Oracle Application Express (APEX) has been around for over 20 years. You can read about the history here. For something so mature, why would I talk about it coming of age?
If you happened to watch the Larry Ellison keynote at CloudWorld 2023, you will notice he talks about Oracle Application Express (APEX) quite a bit. Essentially saying Oracle have stopped developing new applications in Java, and instead are focussing on building new applications using APEX. Why? Because it’s low code, so they can get a lot more done in less time, and the end result is more consistent and secure. It was really nice to hear this, and its been a long time coming…
Many of us know that APEX has been a serious contender for a long time, but the fact it is a “no cost option” of the Oracle database means it doesn’t make any money for Oracle directly. Of course, you need an Oracle database and they make money from that, but you don’t have to buy a bunch of WebLogic licenses to run it. You can just run Oracle REST Data Service (ORDS) for free on some boxes to front APEX and you are good to go. I’ve written about the topology of APEX environments here.
We all know Oracle are about making money, and faced with promoting two solutions, one of which generates revenue and one of which doesn’t, you know which one they are going to pick right? That is why I was so surprised by Larry Ellison’s comments during his keynote. You can argue WebLogic is already dead, because I rarely hear of anyone wanting to do something new with it, but I was surprised by the change of direction. Happy surprised.
It’s a shame Joel Kallman was not alive to see this shift!
One tool to rule them all?
Of course, there is no one tool that is perfect for every situation. There will be projects where APEX is not the right tool for the job, but APEX has evolved a lot over the years, and the fact Oracle use it internally so extensively tells you it’s not a bit player.
I hope companies that either don’t use APEX, or skirt around the edges of APEX see the change in stance at Oracle, and take note.
It’s been a long time coming, but Oracle Application Express (APEX) has finally come of age!