Oracle Application Express (APEX) Review

Powerful development assistance can dramatically speed your production and deployment time

What is our primary use case?

I use the solution for creating a lot of applications and functions. In my company, we need a lot of forms, a lot of queries and a lot of reports, and I must develop these things very fast. Oracle APEX makes it very easy to do fast development. For example, I can quickly build a financial report, a product report and I can use it for quickly creating approval workflows. Oracle APEX helps a great deal with these tasks.

How has it helped my organization?

I started to develop all of the reports my company needs in Oracle APEX. Because the APEX product has a lot of features like automating chart and graph creation, depending on what you want to do, you can easily assemble reports. Another thing that is very helpful is the easy creation of forms for approval and approval workflows. For example, when you must get approval from a manager something, you can easily create the form and the manager can receive it a mobile device and you can get approval for anything quickly. It is helpful for speeding along the process of development.

What is most valuable?

The first feature that I think is very important is that the product is able to safely deploy on the web. You can develop any application and you can share it on the web without any installation by the end client. The second-best option in Oracle APEX is that it is very easy and very fast. You can quickly create forms and reports and in the reports feature there are a lot of options to help complete tasks. In some ways, it is the same as in Microsoft Excel. You can create charts or create almost anything that has the same features as Excel and it will be immediately available for the end client to use it.

What needs improvement?

In APEX, they changed the layout which is good because in earlier versions it was a little difficult. In Oracle APEX 18 and 19 it is very much improved and I think it is much better for the improvements. Things are easier to use. For example, when I want to change a form field, form button and anything else on a form, the layout of the product now makes it easier. They could continue to make improvements like this.

I think I only have one problem that I can think of with Oracle APEX in the layout. I can create a cool and beautiful layout. But there are times I want to change something, but I only can use CSS and HTML. Sometimes this makes it so I am not able to accomplish what I want exactly. I think it is better to keep changes to the layout in Oracle APEX only, not use any additional things because something might go wrong. It would be nice if APEX supported Java and everything sold with Java capability.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for six or seven years.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't need to use the Oracle technical support because there is a lot of good information in the Oracle APEX forum. We can use the area to resolve the problems that we run into and there is no need to connect to the technical support and wait for a response.

To learn more about APEX, I use websites, a lot of forums and books. I have a lot of books on the internet and I read and use them. On YouTube, there are a lot of videos for learning about Oracle APEX and other Oracle products. It is a good resource.

How was the initial setup?

I remember the first installation and that time the installation was a little difficult and maybe even very complex. But after maybe 10 or 15 installations now, it is very easy because I know the product better. After gaining some experience, it is very easy.

What was a little difficult the first time is that you must create the network on the database. You must create a different tablespace. After installation, you must use the WebLogic server to launch Oracle APEX form. Then you set the web service and then create WebLogic services. There are a lot of steps there and it is a little different and a bit difficult when you have not had the experience.

When creating projects it might take five or six months for a big production. But I have also completed some products in only two weeks of development.

It is very different for different projects. The project that took only two weeks for developing was because of the size of the project. It was small and I only had five or six forms to build. On the big project that took six months for development, it was because there were a lot of forms, a lot of objects and the project was a lot more complicated.

What about the implementation team?

We are doing all the deployment and deployment on our own. I have a team in my company of four people who are experts in Oracle APEX and we help each other. We don't need to seek outside the company.

Even with four in the team, a small project it could be that one person is enough to complete it. Two different projects will not be the same. In my company, I am involved with different departments. I have a database department and development department. I'm in the development department and the use of resources for big projects will depend what has to be done and what expertise is needed. In one big project, I used a five-person team and also needed two DBAs to help them.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In my country I don't pay any license fees for Oracle APEX. Oracle APEX is a free license, but only Oracle APEX. The database and other products you need to go with it have a licensing fee.

As far as additional costs, there are a lot of patches that we needed on the database and I think a lot of additional costs for peripheral things.

What other advice do I have?

I think it's a very good solution for developing web applications. It's very easy to expand the web application and have strong security in the functionality and availability on the Oracle APEX. I think if some company chooses Oracle APEX as a solution, it's a better base for any web development.

On a scale from one to ten, where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate APEX as absolutely a 10. When I started to work in my company they solved a lot of problems for creating a small application, a small form for reporting for anything by using Oracle APEX. Now that I use Oracle APEX I think it is the best solution for my development.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

Versions 18.2 and 19.2
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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