New Podcast Episode! Why every DBA should learn APEX

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The very name of the product – Application Express (APEX) – suggests that this is a tool solely for building applications, and thus it should belong solely in the realm of developers. But that is underselling the ability of APEX to be a perfect use case for a different IT demographic – the Database Administrator. In this episode I present my reasons for why APEX is a vital part of the DBA toolkit, and how a DBA using APEX can free up their time to more efficiently manage the databases in their organisation.



  1. The most important difference of WebDB and HTMLDB was that WebDB created tons of PL/SQL packages and when you want to change something which was not part of the builder logic you had to understand and tweak the packages and put placeholders of your custom code there, because once you changed something in the builder the packages got overwritten from scratch and you had to put in you custom code again.

    HTML-DB didn’t create a single line of source code, was completely repository driven. This was the introduction of Low Code and Cloud 20 years ago where there was not even a name for Cloud or Source Code.

    1. Haven’t had a chance to play the episode (yet). But I’m still very impressed regarding what a small group of skilled & motivated people built (HTMLDB) and shipped. At the same time another product – Oracle Portal – was pushed, but it suffered from bloat at every level. A small, focused team can ship a working product (without *all* the bells and whistles) with 100x less effort than a highly visible megaproject that “needs” to have everything in it by v1.0 launch. I guess we are lucky that HTMLDB was never a paid extra?

      1. Actually it just was just Mike, he spent one year in the headquarter and worked on it day and night, 2 weekends off. You can hear everything about it in the very first podcast episode 7 years ago with Mike. Then Tom Kyte joined and build mod-plsql and optimised the backend performance. And Joel made the first applications with it. The rest is legend 🙂

        So one guy can change the world. I hope this one guy is showing up again in these times 😉

  2. Connor, this is EXACTLY why I started learning APEX. Not having any web application development, I often found myself having to write scripts to help automate tasks that took time away from adding value to the business. And asking my developer colleagues for help with building tools to address these requests were always low priority compared to product development. Another advantage of DBAs learning APEX is that it provides a way of communicating ideas or approaches to solutions that everyone can understand. For example, I used it to illustrate a how effective a schema design would be to both developers and product owners without asking them to simply take my word on it.
    Great episode! Thank you sharing it.

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