Oracle updates free web RAD tool
APEX 4 brings snazzy web apps
If you have to knock up a web front-end to an Oracle database in a hurry, you might appreciate the newly-released version 4 of Oracle Application Express – or APEX, as it's known to its mates.
Version 4 has been a while coming – it's been in preview since December and the last version, 3.2, came out in March last year. Formerly known as Oracle HTML DB among other names, APEX is a free browser-based tool for rapid development of web interfaces to data in an Oracle database. It's bundled free with Oracle 11 or later but works back to version 9.2.
The flagship feature is "Websheets", a set of extensive templates for interactive pages with data grids, search forms, visualisation tools, navigation bars and so on, making for a quick way to put together a professional-looking site – at the slight risk of looking rather similar to any other APEX-powered site.
Unsurprisingly, APEX only works on Oracle back-ends, though, so you might have more problems finding a hosting provider than you would for the trusty old combination of PHP and MySQL.
Actually it can be free...
Granted you'll have to use Oracle XE but that is free to use and deploy and I would have thought is upgradable to v4 (it upgrades to 3.2 just fine). With that come some restrictions (e.g. 1 CPU/core will be used, 4GB of user data and only 1GB of RAM will be used).
But provided you can live with those limits its a great way into Oracle and provides you with a path to upgrade to full fat Oracle in future if you need.
Ah yes but...
Not really free, it does requre an Oracle database behind it and that involves parting with large wads of money to that great egotistical megalomaniac Larry.
Just requires management.. All 'developers' of our APEX pages create apps on a dev box behind a firewall. The packages are then shipped out by DBA (or sometimes some of the helpdesk staff who've been trained in it).
Now I can see a big job coming up to migrate the APEX 3 to APEX4.