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Oracle Application Express   

  Oracle's Application Express (previously known as HTMLDB)

What is it ?
Oracle's Application Express is potentially a very powerful way of building on-demand Applications that run over the Internet. I say 'potentially' because I check every year or so and I am always disapppointed that it failed to perform as advertised.
The last time was about 3 months ago, when I created a Table that HTMLDB refused to find !!!
If you have any good experiences (or bad ones) that you would like to share, please email me

My interest was re-awakened recently when I bought a book called 'Oracle HTML DB Handbook' by the good folks (especially Brad Brown) at TUSC (an excellent organisation). Many of the links in the table below are taken from their book. Beware that for many of the links, you must register with the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) first, (it's free).

Also beware that Oracle is consistent in calling it Application Express, which they abbreviate to 'ApEx', but the book I bought, (published in 2006 and I am writing this in May,2006), calls it HTMLDB. Oracle URLs use 'htmldb' but their documentation uses 'Application Express'.
Today, Amazon sent me the second book published on HTML DB/Application Express, called 'Easy Oracle HTML-DB'. It looks good and I plan to build my first Online Application this afternoon, unless my wife has other plans (which is often the case !!!).
My plan didn't work because the book is not easy at all !

Today, (24th. September, 2006) I bought a new book called 'Hands-On Oracle Database 10g Express Edition', by Steve Bobrowski, published by Oracle. It has a Chapter on how to 'Build an Application with Oracle Application Express'.
I will try it this afternoon,(today it's Sunday, and my wife has just returned from visiting her family in Malaysia so maybe she will be suffering from jetlag and sleeping this afternoon !

Recently, I posted a Question on the Oracle ApEx Forum asking 'Is it safe to trust APEX with mission-critical Applications ?
Currently, 260 people read the question, but only 9 have replied and the consensus is 'Yes'.

  Here is a series of Useful Links

Follow these Links for help and advice in getting started
Getting Acquainted Oracle The Application Express ('ApEx') Page
Getting Started Application Express Studio First you have to request a Workspace, and this link brings you to a login page (eg Workspace: BARRYW - with Username: BARRYW@DBA.ORG - pwd=m123) and then provides Applications, Themes, Utilities, Tips and Tricks.
Advice Wiki A new facility, so maybe HTMLDB is gathering momentum.
Blog Scott Spendolini Scott was the HTMLDB Product Manager at Oracle.
Book (1) Easy Oracle HTML-DB Publication delayed while Oracle completed the change from HTMLDB to Application Express. The Series Editor is Don Burleson who is well-known and well-respected, and the book currently scores 4 Stars out of 5 on Amazon from 12 reviews, with comments like 'clear and consistent coverage of topics'.
I can't recommend it because I found it difficult to get started with, and not Easy at all.
Book (2) Hands-On Oracle Database 10g Express Edition The Forward is by Tom Kyte, who is a well-known and well-respected Oracle expert, The book was published on July 26th, 2006 but hasn't got a Star rating on Amazon yet.
Book (3)
Oracle HTML DB Handbook
Is described as a rehash of the online documentation, but currently scores 4 Stars on Amazon from 10 reviews. One of the authors reviewed it and gave himself 5 stars on Amazon !!!
Case Study    
Competition ? Orbit This is described on the ApEx Forum as an alternative. Any comments appreciated.
Development IDEs Toad from Quest It's easier to develop your SQL in Toad and drop it into HTMLDB.
Experts Scott Spendolini Provides useful advice, such as how to apply a corporate 'look and feel' to HTMLDB Applications.
Forum ApEx Forum Very active and helpful Discussion Group
Here's a useful question on sharing Tables and the need for Tutorials.
Hosting (1) Oracle Free hosting for non-commercial sites. also provides sample applications. First you have to sign-up with the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) and then request a Workspace.
Hosting (2) Oracle A Commercial service.
Hosting (3) ShellPrompt (UK) Very affordable at 15/$30 a month. Contact is John Scott, who is a very active and helpful member of the Apex Forum.
Open Source SourceForge 'A repository for applications based on the Oracle Application Express to encourage collaboration to make APEX application more and more sophisticated'.
PDF Generation FOP Formatting Objects Processor.
Vendor Oracle Oracle's main Application Express Page
White Paper    
Wiki HTMLDB Group Worth checking out.

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