Oracle has made what the company calls a "concerted effort" to improve the development of database-centric web 2.0 applications and reports by releasing the 4.1 version of Oracle Application Express.
The new release of this Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool for the Web has added upload capabilities and is described as a "no-cost" option, as it is included with all editions and releases of Oracle Database 11g.
Using a web browser, Oracle says that improved data upload features mean that developers can now add the capability for end-users to load spreadsheet data into existing tables within an application. Revved up error handling has been added to bring obvious improvements — and also, user-defined exception processing has been provided to enable developers to intercept messages generated by the Oracle database and replace the message text with user-friendly text.
Oracle has played a mobile apps card here by improving support for mobile frameworks including form rendering without HTML tables. Tabular forms have also been catered for via the added ability to reference column values using bind syntax to facilitate validations and processing. Additionally, calendar improvements enable developers to incorporate drag-and-drop functionality and generate calendars with edit pages.
"I am impressed with the Oracle Application Express team's ability to keep the software updated to the evolving web standards,” said Sayee Natarajan, director, sales and marketing systems, Purdue Pharma. "The team picked jQuery very early over other technologies, identified a good charting engine, and put in resources towards mobile application development. We hope to have five to 10 mobile applications in production by Q1 next year, and we are relying on Oracle Application Express 4.1 to help us get there."
Oracle says that the declarative development framework of its latest release utilizes wizards and property sheets to build and maintain applications. This information is stored in and referenced from a meta-data repository, alleviating the need for compilation or code generation.