Oracle Forms Statement of Direction

OFFICIAL - Oracle Forms Statement of Direction

Applies to

Oracle Forms - Version 12.2.1.0.0 and later
Information in this document applies to any platform.

Purpose Statement

THIS DOCUMENT PROVIDES AN OVERVIEW OF FEATURES AND ENHANCEMENTS INCLUDED IN RELEASE ORACLE FORMS 12c.  IT IS INTENDED SOLELY TO HELP YOU ASSESS THE BUSINESS BENEFITS OF UPGRADING TO AND TO PLAN YOUR I.T. PROJECTS.

 

Introduction


Originally released in the 1980’s, Oracle Forms has been one of the most widely used enterprise software development tools in the world.  Oracle Forms, now a product/technology in the Oracle Fusion Middleware family, is made up of two high level components: Forms Developer and Forms Services

With Oracle Forms Developer, business application developers quickly build, in a declarative rapid application development (RAD) environment, comprehensive Java client applications without writing any Java code. These applications are rich, Web-deployed applications available on demand for rapid processing of large amounts of data and rapid completion of complex calculations, analysis, and transactions. The development environment provides powerful declarative features, such as wizards, built-ins, and drag-and-drop, for the creation of fully functional applications from database definitions with minimal coding in record time. Oracle Forms Developer also provides an open, extensible client user interface model that allows full customization and extension of applications with Java.  Runtime extensibility on the server is also possible with Java and C.

Oracle Forms Services provide all the components necessary to deploy Oracle Forms applications in an Oracle WebLogic Server environment.  Oracle Forms Services built-in features include transaction management, record caching, record locking, exception handling, and much more.  Oracle Forms Services built-in services also provide a critical infrastructure that developers would otherwise have to code and re-code by hand many times throughout all parts of the application.  And with various built-in integration features, connecting an Oracle Forms application to other products and/or technologies is simple.

Oracle Forms continues to be a core component in many Oracle products such as the following:

  • Oracle E-Business Suite
  • Oracle Utilities
  • Oracle Retail
  • Oracle Life Sciences
  • Oracle Hospitality
  • Oracle Insurance

 

The current version of Oracle Forms

 

The long awaited Oracle Forms 12c was released on October 23, 2015 along with many other components in the Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c stack.  In addition to the many new features delivered as part of the FMW 12c stack, Oracle Forms specifically includes many new features and enhancements.  The new features and enhancements offered in Oracle Forms 12c offer the ability to not only freshen up the appearance of aging applications, but also greatly improve performance, and make administration easier. The new browser-less client configuration options offer a way to no longer worry about compatibility with constantly changing browser versions and their underlying technologies.  

New features in the current release (12.2.1.0) include, but are not limited to the following:

  •         Integration with BI-Publisher
  •         New browser-less client configuration options
  •         Form Builder productivity improvements
  •         New applet parameters for easily customizing runtime behavior
  •         New and enhanced object properties
  •         Customizable runtime Color Schemes
  •         Audio playback support
  •         New and improved security features
  •         New and improved JVM Controller features to improve performance and diagnosability
  •         Performance improvements for record/data handling
  •         Introduction of System Events
  •         Improved SSO integration
  •         Improved diagnostic features
  •         New installation options
  •         Support for new Java versions
  •         Support for new operating systems

Refer to the Oracle Forms 12c Deployment Guide for more information about new features and enhancements in this release.

Refer to the Lifetime Support Policy for more details.

 

Recommendation

Because upgrading to the latest version from the immediate previous release is much easier than moving from very old to very new, upgrading on a regular basis is strongly recommended.

Users of Oracle Forms versions older than the current release should immediately begin working on a plan to upgrade to the latest as soon as possible.  Upgrading to the latest version will help to ensure that your system has the latest security, stability, and performance updates available.  Upgrading will also expose access to the very latest new features of the current version and all previous versions.  Moving to the latest version also offers the use of newer operating systems and newer Oracle products like Oracle Database 12c.

Users of very old versions like 6.0.8 (6i) and older may find it necessary to first upgrade to version 10.1.2 (10gR2) before moving to version 11 or newer.  Refer to the Oracle Forms Upgrade Guide for more information about moving from Forms 6 or older.  Customers upgrading from version 11.1.x to 12.2.1.x simply need to install the new software and use the v12.2.1.x Form Compiler (or Builder) to regenerate all application modules associated with the application to complete the upgrade process.

Once on the latest version, it is further recommended that application developers take advantage of new features and technologies that can help enhance and modernize outdated applications.  Remember that Oracle Forms offers many unique features not found in most html-based web applications.  By upgrading and modernizing your existing Oracle Forms investment, end-user can work more efficiently and productively.  More importantly, by retaining and modernizing and improving your existing applications, the high cost of a complete application rewrite using other technologies can be avoided.

Organizations needing mobile solutions or assistance upgrading or modernizing, should not abandon their Oracle Forms investment.  Instead, these organizations should consider the offerings of Oracle Partners who specialize in working with Oracle Forms.  Oracle Partners can provide products and services an organization may need to upgrade, modernize, and mobilize at a much lower cost than starting from scratch with an alternative technology.  In some cases, using an alternative technology may not be avoidable, but in many cases an application face-lift is all that is needed.
Oracle Forms Roadmap Ahead

Oracle continues its commitment to Oracle Forms.   A new release is being planned and new features and other improvements are currently being reviewed.  New releases are planned to include some of the following:

  •         Design-time productivity improvements
  •         Performance improvements
  •         New and enhanced object properties
  •         New runtime UI features
  •         New and improved integration with various products and technologies
  •         Support for new Java versions
  •         Support for new operating systems
  •         And many more…


With Cloud Computing being such an important part of today’s IT landscape, Oracle is investigating what possibilities the Cloud may offer for the Oracle Forms product and its customers.  Using Oracle Forms in the Oracle Public Cloud could offer significant cost savings simply by reducing the typical cost of hardware upgrades and maintenance.  For Independent Software Vendors (ISV), and other software providers, the use of the Oracle Public Cloud could make the delivery and accessibility of Oracle Forms based applications much easier and cost effective.

Also a significant part of modern computing is mobile technologies.  Working closely with Oracle Partners, Oracle will continue to investigate possible mobile solutions and how they may apply to an Oracle Forms customer.

Posted by Patrick Hamou on 2015:08:21 14:05:23