Now is a good time to be getting started with APEX. And I'm not just saying that because I started active APEX development this summer (though I did). But starting with APEX now, you get to stand on the shoulders of giants.
I received word today that our DBA expects to have our production instance of APEX set up by the end of the week. This is significant progress; we've had a development instance up for a while for demonstration purposes, but without solidifying our underlying architecture, I haven't been able to start training the other developers on how to build applications. Now that we've got the hardware aspects set, it's my turn to establish our development structure. And here, I get to learn from those who have gone before, rather than having to make the same mistakes myself (I get to make new ones!).
First, we're going to take advantage of this white paper (link is a pdf) by Cabot Consulting on integrating APEX and E-Business Suite. It's not perfect, and we're not going to follow all of its steps–notably, it suggests using APPS as the parsing schema, which just seems like a foolhardy security flaw to us–but it definitely includes some very useful parts.
And, finally, for overall APEX structure, I'm looking to implement much of the suggestions in this presentation (also by Scott. He's prolific, isn't he?) One challenge I'm going to have to deal with is that we're going to have some applications which authenticate against EBS, and some which use LDAP; we may even have a third method, though I'm hoping to avoid that for now. But that means that I'm going to have to give some serious thought to the design of our launchpad, but hey–I've already got a solid foundation, thanks to those who have gone before me.
And that's the key. There's a lot of information out there, and if you're just starting out with APEX, you'll be able to avoid many headaches by exploring what others have experienced. Look at the whitepapers and webinars on ODTUG; peruse Sumneva's public offerings (or hire them to give you focused training!); participate on the forum; browse the blogs on Dimitri Gielis's aggregator. By learning from each other, we can all go further.