Oracle Application Express (APEX)

Today we had another lunch and learn at Zirous.  Jeremiah Evans gave us a great introduction to Oracle Application Express then he moved into a live demo of a Proof of Concept application he has been working on.  Oracle Application Express or APEX is rapid application development tool for Oracle Databases.  It comes pre-installed in Oracle Databases 11g and newer.

What is Oracle Application Express?

Oracle Application Express (Oracle APEX) is a declarative, rapid web application development tool for the Oracle database. It is a fully supported, no cost option available with all editions of the Oracle database. Using only a web browser, you can develop and deploy professional applications that are both fast and secure.

From Oracle’s Application Express page

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Jeremiah called it a “packaged, declarative framework” similar to how Oracle describes it.  Next he moved on to describe how it works.  Application Express runs inside of the Oracle database.  You connect to it via a web browser.  There is a Oracle Application Express Listener that sits in between the two.  APEX is a view into your Database within a browser, it is also Free, Supported and available.  APEX comes with many pre-packaged IT Applications and the development is wizard-driven.  He spoke about the many features including the ability to develop Mobile applications and help you construct your queries.  Jeremiah moved into describing how APEX applications are developed and deployed.  The application is developed within the database.  The source is saved within the database as well, so really don’t have any Software Configuration Management(SCM) system.  The application delivery is simply sent to the web browser.

The demo came next, it was a time tracking application that was built with APEX.  He showed us how it works similar to our existing time tracking application we use to track our hours as consultants.  It also had a mobile version that Jeremiah reviewed that was pretty interesting as APEX did most of the heavy lifting.

Overall I was impressed but would like to play with it a little bit.  These type of tools are helpful but as they say the devil is in the details.  As with any product their are limitations to what it can do.

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