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Why I like Oracle Application Express

Few years ago when I was Linux system administrator I already knew PHP and I used it to create monitoring scripts for the servers and services that I was responsible for. They were really simple application which I kept open in a browser window and integrated javascript to alert me in case some service goes down. The web design wasn’t my strong side, I guess people are born with it, but for my applications these were enough, although they were not as fancy and beautiful as I wanted to be. Then I start coding ASNI C (as a SA this is a must), created some client-server applications, loading data in MySQL and displaying it with PHP. Both PHP/C are much similar and programming in one of them clearly sets your mind of thinking in a way that it’s very easy to start the other. As system administrator I really liked using Bash, PHP, C for my daily duties. Writing applications, automating few process and protectively monitoring the systems, these kept my brain busy, made me think for new ideas and approaches and especially learned new things, I felt really positive and useful.

Now I’m an Oracle DBA, although I still do some SA and apart from my daily duties, I wanted to feel the same way. To create something that will be useful and make me satisfied, to learn new things. During the six years within this company, I saw a lot of things and found the company is missing a centralised tool for managing company assets, car park, people contacts details, certificates and more. I felt that this could be a chance to be useful and create let’s say corporate portal, integrate it with AD and have people use it. I thought that Oracle APEX is the perfect fit for this case and perfect for me to learn APEX.

I’m pretty sure there are a lot of brilliant developers out there and I do not tend to call myself developer, but personally I feel like APEX is the development tool for me as an Oracle DBA. The very first moment I created and run my first application in APEX, I felt the same was as I was feeling back when I was writing PHP/C applications, I wanted to learn more. I got few books, read forums and online docs, but I think that the main progress I made with APEX was because I had an idea to follow.

Now, few months later I feel prepared to start developing corporate portal for the company needs. I’ve created SVN repo for this project, integrated SQL Data Modeler with SVN, created backup script with APEXExport and SVN, integrated APEX with Microsoft AD (both auth and load users from it), integrated it with Jasper for PDF reports, put some fancy jQuery for pulling data and at after all APEX is using Oracle Database. As I said, I do not tend to call myself developer, but as an Oracle DBA, I feel great and thankful that I can use APEX to create and support company applications.

That’s why I like Oracle APEX.