Wednesday, May 09, 2012

APEX - it's only good for CRUD applications?

The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

Rather than ignore a potentially damaging report about Oracle Application Express and hope no one notices it, I wish to expose it to the light of day.

I read a blog post the other day on the offical Oracle blog site.  This blog post referenced a paper from an industry analyst.  The majority of the paper is about Oracle Forms, the current offering, the road map and planned longevity of Oracle Forms, and a listing of numerous new features being added to Oracle Forms which customers can use to capitalize upon and further extend their investment in Oracle Forms.

A very small portion of the paper mentions Oracle Application Express - 202 words, to be exact.  However, in these 202 words, the author seems to conclude that:

  • APEX is only good for simple CRUD applications
  • APEX is not well-suited for applications with complex business logic

To address both points, all I can offer is empirical evidence.  I guess the author was never informed about the Oracle customer who has implemented their entire call-center interface in Oracle Application Express, supporting nearly 700 call center employees.  Perhaps they were not made aware of the multi-billion dollar clothing retailer who has their entire ordering, fulfillment and shipping system front-ended by Oracle Application Express.  How about the American pharmaceutical company who wrote a custom CRM system for their 600+ member sales force, all in Application Express?  Maybe he should have been informed about the multinational chemical corporation which has more than 200 applications in production - one of those APEX applications providing rich functionality on top of an SAP system.  Perhaps we can share with him the story of a large cruise-line company that has rewritten their customer embarkation application in APEX and is in production today?  Shall I go on?

After reading this paper, though, I'm not sure what I find more bothersome - a) the conclusion by an analyst who was fed incorrect and/or misleading information about Oracle Application Express and believes it to be Oracle WebDB from 1998, or b) an Oracle blog would highlight a white paper that basically says "if you wish to move from Oracle Forms and you're not interested in Oracle Fusion Middleware, then please use .NET."  An odd direction, indeed, to suggest to customers who have invested heavily in SQL and PL/SQL.

I will let the successes of our customers be all the evidence that is needed to prove both of them wrong.