JSON Database and APEX Application Development on Oracle Cloud Free Tier

If you follow my Sister-in-law Maria Colgan on Twitter, you will already know the JSON Database and APEX Application Development are now available on the Oracle Cloud Free Tier. For a full list of things on the free tier, see here.

I was on a call with Oracle prior to the release of the APEX Application Development Service, and one of the points I made was it should be available on the free tier, but unfortunately that’s not what happened with the initial release. I’m glad to see that situation has been rectified pretty quickly.

When you are trying to win hearts and minds I think it’s really important to reduce the barriers to entry. These services were available on the free trial, time and credit permitting, but I don’t think the free trials last long enough for people to get a real feel for a service. Adding these to the free tier will result in a number of things.

  • More people will be able to try them and decide if these are the correct services for them.
  • People will be able to live with these services for an extended period of time, and get a true feel for them. Unless you are really well prepared, you can easily do very little with a free trial. The free tier allows you to take your time and make sure you are making the correct move.
  • The more people using the services, the more feedback Oracle will get, which will ultimately make the services better.

I’m really glad this decision has been made!

If you are new to Oracle Cloud, I have some resources that should help you get going. Sign up for the free tier.

Oracle Cloud : Free Tier Account Sign-Up

The bottom of that article has links to lots of other Oracle Cloud posts, including these links.

I’ve also got some Terraform articles, so you can learn to automate the deployment of services on Oracle Cloud, including the JSON Database and APEX Application Development services.

Have fun!



PS. If you’re not following Maria on Twitter, what’s wrong with you?

Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

4 thoughts on “JSON Database and APEX Application Development on Oracle Cloud Free Tier”

  1. Hi Tim,

    Concerning the APEX service, your article says “The APEX Application Development Service is an Autonomous Transaction Processing (ATP) service *with some of the functionality disabled*.” Might you summarise what functionality is missing, please?

    Also, is there any functionality *added* with respect to ATP? I can only think of two things:
    1) seamless upgrade to paying APEX service: perhaps not available from free ATP?
    2) some useful admin screens may be available only within the APEX service (or are they all within APEX itself?)

    If the free APEX service provides a strict subset of functionality, why ever choose it?

    Finally, you mention automatic backups, but what are they for? The last time I tried, Oracle does not allow *restore* from backup on the Free Tier.

    Thanks and best regards,

  2. Stew:

    If you are only talking about the free tier, there is no point using AJD or APX, as they are subsets of what you can do in ATP. Whenever you talk about these services, you have to speak in the context of paying for the service, or trying them with the intention of moving to a paid service in future.

    AJD and APX don’t allow access to the normal ATP administration, and the APX service doesn’t allow direct SQL*Net access, so you can’t connect with SQL*Plus, SQL Developer or SQLcl etc. You have to use SQL Developer Web for any development work. That could be an issue for some people. It also means you may struggle with deployment pipelines and automation. I think the nature of how you as an individual work will have the biggest impact. If you’re an APEX developer that does most things from inside the APEX environment, you will not really be affected by this restriction. There are also data load issues I’ve discussed in that other article. If you are used to doing PL/SQL development using a tool of your choice, you are probably going to hate the APX service. If you use MongoDB, you can switch to AJD really easily and don’t care about the Oracle stuff you are “missing out on”. These are targeted products for specific groups of people. They will not be universally appealing.

    The APEX service has some simplified screens that make handling it a little more streamlined than using the ATP screens. The good thing is these screens can also be used against a regular ATP installation. It’s just nice that you can keep the APX experience, even if you upgrade to the full ATP service. Some people are not DBAs, but want to manage their APEX service without needing DBAs. They can kind-of do that…

    Why choose them? Both the AJD and APX services are cheaper than a full ATP of the same size and processing power. If you can live with the restrictions, you are getting a lot more bang for your buck!

    Backups. Once again, we are discussing the paid service.

    In all cases, the free tier is a stepping stone. Ultimately Oracle and any other provider want you to pay for a service. 🙂



  3. Connor: I agree with the message of your blog post, and I think I have said the same in my comment here. You’ve quoted my first sentence and ignored the second sentence.

    “Whenever you talk about these services, you have to speak in the context of paying for the service, or trying them with the intention of moving to a paid service in future.”

    Your argument is it makes sense if you end up needing to upgrade to the paid service. Isn’t that what I said?

    You also mention developers in Oracle happily working from within APEX and not caring about the lack of SQL*Net access. I made the same point.

    “If you’re an APEX developer that does most things from inside the APEX environment, you will not really be affected by this restriction.”

    Circling back to my point. If you are just talking about free tier, you might as well use ATP. If you are trying the service on free tier, with a view to moving to a paid service in future, then it makes sense to use the same service in free tier that you are expecting to pay for when you go live.



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