Friday, January 31, 2014

Oracle Application Express 5.0 Early Adopter 1 now available

We are quite happy to announce the beginning of the Oracle Application Express 5.0 Early Adopter program, at  This is our open-to-the-public beta program where we encourage our customers (new and old), and also those just interested in Oracle Application Express, to kick the tires of our forthcoming release.  Click the big blue "Request a Workspace" button to get started.

You'll notice right away that the authentication for Oracle Application Express requires an Oracle account.  This is the same account you would use for many Oracle sites, including the OTN Community discussion forums.  If you don't have an account, then simply follow the instructions on the login page to "Sign up for a free Oracle Web account".  However, ensure that you specify the same email address as your Oracle Web account when requesting a new workspace.

The list of new features in Oracle Application Express 5.0 Early Adopter 1 can be reviewed here.  Not everything is ready for prime time, so these are the features we are specifically looking for feedback.

We plan on having an Oracle Application Express 5.0 Early Adopter 2 program.  When that happens, the entire instance will be rebuilt, so don't get too married to any of the data or applications - they will be removed.  Also, there is no guarantee that the applications you create can be imported into any future release of APEX.

The Known Issues will be populated soon, as well the application to review your submitted feedback.  However, we encourage you to use this Early Adopter instance and provide your unvarnished comments.  We still have some miles to travel for Oracle Application Express, but we believe that this will eventually become one of the watershed releases for APEX and the community.

Thank you for all of your support.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happy Birthday, Oracle Application Express!

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., 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!"