We changed our name from IT Central Station: Here's why
Get our free report covering Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and other competitors of Oracle Application Express (APEX). Updated: January 2022.
563,208 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Read reviews of Oracle Application Express (APEX) alternatives and competitors

Ayaz Ahme  Salam
Assistant General Manager - Head of Messaging & Collaboration at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable with good security and great integration capabilities
Pros and Cons
  • "The pricing is excellent."
  • "Recently, IBM sold the product to HCL. Since Pakistan and India have some problems on a domestic level, we were actually considering replacing it with Indian products from the organization. We're just facing some regulatory issues."

What is our primary use case?

We have developed 100 plus applications on this platform. For instance, the entire HR solution is built on that solution. Our HR management system is on Notes and Domino. The leave management system in Notes and Domino as well as the employee attendance system, performance reviews, and the reimbursement management system. Any area of HR and sub-service of employees is developed on Notes and Domino. 

We have developed some sort of interface with the procurement management system that is eventually integrated with Oracle Financials. There are so many other processes of our core banking system that are developed on Notes and Domino. They all are connected to our core banking systems, our Oracle Financial, and other systems. The main focus is that any process that requires any approvals or any workflows, is developed on Notes and Domino.

What is most valuable?

It is a wonderful tool. 

It offers a very stable environment. 

The security is very good.

The integration capabilities are great. 

It is a beautiful platform for low-code and no-code developments and offers comprehensive solution development.

The pricing is excellent.

HCL is doing a wonderful job. I appreciate HCL. Whatever they are introducing in terms of new features has been great. I've got 20 years of experience on Notes and Domino and I love their way of working. They are improving the product continuously. That's the reason I'm trying my best to get approval from our regulator to keep the product intact.

What needs improvement?

Recently, IBM sold the product to HCL. Since Pakistan and India have some problems on a domestic level, we were actually considering replacing it with Indian products from the organization. We're just facing some regulatory issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 20 years or so at this point. It's been a while. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. In 20 years, I don't think we've had even five minutes of downtime despite all the upgrades, parallel activities, patch management, et cetera. Everything was done in parallel and we have never, never, ever had even five minutes of blackout for users.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have approximately 13,500 to 14,000 users on this solution.

We might switch to another solution. It's not clear yet if we will.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We find the price to be quite reasonable. It's not overly expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have evaluated SAP, Oracle ERP, and IBM BPM, as well as SharePoint. We were planning to migrate the entire solution on the platform known as Xpage. Xpage is a wonderful web interface for Notes and Domino on which when you design an application, it seamlessly works on the client, web, and mobile. You design once and use it anywhere. That's the concept. We've also looked into Mendix. 

SharePoint is a good tool, however, it cannot handle complex scenarios. The stability is also a challenge in SharePoint as Microsoft does not provide a clear roadmap on its product. If you develop an application on this platform, tomorrow they'll bring a new version and they don't provide the upgrade. We need to rebuild everything on the new product as we have already developed so many systems on VB6, then we were planning to switch them on .NET. And eventually, the .NET version one was introduced for a short time, and then the new language was introduced, C#.

It's really difficult to migrate the entire system from one language of one platform to another. Just like if you spend one year building an application and this application is discontinued by the product owner.

That's the reason we prefer Notes and Domino. We are using few applications that we developed 20 years ago. We upgraded Notes and Domino on four major releases, however, a 20-years-old application can still work fine. We don't need to modify this application. We don't need to upgrade this application. Backward compatibility is marvelous on Notes and Domino.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers and end-users.

We have not received the approvals to upgrade the solution on 11, which is why we are still using the last version released by IBM.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. I've been extremely happy with its capabilities.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
Enterprise Architect at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
No code, quick drag and drop, and a good user interface, but the data threshold limit needs to increase
Pros and Cons
  • "I would say that the most valuable features are the user interface, navigation, and business routes."
  • "It has to improve the threshold limit where it can handle data beyond 5000 items."

What is our primary use case?

Microsoft has come at the right time. To come out with a RAD (Rapid Application Development) tool where you can develop your apps on the cloud much faster, and deploy them for multiple devices, whether it is mobile, cloud, laptops, or desktops. It is similar to Oracle APEX or Oracle developer tools where you just drag and drop into your application within minutes.

The primary use case of this solution is case management reporting. If, for example, you have a set of engineers who have been assigned a particular case or project they will need to record all of their activities and their visits. Using the application created in PowerApps, they report everything, then it goes through a workflow. 

The workflow goes from recording the daily activities of the team for the specific project. The project then goes through a series of approvals and gets logged, completed, and the report is generated. 

Expenses are also being logged. 

We have Power BI as well, and it moves the data from the source to the data warehouse then generates a report.

This is quite a short term, six-week engagement. We wanted to create an application and have it up and running within four to six weeks, rather than spending three to six months on bigger projects on the platform. We wanted it to be quick and fast.

PowerApps is best suited for those cases where you have a small scenario and an application to support that project or scenario. You can call these departmental applications, which are needed on the fly. We create a much shorter development lifecycle and then deploy, and then people start using it.

Take an example of the COVID-19 situation. We wanted all of our branches to log their COVID cases or what exactly are they doing daily to manage the COVID cases and to know what the process is. All of those details are logged into the COVID folder and then the reports are generated daily or weekly.

What is most valuable?

Microsoft PowerApps is a no-code solution.

I would say that the most valuable features are the user interface, navigation, and business routes.

It quickly drags and drops. It doesn't take much coding, there is no coding in fact. You drag and drop, select a few things to configure, and then read those applications in the user screens. 

With business rules, you can just select and you don't need to elaborate coding or backend code. This way, it's much easier to write or create those applications using their features.

What needs improvement?

When you capture a lot of data, the data becomes enormous. It's one of Microsoft's challenges that there is a threshold limit of 5000 items. It has to improve the threshold limit where it can handle data beyond 5000 items.

I would like to see integration with on-premise business applications, complex business routes, and complex business workflows.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using Microsoft PowerApps in 2014.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Currently, there is a challenge in scaling up. We can't scale beyond large data.

We have approximately 10,000 users in our organization.

How are customer service and technical support?

There is a challenge in getting support. The support staff is not trained properly in PowerApps.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not easy, but not exactly complex. There was a lot of research.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There are two licensing costs, one is pay-as-you-go, or you can develop it for one year.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to make an informed decision before you implement it. There are a lot of challenges, and the product is going through a lot of changes.

It's promising, so I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Get our free report covering Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and other competitors of Oracle Application Express (APEX). Updated: January 2022.
563,208 professionals have used our research since 2012.