Options for hosting APEX in Oracle Cloud

Justin Tomlinson May 3, 2022 4:41:37 PM

An important consideration in Oracle APEX deployment is the environment that will host it. This article briefly covers the main options available in OCI which can be used to provide an APEX environment and I will cover these in-depth in future articles.

Organisations that have hosted APEX on-premise will be familiar with building environments from the ground up and deploying middleware however they may not be familiar with the various services available in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Similarly, organisations new to APEX may wish to understand the various options that are available in OCI to help define their architecture by reading this article.

If you'd like to talk to someone directly about using APEX in your organisation, you can check out our APEX services and speak to one of the team here.


Oracle Cloud Free Tier

Oracle Cloud Free Tier is the best option to go for initially and trial APEX in OCI. This allows you to create an environment with 20GB of database storage to build APEX applications that are accessible on the internet. This essentially creates an Autonomous Database environment that is used as the platform to run APEX and provides high levels of database performance.

One of the significant advantages of this option is it has zero cost! An environment can be set up very quickly for testing. It does provide the full functionality of APEX although the database environment is a service and the host OS is not accessible, this may present disadvantages to users more familiar with on-premises environments.


Autonomous Database

The Autonomous Database platform is a high performing database-as-a-service platform that includes improved management and tuning features.

APEX and Oracle Database Actions (SQL Developer Web) are included with every Autonomous Database environment.

This provides a high-performance database environment with an integrated APEX environment. Costs are based on resources allocated to the autonomous instance such as storage etc.

An aspect of the environment to be mindful of is the patching of the environment is automated and may cause issues with compatibility for both the database and APEX applications.

Oracle APEX Application Development Service

Also known as, APEX service.

Providing a fully integrated APEX development cloud service with simple pricing options. This provides the same APEX environment as the previous two options with similar features however pricing is based on just two requirements:

  • The monthly cost for the APEX service
  • TB Month cost of Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing - Exadata Storage

This platform is based on Exadata infrastructure and as a result, provides exceptional SQL query performance and low latency when large result sets are returned. Users of this platform should be aware of this when migrating the application to other DBaasS platforms as there may be a significant loss of query performance because of this.

Oracle Database Cloud Service and Oracle Compute as Service hosting Middle tier

This option provides an environment similar to what organisations may have on-premises. It provides full flexibility in terms of architecture/database options and OS configuration with access to the host.

This architecture requires more effort in terms of initial planning and design, and deployment requires in-depth knowledge of Oracle software configuration. The platform has greater complexity, but all components can be customisable and are accessible making it a better choice when legacy applications need to access it.

The environment would require database instances configured with the relevant database licensing option and DR options if required, so costs need to be considered. There may be an option when database licenses are already available for use by the organisation to ‘bring your own license’ (BYOL).

The Middleware would consist of ORDS instances running on an application server, such as Tomcat or Weblogic, with load balancers and Web Application Firewalls (WAF) configured to manage the traffic.

The ability to manage the whole management means that patching is the responsibility of the tenant which can provide flexibility around versions and compatibility, but also means security must be considered.

This blog has covered the main options for deploying APEX environments in OCI and provides deployment strategies for different requirements based on the following considerations:

  • Cost
  • Ease of deployment
  • Performance
  • Flexibility
  • Compatibility with existing environments

If you're looking to gain a better understanding of Autonomous Database and APEX, you may find this article helpful.

If you would like to find out more and speak to an Oracle APEX Consultant, email us at enquiries@dsp.co.uk or book a meeting.

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