I had briefly played with Oracle Application Express (APEX) before. But I am now coming back and familiarizing myself with the big picture of the tool. It allows you to build application using a browser based user interface. The IDE has a code editor, supports drag and drop, does not require recompilations, and allows you to use jQuery Mobile. The IDE also supports languages/standards like SQL, PL/SQL, JavaScript, REST, and SOAP.

You don't have to manually write your CSS and JavaScript. APEX produces a responsive user interface. You can deploy your APEX apps to the Oracle Cloud. APEX runs with different versions of the Oracle database from the free XE to the Enterprise Edition.

APEX comes with a number of sample applications such as bug tracking, survey builder, and a customer tracker. APEX incurs no additional cost. It runs wherever the Oracle database can run. It was first released in 2004. The latest version is 5.0.1 released on July 15, 2015. The product has gone through a number of names:
  1. Flows
  2. Oracle Platform
  3. Project Marvel
  4. HTML DB
  5. Application Express (APEX)
APEX is used to build web apps. It was created by Mike Hichwa. He is the same guy who developed Web DB. It is built on top of mod_plsql. The tool is used by Oracle itself in a number of sites such as AskTom Knowledgebase and the Oracle online store.

APEX is easy to deploy. You can host your demo apps on Oracle's host for free. It supports themes. The install is heavy coming in at 147M for the English only version. There are some limitations on the tool. Primary keys can contain at most two fields. There is a max of 200 items per page. Forms can handle a max of 200 database items.

APEX is not supported by many webhosts. There is no built in version control. The base server side language is PL/SQL. In summary, it is a rapid web application development tool. It requires at least Oracle 9iR2. Since Oracle 11g, it has been included with the database install.