APEX, as I have said before is a fine little tool, and one that can help take some of the fear out of writing a web based application that can interface to an Oracle database.
One of the main functions of APEX is to be able to easily build applications and perform basic database administration tasks. Below is a screen shot of the Application Builder’s main screen for a application in the process of being built. The APEX builders interface allows for rapid listing of the major parts of the application, a quick way to run it for testing, a breakdown of the individual pages of the application, and a menu for importing or exporting the app or new pieces. Fairly straightforward, and quick access is possible to each page of the application, making tweaking or editing that much easier.
The tutorials provided by Oracle for APEX are generally kept up to date with the changing versions. They help you hit the ground running, and in keeping close to part of the products design concept, with little to no knowledge of SQL, PL/SQL, or the Oracle “state of mind” needed. Of course, as with anything, the more you do know, the better off you will be.
The screenshot below is of the same application in run-mode. Since this instance of APEX was installed in developer mode, at the bottom of the application is the interface bar, letting you, even from inside run mode, go back home, edit the page, create a new page, actively debug, and other options.
This last screenshot below is of the actual page editor. It’s about the scariest looking part of APEX, but, is still less scary and less difficult than it appears. As long as you go through the guide you can get from the APEX documentation library at Oracle (free too I might add) The terms become familiar, and the wording explained. Actually going into detail for each part of how an application page works.
APEX itself comes built right in to Oracle XE (currently at 10g). It can be upgraded easily with a few simple sqlplus commands. In later posts, I’ll go into more detail, cover some of the quirks I have found with the system, as well as some of the applications I have made, using both the supplied dummy example data, and my own projects.