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Low code development that flies high : Oracle Application Express
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Roel Hartman profile photo
July 02, 2019

Low code development that flies high : Oracle Application Express

Score 9 out of 101
Vetted Review
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Overall Satisfaction with Oracle Application Express

Oracle Application Express (APEX) is used by my organization to solve business problems for other organizations. APEX enables us to create data-centric web applications using a low-code development tool. Developed applications are fast, responsive, scalable and secure.
The business problems are totally diverse, ranging from HR, CRM, ERP, mobile apps and portals.
APEX is mostly used in an environment where an Oracle database is already present -- that could be for developing in-house applications, or hosting Oracle's own ERP systems like Oracle E-Business Suite or any other Fusion product. APEX is the tool of choice if you want to build extensions or customizations to these standard applications.
And APEX is by design "cloud ready" -- it always has been and will always be.
  • Fast development due to the low code approach.
  • Responsive out of the box due to the built-in Universal Theme.
  • Cloud enabled by design. You can build applications only using a web browser.
  • Scalable: if it runs inside the Oracle database, it uses the full power of that database.
  • Free: it is a no-cost option for the Oracle database.
  • It runs everywhere where Oracle runs, from a small (free) XE database on your laptop, to an Exadata machine.
  • The only languages you need to know are SQL and PL/SQL. Some JavaScript and CSS knowledge might be handy but not strictly necessary.
  • Version control. As all metadata is stored in the database, there are no files to store in a GIT or Subversion repository (unless you export from the database).
  • Lock in: you are locked in into the Oracle database, and that's why it is mostly used in an environment where that database is already present.
  • Oracle is not "popular" at the moment, so the average developer is somewhat older than the regular (JavaScript) developer.
  • As web applications can be built much faster (about 10x faster than using plain Java or JavaScript) we have way more value for the buck.
  • All Oracle developers are already familiar with SQL and PL/SQL, so switching to APEX was easy -- it's a very efficient learning curve.
  • The tool is available on Oracle free of charge. So there are no additional or hidden costs!
Yes - I am a member of the ODTUG and NL Oracle User Group.

NL Oracle User Group organises a yearly two-day event: APEX World. This is (still) the largest APEX-only event in the world with around 350 attendees. ODTUG offers webinars around APEX, and has around 45 APEX related sessions at its yearly conference in the USA. Both user groups do an excellent job in building the community.
I haven't looked at any (allegedly) competing product as there has never been a need for it.
It's well suited if you need to display (or enter/change) data from an Oracle database. If you (or your customer) think you definitely need a native app, then it is not a good fit. Creating a dashboard with different kinds of charts and KPI's is easy using APEX. If you need a real data-mining solution, then you better switch to Oracle Analytics. As APEX offers an easy interface for RESTful services, you can also create forms, reports, and charts upon any RESTful service that's available on the internet -- either within or outside your organization.

Oracle APEX Feature Ratings

Visual Modeling
4
Drag-and-drop Interfaces
9
Platform Security
10
Platform User Management
10
Reusability
10
Platform Scalability
10