APEX is a great Oracle product, yet some-how is under-rated.
Think of APEX for Oracle the same as Access is for Microsoft. It is light-weight-declarative tool to build database applications without much coding.
If you embrace this analogy between APEX and Access, then allow me to introduce APEX by comparing it to ACCESS.
- In Access: VBA is used to build macros, yet in APEX uses PL/SQL.
- In Access: Forms and Reports are the main GUI containers, yet in APEX: Web Pages and Report regions are the main containers.
- Access has a its own database and DBMS, yet APEX is based on an Oracle server that acts as the DBMS and Web application server (actually Apache is implicitly installed).
- Access has size limitation on DBMS, But since APEX is based on Oracle, it is already up-scaled when it comes to database size. Yet I would consult Oracle first about the APEX scale limitations for Web-serving.
- In APEX you could build an Web Application or Web-Service rather easily. unlike Access which requires further IIS or any ASP host to be web-enabled.
- APEX is installed by default with every DBMS Oracle server installed.
- In Access to connect to other databases by ADO and External Tables but in APEX the only way to connect to Databases other than the local one, DB-LINKS are the only option. Which is sometimes a pain in the neck because of how the SQL optimizer behaves (unpredictable Explain Plan when linking to an Oracle DB of a different release).