Oracle APEX - Compared to Microsoft Power Apps

Oracle APEX -  Compared to Microsoft Power Apps

In today's fast-paced business environment, the need for rapid application development is more pressing than ever.

The use of low-code and no-code tools in making new software is growing fast in the tech world. Gartner predicts that by 2025, about 70% of new apps made by companies will use these technologies.

The purpose of this blog post is to offer a detailed comparison between Oracle APEX and Microsoft Power Apps, equipping you with the insights necessary to make a knowledgeable decision.

Comparing Oracle APEX and Microsoft Power Apps is not a straightforward task, as they serve different purposes and cater to different user bases. In the following sections, we will present the features and limitations of both platforms.

General overview

Oracle APEX

Oracle APEX, formerly known as Application Express (and HTML DB), was first released in 2004. It is a low-code development platform provided by Oracle Corporation for building web applications and enterprise applications. Since its initial release, Oracle APEX has undergone numerous updates and enhancements to become a powerful tool for rapidly developing and deploying web applications on top of the Oracle Database.

As said by Oracle, APEX is the world's most popular enterprise low-code application development platform. It enables you to build scalable, secure, and feature-rich enterprise applications 20 times faster and with 100 times less code than traditional development methods. These applications can be deployed anywhere, including public cloud, private cloud, or on-premises.

Oracle APEX is unique in that it can be used to create applications at all three levels of complexity ranging from no code/low code to high control. This makes it a versatile platform that can be used by a wide range of developers and needs.

Let's take a look at its main features:

  1. Performance: APEX is known for its top-notch performance. It can handle large-scale data and complex applications, making it suitable for organisations with extensive data management requirements.
  2. Customisation: APEX allows developers to create highly customised applications tailored to their exact requirements. It provides extensive control over the application's appearance and functionality if needed.
  3. Integration: APEX seamlessly integrates with Oracle databases, allowing organisations to leverage their existing infrastructure and investments. This deep integration provides a significant advantage for Oracle-centric enterprises.
  4. Security: APEX incorporates robust security measures to protect applications and data. It complies with industry standards, ensuring that sensitive information remains secure.
  5. Scalability: APEX can scale to handle the demands of large enterprises. It is capable of managing complex workflows and high user loads.

As with any other software, Oracle APEX has its own limitations:

  1. Connectivity for Non-Oracle Databases: While APEX is tightly integrated with Oracle databases, it can be less straightforward to manipulate data from other databases. While it's possible to connect to non-Oracle databases, it may require additional configuration and expertise.
  2. Learning Curve: Although APEX is designed to be user-friendly and accessible to those with limited coding experience, there is still a learning curve, especially when dealing with more advanced features. Complex applications may require a deep understanding of SQL and PL/SQL.
  3. Customisation Constraints: While APEX offers a range of pre-built components and templates for application development, extensive customisation can be challenging. Customising the look and feel of your application beyond the provided options may require additional effort.

Microsoft Power Apps - The new kid on the block

Microsoft Power Apps was officially launched on October 31, 2016. It has since evolved and grown in functionality, becoming a popular low-code/no-code platform for building custom applications within the Microsoft ecosystem.

This versatile suite offers apps, services, connectors, and a robust data platform. As stated by Microsoft, with Power Apps, you can effortlessly create tailored business apps that seamlessly connect to your data, whether it's stored in Microsoft Dataverse or various online and on-premises sources like SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and SQL Server.

In contrast to APEX, Microsoft Power Apps is designed for a different purpose. It aims to democratise app development, making it accessible to users of all backgrounds and skill levels. The appeal lies in the potential to create and deploy apps without the hefty price tag of hiring developers.

Despite its appeal, it's important to be cautious, as you could end up in a challenging situation, somewhat akin to digging one's own grave.

Picture this: a landscape littered with spreadsheets laden with complex macros attempting to manage critical business processes. It's a recipe for chaos. Moreover, the risk of ending up with a multitude of redundant apps, each striving to accomplish the same tasks, looms large.

To harness the benefits of low-code applications effectively, it's imperative to maintain a well-structured approach, ensuring that your digital solutions remain cohesive, efficient, and free from unnecessary duplication.

Some of Power Apps' key features:

  1. Accessibility: As mentioned before, it is aimed at users who may not have a deep technical background. It democratises app development, enabling non-developers to create simple applications quickly.
  2. Ease of Use: Power Apps offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, making it accessible to a wide audience. Users can create basic apps without writing code.
  3. Integration with Microsoft Ecosystem: Power Apps seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft tools, such as SharePoint, Teams, and Dynamics 365, which is advantageous for organisations deeply invested in the Microsoft ecosystem.
  4. Rapid Prototyping: Power Apps is excellent for quickly prototyping and testing ideas, making it useful for scenarios where speed is more critical than complexity.

As with any other software, Microsoft Power Apps has its own limitations:

  • Data retrieval: Power Apps is intended for small datasets and its performance suffers significantly as the data volume increases.
  • Concurrent development: Simultaneous development is not supported; only one developer can work on a Canvas app at any given time.
  • JavaScript integration: Incorporating JavaScript within Power Apps forms is not supported. As simple as that.
  • External sharing: Power Apps cannot be shared with users outside of your organisation. It is designed to be used internally for business purposes.


Once again comparing hosting options between Oracle APEX and Microsoft Power Apps might be unfair.

Power Apps is a member of the cloud-based Microsoft Azure-hosted Power Platform family. Therefore, cannot be installed on-premises or locally on a personal computer.

On the other hand, Oracle APEX provides a range of hosting options, allowing you to tailor your deployment to your unique requirements. Whether you prefer on-premises solutions, cloud-based hosting, or a hybrid approach, Oracle APEX accommodates your needs, ensuring flexibility and scalability for your applications.


When it comes to pricing, the situation gets complicated as there is no standard approach to pricing between cloud providers. Comparing non-cloud deployment is not possible as already mentioned, Power Apps is just cloud-based. In general terms, we can say that:

  • Microsoft Power Apps: While Power Apps offers a free plan with limited capabilities, the costs can add up as you scale and require more features. Licensing fees are typically based on a per-user, per-app, or per-month basis, and they can become expensive as your organisation's usage and complexity increase.
  • Oracle APEX: Being part of Oracle Database licenses or Oracle Cloud services makes it effectively free for organisations already invested in the Oracle ecosystem. This can result in significant cost savings, especially for enterprises that rely heavily on Oracle products. Furthermore, it is free in the Cloud Free Tier version, free to download and run on-prem and free to run in Oracle XE (free version of the Oracle DB) even for production environments. Right from the start, APEX has been focused on simplicity, with no restrictions on users, developers, applications, or sessions whatsoever.

Check our previous blog post on Oracle APEX hosting and licensing for more information.

Gartner Comparison

While I tend to approach automatic online application comparisons with some scepticism, it's worth noting that Gartner has provided a comprehensive and detailed example that's worth considering.

Screenshot of Gartner's comparison of ratings breakdown between Oracle APEX and Microsoft PowerApps
Gartner Peer Insight - APEX (left) vs Power Apps

Tips for Choosing the Right Platform

Companies often choose between these platforms based on existing infrastructure. Those already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem naturally lean towards Power Apps, while businesses using Oracle databases prefer APEX.

As stated previously, since these two products are not natural substitutes for each other, the points mentioned should be used as pointers rather than strict rules.

You might want to consider the following tips before deciding:

  1. Project Scope: Clearly define the scope of your project, including the complexity of the application, the number of users, and the required features. This will help determine which platform aligns better with your needs.
  2. Integration Requirements: Evaluate your integration needs. Consider the systems, databases, and services your application must interact with. Ensure your chosen platform supports seamless integration with these components.
  3. Data Source: Assess the location and type of your data sources. If you predominantly use Microsoft services or Oracle databases, it may influence your choice.
  4. Development Skill sets: Evaluate the technical expertise within your team. Power Apps may be more suitable for users with limited coding experience, while Oracle APEX may require stronger SQL and PL/SQL skills.
  5. Licensing Costs: Carefully review the licensing costs associated with each platform. Understand the pricing structures and how they align with your budget.
  6. Scalability: Consider the scalability of your application. Will it need to handle a growing user base or increasing data volumes? Ensure your chosen platform can accommodate future growth.
  7. Customisation Needs: Assess the level of customisation required for your application's user interface and functionality. Differentiate between the platforms' capabilities in this regard.
  8. Mobile Compatibility: Determine the importance of mobile compatibility for your application. Both platforms offer mobile responsiveness, but the degree of flexibility may vary.
  9. Support and Community: Research the availability of support resources and user communities for each platform. Active communities can be invaluable for troubleshooting and learning.
  10. Security and Compliance: Examine the security features and compliance certifications of each platform. Ensure they align with your organisation's security and compliance requirements.
  11. Vendor Lock-In: Consider the potential vendor lock-in associated with your choice. Assess how easy it would be to migrate away from the chosen platform if needed.
  12. Performance: For larger and more complex applications, performance becomes critical. Test both platforms with sample data and assess their responsiveness.
  13. Future Roadmap: Research the future development roadmap of each platform. This can provide insights into the longevity and continued support for your chosen solution. This holds particular significance in light of recent developments, including Amazon's decision to discontinue its Low-Code solution, Honeycode.
  14. Prototyping: Before making a final decision, consider creating prototypes or proof-of-concept applications on both platforms to evaluate their suitability for your specific project.
  15. Feedback from Users: Seek feedback from potential users or stakeholders who will interact with the application. Their input can provide valuable insights into usability and functionality.

Taking the time to thoroughly evaluate these factors will help you make an informed decision between Microsoft Power Apps and Oracle APEX that aligns with your project's goals and requirements.


Both Microsoft Power Apps and Oracle Apex offer robust solutions for low-code development. Your choice between the two will largely depend on your specific needs, existing infrastructure, and budget considerations.

Our choice is Oracle APEX, especially for businesses looking for a robust, scalable, and data-centric solution. Its deep integration with Oracle databases and security features makes it a compelling choice for enterprises.

Further Reading

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