Oracle APEX doesn’t work for mission critical applications! It’s just for small applications! – Really?

That’s one of the myths you hear quite often when you want to use Oracle Application Express to create bigger applications. But what is the reality? Just have a look at the new Oracle Shop. Phase II just did go-live and includes now almost all the products Oracle offers.

The shop is a good example of an Oracle APEX application and uses a lot of features APEX provides out-of-the-box. Like Interactive Reports, multi-language support (the shop is available in four languages), web service integration (to verify credit cards) and a nice user interface which has been exactly done as the graphic artists defined it. The shop also integrates with our back office Application Suite for further order processing.

If this new public shop application isn’t a mission critical application for Oracle – hey it’s about the money! – then I wouldn’t know what a mission critical application is!

But is just Oracle betting there money on APEX? Have a look at this presentation done by Dietmar Aust where he showcases an ordering solution for the shops of T-Punkt (subsidiary of German Telecom) which is used by about 3.500 employees and generates more than 25.000 orders a day.

I’m sure there are many more APEX applications out there which are used for mission critical tasks in companies which I’m just not aware of. But the next time when you hear this myth, just refer this person to this posting to shorten the discussion!

13 thoughts on “Oracle APEX doesn’t work for mission critical applications! It’s just for small applications! – Really?

  1. I think half the issue is the way Oracle themselves market APEX – the whole “limited programming knowledge” line immediately puts it in the realm of MS Access and VBA, and begs scorn from non-users. Anyone who has actually spent time with the product knows that with the right skills you can build applications as secure, robust, and scalable as your requirements dictate.

  2. The best things in this life are free … as APEX

    Thanks Patrick by share this with us, it is a really good example of mision critical application, and the best it is that the application is used by Oracle, there are not better marketing that see that APEX it is being used by Oracle for their applications


  3. Looks good. It’s great to see Oracle using Apex in anger and with a sexy looking front-end. Hopefully, Apex 4.0 can be shipped with some sexy looking themes too.

    I’ve found the site’s response time to be on the sluggishly side. Do you know if the Apex PL/SQL has been natively compiled?


  4. Patrick,

    Thanks for this post. It’s a beautiful site. Did you have anything to do with it? 🙂

    Unlike Kevan, I found responsiveness to be very peppy. I noticed that right away and was very impressed with everything I saw. I didn’t actually log in or place an order, so I don’t know if those sections were slower.

    I thought it was interesting that it used session_id:0, a feature I haven’t grokked yet. I thought it made the site look much more professional.

  5. We used Oracle Application Express for creating bigger application. It’s very good example – Register of voters of Ukraine, which is used for Accounting 38.000.000 of voters.

  6. Does anyone knows if a version of the shopping script will be available to download?

    That will give a huge boost to APEX community!

  7. Hi,

    I don’t think that the Shopping Application will be made available as Packaged Application.


  8. I work at a major world transportation center and we use mod_plsql and the htp packages for automation into Modicon PLC’s. And we process a major portion of the US GDP on any given night. Now, we don’t use the entire APEX packages but at least the mod_plsql portion is as solid as you can get.

  9. Hello Partick,

    I was a little dissapointed with Apex 4.0 because of an error from the previous versions that was not fixed. It’s the limit of 30k from the text input items. I know there is a workaround for this error (using Ajax, as I remember), but I commonly get this error when trying to edit a Report Layout. I design complex layouts in XSL-FO (I even developed an APEX application that helps me design layouts) and I frequently get the error when uploading layout bigger than 30k. I haven’t found a workaround for this and it limits the PDF printing in APEX very much…


  10. APEX is nice, but it has some limits. One example is that we can’t do some basic highlighting of values between two values in the interactive reports, simply because there are no <,,>= or between operators. Those are basic stuf we can do with Ms Excel. Why can’t APEX do that ?

  11. Hi,

    just had a look and it shows all those operators in the “Highlight” dialog in APEX 4. Is it possible that you tried that for a text column? Because there the operators are not available, because they do not make a lot of sense for this type of column.


  12. Hi Patrick,

    I’m currently working with ApEx 3.2, those operators are missing from both Highlight and Filters. I know that the highlight feature as been improve with ApEx 4.0. I did some test on But I notice that the missing operators for filters hasn’t been improve.

    In many of my applications I need to filter for values over or under a certain value. <,=,> operators would be very useful in interactive report.

    I hope they will add those operators in newest release. So, until my client wants to move on to ApEx 4, they’ll have to export their report to do basic filtering with interactive report.

    Thank you for your time !


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