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As promised, I'll try my best. ;)
Standalone Mode is not supposed to be used for any productive use.I've seen this statement made several times. Could you elaborate on this statement?
I've seen statements that the Apex Listener is the future. Then I read Standalone Mode isn't even supposed to be used. I don't need anything more than simple connections to Apex and PL/SQL. I'm not sure why I'd want to install more than the standalone.Basically, that depends on your actual requirements. When speaking of "productive use", I assume that several common requirements for a production scenario apply, and you can't fulfill these with the embedded JEE Container that is used in Standalone Mode. I'll prove that by naming major limitations that apply when you deploy APEX Listener in Standalone Mode.
(without any particular order)
1. If you use Windows as operating system, you'll usually want to run APEX Listener as service starting automatically with your server. There is no service wrapper included in Standalone Mode. Though you can (of course) add your own, this is not supported by Oracle, and a production scenario will usually want support in case something doesn't work as expected.
2. The embedded JEE Container is limited to the context "apex" for the dynamic contents (generated by APEX or another PL/SQL backend) and "i" for the static contents.
3. The embedded JEE Container is limited to a single APEX Listener instance per deployment. If you want a second one, you'll have to start another JVM. This can get very exhausting for a host that serves multiple APEX instances and you'll soon loose the "lightweight" advantage of the embedded container with the overhead generated by that.
4. This also introduces a TCP new port for every APEX Instance. If you use APEX alone, this might not be a huge problem, but it doesn't make management easier in several ways (firewall rules, XSS issues, ...)
5. The embedded container doesn't offer SSL.
6. It has no high-availability features. (Sidemark: Of course, it supports mod_jk, but you'll need additional components to leverage from that and I wouldn't call that "standalone" anymore)
7. It has only very limited logging capabilities.
8. It has only very basic security features.
9. It has no monitoring support (except monitoring console output, process and the status page of the application itself), etc.
10. Last but not least, you don't get security patches for the embedded container. Any exploit published for that plattform will be usable, unless Oracle would provide you a new APEX Listener release that comes with a patched/updated version of that embedded JEE container.
I guess when I start thinking about this a little longer, I could dig out some additional limitations you usually don't want for a productive site, but I think you can get the point already.
Probably not all of the issues mentioned above are relevant for your site, and of course it's your decision. As I usually say, it's not recommended to use it for a productive use, which doesn't imply that the Standalone Mode won't be able to serve a site with productive load. It just means you should know what you are doing if you deploy it that way...
Your reply was very helpful. I would sum this up like this: "If the features provided by the Apex Listener in Standalone Mode meets your needs, then you'll be just fine. The listener extremely stable when run in Standalone Mode. It is just limited."
I've waited a couple of weeks to respond because I wanted some experience to relate in my response. I've been thrilled with the listener in Standalone Mode. While limited, it is working flawlessly for me. We've had roughly 200,000 accesses moving 3GB of data.
I realize this isn't very much compared to large sites, but this load was killing the Embedded PL/SQL gateway on our site. I was getting ORA-0600 errors. Virtual Circuit Waits were horrible. All from a relatively small load. Granted, I may have screwed up the installation of EPG, but I've been running it somewhat successfully for over a year. I've hated it from day one, but it has worked for me.
But the Apex Listener in Standalone Mode is vastly preferable. My Enterprise Manager monitoring makes so much more sense. Being able to turn off the Shared Server has been a big part of this I think. But I can't prove that.
Thank you for your assistance. I'm a happy user.