Overview Of Oracle APEX

Oracle Application Express (APEX) previously named Oracle HTML DB is a web-based software development environment that runs on an Oracle database. It is fully supported and comes standard at no additional cost with all Oracle Database editions and, starting with Oracle 11g, is installed by default as part of the core database install.

Oracle Application Express can be used to build complex web applications which can be used in most modern web browsers. The APEX development environment is also browser-based.

Oracle APEX Overview

History of Oracle APEX:

Application Express has gone through many name changes since its inception in 2000. Names include:
  • Flows
  • Oracle Platform
  • Project Marvel
  • Application Express (APEX)

APEX was created by Mike Hichwa, a developer at Oracle, after development of his previous project, Web DB, started to diverge from his original vision. Although APEX shares some functionality with Web DB, it was developed from scratch and there's no upgrade path from Web DB to APEX. When tasked with building an internal web calendar, Hichwa enlisted the help of Joel Kallman and started development on a project called Flows. Hichwa and Kallman co-developed the Web Calendar and Flows, adding features to Flows as they needed them to develop the calendar.

APEX is used internally by Oracle to develop some of its support sites. The AskTom knowledgebase and online store both run on APEX. The Metalink support site ran on APEX for some time before it was eventually replaced by an Oracle ADF solution.

Advantages of Oracle APEX:
  • DBAs familiar with PL/SQL can use their skill set to develop web application
  • Easy to create mock-ups using pre-built themes
  • Easy to deploy (end user opens a URL to access an APEX application)
  • Scalable (can be deployed to laptops, stand-alone servers, or Oracle RAC installations)
  • Server-side processing and validations
  • Strong and supportive user community (especially Oracle APEX forum)
  • Basic support for group development
  • Free hosting of demo applications provided by Oracle
  • Apex applications can run on the free Oracle Express Edition (XE) database
  • Individual components of an application can be retrieved or identified using SQL, facilitating customized reports Helps put the focus on the DB model supporting a solution (verses coding in Java, .NET or PHP - you only need JavaScript)
  • Easily supports a standardized theme across application sets (and the changing of that theme)
  • Semi-technical end users can build their own web pages and reports

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