B Always Free Oracle APEX Application Development

This section describes configuration differences, restrictions, and additional details for Always Free Oracle APEX Application Development (Always Free APEX Service).

You have the option to create a limited number of Always Free APEX Services that do not consume cloud credits. Always Free APEX Service can be created in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure accounts that are in a trial period, have paying status, or are always free. This section describes configuration differences, restrictions, and additional details for Always Free APEX Service.

Sign Up with Oracle Cloud Free Tier

These are the services you can use for an unlimited time:

  • Two free services based on Oracle Autonomous database.
  • Two Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute VMs; Block, Object, and Archive Storage; Load Balancer and data egress; Monitoring and Notifications

See Oracle Cloud Free Tier to start for free.

Resource Restrictions for Always Free APEX Service

  • Maximum of 1 OCPU per database

  • Maximum of approximately 20 GB Exadata storage per database (you may see more than this)

  • Maximum of 20 simultaneous database sessions

  • Maximum of 2 Always Free instances that are workload types of Autonomous Database per Oracle Cloud Infrastructure tenancy. Workload types of Autonomous Database include Data Warehouse, Transaction Processing, JSON Database, and APEX Service. If you create 2 Always Free instances, they can be the same or different Autonomous Database workload types

    Note:

    • Always Free APEX Service cannot be scaled manually or automatically beyond the fixed resource restrictions described above.

    • The Maximum of 20 simultaneous database sessions limit for Always Free and 1 OCPU per database allows you to work with Always Free APEX Service. However, if your usage includes many simultaneous users and/or many concurrent database client connections then you can exceed these limits, resulting in errors. To avoid such errors, obtain more resources by upgrading to paid service.

    • Always Free APEX Service cannot be provisioned as a private endpoint and cannot reside within a Virtual Cloud Network (VCN). See Configuring Network Access with Private Endpoints for information on private access and private endpoints.

  • The HTTP interface of Always Free APEX Service is rate limited to restrict the number of simultaneous service users. Approximately 3-6 simultaneous users can be supported across all of APEX, Oracle REST Data Services, and SQL Developer Web. Additional simultaneous users beyond that may result in users encountering HTTP errors. Note this restrcition is specific to the Always Free version of APEX Service.

Oracle Database Version and Oracle Application Express Release

The available Database versions for Always Free Oracle APEX Application Development are: Oracle Database 19c or Oracle Database 21c.

Regional Availability for Always Free Always Free APEX Service

  • Always Free APEX Service is available worldwide in most Oracle Cloud Infrastructure data regions. See Data Regions for more details on where Always Free APEX Service is supported.

  • When you sign up for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Oracle creates a tenancy and designates a home data region for the tenancy that you specify. You can create an instance of Always Free APEX Service only in this home data region. You cannot create an instance in other data regions that you later subscribe the tenancy to. See The Home Region for more information.

    Note:

    To take advantage of new APEX capabilities available with Oracle Database 21c (for example, Server-side JavaScript), you must provision your Always Free APEX Service in one of the following OCI Data Regions: Ashburn, Frankfurt, London, or Phoenix. To provision an Always Free instance with Oracle Database 21c, the home data region of your OCI tenancy must be one of these specific regions.

Backup Functionality and Always Free APEX Service

  • Always Free APEX Service includes the ability to backup applications within a workspace as described in Managing Application Backups in Oracle Application Express App Builder User’s Guide

  • Always Free APEX Service does not support full backups to your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure object storage.

  • Always Free APEX Service does not support restoring from full database backups.

See Backing Up and Restoring Autonomous Database in Using Oracle Autonomous Database on Shared Exadata Infrastructurefor more information.

Preview Versions Oracle Autonomous Database Not Available in Always Free APEX Service

Oracle periodically provides a preview version of Oracle Autonomous Database that includes new Oracle Autonomous Database features that you can use before these features are made available in existing Oracle Autonomous Databases. Preview versions of Oracle Autonomous Database are not available with Always Free APEX Service.

Inactivity Monitoring and Database Stoppage

If your Always Free APEX Service is persistently inactive, this is detected and handled as follows:

  • After being inactive for 7 days, the instance will automatically stop, preserving its stored data. Inactivity measurements leading up to 7 days are based on database connections. Successfully making a HTTPS connection resets these measurements to zero.

  • An instance that is automatically or manually stopped and stays inactive for 90 days cumulatively may be reclaimed and permanently deleted. Inactivity measurements leading up to 90 days are based on the instance being inactive or in the stopped state. Starting a stopped instance resets these measurements to zero.

    Start Always Free APEX Service by clicking the Start button on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure console. Start a stopped Always Free APEX Service instance before 90 days to avoid losing access to its data.

    When you start Always Free APEX Service from the stopped state, you need to wait about 5 minutes before attempting to connect to an APEX application or to an Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) endpoint. If you attempt to connect before the background APEX and ORDS startup completes, then you may see HTTP error messages.

  • In Always Free APEX Service the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure console shows banner alerts prior to automatic stop and permanent delete operations occurring. If you subscribe to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Alerts and Notifications, you also will receive email notifications.

Upgrading Always Free APEX Service to a Paid Version

You can upgrade Always Free APEX Service to a paid version to obtain additional OCPU and database storage. Promotion of an Always Free instance to a paid instance is supported only if the Database version for the Always Free APEX Service is Oracle Database 19c.

If your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure account is in a trial period or has paying status and the instance version for the Always Free instance is Oracle Database 19c, then you can upgrade to a paid instance as follows:

  1. In the upper left corner next to the Oracle Cloud logo, click Navigation Icon.

  2. From the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure left navigation list, under Database Related Services, select APEX Application Development and then APEX Instances.

  3. Select your Always Free APEX Service.

    Oracle APEX Instance Details page appears.

  4. To upgrade your instance, do one of the following:

    • From the More Actions drop-down list select Upgrade Instance to Paid.

    • Next to Instance Type: Free, select Upgrade Instance.

  5. On the Confirm Upgrade page, click Confirm.

If your account has finished a trial without upgrading to paying status, you can continue using an Always Free instance but you cannot upgrade Always Free instance to paid instances until the account is first upgraded to paying status. See Upgrade Your Free Oracle Cloud Promotion for more information.