Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Is Oracle Application Express supported?


Time to clear up some confusion.

In the past 60 days, I have encountered the following:
  • Two different customers who said they were told by Oracle Support that "APEX isn't supported."
  • An industry analyst who asked "Is use of Oracle Application Express supported?  There is an argument internally that it cannot be used for production applications."
  • A customer who was told by an external non-Oracle consultant "Oracle Application Express is good for a development environment but we don't see it being used in production."  I'm not even sure what that means.
To address these concerns as a whole, let me offer the following:
  1. Oracle Application Express is considered a feature of the Oracle Database.  It isn't classified as "free", even though there is no separate licensing fee for it.  It is classified as an included feature of the Oracle Database, no differently than XML DB, Oracle Text, Oracle Multimedia, etc.
  2. If you are licensed and supported for your Oracle Database, you are licensed and supported (by Oracle Support) for Oracle Application Express in that database.  Many customers aren't even aware that they are licensed for it.
  3. If you download a later version of Oracle Application Express made available for download from the Oracle Technology Network and install it into your Oracle Database, as long as you are licensed and supported for that Oracle Database, you are licensed and supported (by Oracle Support) for Oracle Application Express in that database.
  4. Oracle Application Express is listed in the Lifetime Support Policy: Oracle Technology Products document.

As far as the customers who believed they were told directly by Oracle Support that Oracle Application Express isn't supported, there was a common misunderstanding.  In their Service Requests to Oracle Support, they were told that Oracle REST Data Services (formerly called Oracle Application Express Listener, the Web front-end to Oracle Application Express) running in stand-alone mode isn't supported.  This is expressed in the Oracle REST Data Services documentation.  However, this does not pertain to the supportability of Oracle Application Express.  Additionally, a customer can run Oracle REST Data Services in a supported fashion in specific versions of Oracle WebLogic Server, Glassfish Server, and Apache Tomcat.  To reiterate - running Oracle REST Data Services in standalone mode is the one method which is not supported in production deployments, as articulated in the documentation - however, you can run it supported in Oracle WebLogic Server, Glassfish Server and Apache Tomcat.

Oracle Application Express has been a supported feature of the Oracle Database since 2004, since it first shipped as Oracle HTML DB 1.5 in Oracle Database 10gR1.  Every subsequent version of Oracle Application Express has been supported by Oracle Support when run in a licensed and supported Oracle Database.  Anyone who says otherwise is...confused.

9 comments:

WoSMeN said...

Well, for those who does not think APEX is for production environments, I have very nice examples that APEX is very good for production environments. :) One of our client is using an application with 4000 screens + 200 users completely built with APEX and it's their main application.... If they want to hear some nice cases, they can contact to me :) (PS: some of our success stories with APEX will be published on Oracle's site as well...)

Regards,
Osman Akdemir

Ken Wang said...

Very clear explaination of the license issue!

Refering to WoSMeN's comments, what editions are these database used with production APEX? Enterprise? Standard?

Since you have so much experience with production APEX, do you see ORDS a useful feature for APEX? I assume APEX is also moving toward using more JavaScript and AJAX.

Thanks!

Ken Wang

Sasha Splinter said...

Well, I'm sorry to ask You to reiterate again )))
>>>>
however, you can run it supported in Oracle WebLogic Server, Glassfish Server and Apache Tomcat.
>>>>

What does it mean? What's happened with unsupported Apex Rest when it's loaded in Tomcat as an application?

Appreciate for answer.

Joel R. Kallman said...

Hi Sasha,

As Kris Rice first blogged about last year:

http://krisrice.blogspot.com/2013/11/apex-listener-supported-app-servers.html

"The support for the APEX Listener is tied directly to the database support agreement. To state the obvious, the APEX Listener team is not supporting any application server but our code base running inside that application server. If an issue is in the webserver itself arises, the customer will have to track that issue down with the web server."

Thus, Oracle Support will be able to assist with issues related to Oracle REST Data Services, as long as you're running in one of the three supported containers. They are not going to be able to assist with issues related to the container itself.

I hope this helps.

Joel

Sasha Splinter said...

I see now. I do appreciate You, Joel!

Michael said...

Hi Joel,

This is unrelated to your Post, but I recenlty upgraded to 12c 12.1.0.2 from 11.2.0.4 and my webservice did not work even though I had all the network acls. After oracle support searching and googling finally found that the end user certificate is not required in the wallet, just the Root/Intermediate certs are required, after deleting the end user cert. and bouncing the database, ti did finally work for https calls. I would include this in the Installation Document for Version 4.2.6+. Cheers Mike

Joel R. Kallman said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks for reporting this potential problem.

Vlad on our team investigated this. He said he tested "end user" certificate and root/intermediate certificates in 12.1.0.2 database and both work as expected. He suspects there was an issue with your "end user" certificate unrelated to the database upgrade (for example, certificate expired, hostname changed).

I hope this helps.

Joel

FerGo said...

Hi, I would if it is possible, to have some examples of production environments.

Thanks!!

Joel R. Kallman said...

Hi FerGo,

Are you referring to actual technical specifications of the software/hardware stack? Or just examples of who is using APEX? You can always look at https://apex.oracle.com/quotes and https://www.builtwithapex.com.

Joel