Oracle Express Edition(XE) and Application Express(ApEx) Part 2

For quick wins and a brief introduction please first read part 1 of this series. Express Edition and Application Express, I think because of this “Express” common word, usually perceived to be the same by the beginners. So it may be important to point out that XE is a limited but free Oracle database edition of Oracle 10g Release 2, where as ApEx is a rapid web based wizard driven development environment bundled with 10g XE but also can be installed and used for any editions of Oracle. Since this part is an overview, I want to share some stories of mine, please hold on :)

Application Express enabled me to challenge J2EE developers in my company once upon a time. After reading its user’s guide and 2 day plus apex developer’s guide and playing with the sample application on 1.6 release, immediately I fell in love with this development environment. The primary reason behind this was, at last one of my dreams was becoming real, I was also able to build web based database applications only with my SQL and PL/SQL knowledge. Okey, some HTML and Javascript basics also helped me a lot, I do confess. In order to introduce this tool to the developer community in my company, I challenged with both time and head count constraints; I proposed that I will do the project at half time whatever time others will be giving and I will be the only developer for every layer(database-middle layer-front ends we may say). When you fall in love, you may harm yourself :)

Since I am one of the old wolfs in my company, project leader believed in me and the project was an important success. I will be going through the best practices I accepted and used, also some tricks behind the project’s success during the series. But first of all let me mention that as a starter I targeted a similar project which was mentioned at chapter 10 of 2 days plus apex developer’s guide. Before starting this series I really want to warn all DBAs, Forms&Reports or PL/SQL developers to check part 1 for the introduction and warm up with ApEx. ApEx is now installed as part of the 11g installation and Oracle will continue to invest in this beauty with its 4.0 new version.

Express edition also enabled me to challenge MySQL in a project once upon time. Express edition has limitations yes, but be open minded and please see the full side of the glass, this free edition is completely Oracle. Meaning lots of unique features are included and the kernel is the same;
a. with its Undo mechanism which enable you to create high-concurrent applications(readers never wait for writers and writers only wait for writers for the same row and this is done automatically, also phantom reads are not permitted and of course multi-versisioning)
b. with its Redo mechanism which enable you to have high-available applications(archivelog mode, instance and media recovery, RMAN etc.)
c. with its SQL and PL/SQL supplied features enables you to be time to market(CBO, SQL Model and Analytic Functions, Oracle Text and Locator, Connect By Prior, UTL_% and DBMS_% packages, who has resources to re-invent a dumper wheel as Mr.Kyte mentions).
After reading the Licensing guide available under XE documentation you will also reconsider on using XE for some of your projects.

11g Express Edition is expected to be available on OTN with the second release and until that time requesting some add-ons to 11g XE is also free :) You may post your requests under the XE forum. Since XE and Apex are free, support may be a question for you, if so just monitor their forums a little, you will see how valuable Oracle experts will be interested and answering your questions.

This will be the draft content of this series –
Part I – Quick Wins and Introduction to XE and ApEx
Part II – Overview of XE and ApEx
Part III – Installing, Upgrading and Configuring XE and ApEx on OEL4
Part IV – Sample IMEI and Terminal Management Application Implementation

Also last words are for an important change in my life; just one day after I read this post from one of my important idols, I learned that I became an Oracle ACE. Bad timing let’s say, I completely understand Mr.Rogers points. So at least I may say I will be doing what I was doing for some time, which I believe was important to get this award. Turkish Oracle Users community had a 10g OCM, Aykut Çelik, and this is another first for the community. But since I know the potential and proficiency of this community, I may guarantee soon there will be others for both OCM and ACE levels.