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APEX 4.0 – First Impressions

Now that the APEX 4.0 EA (Early Adopter) release is available to anyone to sign up and try out APEX 4.0, I’ve had a bit of time to play around with some of the features that up till now I’d only seen demo’ed.

My first impressions are very positive indeed. Whilst I’d seen quite a lot of it already, it’s not quite the same as being able to use it yourself.

Perhaps one of the first immediate changes, is the newly designed Application Builder look and feel

APEX 4.0 - Application Builder

APEX 4.0 also has a new Tree View in the Application Builder, which is very different to the ‘traditional’ view which has remained more or less the same across all versions of APEX.

APEX 4.0 Tree View

I must admit, when I first heard about and saw this feature (Patrick Wolf very kindly showed me a preview of it at a conference) I had my reservations about it. In fact I think I might have even said to Patrick that I wasn’t a fan of it. However, I now take that back. Now that I’ve used it (rather than just seeing it), I can see how it’s going to not only speed up my productivity (fewer clicks etc), but it is also going to be a big help to people new to APEX to understand the structure and flow of a page.

I’ve also had a play around with Dynamic Actions (which is really going to level the playing field for people who are not comfortable with custom javascript coding) and also Plugins to a limited degree. Both of these features are real game changers for APEX since they suddenly make the ‘sure we can do that, but it will take a while’ into ‘sure we can do that, there you go’.

I’m drilling down into a more detailed look at the features (future blog posts), but for now I have to say…I’m very very impressed (but then I already knew I would be).

Comments 9

  1. Patrick Wolf wrote:

    Hi John,

    yes you said that to me. :-) It’s great to hear that you really like it!


    Posted 21 Dec 2009 at 12:10 pm
  2. Stew wrote:

    I have to say that I like this new interface mode too, so far. I played for a couple hours and found I adapted very quickly. The right-click to get at most of it was okay, not spectacular. But the mouse-over pop-up context info is great, as is drag-n-drop reordering of objects.

    I’ve found a number of minor features that are either broken or not completely implemented, mostly in the new Team Development section, which I’d expect. I entered lots of Enhancement Requests there.

    Overall I’m very pleased.

    Posted 21 Dec 2009 at 11:24 pm
  3. Jerry wrote:

    Unfortunately much of the new features are related with the interface. Very important should have been the posibility to make easy MASTER- DETAIL- DETAIL-DETAIL—- formulars and have posiblöity to change items and SAVE THEM ALL once. Much like was in Microsoft ACCESS. simple to define formulars and subformulars… link them and have one button to save them all. I think that simple but essential functionality is not easy possible with APEX even version 4. Personally i don’t have not so much interest in features like “interactive regions”. I want simple to make details link them and present.. and making a simple report based on table with BLOB columns is a nightmare. i think that this simple but powerful functionality should be the priority for the development team….

    Posted 21 Jan 2010 at 1:51 pm
  4. Bara George wrote:

    I was a little dissapointed with Apex 4.0 because of an error from the previous versions that was not fixed. It’s the limit of 30k from the text input items. I know there is a workaround for this error (using Ajax, as I remember), but I commonly get this error when trying to edit a Report Layout. I design complex layouts in XSL-FO (I even developed an APEX application that helps me design layouts) and I frequently get the error when uploading layout bigger than 30k. I haven’t found a workaround for this and it limits the PDF printing in APEX very much…


    Posted 01 Feb 2010 at 4:03 pm
  5. mike foggiato wrote:


    I’m a little bit dissapointed that the release has issues with TABLAR FORMS see OTN user12448751 and post any comment.

    MFOConsultingt gva-lug ch

    Posted 18 Jul 2010 at 6:44 am
  6. John Scott wrote:


    Not sure what you mean by ‘see OTN user12448751′, can you elaborate?


    Posted 19 Jul 2010 at 3:07 pm
  7. foggiato Mike wrote:

    Hi John,

    I mean : login on OTN web site and look about posts for user: user12448751

    L button..
    Seems that the theme (RED-1) has theses issues.

    any comments

    Posted 21 Jul 2010 at 3:34 am
  8. foggiato Mike wrote:

    Training on news features on Apex4.0 ?

    When ?

    My favorite dates: october 2010-november2010-december2010.


    Posted 21 Jul 2010 at 3:36 am
  9. John Scott wrote:


    Are you not hitting Bug 9893380 in the Known Issues list (


    Posted 21 Jul 2010 at 8:25 am

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