Oracle APEX receives AI infusion to help build enterprise apps

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Oracle’s low-code development platform is being infused with artificial intelligence to make building enterprise applications faster and easier through natural language. The first is an APEX AI Assistant that enables developers to create valid SQL statements, freeing them from routine coding tasks. Secondly, a new Create App Assistant creates application blueprints and allows developers to focus their energy on features instead of underlying code. Finally, Oracle has added conversational AI dialogs developers can add to their apps so end-users can “converse” with the software and have a richer in-app experience.

These AI assistants can be found within Oracle APEX today.

“As a developer and someone who writes SQL every day, I know how challenging it can be to remember table names, column names, and syntax I don’t frequently use,” Mike Hichwa, Oracle’s senior vice president for software development, says in a statement. “Having an AI assistant to determine column names contextually, JOINS, and generate complex syntax is a real game changer.”

Developers can use the APEX AI Assistant to create valid SQL statements with a natural language user prompt, build apps through the provided conversational interface for SQL, server-side JavaScript, and PL/SQL, and receive contextual aware assistance to check for syntax errors and debugging.

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Oracle APEX AI Assistant. Image credit: Oracle

Oracle APEX, also known as Oracle Application Express, debuted in 2019. Created by Hichwa, it’s a fully supported, no-cost feature of the company’s Oracle Database, designed for those who want to minimize the amount of code needed to create new apps. He tells VentureBeat that since its inception, “many customers are developing feature-rich APEX applications to support thousands of users with very small development teams—customers who often started by using APEX for internal [line of business]-level applications.”

In fact, Oracle claims Oracle APEX has enabled developers to build and deploy enterprise apps “20 times faster with 100 times less code,” producing more than 21 million applications by over 850,000 developers worldwide. Hichwa reveals Oracle APEX is used within financial services, healthcare, transportation, education and many other industries to “support a diverse range of applications in areas like clinical trials, equipment leasing management, etc.”

“The biggest reason we see customers turn repeatedly to Oracle APEX is that it allows them to stay agile and save time and effort building apps in weeks, if not months, compared to traditional coding approaches,” Hichwa states. “It significantly reduces technical debt for companies to modernize their applications or build new ones, as they don’t need to worry about addressing vulnerabilities or bugs in their code bases, given that Oracle handles everything on the backend.”

He elaborates further by saying, “the process of capturing the intent of an application with APEX—‘what’ you want to do, not ‘how’ you want to do it—is now AI-assisted. Oracle APEX takes care of the implementation details, freeing developers [to] unleash their creativity. As we improve Oracle APEX, all the applications built with it also improve.”

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