Start options in Oracle Forms 12c

So I’ve read quite a lot of blog entries and news regarding Oracle Forms 12c in the last weeks since the release. It is nice to hear and see that Oracle Forms still is not dead.
The release brought some nice features with it. Today I would like to have a look at the different start options, that are now available.

Embedded Java applet

The standard start in the last couple of years. So its still possible to call your form application through the Java plugin embedded in html. Just create a new section in the formsweb.cfg. The parameters for the standard behaviour are:

baseHTML=webutilbase.htm
baseHTMLjpi=webutiljpi.htm

Unbenannt

There is also an option to embed JNLP in html:

basejnlp=base.jnlp
baseHTMLjpi=basejpi_jnlp.htm

Both options require a Java Plugin and a browser.

Java Webstart

This method of starting a Formsapplication is not new. But whats new is the fact that Oracle now supports this option. Since more and more browsers stopped or will stop supporting the NPAPI-Plugin this step was neccessary. Google Chrome already stopped the support, Firefox will support the plugin until December 2016. Microsoft still supports it in the Internet Explorer 11, while Edge does not.
So if you want to use webstart, just copy following lines into your configuration section:

webstart=enabled
basejnlp=base.jnlp

Afterwards you can open your application through entering following URL:

http://<host>:port/forms/frmservlet?config=<configname>

You will be asked to open a file (frmservlet). Just open it and you should get the following screen – you need to have a JRE installed for that.

2

There are some facts that have to be considered when using the webstart (copied from Michael Ferrante’s PPT):

  •  Limited SSO support (requires
    browser). SSO cookie will not be shared
    with browsers launched from Forms.
  •  No support for SSO Logout or Java
    Script Integration.
  •  Requires either JDK or Java Plugin (JRE).
  •  Browser optional (required with SSO).
  •  Presents application with native
    appearance.

Standalone

There is a new standalone option. For that you have to download the Oracle Forms Stand-alone Luncher(FSAL). A howto is to be found on your server environment under:

http://<host>:<port>/forms/html/fsal.htm

I did not have the time to fully test this option but here is what Michael Farrante stated in his Oracle Open World 2015 presentation:

  • No support for SSO, SSO Logout or Java
    Script Integration.
  • Requires either JDK or Java Plugin (JRE)
    installation.
  • Browser not required.
  • Presents application with native
    appearance.
  • Example page available at:
    /forms/html/fsal.htm

This option shall offer “a browser-less, more client/server-like interface”.

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4 thoughts on “Start options in Oracle Forms 12c

  1. Applets and webstart?
    Weren’t those kicked out after all the security issues a couple of years ago?

    At Codename One we used the open source TeaVM project and it allows us to build UI’s directly into the web. Its pretty cool and works in all browsers out of the box.

    For the life of me I don’t understand why Oracle isn’t doing something like that? If we can do it I’m sure Oracle has the resources to do it.

    Like

  2. No, they have not been kicked out so far. But as more and more browsers stop the support for plugins at least the applet is fading away.
    Oracle will not put much effort in this, because Forms is quite old and with ADF and Apex they offer quite nice alternatives (without applets & webstart).

    Like

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