Being new to ApEx, and to a lesser extent, databases in general, my bud Jon lent me a copy of the above book. We decided to take it for a spin, and our first task was to actually get an instance of ApEx up and running. This is what much of chapters 1 and 2 do, and according to our resident Seux-DBA Scott, it is well worth it. It was installed quickly, and an odd bug forced a patch to be installed (tracked down quickly onlne) and has since worked like a dream.
The next several chapters effectively take you through the process of creating workspaces and accounts, and then takes you into right into application building. The book is accompanied with an Online "Code Depot," which while it has the scripts needed to create some rudimentary tables in which to work, somtimes needed a little tweaking on copy/paste and most sql blocks of code were in a larger file instead of being in individual files as you might think as you go through.
In these chapters you do some interesting work, and I hope to benefit down the road by being able to either look at the book as a reference or literally at the work I did, but I have to admit the book might have led me through a little too directly. This is not necessarily a criticism of the book, but that my learning style is such that I often found myself just going through the steps...time will tell how much I really learned.
There is a clear demarkation at about chapter 10 where the book goes from directing you to being much more broad and nebulous -- talking more vaguely about what can be done...I liken it to the baby bird that just got shoved out of the nest. For this reason, I did not continue too deeply into the second half of the book as I felt I now need real and institutionally relevant work. I therefore reserve the right to add to this if my work finds me rushing back ot the book in the future.
All in all I strongly recommend this book for anyone considering starting with this product regardles of prior experience. It serves as an installation guide, tutorial, and reference. It may have its quirks, but all books do, and that should not stop you.