Extending Oracle EBS using APEX: Quick, Secure and Easy

By Johannes Michler posted 08-22-2019 03:52


Oracle APEX (Oracle Application Express) makes it possible to rapidly develop and publish complex, database-driven desktop and mobile applications by use of the web browser only. Thanks to its simple, declarative approach, Oracle APEX is especially suited for the rapid, professional development of database-centered web applications. With this tool, the functionality of the Oracle E-Business Suite can be easily extended. An attractive and intuitive UI/UX as well as a short and steep learning curve make Oracle APEX the ideal development tool for database administrators, PL/SQL developers and even functional users with some technical background. There are several possibilities to create an integration between Oracle E-Business Suite and APEX. This paper will highlight these possibilities and will additionally show typical use cases for extended E-Business Suite using Oracle APEX.

What is APEX?

Oracle Application Express (APEX) is a development platform which uses SQL, PL/SQL, JavaScript and HTML to create applications on an Oracle database. The development in APEX only requires a browser. As a low-code platform, it enables the programming of simple web applications – quickly, with little effort and without any required prior experience. Of course, highly complex web applications such as customer portals can be realized as well. APEX applications are easily scalable. Since APEX – contrary to Oracle Application Framework (OAF) – uses SQL and PL/SQL as its main programming language, traditional Oracle Forms, Reports and (PL)-SQL developers will find it easier to learn.

Possible application

With the help of APEX, Oracle EBS can be extended with reports and forms. Such forms can for example be used to maintain custom data extending information held in EBS. APEX can even be used to provide the complete frontend for at least some user groups interacting with the E-Business Suite. Those users then never need to sign in into the “real” EBS backend applications. This is especially handy if users are unable to install Java to access standard Forms user interfaces or if those UIs are too complex for the end users.

The ORDS serving as the backend webserver for APEX can be used as well for providing REST Web Services to third party applications integrating with E-Business Suite. Another – last but not least – use case seen in many project consists of using APEX to provide access (reading and validated modifying) to seeded or custom staging tables: This provides a convenient way to fix all kinds of human or technical errors.

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