End of an era …

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Four years ago I wrote about a little volunteer project that my partner did.  A small association that provided outdoor experiences and facilities for kids with physical impairments needed a system to record member and volunteer details, plus a few other bits and pieces.  We built an Apex solution running on XE.  This week, they became part of a larger government initiative, and thus their Apex application was no longer needed and the information migrated to a centralised service.  There was a tinge of sadness about that, but I also was pleased with the outcomes of this “project” namely:

  • It ran for 4 years with virtually never an outage besides those related to power etc.  (After all, their “server” was just a PC in the secretary’s office Smile)
  • Their PC’s etc went through several iterations of patching, upgrades, replacements etc and the system was unaffected because it was entirely run in the browser
  • We never had a single issue with the database
  • Minimal maintenance needed.  In fact, the only “serious” bit of work needed after go live was when we discovered that their external drive (where we stored our database backups) was from time to time removed to be used for offsite file transfers, and when it was re-attached they would assign it a new drive letter.  So we adjusted our backup script to cycle through drive letters to “find” the disk and adjust the RMAN backup details accordingly.

That’s one of the great things with Apex, and a database-centric model.  It is just so well insulated from all the things that change most frequently, that is, those elements closest to the client.

So yesterday I took a final datapump export of the system as a “just in case” measure, and uninstalled the application and its dependencies from the PC.  But for four years, they had a successful application that provided all of their data entry needs and all of their reporting needs, and besides checking an occasional email to ensure the backups were working ok, took very little of my time. And surely that’s what all IT applications “aspire” to be – stuff that just plain works.

It never let them down and never cost them a cent.  You can’t tick any more boxes than that Smile


    1. I´ve been using Apex for 5 years. In the beggining I built basic pages using apex´s themes but I´ve found that they are limited. So I decided to use bootstrap framework. I modified my themes to use all the Bootstrap power. Well, to do this I had to study CSS, jQuery, HTML and Javascript. Now I´m using material design in my projects!

  1. I definitely join the previous poster’s question, I am already asking the same one for a very long time 🙂

    Interestingly enough … one of the answers I received was:
    “APEX is simple, not like Oracle Forms ! …”

    This just shows how relative things are … I tried to learn (or better said, just read) a little bit about APEX,
    and I still find it more complicated than Forms.

    I have seen that there exist many APEX books, but haven’t seen one that specifically focuses
    on teaching users with Oracle Forms experience.

    Pretty all the sources that I have seen just start by showing you how to sign up for a free account
    and workspace on Oracle’s free APEX, and then they expect you to be ready to go …
    But that is NOT the case for developers who know nothing about APEX.
    The essential introductory part is always missing.

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