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Want a simple web application for my business, is APEX a good choice?

GlenStrom Member Posts: 218 Bronze Badge

I want to develop a simple app I can use for my business, starting with a couple of tables to track expenses, revenue, etc. that I currently just use a google docs spreadsheet for.

However the spreadsheet is large and cumbersome, I'd like something simpler where I can enter my info in a form with dropdown lists etc. I'm an Oracle DBA, not a developer, and have only built some simple "database" applications in MSACCESS some years ago. So this is all new territory for me.

I was just going to install Oracle XE on my home desktop, then build a front end for it in APEX, which I see is no longer included with XE. However since I can update my google docs sheet from anywhere, I was thinking I'd like to have it on the web, so I can make entries to it from home on my desktop or when I'm on the road from my laptop, and am wondering what's the best way to do this. I'd also like to give read access to my accountant for doing year end taxes, etc. like I do with my google sheet.

I've installed XE (10 & 11) for small databases before, but never for a web environment, and wonder where I'd look at hosting such a database/application. I host a few domains for simple websites, but none of these providers support anything other than MySQL for database back ends.

I remember when APEX first came out you could build applications on an Oracle site for free, but my memory is foggy on exactly what you could do with these sites.

Is it practical (or possible) to install XE on the web somewhere? I assume I could host an APEX front end on any of my existing domains?

Or should I be looking at something more mainstream like MySQL database with a more traditional web php based front end already offered by the hosting company I currently use.

Thanks in advance


  • InoL
    InoL Member Posts: 9,869 Gold Crown

    is APEX a good choice?

    Since you ask this on the Oracle APEX forum: of course it is!

    I remember when APEX first came out you could build applications on an Oracle site for free is still there to get a free workspace. However, it is limited to demo purposes. It is not for production data.

    A better option is to get an Always Free Autonomous Database account

    Cloud Free Tier | Oracle

    You can still use one of your existing domains and servers. It depends on what you can do on the server. If you have server access, you can install Oracle XE and ORDS.

  • Paavo
    Paavo Member Posts: 740 Silver Badge

    @GlenStrom excellent idea to give APEX a try! You might find QuickSQL very nice for your purposes and it seems that even the creation of lookup-tables has evolved for your spreadsheet imports since the early days.

    See the developer tips too:


    rgrds Paavo

  • Marcus B
    Marcus B Member Posts: 36 Blue Ribbon

    APEX is a good solution, especially for a DBA. I am a DBA and set up what you are looking for. I am running an Autonomous Database (ATP) (Free Tier) on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). APEX is included and is updated regularly. You may already have some of these steps completed but here is the outline. A very detailed set up is in a series of blog posts by Dimitri Gielis at for steps 1-6 below. I have set this up and my first cut application using the SQL Script feature of APEX produces a pretty good application available on any browser and adjusts for mobile devices.

    1. Create an OCI tenancy
    2. Create and ATP database
    3. Set up an APEX work area
    4. Create a VM and setup a web server
    5. Obtain an Internet Domain name (
    6. Redirect the Domain to the VM web server
    7. In APEX navigate to SQL Workbench/SQL Scripts and upload the DDL.
    8. Click the edit icon for the DDL script
    9. You can run the DDL here or in the tool of your choice, but only run it once.
    10. Click Create App button and you will see a list of the tables that were parsed from the DDL.
    11. Click Create Application button. You now have a list of pages that will be generated. You can now change the order of the pages, edit the pages, change some of the properties or remove them from the app.
    12. Click on Create Application and your app is created.
    13. Configure the web server to point to the URL of the App (add a location to with the login URL for your app)
    14. Connect to your app using your tenancy URL/<location name> from the conf file.
    15. Learn more features of APEX and customize your app to suit your needs.
  • InoL
    InoL Member Posts: 9,869 Gold Crown

    I just stumbled on this blog, which gives you a good overview of the Free Tier options, pros and cons:

    Running APEX & ORDS on your own Domain with Oracle OCI Free Tier (