Oracle APEX 21.2 - What's New?

28 October 2021
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Oracle APEX 21.2 - What's New?

It seems no time since I posted my last "look at all of the new features in the latest release of Oracle APEX" blog post, but here we are again.

Release 21.2 of APEX is now out in the wild for early adopters. As usual our team will need to fully evaluate the new features and capabilities, and then deploy those onto the myriad APEX projects that we continue to deliver. However, based on an early scan of the capabilities, here are a few thoughts and comments on what the release may mean to the team here at Inoapps.


Progressive Web App (PWA)

We have been watching the whole PWA initiative for some time, and to be frank, have sat on the fence until now. We have built many native mobile applications for our customers, specifically where the business requirement demands a mobile optimized user interface (UI), often with online/ offline capabilities.

Typically, we have used a ReactNative app framework, integrated using Platform as a Service (PaaS) with an APEX UI to facilitate administration and exception handling. Until now, the business case for PWA has never really stacked up. The UI has not been as rich as can be delivered using a dedicated mobile platform, offline capabilities are limited, and conceptually the idea of an "App" that is not deployed through an App Store has been difficult to articulate. However, the new 21.2 APEX PWA offering looks really strong, and may be able to deliver the functionality we require. Oracle's ongoing move away from native apps for ERP/ HCM business processes onto responsive themes is leaving a gap in the mobile space - and the ongoing challenges of deploying enterprise apps through Apple and Google stores means that native apps can be a slog. So perhaps now is the time to embrace PWA and see if they can indeed bridge the mobile gap.

Faceted Search

Our customers love faceted search, and it has been a mainstay of our applications for the last few releases. I’ve even written about it before.

The new declarative support and advanced UI features will make this key control even more popular than ever.

The list of back-end features for developers and DevOps teams is also long and feature rich. It does raise the question; which is more important in any given release, shiny new features and functions that can improve the UI and the end user’s experience, or back-end capabilities to make developers happy? In a #LowCode world, I think the back-end capabilities are equally important. If we can deliver better business applications quicker, easier and at lower cost to our end users, then that will deliver more value than a new control or visualization. But we also like the new toys as well.


The team here have built a few apps that combine geospatial data with mapping and visualization tooling. This blog post talks about some of the capabilities that we have already delivered. 

It's nice to see some new, native capabilities that should make this type of deployment even easier. Our previous projects have involved some serious backend development, but if this will now be a native feature, then we can deliver the same output with #LowCode effort.

I recently wrote a short blog post on #JoelKallmanday about the legacy that Joel had left behind.

The response to that post has been amazing. I think that this goes to show the strength of feeling that the whole Oracle community had for Joel. It is great to see the Oracle APEX team continue to deliver new capabilities to ensure his legacy lives on.

For questions on Oracle APEX and its use in your organization, Ask Inoapps.



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