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Expert Oracle Application Express [Paperback]

John Scott , Doug Gault , Raj Mattamal

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Book Description

24 May 2011 1430235128 978-1430235125 1
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 life

Frequently Bought Together

Expert Oracle Application Express + Beginning Oracle Application Express 4.2 (Expert's Voice in Oracle) + Pro Oracle Application Express 4 (Expert's Voice in Databases)
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About 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 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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real world information that you can use including why you'd want to 29 Aug 2011
By Richard Soule - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the fundamental problems with most documentation from most technology companies is that the documentation usually contains a bunch of assumed knowledge.

Take for example, the Oracle Application Express Installation Guide for Release 4.1. This document has the following line in Section 1.4 About Choosing an HTTP server. "In order to run, Oracle Application Express must have access to Oracle Application Express Listener, Oracle HTTP Server and mod_plsql or the embedded PL/SQL gateway." Yep. That's right... sort of. As an experienced installer of APEX, I know that they mean: There are three different ways to connect to Oracle Application Express:

The Oracle Application Express Listener
An Oracle HTTP Server and mod_plsql
The embedded PL/SQL gateway

But, if I was a brand new person with no experience, I might wonder if I need the Oracle Application Express Listener + an Oracle HTTP Server + mod_plsql, or the embedded PL/SQL gateway. Reading the rest of the guide might give me an idea, but for a while I might be confused.

However, I often waffle back and forth between what the biggest problem with technology documentation is: Is it assumed knowledge? Or is it the fact that almost all technology documentation tells you what some setting or button does, but it almost always leaves out the `and here is why you would want to do this' information. You could make the argument that they are one in the same, but I usually see them as different problems. The second problem really comes into play when there are choices. If there are no choices then just telling me what I have to do is fine. Just make sure I know how to do it. I once saw a step in an installation guide that was "Configure SQL/Net". No links to other documentation. No explanation on how to do it. Just "Configure SQL/Net". Ummm... Aren't you kind of assuming that I know how to do that? (And lest it seem like I'm picking on Oracle here, I've seen this in all types of documentation from other technology companies like Microsoft and Dell to even simple things like power tools.) But when I have choices, let me know what those choices mean to me and why I'd choose one over the other.

While it would be great if all the documentation from technology vendors addressed both problems, I doubt it will happen soon. Until then we have books like Expert Oracle Application Express.

This book is 13 chapters long and each chapter was written by a different author. At first that sounds like a recipe for disaster. But when you realize that each author is a pillar of the APEX community and a subject matter expert on their chapter and (most importantly) each of the chapters is excellent, you suddenly realize you're holding a treasure in your hands.

Each chapter contains real world experience including the all important `and here is why you would want to do this'. If fact chapter 1 by John Scott addresses the above connection to Oracle Application Express issue. Sure there are three ways to do it, but why would I want to use one way or the other? Well, read chapter 1 and you will know.

I spent 14 years at Oracle and taught hundreds of people how to use Oracle Application Express and I thought at least some of the chapters would be a bit of a review for me, but I can truly say that I learned valuable information from each and every chapter.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is going to be using Oracle Application Express.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars APEX Deep Dives 16 July 2011
By Doug Duncan - Published on
I am not normally one who likes books with multiple authors, but in this case, that's the best way for this book to be written. 13 authors each write a chapter about different aspects of APEX, giving you a deeper understanding of their chosen subject.

With the way the book is written there is no dependency on reading one chapter before the others and you can easily read the sections that interest you most first and then move on to the other chapters at your leisure.

Here is a breakdown of the chapters:

Chapter 1: OHS, EPG and APEX Listener Compared. In this chapter John Edward Scott looks at the different web server choices and the pros and cons of each. He also shows you how to help make the server as efficient as possible.

Chapter 2: Oracle APEX 4.0 Charts Inside Out. In this chapter Dimitri Gielis talks about the options available for charting (HTML and Flash based). He talks about what goes on behind the scenes with charting and how to customize the XML generated that is used by the AnyChart engine to tweak your charts.

Chapter 3: Tabular Forms. In this chapter Denes Kubicek talks about what has changed with tabular forms in APEX 4.0 and how to code around "missing" functionality that he would like to see implemented in future versions.

Chapter 4: Team Development. In this chapter Roel Hartman talks about using the team development functionality built into APEX to track your projects bugs and development. While not a true project management tool, Roel gives some examples of how you can extend to the tool to add some missing functionality, and how to work with the feedback functionality.

Chapter 5: Globalization. In today's world applications and web sites are being accessed from all over the world. If your company deals with international clients, or you want to reach as many people as you can with your website, then globalization is important. In this chapter Francis Mignault takes you through the steps necessary to help set up your application for globalization and how to use translation to help users of your non-native language be able to interact with your application.

Chapter 6: Debugging. Doug Gault shows you how to use tools (both internal to APEX and external) to help you debug your application. He also mentions using debugging information to help spot performance trends over time, and what debugging information might not be captured and why.

Chapter 7: Dynamic Actions. Martin Giffy D'Souza talks about one of the most popular new features to be found in APEX 4.0. He talks about what dynamic actions are, how to create them and how they can be used.

Chapter 8: Security. In this chapter Anton Nielsen talks about how to help secure your application. In today's world more and more hackers are out there trying to get unauthorized access to your system whether for fun or profit. Anton talks about different types of attacks that can be used and ways to help close the security holes.

Chapter 9: Lifecycle Management. In this chapter Dietmar Aust shows us how to handle your project as it goes through its various changes. He talks about best practices and shows why it's necessary to have a standard process in place for handling releases.

Chapter 10: Working with APEX Collections. In this chapter Raj Mattamal shows us what APEX collections are and how/where to use them to extend APEX's native session state functionality.

Chapter 11: Plug-Ins. In this chapter Dan McGhan shows us the different types of plug-ins that available for creation, shows us the plug-in architecture and walks us through examples of creating each of the different types.

Chapter 12: Architecture. In this chapter Michael Hichwa gives a brief overview of APEX and provides some insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

Chapter 13: Advanced Interactive Reporting. Here Sharon Kennedy shows us how to take the data stored in our databases and present it nicely with APEX's built in reporting tool.

This is an excellent book that I feel will help take someone with a good understanding of APEX development to the next level. I feel the authors did what they set out to accomplish with this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone using APEX for web development.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, Written 23 July 2011
By jtv - Published on
This book is one the best well written tech books I have seen. It is easy to really and follow. It goes into details that other books have left out. The small fact sometime make understanding a product that much easier. Out of all the chapters I think I enjoyed chapter one the best because it gives information about oracle database and application express that other books left out such as the different types of web-servers that are included in the Oracle Database and it gives examples of which of the servers would be best for what type of environment. These include the following: OHS, EPG and the APEX Listener.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This might be the best-written technical book 23 July 2011
By B. Reich - Published on
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for the serious APEX developer 22 Feb 2012
By T. Bowers - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read the book from cover to cover, and refer to it now and again. One of my 3 APEX books and probably my favorite. Well written, good and timely topics. Learned several things, which I always want out of a professional book. There is a chapter on downloading and uploading images and displaying them and using them via a function. I used this on my last project and it was great to be able to have this described so well in the book. A+
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