Friday, May 25, 2007

APEX podcast by LewisC

This morning I listened to a great podcast about APEX.

Lewis Cunningham interviewed David Peak, Application Express Product Manager from Oracle and Peter Martin, working for a company in the EMEA automotive industry and APEX user.

I took some notes... here they are:

What are the key features of APEX?

  • Developing Secure applications is easy with APEX
  • Declarative way of programming (using wizards)
  • Built in Reporting, Forms, Charts, Pdf reports
  • Possibility of using Webservices
  • Upload spreadcheat
  • Free
Why should we use APEX?
  • Extreme Rapid Application Development (RAD)
  • Completely web-based
  • Very good tool to have immediate result, excellent in proto-typing
  • You can start building apps in APEX next to the customer and agree on the layout (user sees what he gets), then start with the back-end.
  • You only need a webbrowser to develop in APEX
  • APEX development environment is built by itself, it's also completely meta-data driven and based on PLSQL
  • Start with a design model and use the full potential of the Oracle database
  • Free with the database (if you've an Oracle license)
  • Free with XE, screens of XE are made with APEX (the APEX version of XE is different as the "normal/full" one)
How to compare developing in APEX with Ruby on Rails?
  • Benefit by using APEX:
    • Framework within Oracle database
    • Integrated with the database (security, enterprise functionality, ...)
    • Don't need to focus on connection pooling or typical java environment complexity
    • Prototyping - RAD environment
    • Completely Free
How is APEX used in your environment, Peter?
  • About the company he's working for and how they use APEX
    • EMEA, automotive industry
    • Terrabyte database
    • > 100 million records
  • They use Discoverer but also want to go to APEX (internally)
  • Integration with SSO, Forms
  • Developing in APEX - the sky is the limit
  • Reuse of their SQL/PLSQL skills without getting to know the java framework
What are the challenges when developing with APEX?
  • Because it's so easy to develop
  • Use a plan/proces to make a GOOD application
  • Use the APEX framework as good (best) as possible
  • Go to some Apex Evangelists trainings to learn how to best use APEX (joke, they didn't say that) ;-)
What is new in APEX 3.0 or are the highlights of this new version?
  • Integration with BI Publisher
  • Use of Flash Charts
  • Webservice capabilities: talk to Oracle BPEL for ex.
  • Navigation, improvement of UI
  • Access migration workshop: from Access mdb file -> take export and migrate directly into Oracle
    • -> SQL Developer: tables
    • -> APEX: forms, reports
What are other strong points of (developing with) APEX?
  • Strong user community and community feeling
  • Forums are a great source of information, the APEX forum is the most used forum on OTN!!
  • Also some good Blogs:
  • Integrating with Spatial, OLAP, E-business Suite
  • 9 existing Packaged applications, new ones are in the pipe
    • Designed to show how we do things
    • Show a working solution
What about the future and the integration of APEX with SOA?
  • APEX is not competing with J2EE
  • APEX has also Webservices and can integrate with BPEL, SSO etc.
  • APEX can be the glue between all your applications or an extension to an existing app
  • When you have a lot of complex middle tier logic, Oracle provides J2EE for this
  • Use the best tool for your team (if you've a lot of Java programmers, you can go for Java/SOA, in all other cases APEX is a possibility)
To conclude my notes, I found it an interesting podcast! Thanks Lewis...

I believe APEX is getting more popular!
Tom Kyte (and me too) says sometimes: "Every single day I learn something new"
If I change that a bit: "Every single day a new person gets to know APEX"


LewisC said...

Hi Dimitri,

Great write up. Makes mine seem a little sparse. ;-)

Glad you liked it.


Francis Mignault said...

Bonjour Dimitri,

J'ai fait un lien a cette page sur mon blog.

Intéressant :)


Dimitri Gielis said...

Merci beaucoup Francis


Raju Kumar Baranwal said...

Hi Dimitri ,

Great job , Rally amazing .

And One more ,I want To know about this(APEX) , So do you have any documents for beginners?
Please Send to me,I am interested in this technology.

Thanks in Advanced
Raju Kumar (Rajeev)

Dimitri Gielis said...

Hi Raju,

Have a look here:

You can also have a look at all Oracle APEX blogs at

Hope that helps,

Anonymous said...

Hi Dimitri,

This is very interesting questions and answers you have put.

I very confused with as to use which technology for Application development. You said APEX can be integrated with BPEL.

My Question is : My application development team do not have resources who are comfortable with JAVA .But they are very good on APEX and PL/SQL. Recently i got trained in SOA and BPEL. We are planning to replace our Oracle Workflow technology with BPEL and front end with APEX. So should we go for designing our UI with APEX or should we go for ADF?

Can APEX be compatible with Oracle SOA 11g Components.

Your suggestion is required.Can you please help.