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Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration using Finger Scanner

Oracle APEX Web Biometric integration

One day while busy working on another Biometrics project, I see a new email notification pop up on my Desktop’s workstation. The heading had something to do with Oracle Database and Biometrics. So I stopped what I was doing to check it out first. The content of the e-mail is what introduced me to the world of Oracle APEX and led me to developing and implementing an Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration using a Columbo Fingerprint Scanner.

Inside the e-mail’s content was someone from India asking me if I could Help them add Biometric Authentication to their Company’s Oracle APEX application.

I had never heard off nor even come across Oracle APEX before.

I quickly dived into Google to learn more about Oracle APEX.

This reminds me of another recent request from a company in Mexico towards December of year 2021 that too was inquiring about Biometric integration for their application that is developed on the Grail Framework ( a Groovy-based web application framework for the JVM built on top of Spring Boot )

Just like with Oracle APEX, I had never heard about Grail Framework before. I will be doing a dedicated article later on about Grail Framework when I complete the Biometric integration on Grail Framework that I am currently working on right now.

From a little Googling I established that Oracle APEX stands for Oracle Application Express, apparently a low code Web Application Development Platform that facilitates ease of building scalable apps securely that can be available from just about anywhere.

If you are like me back then and you do not know a thing about Oracle APEX, start your journey to learn about Oracle APEX from this post here, What is Oracle APEX?

I rarely get gigs from India so I was just curious and wondering how important this integration was for this company and how much was their budget for it.

I do not shy away from taking a Software Project about Biometrics even if I have never used a Programming Language, Scripting Language or Framework the prospective client is using for their Project.

I usually take this as an opportunity to learn the new Technology and deliver on the Project as long as the client is Paying well for it.

After asking them how much they would pay for it if I put on hold what I was doing to work on their project, the guy told me that they would pay between 5-6K Rupees.

Since I did not understand a thing about the Rupee ( Indian currency ) , I fired Google up on my Web Browser and did a search for 5000 Rupees to US Dollars conversion to see the equivalent of the figure in Rupees that he was talking about in US Dollars.

Bruh! I got tired!

I closed that Google search result of the currency conversion so that I do not have to look at it again.

Here is a screenshot of the current conversion rate of 5000 Rupees to US Dollars as of this time of writing this article.

5000 Rupees to US Dollars

It would have been dumb for me to put on hold the project that I was working on back then to work on a project that would take me about the same time to grab a paltry 60 something USD.

I rubbished off that joke and resumed work on the project that I was working on before that interrupt.

A month or two later, a company from Togo, Africa hit me up about an Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration request too.

After this second encounter, I decided that I should do an Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration for showcasing to prospective Companies, Organizations, Institutions and SMEs that are interested in adding Biometric Authentication to their enterprise applications that are powered by Oracle APEX.

Just before you embark on reading this article post, please take note of the following and decide whether it is worth spending your time reading it;

There was a time around mid year 2021 when I did not have too much work on my hands.

I thought to myself that this would be a good time for me to start working on Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration lest a good Oracle APEX Biometric Integration Project comes up and finds me ill prepared.

From my experience, the Universe gives me about 2 to 3 signs about something before it finally comes. Now I already had 2! I needed to be prepare myself lest the 3rd be the good Project and it finds me without experience and a without a working prototype for showcasing as a DEMO.

My objective at that time was now to study Oracle APEX very well to the point where I could create an Oracle APEX App and proceed to do an Oracle APEX Biometric Integration on it so that I could do Biometrics Capture and Biometrics Enrollment during User Data Registration and be able to carry out Biometrics Authentication of the User Registered Data in Oracle APEX.

Oracle APEX logo

Preparing to create an Oracle APEX platform on my Developer Computer Workstation.

The first thing that I needed to have up and running while installed on my Development Computer Workstation before anything else was a latest version of Oracle Enterprise Database Software.

I went online and downloaded the latest version of Oracle Enterprise Database which at that time was Oracle 19c Enterprise Edition. As of the time of writing this article post, we already have Oracle Enterprise Database 21.3 available for download on Oracle’s website.

I downloaded and installed the Microsoft Windows x64 (64-bit) version of Oracle Enterprise Database because I was going to install my Oracle APEX setup on Windows 10.

I am no expert in handling Oracle and were it not for the need of doing Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration, I think it would have taken me a while to meddle with Oracle.

The Oracle 19c installation did me so bad during the installation that I had to undo the first installation and redo it again a fresh.

Oracle is that one Database of all the other RDBMs that I have previously worked with before that still gives me the jitters.

Oracle Database really gives me lots of unease whenever I am working on it! I think it is because I barely get to work on projects with an Oracle Database back-end.

The Oracle RDBMs has a way of reminding me who is the boss especially on those projects where I want to rush and do things quickly.

This time round during the installation, I do not know how I ended up with an Oracle Database installation without SQL *Plus. I had to install SQL *Plus Instant Client later on.

My apologies if this explanation here makes me sound like a User fumbling with basics of a plain simple basic installation of an Oracle Database. I am no Oracle expert.

At some point I also forgot the password that I used during Oracle Database installation too as this thing requires strong passwords so I could not use some basic passwords that I use for my developer platforms that are easy for me to remember.

Actually all along I was looking up to the moment when I will be done with the Oracle Database installation so that I can concentrate on the software development bit which I find to be more fun than struggling with correctly setting up a behemoth of a database that I will probably use for not more than one application on my developer computer.

After a long while I came out alive with my hands red bloodied after I knocked out the red monster ( Oracle Database ) and hang it to dry in my computer file system before I could return later to skin it after it had dripped dry.

I hope no vegetarian is reading this article post?

When the installation was done, I stepped away from my Computer Workstation to relax and catch a breath of fresh air.

By the time I got to succeed installing it, I had used multiple tutorials which I found online that I did not even remember to check what is the currently updated official Oracle Database installation document for Oracle 19c.

Oracle installation is simply just not my cup of tea ( English proverb ).

While I was relaxing and away from my computer workstation, there was a power outage for about an 15 minutes or so and my computer powered off in a non procedural manner.

When I powered on my computer after the electricity was back, I realized that I could not log into the Oracle Database. Disaster again!

I was feeling lazy to do another Oracle Database installation again then I thought to myself that I should look up on Google how to resuscitate an Oracle Database that wont allow one to access it after a power outage.

To my amazement ole Google had a couple of results for that and I quickly dived into the results to read thru them.

I stopped cursing the power outage when I realized there was a light at the end of the tunnel to my current predicament.

I cannot remember what steps per se that I undertook to breath life back to my red monster ( Oracle Database ) to come back to life. It was just a random tutorial that I was following blindly with the hopes that the instructions in it possessed the magic wand to bring around the motionless red monster.

Luckily the tutorial voodoo worked and the red monster roared back to life.

I did not start on setting up Oracle APEX immediately that day. Instead, I chose to postpone that activity for another day when I would be feeling psyched up to do it.

Oracle Database Back-end for my Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration DEMO App

Setting up Oracle APEX platform on my Developer Computer Workstation.

Before setting up Oracle APEX, I promised myself to do a thorough reading around Oracle APEX.

Digging thru study material for Oracle APEX online I realized I that there were too many material online that really got me even more confused.

The internet is awash with How to documents for installing different versions of Oracle APEX on different versions of Oracle Database. The combinations are endless!

Around that time I was embarking on this endeavor, the latest version of Oracle Database was Oracle 19c and the latest version of Oracle APEX was Oracle APEX 20.2

I realized that if I had to get a reliable documentation for my installation of Oracle APEX, I had to get one that was about Oracle Database 19c and Oracle APEX 20.2. This was around mid year 2021.

The closest documentation I could get online at the time was for Oracle Database 19c and Oracle APEX 20.1

I could bank on this documentation for now however, I would have wished to get one that was about Oracle Database 19c and Oracle APEX 20.2.

I do not like whining like Users who always and usually want all the pre-conditions at their workstation to tick green on their checklist before they can trust themselves to do the basic of things on their own computers, so I started with this particular documentation ( let me just call it tutorial for now )

The tutorial that I was using was not an official tutorial from the company Oracle. It was some Oracle enthusiast’s tutorial on YouTube.

Down the rabbit hole I went as I followed all the instructions to the letter in the tutorial and when I finalized the installation, my Oracle APEX App could not start nor could I run it on my Web Browser.

I tried retracing all the steps again and could not get Oracle APEX to run on my Developer Computer Workstation.

Earlier on while trying to get and read as much information as I could about Oracle APEX on internet, I had read somewhere that it is easier and better to use a pre-setup Oracle APEX in Cloud which has already been done for you by the company Oracle.

The advantage of this Free Oracle APEX in the Cloud is that you do not have to go thru the painstaking process of setting up your own Oracle APEX in your local Desktop Computer.

All you have to do to get this Free Oracle APEX login on Cloud is Sign Up and Register with Oracle to get a Free account.

This was a good option to circumvent the struggle of installing and setting up Oracle APEX but as for me, I wanted to practically do it on my own Developer Computer Workstation and then after I get my Oracle APEX App running, I then proceed to integrate it with Biometric Fingerprint Authentication.

With other projects that I was still working on still demanding my attention, I found myself pushing aside the Oracle APEX Web Biometric integration to attend to other things.

I think a 2 or 3 weeks passed before I had some more free time to allocate to the Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration.

Unknown to me, during this short break that I had taken away from this project, Oracle had already released a new Oracle APEX version that is Oracle APEX 21.1.

I knew very well that it would be hard to get an updated tutorial for Oracle APEX 21.1 since it was just fresh from the oven. I read thru Oracle’s release document for Oracle APEX 21.1 and found out that they had actually written a document for installing Oracle APEX 21.1 on their official Oracle website.

This was fabulous!

I used the Oracle APEX documentation from Oracle to install Oracle APEX in my Developer Computer Workstation and thereafter, I developed an Oracle APEX App and integrated it with Biometrics Authentication using a Columbo Fingerprint Scanner.

I chose from now hence forth to follow only Oracle’s installation documentation for my Oracle APEX installation.

I do not know if you have similar experiences like me in the sense that, for example, when I have an issue about Microsoft Windows usually the solution provided on the Microsoft’s website is usually the least resourceful answer and the best answer that is concretely answered to my satisfaction is usually found on another website that is not affiliated to Microsoft in any way e.g. www.StackOverFlow.com Is this your experience too?

Unlike my odd experiences with Microsoft, the Oracle installation instructions for Oracle APEX 21.1 worked fine for me and I was elated to see the Oracle APEX start and run on my Google Chrome Web Browser.

Since newer versions of Oracle APEX continue to be released about 2 times a year or 1 a year, the installation instructions that I used for Oracle APEX 21.1 in mid year 2021 may not be relevant a several months and years later after I wrote this article and I will thus not bother listing here the installation instructions for Oracle APEX 21.1.

That said, if you are curious to check out what steps needed to be followed to install Oracle APEX 21.1 back in year 2021, check out this article post from Oracle’s website here 6.2.1 Installing Application Express.

Take note that as of this time ( Jan 2022 ) when I am writing this article, the current version of Oracle APEX right now is Oracle APEX 21.2 which was released a month or two before end of year 2021.

Columbo Fingerprint Scanner

Requisite Requirements for Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration using a Columbo Fingerprint Scanner

Software Requirements

Server Computer Hardware Requirements

Client Computer Hardware Requirements

Biometric Finger Scanner Requiremeents

Challenges Experienced when implementing Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration using a Columbo Fingerprint Scanner

Overall Experience when implementing when implementing Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration using a Columbo Fingerprint Scanner

Other Biometric Fingerprint and Iris Recognition Integrations that I have worked on apart from Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration

Screenshots of Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration DEMO App

Login for Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration DEMO App
After Login to Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration DEMO App
Pages I created in my Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration DEMO App
Input Text Fields in the Layout of User Biometric Registration Page for my Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration DEMO App
Oracle Database Back-end for my Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration DEMO App
Finger Capture during User Registration in my Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration DEMO App
An already Populated User Biometric Registration Page for my Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration DEMO App

YouTube Videos of Oracle APEX Web Biometric Integration DEMO App

Oracle APEX Web Biometric Fingerprint Registration DEMO – This is NOT A TUTORIAL
Oracle APEX Web Biometric Fingerprint Authentication DEMO – This is NOT A TUTORIAL
Oracle APEX Web Biometric Registration and Authentication App DEMO – This is NOT A TUTORIAL

Do you Need Help with Biometrics integration in your Organization’s Oracle APEX Application?

I am a Software Engineer who Helps Companies, Institutions, Organizations, and SMEs like You to Develop, Integrate, Support and Maintain Identity Management (IAM) Software Solutions based on Biometrics that run on Windows, Linux, Web, Android, RaspberryPi and Cloud.

If you need a Pair of Hands to Help you with Oracle APEX Web Biometric integration, I am here for You! I got You!

I offer Premium based Consulting! Find Details on How to reach me for Professional Consulting Services to Help you with your Oracle APEX Web Biometric integration at Joseph Mwema’s YouTube channel’s About section.

Thank you for reading all the way thru to the end of this article.

Please send me any Questions, Suggestions, Tips or Ideas that you would like to share with me my e-mail address below.

Joseph Mwema’s Email Address and YouTube Channel’s QR Code

Some of the Companies, Organizations and Institutions that I have helped to integrate Biometrics in their Software Applications

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