Oracle APEX is a pretty powerful and flexible low-code platform. Here are some examples of great systems and applications that can be built using this technology – from the experience of Przemysław Staniszewski, a long-time low-code developer, Oracle ACE Associate, and the head of Pretius Low-code.
As I’ve said (and wrote) many times before – low-code is a really quick and easy way to create great systems and applications. It’s a characteristic that gets recognized more and more often with each passing day, especially now, as the competition for talented developers intensifies.
However, many people still think that low-code technologies are only meant for developing small-scale software projects. That’s simply not true. Nowadays, low-code platforms can be really powerful and flexible, easily competing with traditional software development methods. And I’ve got a few real-life scenarios to prove that.
The choice of a low-code platform can be an important factor here, as each of them has different strengths and uses. In this article, I’d like to concentrate on Oracle Application Express – Oracle APEX for short – which is an excellent solution for those looking to make a heavily data-driven system or application.
Ok, let’s dive in. Here are 5 real-life examples of how we at Pretius Low-Code used Oracle APEX to build powerful, business-oriented software solutions.
5 great systems and applications made in Oracle APEX
One very cool thing about Oracle APEX is that it’s easy to learn – at least in comparison to traditional software development. This means you can not only create the solution but also train your client’s people in the use of the technology it’s based on. This gives your client greater control over their business and something invaluable along with it: a certain peace of mind that comes with independence.
We’ve had cases like that. A good example is a project we did for a certain European transport company that focuses on overland transport of goods. Our main goal was to modernize the IT infrastructure without turning everything upside down. The client wanted to improve the efficiency and update his system’s architecture but feared a system too far removed from the current one would create as many problems as it fixes. So, we’ve evolved the existing solutions using Oracle APEX (previously the software was based on Oracle Forms, which means it wasn’t a full-blown revolution, but rather an evolution), and also showed the employees appointed by the client everything they needed to know to operate and maintain the system by themselves.
We’ve created a hybrid freight cost calculation solution that takes care of planning transport routes and monitoring cargo. Many parts of the software are automated, but for now, it still requires some human supervision (mainly to verify the data). However, we aim to change that in the near future – the next step of the project is a full-featured, fully automated system. It’ll be a big step forward, but thanks to the knowledge acquired by their employees, the client can keep a finger on the pulse.
APEX is also great when you need to adapt and expand an existing system. That was the case with a project we did for a particular Polish textile company.
Before our collaboration, the company’s production process was being planned using Oracle EBS (E-Business Suite) technology, which wasn’t necessarily created with the textile industry in mind and didn’t take its particular, unique needs into account. The system was accompanied by Setex controllers, used to supervise the dyeing machines. That part of the solution worked more or less fine but wasn’t nearly efficient enough to keep up with the company’s growth over the years.
We’ve used Oracle APEX to expand EBS with additional functionalities to make it fit better in the industry it was being used in. Our software provided the company with greater control over the entire production process: inventory management, overseeing machine occupancy, production costs, and so on.
And we’re not done yet – our collaboration with that company is ongoing, and the next step will be even more exciting because this time, we’ll create a complete, proprietary solution.
Oracle APEX can be a great way to save some money by optimizing operational costs. We did just that during a project we’ve carried out for a German health insurance company, which is a part of a well-known global corporation.
We were tasked with creating software that would be used for policy management. The company wanted to change its business model to SaaS (software as a service) and reduce operational costs by replacing expensive licensed solutions (Weblogic, BI Publisher, Oracle BI) with open-source alternatives (namely Tomcat and Jasper Reports, which is very easy to integrate with Oracle APEX).
We’ve created a future-proof web application based on battle-tested open-source technologies, ready to be used on mobile devices. It’s secure, easily integrated with the cloud, flexible, and powerful enough to accommodate the company’s global reach (the institution operates in more than 30 countries already, and the number is sure to grow even higher).
You can read more about this project here: How a low-code framework helped Munich Re HealthTech build a data-driven SaaS application – in 4 months & across multiple countries.
A system made with Oracle APEX can deal with pretty complex processes. As long as the solution has something to do with processing and gathering data, APEX is a pretty safe bet (in fact, it’s not really a bet at all – it’s sure to deliver).
For example, for a Swish logistics company that operates in Europe, Asia and Africa and specializes in the international transportation of heavy-load containers, we’ve created a complex cargo tracking system that minimizes the amount of manual work required – the shipment tracking data is automatically retrieved from the Ocean Insights API, which reduces the possibility of a human error occurring. The company can also easily and quickly exchange important information with its clients and authorities in various countries – all thanks to the APEX-based software.
Finally, in this case, Pretius has also trained the client’s people in the use of Oracle APEX, which should allow the client to manage and maintain the system without additional help.
Software created in Oracle APEX can be very adaptable and flexible – for example, a solution built for one company can be successfully adopted by others, on a larger scale, in case of a merger. We’ve definitive proof of that – the software we’ve made for a large bank operating on the Polish market found use in three different institutions after they unified under one umbrella.
The system I’m talking about here is used to calculate the commissions of sales agents working for the bank and also takes care of configuring the necessary algorithms. It’s based on our proprietary solution, and it’s a part of a bigger whole. Two other APEX-based elements are a reporting module, and a dealer portal. Finally, there are also some parts of the software that are based on other technologies (Java and Angular) – namely an inventory module and a records module. Incidentally, this also serves as an example of Oracle APEX’s flexibility in a different context – the software created using the discussed low-code platform can be integrated with other systems without too many problems.
It’s worth mentioning that before the merger, each of the banks had its own sales commission system. When they became one institution, our APEX-based solution was found to be the best among them.
As you can see, Oracle Application Express is a really great tool when you want to build an app – or an entire system – that’ll mainly be used to process some kind of data. It doesn’t really matter that much what kind of data it is – APEX is flexible enough to adapt to various situations and scenarios. You can use the technology to create something from scratch, but also to expand on an existing solution – whatever you need.
If you want to see more interesting APEX-based projects, be on the lookout for another article – I plan to revisit this topic, but this time concentrating on some of the wierder, nonstandard solutions we’ve created over the years. You can also check out the webinar on big APEX projects that we’ve made together with Oracle. And if you want more info on APEX, check out the other articles on our blog:
- How to integrate Stripe with an Oracle APEX application: Step-by-step guide
- Oracle APEX new features – the low-code platform keeps evolving
- Google Identity Services – a quick guide on using the new library in Oracle APEX applications
- What is Oracle APEX? Possibilities and career paths for low-code developers
Are you interested in an Oracle APEX-based system?
Pretius has over a decade of experience with low-code solutions, and Oracle APEX is our field of specialization. We have a dedicated subsidiary company – Pretius Low-Code – with 40+ low-code experts. If you want a data-driven system, there’s a good chance we know how to create it. Interested? Write at firstname.lastname@example.org (or use the contact form below) and tell us what you need. We’ll check what we can do for you and get back with an answer in 48 hours.