Is Your Application Development Framework Making You Feel Boxed In?

Make no mistake: there are many fast development tools available to create web applications but there are significant differences between them. When we think about the most important aspects of application development tools we realize that often times they are not built into rigid and expensive, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions. In this article we will introduce Oracle Application Express (APEX) in high-level and highlight a few out-of-the box features that Oracle APEX offers for rapid, modern, and dynamic application development.

In its entirety, Oracle APEX is a development and deployment framework that allows developers with PL/SQL and very little HTML/JavaScript background to develop powerful business applications that can be accessed through any web browser. The need to install any client software to access or even develop Oracle APEX applications has been eliminated. In addition, Oracle APEX offers out-of-the-box responsive themes and templates that make applications accessible through different devices such as: desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

The 2-Tier Architecture of Oracle APEX is pretty simple. It allows for maximum efficiency and performance by eliminating unnecessary tiers, and connecting the web layer directly to the database layer. The web layer can be configured in many different ways, but the preferred configuration is: Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) running a Java server, such as: Oracle Web-Logic, Oracle Glassfish, or Tomcat.

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Oracle APEX is tightly integrated to the Oracle database; it actually lives in the database. When users navigate through their Oracle APEX application’s components, the underlying URL requests are translated into plain PL/SQL calls by the web server. All application’s definitions are stored as metadata in the Oracle database. The heavy lifting and data processing is fully performed in the database engine, taking full advantage of Oracle’s robust and scalable database engine. Results are then relayed back to the browser in HTML format.

Oracle APEX offers several out-of-the-box components such as:

Interactive Reports

Interactive reports are end-user customizable powerful reports. Users can interactively show/hide certain columns, add filters, breaks, computations, highlights, aggregations, sorting, create charts and pivot reports, and export to different formats such as CSV, HTML and PDF.

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Interactive Grids

Interactive grids offer a modern and interactive multi-row editing functionality allowing users to directly manipulate data represented in any cell by simply clicking on the cell. They also offer the same reporting functionality in interactive reports.

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Oracle APEX offers powerful charting capabilities through Oracle JET Charts, which are open source JavaScript-based charts. JET charts are HTML5-compatible, allowing them to run on any modern browser or device. JET Charts are highly customizable.


Oracle APEX offers customizable calendars that can imbed data from database tables, along with drag and drop capabilities that make them very powerful in visualization and scheduling.

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Web Service Integration

Oracle APEX supports various forms of web service integration, allowing Oracle APEX to either consume external web services, or publish its own web services that can be consumed by other systems.

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Want to discuss how CEI’s Oracle APEX Practice can benefit your organization?

Reach out to Joe Esposito, Sr. Account Executive, at or 412.680.4880. Be sure to subscribe to our blog or follow us on social media to stay on top of our latest Oracle APEX and application development insights, special events, and more.

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