Oracle Launches Application Express 4.0

Oracle delivers a new version of its Application Express 4.0 database development tool.

Oracle has delivered a new version of its popular database development tool, Oracle Application Express 4.0.

Mike Hichwa, vice president of software development at Oracle, said June 23, "This latest release of Oracle Application Express helps reduce the time and complexity of building opportunistic Web 2.0 applications and reports."

"Oracle Application Express (Oracle APEX) is a rapid Web application development tool for the Oracle database. Using only a Web browser and [with] limited programming experience, you can develop and deploy professional applications that are both fast and secure," the company said on its product page.

"Oracle Application Express combines the qualities of a personal database, productivity, ease of use and flexibility with the qualities of an enterprise database, security, integrity, scalability, availability and [being] built for the Web. ... Application Express is a tool [with which] to build Web-based applications and the application development environment is also conveniently Web-based," Oracle said.

"Application Express is a departmental tool that's very database-centric," Hichwa said. "It's aimed at users who are comfortable with SQL statements, but are less comfortable with object-oriented programming like Java and C++. There's lots of forms work."

Oracle Application Express Release 4.0 is available now and can be downloaded from the Oracle Technology Network. "Oracle Application Express is a feature included, at no additional cost, with all editions and releases of Oracle Database 11g," the company said.

"This is by far our most significant release to date," Hichwa said. "It's the biggest by a large margin." The 4.0 release is the ninth release of the technology since Oracle introduced it in 2006, and there are more than 300,000 Application Express developers, he said.

The company said new features in Release 4.0 include: "New Dynamic Actions: allows developers to declaratively incorporate dynamic client-side processes, alleviating the need to learn JavaScript and AJAX to provide a robust Web 2.0 user experience. Plug-Ins: extend the development environment, enabling developers to incorporate custom components. RESTful Web Services: enables integration with RESTful Web services via a declarative interface. Websheets: provides a quick and simple way to integrate and share content and data on the Web. Improved themes: provide a modernized user interface that is compliant with XHTML and CSS standards."

"Oracle Application Express is the primary custom development platform at General Healthcare Group," Marc Yaneza, General Healthcare Group's technology director of IT, said in a statement. "Its speed of delivery and ease of use [have] given GHG an excellent, cost-effective, scalable platform to get the right tailored applications delivered when required. We're really looking forward to Oracle Application Express 4.0 where Dynamic Actions and the new reporting capabilities will provide a much richer user experience. Plug-Ins will also help us to technically streamline the way that we create, deliver and reuse custom code, increasing productivity."

"Using only a Web browser, Oracle Application Express allows developers to rapidly build and deploy professional-grade applications for Oracle databases," Hichwa said.

"At Pinnacle Software Corporation, a division of PAETEC Incorporated, we utilize Oracle Application Express to develop our enterprise-class Service Lifecycle Management software that is used to help IT organizations manage their service support and service delivery business operations," Dennis Vanill, senior manager of software development at PAETEC, said in a statement. "We are eager to begin leveraging several of the new and enhanced features available within Oracle Application Express 4.0 designed to help facilitate larger team development. We are particularly excited about the ability to create dynamic actions and plug-ins to easily extend the functionality of the tool. Additionally, we hope to drive efficiencies within our development organization by leveraging the integrated project management, feedback and bug tracking features built inside the tool."