August 29 – Oracle today announced the general availability of Oracle
Application Express Release 2.2, a free tool that enables users to
build, deploy and manage secure Web applications using only a Web
browser. This release completes the rebranding of what had been
called Oracle HTML DB, and works with all editions of Oracle Database
10g and Oracle 9i Database Release 2.

Oracle Application Express Release 2.2 allows developers to create
desktop applications that sit on top of Oracle databases. “The
closest competition is Microsoft Access,” Mike Hichwa, Oracle’s vice
president of software development, told 5 Minute Briefing in an
exclusive interview prior to the announcement. “Access was a great
technology, but its best days are behind it. It doesn’t take any
convincing to get people to move off Access.”

The new release features several productivity enhancements designed
to reduce the complexity of developing and deploying Web
applications. Perhaps the most significant is the ability to package
applications and dependent objects such as tables, seed data, and
images, into a single file. This enables applications to be installed
seamlessly into other Oracle Databases running Oracle Application
Express. “In the past, you had to copy files, scripts and table
statements,” Hichwa said. “Now you just click next, next, next on a

Other key new features include an access control wizard that enables
users to build an access control list to control access to an
application, individual pages, or page components; a developer
comment feature that allows developers to add comments to an
application, a page or group of pages; and an item finder search tool
that enables users to search for items, pages, queries, tables or
PL/SQL objects within the pages of an application. Oracle Application
Express will be available as a hosted application as well. “It is a
great way to kick the tires. And it is free,” Hichwa said.

Moreover, he added, Oracle plans to “seed” the community with several
applications. “People often use Application Express to build
opportunistic applications,” Hichwa said, “such as applications you
may need for a month and then are disposable.” Oracle plans to offer
those kinds of applications in conjunction with Application Express.
For more information on Oracle Application Express, and to download
the software, go to (