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  • February 24, 2021

On-premises APEX installations in Oracle Database 21c and beyond

Joel Kallman
Vice President, Software Development

Simple statement

For on-premises Oracle Database installations, you should go to apex.oracle.com/download and download the installation software for Oracle APEX.  This has always been the preferred way for you to obtain the installation media for Oracle APEX.


Detailed Explanation

The installation software of APEX will no longer be distributed with the Oracle Database release, beginning with Oracle Database 21c.  When you (eventually) download Oracle Database 21c software and install the database software, there will not be any ORACLE_HOME/apex directory, nor will APEX be shown as an option in the Database Creation Assistant (DBCA).

Please note that this will have zero impact on the license, minimum database version, or support of APEX with on-premises Oracle Database.  The only thing that is changing is how you will acquire the installation files for APEX.  To get the installation software for the latest version of APEX, simply go to apex.oracle.com/download.


What is the reason for this change?  Why are you doing this?

APEX is released approximately every 6 months and is made available for download at apex.oracle.com/download.  A version of APEX has been distributed with Oracle Database since 2004.  Once a release of Oracle Database is made available, the version of APEX included with it is never updated.  Which is why we always encourage customers to download the latest version of APEX from apex.oracle.com/download and use that instead of the version bundled with Oracle Database.  There are numerous security, functional, and performance improvements which we want all of our customers to realize.

We, on the Oracle APEX product development team, specifically asked for this change to the database distribution.


Does this mean that APEX is no longer part of the Oracle Database license?

The license for APEX remains unchanged.  As has been the case since 2004, if you are licensed and supported for Oracle Database, you are licensed and supported for Oracle APEX.  If you download future versions of APEX from apex.oracle.com/download and install it in an Oracle Database for which are you licensed and supported, then you are licensed and supported for that new version of APEX.


Are you saying that APEX will not work in Oracle Database 21c?

We are not saying that at all.  There is a minimum database version for every APEX release.  APEX 20.2 is supported in Oracle Database and higher.  In the forthcoming APEX 21.1, it will be supported in Oracle Database 12.1 and higher.  APEX will work just fine in Database 21c, and there are numerous reasons why you'll want to use APEX in Database 21c, including native support for the Multilingual Engine.


Does this mean that Oracle will now start charging for APEX for on-premises use?

No, not at all.  APEX remains a no-cost feature of Oracle Database on-premises.  The only thing that's changing is the distribution mechanism for the installation software of Oracle APEX.


What does this mean for APEX on Oracle Cloud?

This has no impact for APEX on Oracle Cloud whatsoever.  This topic is really only relevant for those customers who manually install APEX on-premises or on their own servers.  If you want to try APEX on Database 21c today, you can create a free Oracle Autonomous Database with Oracle Database 21c on the Always Free Oracle Cloud.  Just go to oracle.com/free.


In the past, I always downloaded the latest version of APEX from apex.oracle.com/download and used that, instead of the version of APEX included with my database distribution.  What changes for me?

Nothing changes.  If you create a brand new Oracle Database on-premises and you want to install APEX in it, you can simply go to apex.oracle.com/download, grab the latest version, and follow the installation instructions.  This is what we have always encouraged, and in the future, will be the primary way to obtain the installation software for Oracle APEX.


Does this imply that Oracle is starting to move away from APEX?

Not at all.  To the contrary, Oracle is embracing and promoting APEX more than ever.  On January 13, 2021, Oracle launched the APEX Application Development Service on Oracle Cloud, offered at a low price and targeted at application developers.  Oracle is using APEX on Oracle Cloud to develop and deliver applications to help with the global pandemic and other vaccination programs.  There are more than 500,000 developers in the global Oracle APEX community, and it's growing rapidly.  The future has never looked brighter for Oracle APEX.

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