What is Oracle Application Express?

1- Instroduction

In this document, I will introduce  Oracle Application Express (Oracle APEX), including technology and scope of use.

2- What is Oracle Application Express?

Oracle Application Express (Oracle APEX), formerly called HTML DB, is a rapid web application development tool for the Oracle database. Using only a web browser and limited programming experience, you can develop and deploy professional applications that are both fast and secure. Oracle application express combines the qualities of a personal database, productivity, ease of use, and flexibility with the qualities of an enterprise database, security, integrity, scalability, availability and built for the web. Application Express is a tool to build web-based applications and the application development environment is also conveniently web-based

3- History of Oracle APEX

I start the story in 2004 when Oracle brought "HTML DB" to market.

HTML DB made it possible to use HTML tags & CSS in combination with data from the Oracle DB. All you had to do is to create a package.
A year later they released a version of HTML DB with a graphical user interface. Here we can speak of the first version of Oracle Apex.
The following years they have improved the user interface and add more new features.
  • Charts
  • Pdf
  • Interactive Reports
  • ...
It was in 2006 that the name HTML DB changed in Apex (Application Express).
In 2010 Apex is really starting to grow. A lot of people and comunities began to use it as a development tool for their software.

Oracle has decided to invest further in this free tool.
With version 4.0 several new features see the light, but particularly the layout capabilities were significantly improved.
  • Error Handeling
  • Websheets
  • Dynamic Actions
  • Ability to load Excel data
  • ...
Especially the ability to use their own plugins ensured that Apex became very popular within certain communities. (And of course because the tool is free)

When Oracle added "Team Development" Apex became really a development tool. Several people could work simultaneously on the same application and the required reports were standard provided (reviews of the comments, bugs, etc).
With version 4.2 Oracle ensured that users could use all the features of HTML 5.

With the integration of JQuery and JQuery Mobile, they also gave the developer the ability to create mobile layout's.

Also the ability to make use of package applications was added in this version.
And now we have Oracle Apex 5.x. Of course there are a lot of new features added in Oracle Apex 5.x.
  • Pivot tabel (Interactive Report)
  • Templates (Universal Theme)
  • Calender Item
  • Lay-out
  • Mobile (Jquery mobile 1.4)
  • Navigation List
  • New icons (Font based)
  • Modal pages
  • ...

4- The complexity of the Oracle APEX

If your purpose is to build a Web application with Oracle database. A web system used for enterprises helps managing personnel, wage and salary, and production, for example. A website focuses on creating a system of forms of entering data, system of report, running 100% on the web base.  Oracle APEX will be the good choice.

The easiness for programmers is shown in the following criteria:

You do not need a bulky and complicated IDE to programme:

If you programme  Java, C# you need to install an IDE, for example,  Eclipse, Netbeans, Visual Studio. With Oracle APEX everything you do occurs on 1 website.

You do not need to know much knowledge of WEB

Oracle APEX is a system of building a Web application, forms of entering data on Web and reports running on Web, but you may not need much knowledge about web.

Easily build a web interface

In order to have a form of entering data, you need not programme the interface in a complex manner. Everything is provided in the form of an available pattern of  Oracle APEX.

Easily build a reporting system

Oracle APEX provides you with a system of standard and friendly reporting tools.

No need to deploy client side

User can approach a application built from  Oracle APEX through a web browser. You need not install anything in user's computer.

As an Oracle APEX developer what you care about?

In order to develop an  Oracle APEX application, you need to have knowledge about  Oracle PL/SQL. This is the most important thing in the process of developing your application on  Oracle APEX. You work with  Oracle PL/SQL in most of the time..

5- Some pictures of the applications developed by Oracle APEX

6- Guide to installing and configuring Oracle APEX

You can view the installation guide and configure Oracle APEX at: