Friday, August 13, 2010

APEX Discussed on Reddit

This thread (language NSFW) on Reddit discusses Oracle's decision to sue Google - and APEX gets some discussion about 2-3 pages down!

Unfortunately, most of the comments are just plain wrong.  I understand that people are entitled to their opinions, but when things are misstated, that's another issue entirely.  I think this is proof that most developers - Oracle and non-Oracle - simply don't know what APEX is and what it can & can't do.


Morten Braten said...

Sigh... yes, there are some pretty clueless comments about Apex in that thread (and the readers of this blog probably already know that, but I need to vent and I can't be bothered to post a comment on Reddit):

* "You cannot have more than 10 tables shown on the same page." [Just plain wrong, did this guy pull a random number out of his behind?]

* "You cannot change the template for your pages after creating your project." [Again, wrong. Guess he gave up before he found the select list called "Page Template".]

* "The source code ends up in a database, so version control becomes a nightmare." [Nah. PL/SQL packages and the application export script are plain text files. Last time I checked, most version control systems could handle plain text files just fine.]

* "Point and click programming... shudder". [Ah yes, why would I save time by pointing and clicking, instead of spending my time writing reams of "real" code?]

And then there is this guy who complains

"[Apex] is needlessly limited. I am not trying to develop a database app, I am trying to solve a given problem."

And goes on to explain that:

"In my experience, succesfull applications have a tendency to grow in unexpected directions. If you use apex, you have severily limited your ability to grow your application, because it cannot ever become anythin other than a database application. In other words, it might not so much be a problem with apex as a way to develop database applications, as a problem with the very concept of a database application."

It would really help if he gave some examples of the kinds of conceptual problems he fears running into, instead of some vague, unspecified future threat.

Because it turns out that his real problem was rather more prosaic:

"...what we did with apex was not particularily fancy. But we did have major problems with one page that was intended to basically show data from a single table (view actually), in tabular form."

I'm sure someone on the Apex discussion forum could help him out with that one...

In my experience, the vast majority of companies can solve their common business problems with data-centric business applications (a.k.a. "database applications"). And for this type of application, Apex is great. If the customer already has an Oracle database, and you happen to be proficient with SQL and PL/SQL, that makes Apex a perfect tool for you.

Go Apex! :-)

- Morten

Scott said...

The "unexpected directions" comment was my favorite. Sure, there will be unanticipated features and things that you didn't think of, but I've never had a CRM system, say, end up being a video game or GPS system.

A little planning goes a long way - with APEX or any other technology.

- Scott -