Happy birthday, Oracle Application Express!
In January 2004, Oracle Database 10g was released. And bundled with the Oracle 10g Database distribution was an additional disc called the Companion CD, which included both Oracle HTTP Server, mod_plsql and this new tool called Oracle HTML DB 1.5. This was the date of the first officially distributed and supported software from Oracle which has grown into today's Oracle Application Express.
To recap the years:
- 2004 HTML DB 1.5 - Initial release
- 2004 HTML DB 1.6 - User interface Themes
- 2005 HTML DB 2.0 - SQL Workshop
- 2006 Application Express 2.1 - Embedded with Oracle 10gR2 Express Edition (XE)
- 2006 Application Express 2.2 - Packaged Applications
- 2007 Application Express 3.0 - Flash Charts, PDF printing, Microsoft Access migration
- 2008 Application Express 3.1 - Interactive Reports, runtime-only installation
- 2009 Application Express 3.2 - Oracle Forms to Oracle Application Express conversion
- 2010 Application Express 4.0 - Plug-ins, Dynamic Actions, Team Development
- 2011 Application Express 4.1 - Data Upload, improved Tabular Forms, Error Handling
- 2012 Application Express 4.2 - Mobile support, mobile and responsive themes, RESTful Web Services
Oracle Application Express has been delivered with every version of the Oracle Database since 2004. Beginning with Oracle Database 11gR1, Oracle Application Express moved to the database distribution and was treated as a "standard" database component. Beginning with Oracle Database 12c, Oracle Application Express is installed by default in every Oracle database. Oracle Application Express is the development framework for both Oracle Audit Vault and Database Firewall and the 12c Multitenant Self-Service Provisioning applications. apex.oracle.com, the customer evaluation instance of Oracle Application Express, keeps chugging along - with an average of 1,000 new workspace requests per week.
In 2004 / 2005, customers would "dip their toe in the water" with HTML DB. Today, Oracle Application Express is an approved development framework in countless large enterprises, managing literally hundreds of applications on a single Oracle Database instance.
To say that Oracle Application Express has matured over the past 10 years can be a bit misleading. Some perceive maturing as "getting old". I would much rather characterize this as adapting and evolving...and growing. The story with Oracle Application Express is far from over. Not only are there vast improvements which need to be made in the framework itself (especially with respect to developer productivity and enterprise deployment), but we need to improve in many other ways - documentation, examples, videos, communication, usability, and a plethora of excellent customer-provided enhancement requests. The industry is constantly changing and evolving as well, and Oracle Application Express must adapt and evolve and, in some respects, lead.
For now, though, let me just offer a simple "Happy birthday!"