Alright, APEX has been marketed as the Access killer. This, of course, is not entirely true. When we take a look at some real live implications of Oracle’s Application Express, it is put into action for developing new applications, within an Oracle environment. Not for killing Access within an organization. APEX can be put into action when we take a look at other applications that are developed outside of the grasp of the IT department. But then we need to take more into account than just the technology.
Some organizations have a large problem: they have some departments that develop their own applications. In the beginning not even such a bad thing, but there’s no control over them from the IT department, a lot of different technologies and there are people within an organization that have the sole knowledge of the application. (Imagine them go and stop working, there goes your support). But killing those apps isn’t simple, because they got there for a reason in the first place…
The apps are there because the people responsible for them have the knowledge that, when they would ask the IT department for functionality, they would have to wait months, have enormous costs, or simply wouldn’t get what they need. So they train ‘one of their own’ to do the job. A proliferation (is this the right word?) of applications is the outcome.
Now you see, just implementing APEX is not the solution to this problem, there’s a lot more to it. Oracle Application Express is a RAD tool, now we just need a RAD-able method for our project management. Or Agile. Technology in itself is rarely the solution to these kinds of organizational problems and challenges. The way an IT department works is the problem and no technology will be able to change that. APEX can facilitate this kind of change, but you still need to work on the approach to IT projects itself.
And when we have done this, a RAD tool like APEX in combination with an Agile approach and mindset, we can finally actually work together with the business on solutions and functionality they need, within a clear set of time and therefore developing the stuff they need. Only then there will be no more need for ‘self-help’ from non-IT departments in the application field.Through the looking glass: APEX as the Stray App Killer,