Oracle Application Express Release 4.0 Now Available

Aimed at further streamlining the development of database-centric web applications, Oracle has introduced Oracle Application Express Release 4.0. The new release helps reduce the time and complexity of building opportunistic Web 2.0 applications and reports.

Oracle Application Express (APEX) is a feature included at no additional cost with all editions and releases of Oracle Database 11g. The 4.0 release helps reduce the time and complexity of building opportunistic Web 2.0 applications and reports, and is available now for download from the Oracle Technology Network (OTN).

According to Oracle's Mike Hichwa, vice president of Software Development, the target audience for target audience for APEX has remained consistent since its first release in 2006.  It targets database-centric web application developers who feel comfortable with SQL and PL/SQL.  "It is in contrast to scripting frameworks like PHP which are more targeted at HTML/CSS skills.  As compared with Java and .NET frameworks, Oracle Application Express does not expose any object-oriented programming language, e.g., no Java, no C# required.  Oracle APEX's sweet spot is rapid application development projects that report and manipulate Oracle Database data - something many of our database customers frequently want to do," Hichwa explains.

With 40 major features documented on the Oracle site, there are many more features in the 4.0 release as compared with previous releases. The release is more refined from many perspectives - refined reporting, charting, and form controls; and a more refined developer user interface.

Citing a particularly useful new feature, Hichwa notes that Dynamic Actions allows developers to declaratively create a broad range of AJAX controls without coding JavaScript. "This enables developers who don't know JavaScript to develop rich client side functionality they could not otherwise develop.  It also improves productivity in that it's faster than coding JavaScript."  Another useful capability, Pluggable Components, allows APEX to be extended by third parties to include new components such as advanced item controls - mashups to, for example, Google maps, etc., Hichwa says. "The plug-ins are installed and then appear as if native when creating components using wizards. Pluggable components empower the community to extend APEX as they wish." 

For more information about Oracle Application Express Release 4.0, go here.

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