APEX : Keeping up to date is so easy…


Over the years I’ve extolled the virtues of Oracle Application Express (APEX) because of the ease of development. I think low code tools are a massive boon to productivity. Of course there are some tasks that need alternative tools, but for many scenarios low code tools are awesome.

Something else I find really appealing about APEX is the ease of upgrades. I’m not talking about how easy it is to apply the upgrade itself, because updating Java and Tomcat versions on a server is really easy too. I mean how simple it is from a wider perspective.

I was the first person in my company to use APEX. I used it to write some utility type applications, when it was still “forbidden”. Some of these applications were written over a decade ago, and they are still working fine. In that time we’ve had regular APEX upgrades, and they’ve just kept going. No refactoring. No drama.

Of course, they aren’t using all of the new features that were added in subsequent releases, but the important thing is all that development investment was not impacted by staying on the latest APEX release and patch set. In comparison, updating some of our other platforms and frameworks is a nightmare, requiring substantial development effort and testing.

So it’s not just about improving productivity during the development phase. It’s also about the reduction in the total cost of ownership (from a development perspective) over the lifespan of the application.

Just thought I would share that thought, as I upgrade & patch some production systems… 🙂



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

2 thoughts on “APEX : Keeping up to date is so easy…”

  1. Tim,

    I agree with you, to a point, that APEX upgrades are usually transparent. But a number of features have become deprecated or de-supported over the years. For example, our move of a few apps written in 2008 from APEX 5 to 19c required checking, rewriting and testing for de-supported features. Most changes were minor but we had to do a significant rewrite of our authentication procedure (based on WebAuth). That sort of thing can lead to upgrade paralysis.

    In my case, our company uses a large Oracle database installation for all departments (one instance each for Dev, PreProd, Prod, etc). We’re the only department still doing (very) active APEX development. Because of that, we are is stuck on APEX 19c because other departments have legacy APEX apps, but they no longer have people with the skills/time to review, upgrade and test them.

    I appreciate you writing how APEX is very easily upgraded in most cases, but there are definitely limits.

  2. Stew: Sure, there will always be reasons why it’s not easy. I hear of DBAs refusing to install/upgrade all the time. I like to think that is an education issue, but it’s not always simple to educate people. 🙂



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