The A-Z of Oracle Application Express (APEX)
Part 1 (A – M)
By Dermot Murray, VP of Ideation at Inoapps
We were working with a customer recently on a potential new development project, and we recommended Oracle Application Express as our preferred development platform.
"Oracle APEX? We had heard that was only any good for basic Excel type apps. Not sure if that would be a technology that would suit this project – it’s quite complex", they said.
We then spent the next 20 minutes of the meeting presenting a series of use cases that we have found for APEX over the last 10 years - at the end of which the customer shrugged and said, "OK then, let’s go with APEX".
What are the most common Oracle APEX uses?
This got me thinking about the myriad use cases for APEX, and the fact that people may not appreciate the flexibility it offers.
Which then got me thinking that it would be helpful for every organisation using Oracle to know the A-Z of Oracle Application Express use cases. So, here it is - a whistle stop tour of the diverse range of solutions that APEX can deliver – in two parts. Today, let’s focus on A – M.
A is for Applications
Oracle APEX is a low-code development platform that enables you to build scalable, secure enterprise applications, with world-class features, that can be deployed anywhere. An example of such an application is another A - The Inoapps Legacy Archiving solution, which delivers long term data archiving solutions for historic Oracle E-Business Suite applications:
B is for Batch Processing Engine
We use this ourselves to carry out data refresh and synchronisation processing on the products we develop in-house. Under the covers it is based on Oracle Database DBMS Jobs capabilities, but the orchestration framework? - all delivered in APEX.
C is for Chatbot
It is the technology that every organisation is considering as they work to reduce the cost of their customer and staff interactions and deliver next generation service provision. Oracle APEX enables the deployment of both Oracle Chatbots (Oracle Digital Assistant) or third party tools (such as Google DialogFlow, Amazon Alexa skills or other Open Source platform), and provides a simple and effective way to enable Chatbot type solutions into an Oracle environment – check out the blog post on how to deliver this.
D is for Data Warehousing
Delivering analytics and reporting solutions will often require an underlying data warehouse to collate and model source data into a reporting schema. There are many powerful data warehouse solutions out there from Oracle and others, but they all come at premium cost and overhead. We have deployed several reporting solutions that use an Oracle Data Warehouse, orchestrated and controlled via an Oracle APEX User Interface (UI)
Fig 1. A Data Warehouse loading console, developed in Oracle Apex.
E is for Exchange Rates
Our friends at https://fxloader.com/ offer a comprehensive solution to enable the automated loading of currency rates into your Oracle ERP platform - delivered using APEX.
F is for File-based Loader (FBL)
A common use case that we see with our Oracle Cloud ERP customers is the automated loading of data from external sources, via the Oracle FBL tools. Solutions like Oracle Integration Cloud or Oracle Data Integrator will do an excellent job but come at a price. We have developed multiple integrations through FBL orchestrated through the Rest API framework that underpins APEX. Automated Cloud SaaS integrations without any additional components.
G is for Geospatial
Mashing up transactional data with external data feeds, and delivering in a Geospatial visualisation using Google Maps - done it.
H is for High Availability
Delivering a critical business application that cannot sustain any system downtime? Oracle APEX can be delivered in a highly available deployment using RAC Clusters, Data Guard or any of the highly available cloud infrastructures that Oracle database supports. Click here for more info.
I is for Integrations
One of the first challenges that we faced when we began to deliver Cloud ERP deployments was how to manage enterprise grade integrations into and out of Oracle SaaS for customers that did not want or need tools such as Oracle Integration Cloud. Step forward InoHub, one of the first applications in our Inoapps products portfolio, an Oracle Cloud ERP integration framework built using APEX.
J is for JSON
This is the framework underpinning modern cloud integrations and is delivered as a fundamental component of APEX. APEX_JSON is a native package that makes generating and parsing JSON objects a simple and easy task, enabling many of the use cases already discussed. Check out this APEX Office Hours session to discover more
K - Is for Keys
These sit in Wallets that ensure your APEX web applications run on HTTPS. This provides authentication and protection of the data being transferred to and from your application. APEX provides easy to use tools that allow you to monitor and administer all the required Wallet and security configurations to keep your applications secure.
L is LDAP
Remember the days when Single Sign On Integrations between applications would require third party integrations kits, adaptors, solution architects and a big bill? We recently delivered an SSO framework using Azure AD across an enterprise-wide deployment of an APEX application using the "out the box" SS configuration - completed in a few hours, promoted to Production with not a single user issue. APEX SSO is a game changer for project adoption.
M is for Media
Latest APEX capabilities allow for the delivery of "Media Cards" showing embedded video content in a Netflix or YouTube style format. Not used here at Inoapps yet, but perfect for a repository of training or project content (link courtesy of AskTom https://twitter.com/OracleAskTOM/status/1334041611823587329 )
Not yet convinced that Oracle APEX is the #LowCode platform of choice to deliver business applications across your organisation? Tune in next week for part 2, where I’ll run through N-Z. In the meantime, if your organisation needs help with its APEX projects, contact our team.
We have one of the world’s largest APEX development teams, with 100+ years’ experience between them. You can find out more about what they are working on by reading their Adventures in APEX blog posts!