As we have mentioned (just a few times before!), the Oracle database is a deep and wide product, providing vast realms of capabilities. Until now, though, this book has focused on Oracle as a database—a place to store, retrieve, and manipulate data. As such, your Oracle database is an integral part of your overall infrastructure.
This chapter goes beyond this core functionality to explore features of Oracle beyond its data-centric core. This chapter focuses on three main areas:
Application Express, a browser-based declarative development tool. Application Express, commonly referred to as ApEx, is a free add-on to an Oracle database that you can use to create applications.
Fusion Middleware, which encompasses the functionality of Oracle Application Server and more.
Oracle SOA Suite, which provides the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), a group of features and offerings that allow your Oracle database to deliver specific functionality in an easy-to-integrate form.
In Chapter 1, we provided a basic overview of various development tools that could be used with the Oracle database and stated that we would not delve further into the development area. This section makes an exception to that rule by covering Application Express (commonly known as ApEx), a development tool that comes with the Oracle database and simplifies HTML application development. We discuss ApEx here because the tool can be downloaded for free and installed on ...