A big "Autonomous Welcome" to all our APEX developers because your favorite low-code development environment is now built in Autonomous Data Warehouse. And before you ask - YES, if you have existing autonomous data warehouse instances you will find an APEX launch button got added to the Admin tab on your service console (see the screen capture below).
APEX is now bundled with Autonomous Data Warehouse (even existing data warehouse instances have been updated). What does this mean? It means that you now have free access to Oracle’s premiere low-code development platform: Application Express (APEX). This provides a low-code development environment that enables customers and partners to build stunning, scalable, secure apps with world-class features fully supported by Autonomous Database.
As an application developer you can now benefit from a simple but very powerful development platform powered by an autonomous database. It’s the perfect combination of low-code development meets zero management database. You can focus on building rich, sophisticated applications with APEX and the database will take care of itself. There are plenty of great use cases for APEX combined with Autonomous Database and from a data warehouse perspective 2 key ones stand out:
1) A replacement for a data mart built around spreadsheets
We all done it at some point in our careers - used spreadsheets to build business critical applications and reporting systems. We all know this approach is simply a disaster waiting to happen! Yet almost every organization utilizes spreadsheets to share and report on data. Why? Because spreadsheets are so easy to create - anyone can put together a spreadsheet once they have the data. Once created they often send it out to colleagues who then tweak the data and pass it on to other colleagues, and so forth. This inevitably leads to numerous copies with different data and very a totally flawed business processes. A far better solution is to have a single source of truth stored in a fully secured database with a browser-based app that everyone can use to maintain the data. Fortunately, you now have one!
Using Autonomous Data Warehouse and APEX any user can go from a spreadsheet to web app in a few clicks. APEX provides a very powerful but easy to use wizard that in just a few clicks can transform your spreadsheet into a fully-populated table in Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, complete with a fully functioning app with a report and form for maintaining the data.
One of the key benefits of switching to APEX is that your data becomes completely secure. The Autonomous Data Warehouse automatically encrypts data at rest and in transit, you can apply data masking profiles on any sensitive data that you share with others and Oracle takes care of making sure you have all the very latest security patches applied. Lastly, all your data is automatically backed.
2) Sharing external data with partners and customers.
Many data warehouses make it almost impossible to share data with partners. This can make it very hard to improve your business processes. Providing an app to enable your customers to interact with you and see the same data sets can greatly improve customer satisfaction and lead to repeat business. However, you don't want to expose your internal systems on the Internet, and you have concerns about security, denial of service attacks, and web site uptime. By combining Autonomous Data Warehouse with APEX you can now safely develop public facing apps.
Getting started with APEX is really easy. Below you will see that I have put together a quick animation which guides you through the process of logging in to your APEX workspace from Autonomous Data Warehouse:
What see you above is the process of logging in to APEX for the first time. In this situation you connect as the ADMIN user to the reserved workspace called “INTERNAL”. Once you login you will be required to create a new workspace and assign a user to that workspace to get things setup. In the above screenshots a new workspace called GKL is created for the user GKL.
Then at that point everything becomes fully focused on APEX and your Autonomous Data Warehouse just fades into the background, taking care of itself. It could not be simpler!
If you are completely new to APEX then I would recommend jumping over to the dedicated Application Express website - apex.oracle.com. On this site you will find the APEX PM team has put together a great 4-step process to get you up-and-running with APEX: https://apex.oracle.com/en/learn/getting-started/ - quick note: obviously, you can skip step 1 which covers how to request and environment on our public APEX service because you have your dedicated environment within your very own Autonomous Data Warehouse.
Enjoy your new, autonomous APEX-enabled environment!