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Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications

Hari_639 Guru
Currently Being Moderated
Dear All,

As I understand, "Offline Support" & "Syncronization" facality +(users should be able to work with their own set of local data while they are offline, once they are online, they can sync their data to/from central DB)+ are the key things for any "Framework" that supports mobile app development. Since Oracle APEX always requires active connection to DB, I think it's not possible to develop such applications using APEX. I think this will be a major set-back to say "APEX supports Mobile Application Development"? Any thoughts?

Does Oracle has any plans to bring SQL Lite into picture with APEX to address this issue?

Thank you very much for your comments in Advance.

Regards,
Srihari
  • 1. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    Mehabub Sheikh Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hari,

    I think the statement 'Since Oracle APEX always requires active connection to DB' is not true.
    As soon as the page has been rendered APEX gives the connection back to connection pool. So the connection is not persistent.

    Thanks,
    Mehabub
  • 2. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    Hari_639 Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mehabub,

    Yes, I said active connection not active session :)

    However we need connection to Get or Submit the page. i.e. you should have active network connection so you can connect to DB. That was my point!

    Regards,
    Hari
  • 3. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    Mehabub Sheikh Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Did you try APEX 4.2 EA2. Try developing mobile applications.
    I developed a simple application for dashboard with HTML5 charts. It seems to be good.

    Cheers,
    Mehabub
  • 4. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    itobinh Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Sihari,

    We have similar problem. We want to have main application developed in Apex and we need a mobile application where user can connect to the main app, download their data set to the mobile local database, work offline and then sync back to the main app.

    All we know is just Apex. We don't have time really to invest some time and money to learn other good mobile development framework like Jquery Mobile or Sencha Touch.

    So ... we need to develop the offline mobile app using Apex.
    We used Windows tablet: HP Slate 2 8.9", 2 GB RAM, 64 GB SSD with Win 7 Pro.
    We installed Oracle Database XE and Apex 4.1.
    Then we very fast developing the offline mobile app for our purpose using Apex.

    At the end:
    - developer loves it ... because it is developed in Apex
    - user loves it .... because it is windows, they can have excel as well etc. etc.
    ---> user can connect the tablet to the network and access the mobile app from any PCs for faster data entry etc. !
    - IT department loves it .... because it is a standard Windows device !

    What do you want more ?
    Some people will say: "It is overkill...." and we said: "No it is not...."

    Performance wise, it is NOT super flash and super snappy but I would good performance.
    Almost all pages loads under 1 second, some takes less than 3 seconds. But it still can be optimized though.


    Recently we installed Windows 8 RP on the tablet and it works even better with IE10 !

    We are looking forward for Windows Surface Pro tablet.
  • 5. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    itobinh Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    You still don't get his point, do you ?

    He needs "Offline" mobile app and not "Online" mobile app.
  • 6. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    Pete Mahon Explorer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Hari,

    Apex has no inbuilt support for offline web applications - however, I believe the kind of functionality you're looking for can still be achieved using Plugins or just straightforward Javascript and PLSQL processes. At length, I might add!

    If you are not familiar with offline web applications and need a really basic starting point, check out w3 html5 offline web apps. If I'm teaching you to suck eggs I apologise but I don't believe this is something Apex can't do, it's just something that nobody has offered yet as a plugin/standard functionality.

    My thoughts... Specifically for Apex developers, who seem to be predominantly converted Oracle forms/framework/plsql developers, I think the transition to offline web apps is a massive one and would require significant training and "looking after". I would be very wary of a web app for Apex that wasn't built by someone with strong offline web app and (implicitly) HTML5 experience.

    Nonetheless, I like where this conversation is going!

    Kind Regards, Pete
  • 7. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    Peeteba Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    We ran into the same issue a while ago too.
    One of my colleagues started to experiment with HTML5 in-memory databases and it worked fantastic!

    We needed a single page to be available offline.
    The user now needs to load the page when he has an active network connection.
    Once he disconnects, all actions are performed on the in-memory database using JavaScript and jQuery.
    When the user reconnects to the network and hits 'synchronize', all data from the in-memory db is synced with the APEX db.

    It's not completely what you are looking for but it might give you some ideas.

    Regards,
    Bart
  • 8. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    itobinh Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    This sound good.

    Can it handle or store about 5000 records ?
  • 9. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    Peeteba Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    We haven't tested it with this much data but there are indeed some limits to this technique.
    There is no limit on the number of records but on DB size.
    Blogs, forums etc. are not all providing the same information about the limits. Some state, for example, for Google Chrome the limit is 5MB. Others speak about 500MB.
    The easiest way is to give it a try.

    Regards,
    Bart
  • 10. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    Hari_639 Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hello itobinh,

    Thank you very much for your response.

    So you installed Oracle DB and APEX on every users mobile. Doesn't that hamper Mobile performance? How about maintenance? For e.g. if you want to update some bug fixes into your application? Then you will call all your users and install updated application in their mobiles? However you can automate this, but may requires substantial coding effort.

    And how to you update their Oracle XE software or APEX?

    Could you also let me know how many users access the application via Mobile?

    Regards,
    Hari
  • 11. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    Hari_639 Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hello Pete,

    Thank you very much for your comments.

    I feel ability/ease to develop Offline Web Apps is the key for any mobile app development framework. (I will put this as first point, though some people say it's look & feel what matters) Unfortunately I didn't find any words about off-line web apps in APEX SOD.

    It would be great, If Oracle can releases a white-paper or Technical Article on "Building Offline Web Apps for your Mobile with Oracle APEX" :)

    Regards,
    Hari
  • 12. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    Hari_639 Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hello Bart,

    Thank you very much for your response.

    It's good idea to store and maintain user data locally.

    I have few queries..

    Will this off-line data be LOST

    * When user clears "Off-line" data for the browser?
    * When user re-starts his mobile?

    Regards,
    Hari
  • 13. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    itobinh Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Hari,

    Yes...I do install Oracle DB XE and Apex on the HP Slate 2 (Win 7 Pro and Win 8 RP).
    So it si offline Apex application.

    Performance: Good and acceptable. Almost all pages load under 1 seconds, some heavy pages also still under 3 seconds.

    To do the update: I asked them to connect to the our network, then I use RDP to update the application, database or Apex.

    At the moment we do not have many. Only 3 users with mobile devices. But we expect about 10 users with mobile devices.
  • 14. Re: Oracle APEX - Mobile Support - Offline Applications
    ABD - DBA Explorer
    Currently Being Moderated
    itobinh wrote:
    Hi Hari,

    Yes...I do install Oracle DB XE and Apex on the HP Slate 2 (Win 7 Pro and Win 8 RP).
    So it si offline Apex application.

    Performance: Good and acceptable. Almost all pages load under 1 seconds, some heavy pages also still under 3 seconds.

    To do the update: I asked them to connect to the our network, then I use RDP to update the application, database or Apex.

    At the moment we do not have many. Only 3 users with mobile devices. But we expect about 10 users with mobile devices.
    If you installed DB and Apex on tablet, I wouldn't call it an "offline" application. It's just a local application.
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