Sunday, 31 January 2016

How do I start with ORACLE APEX?

Learn about APEX

My  take


So often on community.oracle.com I came across a question where people are asking for help on how to start with ORACLE Application Express, where to find resources etc.....

Even recently on one of ORCLAPEX-NZ meetup event a group of student joined us, all with similar questions - they wanted to know where to learn more and how to start using it



Some might say google is a great source but then sometimes having to much of information is not so helpful when you want to start with new technology. 

These are some of my personal thoughts about things that can start you going.

Now to the point, as a first thing please check out https://apex.oracle.com

Here you can find most important things about APEX as technology. 
APEX team has really done this right and APEX landing page has been updated many time so now it provides an excellent source of information for all interested. Definitely it is worth reading through. 

Pages that I can also recommend https://apex.oracle.com/community and http://odtug.com/apex

Once you are more comfortable about it try downloading and giving it a try yourself. How do you do this

I can think of 4 easy ways:
1. visit apex.oracle.com and register for free workspace
In couple of minutes you will have a workspace approved and ready to create your own applications. Wasn't this easy? Only drawback is that you do not have INTERNAL workspace access to your environment but in the beginning this is something you can live without.

2. ask you company DBA's to provide you with new APEX workspace
If you happen to work for a company where things are maintained by team of DBAs you might be lucky enough that they will install and provide you with your login details. (Good luck with that! ;)) Personally this proved to be hardest to get and maybe from maintenance perspective can be understood. :)

3. Download Oracle XE version and install APEX
If you want to have access to INTERNAL workspace this is one of the options. Installation is easy and most should not have problems getting APEX to run.

4. Download Oracle VM with preconfigured database and APEX environment
I found this to be the easiest way and use this quite often. Getting APEX to start is just a login away. Gives a complete environment access with ORDS already preconfigured. Excellent choice for a "deep dive" approach so is my favorite. 

Before you dig in it would be ideal that you have some understanding about SQL and ideally PL/SQL. Why? because these two stand as a core of APEX applications and the more understanding (prior knowledge) you have, it will reduce the time to develop your APEX skills.

Once you have the environment to work in you can check one of available tutorials, videos, books or free/low cost online courses. There are many available and spending a day going through them should give you a basic idea how it is done.

MUST DO - Join the APEX community at apex.world. 

This is a site specially designed to bring APEX developers together and it really showed to be a winner. You get access to all latest information and get the feeling about what is going on around in APEX space. Everyday news, tweets and other very useful information can be found here so I highly recommend it. 

Another great place to learn about APEX is ODTUG or any other local Oracle user group.

Additionally what you can do is join one of many Oracle APEX meetups taking place around the world. Very nice way for you to learn what other people in community are doing, ask question or to upskill your skills. 
In case you end up in a situation where you  need help you can always post and join ORACLE APEX forum

As a last and nicest options is for you to join us at one of many APEX conferences such as ODTUG - KScope 2016 or APEX Connect.   

One of the best tips I learned over the years - best way learn new things is by checking out APEX packaged apps. 

APEX instance comes with a great feature, pre-created applications that were designed for you giving you the ability to take a sneak-peak under the hood.  

There is no better way of learning than seeing an example of things someone else did. If nothing it may give you a guidance and sometimes that is all you needed. So once you go over your Hello world examples spend some time checking out what is hidden in here. Surely you will be surprised. 

In short this would be it for a Sunday night. Hope it helps.

Happy to share,
Lino


10.02.2016 Update
Just came across a link for latest Oracle APEX VM including APEX 5.0 version. 
APEX hands on VM download

Please keep in mind that file is almost 7 GB to download and 20 GB to run. :)



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