer page loads. Incredibly it’s just one page for page development in a brand new IDE. Here is exactly where you get the time back:

  • Applications run in a new tab: Therefore navigating back to page designer is as quick as a tab page.
  • Grid Layout: I save time by being able to visually see where page items are placed without having to run the application.
  • Drag & Drop: Fewer wizards and page loads means I can drop page items on to my regions and just configure the minimum settings.
  • Effective Screens Use: Tabs categorize components well and developers have the options of showing either just the more common options or all options.
  • Syntax Highlighting: It’s such a simple feature; however I applaud anything which increases the speed I can read code.
  • Others: Keyboard Shortcuts, Undo/Redo, one button Delete, Bulk Operations, etc.
  • It’s about new features

There are plenty of new features in this release; some are integrated with the Universal Theme – which is such an important feature to APEX 5.

Here are just a few features I like: Zip Support, Component Level Authorisation, Template Options, Mobile Applications, Code Completion, Font Awesome Integration, Theme Roller, dozens of new Region Templates, etc. etc.

  • Future Proof

In the Installation Notes we read that we can upgrade right from APEX 1.5.x direct to APEX 5. This is really great news and an even better reason to adopt APEX 5 although if you were migrating from 1.5 you’ll definitely notice many many improvements.

In the Universal Theme Migration Guide we read that although legacy themes are supported – which is great for any upgrade – future APEX updates will include updates of the Universal Theme which allows us to take advantage of any new functionality. This allows your applications to stay modern. Therefore one must seriously consider updating to the Universal Theme.

Summary

The big flagship features of the IDE & Universal them are the real winners and the real reason to upgrade.
The Page Designer is quick to develop with and excellent usability; care has been taken to optimize the developer experience and it looks amazing too.
The Universal Theme is also where it’s at; and with APEX 5 we get the first proper look at it. If your applications are using this theme, then you are using the latest and greatest and your users will love it.

 

Matt Mulvaney Contributor
Senior Oracle APEX Development Consultant , Explorer UK Ltd

Matt is an experienced APEX solution designer having designed numerous complex systems using a broad range of Oracle Technologies. Building on his previous experience of Oracle Forms & PL/SQL, he is entirely focused on providing functionally rich APEX solutions. Matt promotes APEX as a software platform and openly shares best practises, techniques & approaches. Matt has a passion for excellence and enjoys producing high quality software solutions which provide a real business benefit.

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