How to take APEX backups

by Rackspace Technology Staff

This post describes how to back up Oracle® Application Express (APEX). 

APEX organization

Oracle organizes the APEX working area into workspaces that are associated with one or more Oracle database schemas. You should install APEX on the database that the applications use to access data and then create applications in workspaces. Following are more APEX organization facts:

  • All workspaces and applications have a unique id assigned to them and are easy to track. 
  • Both workspaces and applications can have external files attached to them, such as CSS, JavaScript, images, and so on. 
  • Any application in the same workspace can access files attached to a workspace, but only an application can access files attached to that application. 
  • Metadata tables store information about workspaces, applications, and files.
  • Your exported backup should include all the metadata on workspaces and applications.

What is APEX? 

APEX is an enterprise low-code development platform where developers develop and deploy their applications to solve problems and provide immediate value. It is a free feature of Oracle Database.

APEX has two components: a metadata repository and the APEX engine. The metadata repository stores all the application definitions, and the engine renders and processes all the application pages. APEX is stored within the Oracle database in the form of data tables and PL/SQL scripts.


According to one source"The purpose of the backup is to create a copy of data that can be recovered in the event
of a primary data failure. Primary data failures can be the result of hardware or software failure, data corruption, or a human-caused event, such as a malicious attack (virus or malware), or accidental deletion of data. Backup copies allow data to be restored from an earlier point in time to help the business recover from an unplanned event."

The APEX backup process

The Application Express installation files, in $ORACLE_HOME/apex/utilities/oracle/apex,
include two utilities, APEXExport.class and APEXEportSplitter.class, which you can use to export your APEX applications.

Step 1: Preparation

To prepare for the backup, perform the following steps:

1. To use APEXExport, install JDK version 1.5 or later. 
2. Make sure the Oracle JDBC class libraries are in your CLASSPATH.
3. Download Oracle Database 11g Release 2 ( JDBC Drivers (ojdbc5.jar) from here and place the file in $ORACLE_HOME/jdbc/lib

Step 2: Set the environment source file

1. Create or update **apex.env** with the following content:
        export ORACLE_HOME=/u02/app/oradi/db/tech_st/12.1.0
        export ORACLE_SID=TIGER
        export PATH=$PATH:$ORACLE_HOME/bin
        export CLASSPATH=.:${ORACLE_HOME}/jdbc/lib/ojdbc5.jar
        export JAVA_HOME=$ORACLE_HOME/jdk/
        export PATH=$ORACLE_HOME/jdk/bin:$PATH

2. Source the environment file, apex.env.

Step 3: Find your workspace ID

Use the workspace ID to take the export. Use the following database queries to retrieve
the workspace ID information:
SQL> select workspace_id,workspace,schemas from apex_workspaces;
    WORKSPACE_ID     WORKSPACE                        SCHEMAS
    ------------     ------------------------------   ----------
          10         INTERNAL                             2
          11         COM.ORACLE.APEX.REPOSITORY           1
          12         COM.ORACLE.CUST.REPOSITORY           1
    SQL> set lines 200
    SQL>col WORKSPACE for a30
    SQL>col APPLICATION_NAME for a60
    SQL>col OWNER for a15
    SQL>select workspace,workspace_id,application_id,application_name,owner from apex_applications;

APEX Pic 1


Step 4: Take the backup

Perform the following steps to take the backup:

1. From the apex/utility directory, issue the command for the export backup.
2. Run the following command to go to the APEXExport class directory:
        cd /u02/app/oradi/db/tech_st/12.1.0/apex/utilities/oracle/apex
3. Run the following command to export all workspace backups:
        /u02/app/oradi/db/tech_st/12.1.0/jdk/bin/java oracle.apex.APEXExport -db -user APEX_190200 -password $Apex_password -expWorkspace > apex_workspace.log
4. The log file should look similar to the following example:
        Exporting Workspace 12:'COM.ORACLE.CUST.REPOSITORY'
          Completed at Tue May 26 06:08:06 EST 2020
        Exporting Workspace 1502512746446669:'GJE TEST'
          Completed at Tue May 26 06:08:07 EST 2020
        Exporting Workspace 1509724465613146:'NS-TEST'
          Completed at Tue May 26 06:08:07 EST 2020
        -rw-rw-r-- 1 oradi oradi 4.3K May 26 06:08 w12.sql  ----- exported backup apex workspace file
        -rw-rw-r-- 1 oradi oradi 7.0K May 26 06:08 w1502512746446669.sql - exported backup apex workspace file
        -rw-rw-r-- 1 oradi oradi 11K May 26 06:08 w1509724465613146.sql - exported backup apex workspace file
APEX Export utility options
Following are the export options for APEX Export utility:
- db: Database connect URL in JDBC format
- user: Database username
- password: Database password
- applicationid: ID for the exported application
- workspaceid: Workspace ID for all  exported applications or the exported workspace
- expFiles: Export all workspace files identified by -workspaceid
- instance: Export all applications
- expWorkspace: Export workspace identified by -workspaceid or all workspaces if -workspaceid not specified
- skipExportDate: Exclude export date fr0om application export files
- expPubReport: Export all user saved public interactive reports
- expSavedReports: Export all user saved interactive reports
- expIRNotif: Export all interactive report notifications
- expTranslations: Export the translation mappings and all text from the translation repository
- expFeedback: Export team development feedback for all workspaces or identified by -workspaceid to development or deployment
- expTeamdevdata: Export team development data for all workspaces or identified by -workspaceid
- deploymentSystem: Deployment system for exported feedback
- expFeedbackSince: Export team development feedback since the specified date in the format `YYYYMMDD`

 Example commands - The following are some export examples:

Single application example

APEXExport -db localhost:1521:ORCL -user scott -password scotts_password -applicationid 31500

All applications in a workspace example

APEXExport -db localhost:1521:ORCL -user scott -password scotts_password -workspaceid 9999

All applications in an instance example

       APEXExport -db localhost:1521:ORCL -user system -password systems_password -instance

All workspaces example

       APEXExport -db localhost:1521:ORCL -user system -password systems_password -expWorkspace

Export feedback to development environment example

       APEXExport -db localhost:1521:ORCL -user scott -password scotts_password -workspaceid 9999 -expFeedback

Export feedback to deployment environment EA2 since 20100308 example

       APEXExport -db localhost:1521:ORCL -user scott -password scotts_password -workspaceid 9999 -expFeedback -deploymentSystem EA2 -expFeedbackSince 20100308



Oracle APEX is a rapid web application development tool for the Oracle database. It helps you to quickly develop and deploy professional applications that are secure by using a web browser. You don't need strong programming skills and can use different export options to take backups as needed.  

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