Oracle Introduces New AI Features in APEX to Enhance Low-Code Development

Oracle Introduces New AI Features in APEX to Enhance Low-Code Development

Oracle has announced new AI capabilities for its APEX platform, aiming to simplify the development of low-code, feature-rich applications. In a recent interview with Rajeev Ranjan, Editor, Digital Terminal, Mike Hichwa, Senior Vice President of Software Development, and Steve Zivanic, Group Vice President of Data, AI, and Analytics, discussed how these updates will improve the developer experience, tackle common challenges, and make AI more accessible. They also highlighted success stories, security enhancements, and the potential impact on the tech landscape in India.

Rajeev: Can you explain how AI integration impacts developers and what it means for them?

Mike: With these new AI capabilities, developers will find their work significantly easier and more efficient. We are introducing several fusion applications for Cerner that simplify interfacing with natural language. Previously, tasks like adding tabs, describing tables, and inputting column names were tedious and error-prone. Now, it's akin to using GPS instead of paper maps. This new approach not only speeds up the process but also enhances the quality of applications, making data access more sophisticated and seamless.

Rajeev: What challenges do developers face when adopting AI-driven tools and technologies?

Mike: One of the main challenges is dealing with AI tooling, especially in RAG (Retrieval Augmented Generation) analysis, due to token count limits. Developers also need to learn how to leverage AI effectively, which involves mastering prompt engineering and understanding how to provide AI with the necessary information to get accurate responses.

Rajeev: Can you tell us more about the recent announcement?

Steve: The new AI tools in APEX make building AI applications accessible even to those without coding skills. APEX allows users to perform vector searches and build applications quickly, reducing the required expertise. This democratizes AI and levels the playing field for a larger number of people in the tech industry.

Mike: By simply upgrading APEX, you get all the new features automatically, without having to revisit your existing code. It's like updating your web browserโ€”everything gets improved with the upgrade.

Rajeev: What drives the continuous development and improvement of APEX?

Mike: A major factor is that APEX is a no-cost feature of the Oracle database, which encourages innovation without financial risk. This, combined with the high expectations of our user community, drives continuous improvement and experimentation.

Rajeev: Are there any success stories or case studies where APEX has significantly impacted development projects?

Mike: Since its release in 2004, APEX has been used by numerous customers for over a decade. For instance, the architecture of putting the application server inside the database has proven highly effective. One notable example is the V-safe application for the US Center for Disease Control, which handled a million users within four hours daily, seamlessly failing over from one data center to another without issues.

Rajeev: How does Oracle measure the success of APEX and its adoption within the developer community?

Mike: Success can be seen in the rapid adoption post-announcementโ€”people can download, install, and start using it within 15 minutes. With resources like YouTube tutorials and community support, developers experiment and quickly gain insights. The integration of vector search, AI, and a user-friendly interface in APEX will enable tens of thousands to try AI, applying it to their data for the first time.

Steve: Absolutely. Both experienced and novice developers can now quickly create AI-enabled applications. This is a huge leap forward for the industry. The rapid technological advancements we're seeing now are just the beginning.

Mike: We offer free services like apex.oracle.com, encouraging experimentation. Many high school and college students use the platform to learn and innovate. With over 100,000 developers on our free instance, we see significant engagement.

Steve: The Oracle database comes with comprehensive capabilities, including AI Vector, APEX, and support for JSON relational duality views. This converged data platform strategy differentiates us from competitors by maintaining data consistency and reducing fragmentation.

Rajeev: What features or methodologies does APEX use to help developers identify security vulnerabilities?

Mike: Security is a top priority. Oracle's extensive cloud AI solutions provide secure, isolated environments for AI services. For web applications, APEX offers tools to identify vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting, ensuring robust security.

Steve: Oracle database security is among the highest in the industry, offering protection not often found in generic databases.

Mike: We rigorously test our software to ensure maximum security, investing substantial effort to maintain its integrity.

Rajeev: What is your message to Indian CTOs and CIOs considering adopting these solutions?

Mike: We are keen on expanding in India. Various sectors, including retail and banking, are transitioning to higher-level abstraction with low-code solutions, focusing on business problems rather than physical implementation. We are working closely with Indian professionals to bring these innovations to the forefront.

Steve: Indian developers have a great opportunity to get ahead with APEX 24.1. They can quickly create new AI applications with minimal effort, delivering these innovations to their clients or using them within their organizations. It's a perfect time to embrace this complexity and innovate.

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