We, at iAdvise, are early adopters and believers of Oracle Application Express (APEX), especially for the RAD way of working and the no-extra cost factor of the tool: APEX makes it possible to build on time and within budget your database application for the web.
But an application is more then just building pages for CRUD operations. Very often you also need to generate well looking documents as output. And this is standard not possible with APEX. A pity! Within the Oracle world, BI Publisher is by far the best solution. But from the pricing point of view, it does not really fit in the cheap philosophy of APEX. In the meanwhile, Oracle announced a new PDF Printing possibilities in APEX 5.0, using APEX Listener 2.0s FOP support, but this solution did not yet convince us …
So, two years ago, we decided to build our own tool in the same RAD philosophy as Oracle Application Express: quick & easy to learn, easy to use, cheap, solid, easy to integrate in APEX (or more general, in an Oracle context), DOCX and PDF output,
The idea and main objectives for our own document generator for Oracle was trying to bring some of the better features of other tools together in one solution:
- Separation of data retrieval and document layout.
The layout is template driven: your template is a MS Word document (.docx). This leaves the possibility open to involve business users in the design and build of the desired output.
- Simple, easy and light.
We want the solution to be as much as possible in the database, in PL/SQL, with no extra software on a middle-tier
- Metadata driven and nice user interface to manage those data.
Since we work with Oracle as a database server and APEX as application builder this was obvious!
- Integration in your application via a PL/SQL API.
This application may be developed in the technology of your choice. We use it initially in APEX projects, but it can be integrated in any tool that can do a PL/SQL call (Oracle Forms, any java solution, Formspider, )
So, with Doxxy, we proceed on the APEX philosophy, there where APEX it self stops: easy and quick generation of operational documents.
Not convinced? Just give it a try, and you will notice that this words are not idle.