Oracle has announced the availability of Oracle Application Express Release 4.1, which enhances existing functionality and adds data upload capabilities. Oracle Application Express is a “no-cost” option included with all editions and releases of Oracle Database 11g that allows developers, using only a web browser, to build and deploy professional and scalable applications for Oracle databases. Oracle Application Express Release 4.1 is available for download from the Oracle Technology Network (OTN).
The top feature of 4.1 is a feature called "Data Upload" which allows developers to build data-upload wizards into their applications so they can build an application that would allow a user to upload spreadsheet data into it, Mike Hichwa, vice president of software development, Oracle, tells 5 Minute Briefing. “It allows the applications to easily coexist with spreadsheet data which is very handy for a lot of people.”
The 4.1 release also adds additional enhancements to the popular 4.0 release which came out in 2010. In particular, notes Hichwa, two noteworthy features in Application Express 4.0 were support for plug-ins and the addition of dynamic actions and this new release improves upon those, as well as others.
With this point release, support for plug-ins has been expanded to incorporate authentication and authorization types, and in the area of dynamic actions, there is now support for client-side processing of buttons.
Oracle Application Express has a very active discussion forum on the Oracle Technology Network, says Hichwa noting that while Oracle has thousands of products, the APEX forum is the third most popular behind SQL, and Database, in general. “We meet with large numbers of our customers on a regular basis and talk about these things at length.”
In addition, over the last 6 years since Application Express has been a production product, Oracle has seen an uptick in the sophistication of applications that customers are building, and found that customers are deploying these applications in larger ways. “We see people using Application Express for departmental needs, which is the traditional sort of focus, but also for database-centric style tasks - things that you would use Oracle Forms for in the past - APEX is really filling that gap nicely,” Hichwa adds.
Customers are increasingly using Application Express for mission-critical applications to support their businesses, says David Peake, product manager for Oracle Application Express, pointing to a customer, Cornerstone Brands, as an example. “They actually built their whole call center operation with Application Express,” because features such as dynamic actions enable it to provide strong support to staff members and increase up-sell capabilities. “They are now using APEX throughout their enterprise to solve many problems.”
In addition, Purdue Pharma built its own CRM system using Application Express, he says. “They were previously using an off-the-shelf system, and it was not quite meeting their needs, so they built their own system using Application Express. They have saved about $4 million a year because of the fact that they have been able to build a system that specifically meets their field representatives’ and office needs.”
For complete details on the new release, go to http://otn.oracle.com/apex.