Oracle APEX: a solution to the information management problem (I)

A problem that starts from small companies

One of the main challenges a small company must deal with as it keeps expanding, is adapting to a substantial growing of the staff members. In some occasions, this growing could carry an information management problem. A medium size company can no longer depend on a single person to have access, for example, to the information contact of clients or pending invoices, and also to be in charge of distribute this information to the rest of employees. Additionally, this person can’t neither handle the update of this information. This way of managing the information is inefficient, and eventually could make the company data to be out of date, or produce inconsistent data.

Several companies try to deal with this problem using shared spreadsheets on the cloud, but usually this just work as a temporal work-around to a complex situation. Indeed, a shared spreadsheets can solve a punctual problem of information management is not enough when the amount of data is too big. Cross information between spreadsheet is a tedious work, and usually it should be done manually.

A Database is the only optimal solution to an information management problem. However, a DB requires from a user interface for proper display of data. Even thought a company can develop its own application using Java, Javascript or any other programming language, this usually requires from a high investment from the company side to hire programmers, and a long waiting time for the application to be ready for production. This wait can long from several months to long than a year

How Oracle APEX contributes to the solution?

 

 

Oracle APEX provides a flexible and intuitive environment that can be used by novel users without previous knowledge on web development for creating simple application in a short time lapse. This can be done by giving its users a large set of templates for most common uses, and using a dynamic web edition tool.

Let’s show an example of how to create an Oracle APEX web application for visualizing a table from DB.

For doing so, first we must select how we want to create this application:

 

 

 

In our case, we should choose the option “Productivity App” since we want to create a web application based on a template, in order to accelerate creation process. Then we will see all templates that Oracle offers for free to its clients. Some of them are the following:

 

 

 

 

Let’s try the option “Sample Reporting”, since it looks the most adequate for our needs. However, we know that if at any point it doesn’t fit any of our needs, we will be able to change the application later. After loading the template, we can see that our application is deployed, and ready to be used:

 

 

 

 

When we access the application, we can see we have a set of predefined elements which are most useful:

 

 

 

 

We are particularly interested on “Interactive Grid”, since we see it is a table that allow us to add, edit and remove registries from a DB.

 

 

 

 

However, we can see that this table is related to a test DB, that is totally unrelated to our production environment. Now the change is obvious, we must edit this table to make a reference to our DB. This will be as simple as accessing the edition page related to this Grid (in blue):

 

 

 

And edit the query according to our needs. For example:

 

 

 

Now, automatically, our graphic view will be adjusted to the values of our DB and it will be ready to be used by any user we grant access to the application.

 

This is one of the solutions that Oracle APEX provides us in order to have a fully functional web application, in a few steps and unifying all the information in a single reliable data source.

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