Expert Oracle Application Express

Expert Oracle Application Express

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by Dietmar Aust, Martin D'Souza, Doug Gault, Dimitri Gielis

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Expert Oracle Application Express brings you groundbreaking insights into developing with Oracle’s enterprise-level, rapid-development tool from some of the best practitioners in the field today. Oracle Application Express (APEX) is an entirely web-based development framework that is built into every edition of Oracle Database. The framework rests

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Expert Oracle Application Express brings you groundbreaking insights into developing with Oracle’s enterprise-level, rapid-development tool from some of the best practitioners in the field today. Oracle Application Express (APEX) is an entirely web-based development framework that is built into every edition of Oracle Database. The framework rests upon Oracle’s powerful PL/SQL language, enabling power users and developers to rapidly develop applications that easily scale to hundreds, even thousands of concurrent users.

The 13 authors of Expert Oracle Application Express build their careers around APEX. They know what it takes to make the product sing—developing secure applications that can be deployed globally to users inside and outside a large enterprise. The authors come together in this book to share some of their deepest and most powerful insights into solving the difficult problems surrounding scalability, globalization, configuration and lifecycle management, and more. You’ll learn about debugging and performance, deep secrets to customizing your application user interface, how to secure applications from intrusion, and about deploying globally in multiple languages. Expert Oracle Application Express is truly a book that will move you and your skillset a big step towards the apex of Application Express development.

  • Presents best-practices and development insights from leading experts in the field
  • Addresses globalization, scalability, security, and other concerns of enterprise-level development
  • Shows how to customize APEX for your own application needs

What you’ll learn

  • Solve tough problems in scalability in order to serve thousands of users
  • Design applications to sidestep performance problems and easily scale upwards
  • Deploy applications globally while respecting linguistic and cultural differences
  • Customize applications by exploiting APEX’s roots in PL/SQL
  • Reduce the stress of managing application lifecycle and configuration
  • Secure outwardly-facing applications and their data from intrusion

Who this book is for

Expert Oracle Application Express is aimed at APEX developers who seek the deepest possible knowledge of Oracle Application Express and how to develop with it. Readers should know and be proficient with APEX, and be prepared to expend some mental energy in absorbing the high-end material in this book.

Table of Contents

  1. OHS, EPG, and APEX Listener Compared
  2. Oracle APEX 4.0 Charts Inside Out
  3. Tabular Forms
  4. Team Development
  5. Globalization
  6. Debugging
  7. Dynamic Actions
  8. Security
  9. Lifecycle Management
  10. Working with APEX Collections
  11. Plug-Ins
  12. Architecture
  13. Advanced Interactive Reporting

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Product Details

Publication date:
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7.50(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

John Edward Scott has been using Oracle since version 7 (around 1993), and has used pretty much every release since then. He has had the good fortune to work on a wide range of projects for a varied group of clients. He was lucky enough to start working with Oracle Application Express when it was first publicly released, and has worked with it nearly every day since (and loves it). John is an Oracle ACE Director and was named Application Express Developer of the Year in 2006 by Oracle Magazine. He is also the cofounder of ApexEvangelists (, a company that specializes in providing training, development, and consulting specifically for the Oracle Application Express product. You can contact John at

Doug Gault is a Consulting member of Technical Staff at Oracle Corporation and has been working with Oracle Database since 1988, starting with version 5.1B, SQL*Forms 2.0, and RPT/RPF. He has focused his career on Oracle's development technologies, spending the majority of that time dedicated to web-based technologies including the OWA Web Toolkit, PL/SQL Server Pages, WebDB, Oracle Portal and more recently HTML-DB and APEX.

Doug's many years of Oracle Database experience have taken him all over the world to participate in some truly ground-breaking projects. Doug has presented and participated in roundtable discussions at a number of conferences, including Oracle OpenWorld, UKOUG, and ODTUG's APEXposed & Kaleidoscope conferences. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science and an honorary Master's Degree from The School of Hard Knocks, believing there is no replacement for hard-earned experience.

Doug can be found on Twitter as @dgault_apex and on his blog at

Raj Mattamal is co-president of Niantic Systems, LLC ( He started developing web applications at Oracle in 1995 with the very same people who came to create Oracle Application Express (APEX). In his more than 10 years with the company, he helped customers in a wide range of industries to deliver web-based solutions on the Oracle Database. In addition to helping customers with their applications, Raj developed numerous web applications for use internally at Oracle. Outside of database application development, Raj spent much remaining time with Oracle evangelizing Oracle Application Express. This entailed teaching Oracle software development and APEX classes globally, writing articles for Oracle Magazine, writing Technotes for the Oracle Technology Network, and assisting with the development of training material and workshops.

Having earned a bachelor's degree in decision and information studies, and another in marketing, from the University of Maryland, Raj continues to apply his knowledge of and passion for technology and business to real-world issues. Since leaving Oracle in 2006, Raj offers his services and training to customers in a wide range of business lines to help them get the most out of their Oracle environments. In recent years, Raj has been recognized by his Oracle professional colleagues as an Oracle ACE Director an honor, indeed, to be earned among so many knowledgeable colleagues.

Anton Nielsen is president of C2 Consulting, a technology solutions firm specializing in Oracle technologies. Anton is an Oracle Fusion Middleware ACE Director and has presented at ODTUG Kaleidoscope, Oracle OpenWorld, and APEXposed. Prior to founding C2 Consulting, he was technical director at Oracle and an officer and scientist in the U.S. Air Force. Anton has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a master's from Northeastern University, where he concentrated in combinatorics, encryption and error correction codes. He has worked with Oracle Application Express since its inception and with various aspects of software security since 1982.

Martin Giffy D'Souza is Co-Founder and CTO at ClariFit, a consulting firm and custom solutions provider specializing in APEX and PL/SQL development. His experience in the technology industry has been focused on developing database-centric web applications using the Oracle APEX technology stack.

In addition to his day job, Martin is the author of the popular blog He is also a designated Oracle ACE Director, and has co-authored and authored various APEX books. He has also presented at numerous international conferences such as APEXposed, COUG, and ODTUG Kscope, for which he won the Presenter of the Year award in 2011.

Martin holds a Computer Engineering degree from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. You can contact Martin at

Dimitri Gielis has been working with Oracle Database since he began his career in 2000 with Oracle in Belgium. Dimitri was an early adopter and supporter of HTMLDB, and later of Application Express (APEX). After many years of honing his expertise with Oracle Database and Application Express, Dimitri co-founded APEX Evangelists in 2007. In 2014 Dimitri set up APEX R&D (, a company that focuses on Web Application Development: creating innovative solutions with Oracle Application Express. The company also provides on demand coaching and training in APEX.

Dimitri is an active member of the Application Express community. He routinely posts insights into Application Express on his blog at He is a frequent presenter at the Oracle Benelux User Group (OBUG), IOUG collaborate, ODTUG Kaleidoscope, the UKOUG conference, and Oracle OpenWorld. Dimitri is an Oracle ACE Director since 2008. He received the APEX Developer of the Year award from Oracle Magazine in 2009.

Roel Hartman has been using Oracle Database since version 5. At that time, he used Oracle Case*Designer, Oracle Forms 2.3, and other tools of the day. He has used all versions of those tools as they have evolved during the intervening years, giving him great depth of experience as an Oracle Database developer. Today he is a fierce advocate and user of Oracle Application Express. Roel holds a master's degree in business informatics from the University of Twente in the Netherlands. He is an Oracle ACE Director. He works for Logica in the Netherlands as a lead technical architect. Roel has presented at all major Oracle conferences, such as ODTUG, Oracle Open World, and UKOUG. He is a regular contributer to the OakTable Network APEX Forum.

Francis Mignault is chief technology officer and co-founder of Insum Solutions. He has been working with Oracle Database for more than 23 years and is a certified Oracle database administrator. Francis began his work with APEX in 2004, when it was called HTML DB. He and his team have developed bilingual software as a service application that is now used by over 60,000 active users. Francis is deeply involved in the APEX community. His first-rate PL/SQL and APEX expertise led to becoming the first APEX instructor in Quebec. He has presented at several APEX seminars and conferences in the United States and Canada, including Oracle Open World, IOUG Collaborate, ODTUG Apexposed, ODTUG Kaleidoscope, and Ora*GEC.

Dietmar Aust is a freelance consultant in Germany, focusing on Oracle Application Express and Oracle XE. Starting in 1997, he worked for three years as a consultant for Oracle in Germany. Since then, he has helped numerous leading companies in Germany successfully deliver Web-based applications based on the Oracle product stack, especially involving the Internet application server, Oracle Portal, and Oracle Reports. Dietmar is a regular presenter at various Oracle conferences (ODTUG, OOW, DOAG), conducts training classes on APEX, and recently co-authored a book on APEX best practices in German (Oracle APEX und Oracle XE in der Praxis). You can reach him at or

Michael Hichwa is the original developer and architect of Oracle Application Express (APEX), aka HTML DB. Michael created APEX as a 100% rewrite of an earlier browser-based application development tool he also created, called Oracle WebDB. He had invaluable technical assistance and guidance from Tom Kyte and the addition of Joel Kallman as a co-developer. Michael and Joel have led APEX developments efforts since 1999. Michael remains committed and fully engaged in Oracle APEX design and development efforts. He also leads the development teams responsible for Oracle SQL Developer, SQL Developer Data Modeler, Migration Tools, the Oracle development tools for Visual Studio .NET and other data access technologies. Michael also leads APEX-driven Oracle internal system development efforts, including the Oracle online store.

Denes Kubicek is chief executive officer and founder of bi-Cubes. He has been working with Oracle more than 12 years. Denes is an Oracle ACE Director, and was APEX Developer of the Year in 2008. Denes is also a coauthor of the first APEX book in German, Oracle APEX und Oracle XE in der Praxis. You can reach him at

Dan McGhan is a Senior Technical Consultant with the Accenture Enkitec Group. He suffers from Compulsive Programing Disorder which is believed to be linked to his balding. Having started his development career in the land of MySQL and PHP, he was only too happy to have stumbled upon APEX. Since then he’s dedicated his programming efforts to learning more about Oracle and web-based technologies in general.

Dan is an Oracle Application Express Certified Expert, an Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate, as well as an Oracle ACE. In addition to his "day job," he is one of the top contributors to the APEX forum, maintains his own Oracle and APEX blog (, and is a regular presenter at various events and user group meetings.

Sharon Kennedy is part of the Application Express development team. She likes to stay behind the scenes, working on release management isues, supporting early adopter releases, and working on special projects (both internally and externally). She also has a hand in core development and bug fixing. Sharon has been with Oracle for more than 20 years, and has been part of the APEX team for more than 10. Prior to her work on APEX, she was part of Oracle Consulting and responsible for delivering custom applications to the healthcare, navy, and intelligence industries. Her working life before Oracle began at Grumman Data Systems, which is where she got handed an Oracle 5 reference manual one day while being asked to "help out" on a project.

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Expert Oracle Application Express 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OracleDBA More than 1 year ago
Expert Oracle Application Express may be the best-written technical book I have read. If you look at the picture of the front cover of the book, you can see that there are 13 authors. There are also 13 chapters. This book has taken 13 APEX experts and had each of them write a chapter in her/his area of expertise. The result is a compendium of expert knowledge, real-life examples, screen shots, personal expert tips on how best to perform tasks, expert shortcuts, numerous cautions on where mistakes are most likely made, how to avoid them and what each expert does to avoid them. In addition, many of the experts provide their personally developed scripts and explain their personal work style as well as key things to do, or not to do, based on their vast experience and knowledge. Although this book is written by 13 different authors, the style is very consistent. I particularly like the way the authors walk through program code on a line-by-line basis. I also really like the way the authors give practical alternatives to the official documentation, based on their experience, to perform various tasks. For example, in Chapter 1, when talking about OHS (Oracle HTTP server), John Edward Scott writes "Instead of restarting all of the managed processes, you could just restart the OHS processes which is much quicker. To do that you can use the commands: ." Another example by the same author is "One enhancement I typically make to save myself some keystrokes, is to create a script to automatically start, stop, and restart the OHS, shown in Listing 1-6" In addition, the authors give vendor sources to get more information about much of the material presented in the book. For example, the Apache URL is given to get more information when discussing httpd.conf (Apache configuration file). They describe known problems and workarounds, and directions to helpful resources. One of the authors maintains a website with a demo application. You are directed to the appropriate area for examples of Tabular Forms usage. This is an advanced book. You will need a basic understanding of APEX to get the most out of this book. To get this understanding, I recommend "Beginning Oracle Application Express 4" by Doug Gault. This book will provide all the information you need to prepare you for this advanced material. It is very hard to say which chapters I like best. They all contain a wealth of information that is readily understood, that you need and that you want. However, I will go out on a limb here and say that I really like the chapters on Debugging and Charting. The chapter on debugging gives a lot of information on how to quickly find errors, get the application working quickly and reduce your frustration. There are 42 Chart types in APEX and various choices within each chart type. The chapter on charting makes it easy to create charts with little or no programming. These charts can make reports and presentations very impressive. Through all of this the authors have managed to produce, like I said, maybe one of the best written technical books made even more exciting because of the amazing product that is its subject. The result is a book that is totally understandable, very practical, extremely robust and one that can help you quickly create production ready, scalable, secure, stable and exciting applications. I highly recommend Expert Oracle Application Express.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago