Did You Know? -- April 2002

By Hervé Deschamps, Oracle Corporation.

Forms 9i New Features (My Favorite Ones)

Single Sign-On
Oracle9i Forms can use the authentication services provided by the Login Server (mod_osso) included with Oracle9iAS, which is integrated with the Oracle Internet Directory (OID) and is LDAP-compatible. Using Single Sign-On eliminates the need for users to remember multiple passwords because they only have to log in once. Moreover, no additional coding is required in your Oracle9i Forms application modules.

Deploy to Multiple Languages
TranslationHub is a new subcomponent of Oracle9i Forms. To assist you in translating your Forms applications to other languages, TranslationHub keeps a repository of your translations and lets you preview the Forms while they are being translated. Using Oracle9iAS Forms Services, you can deploy a Oracle9i Forms application in many different languages with a single installation.

Debug your Applications Remotely
The usability and functionality of the Forms debugger has been significantly enhanced. For example, remote, three-tier debugging lets you debug a Forms application while it is running on the Web. In addition, a Forms developer can attach the debugger to another user's Forms session and debug on the screen while the user interacts with the application.

Use XML to Access your Forms Files
In Oracle9i Forms, you can save your Forms module files (.fmb, .mmb, and .olb files) to XML, which provides a "human-readable" version of your Forms application, and lets you manipulate the application in XML. XML representation combined with the use of JDAPI lets you manipulate your Forms applications in any almost any way to suit your needs and skills.

Control your Development Environment
Oracle9i Forms is integrated with Oracle9i Software Configuration Manager (SCM) directly in Forms Developer. Oracle9i SCM provides source control options, such as checkin and checkout capability, versioning, diff and merge utilities, and impact analysis. With Oracle9i SCM, you can effectively manage your development environment.

Improved Runtime Functionality
Various runtime improvements are:

  1. Enhancements for long running List of Values (LOV) -- the status bar shows the number of records being downloaded, and users may cancel at any time.
  2. New application property called "version" returns the version number of Forms Services.
  3. One time WHERE clause lets you change the WHERE clause on a block for the next operation only.
This was only my personal selection. Form the complete list check out http://otn.oracle.com/products/forms/htdocs/forms9inewfeatures.html

Forms9i Obsolescence Features

Stricter Enforcement of Existing Triggers and Built-ins

With Oracle Forms release 6i and below, you are able to define some triggers at Item and Block level, which make no sense in that context. With Oracle9i Forms, Oracle will enforce the rules regarding these triggers and will not execute them if they exist.

The following five triggers will only be allowed at the Block or Form level, and not at the Item level as is currently possible:

The following trigger will, likewise, only be allowed at Form level, not at Block or Item Level: One aspect of built-in usage in Oracle9i Forms that is being changed, is to prevent navigation to non-enabled items. This is allowed in Forms 6i using the GO_ITEM() built-in. Trying the same operation in Oracle9i Forms will result in the error: FRM-40112: Attempted go_item to non enabled item <name>.

An environment variable FORMS90_REJECT_GO_DISABLED_ITEM is available to reverse this behavior change, if absolutely necessary (simply set the value to FALSE to allow navigation to disabled items). However, this environment variable will be removed in a future version of Forms and the new behavior strictly enforced. Therefore we recommend that you correct any code carrying out this action.

Use of the Database for Module Storage
In Oracle Forms 6i and below you are able to store Forms source files into the database as an alternative to saving them directly to the filesystem. You may also be subclassing objects from modules stored in this way. In Oracle9i Forms the option to store and subclass from modules stored in this way will be removed. The only available modes of saving your modules will be directly to the filesystem, or by saving them into source control using Oracle9i Software Configuration Manager (Oracle9i SCM), using the Check in and Check out capabilities provided by the Form Builder.

Components due to be removed from the suite
The following sub-components are planned for removal from the Oracle9i Forms installation:

  1. Oracle Graphics
  2. Oracle Forms Listener and Load Balancing Components
  3. Oracle Forms Server Cartridge and CGI
  4. Oracle Procedure Builder
  5. Oracle Project Builder
  6. Oracle Translation Builder
  7. Oracle Query Builder/Schema Builder
  8. Oracle Terminal
  9. Open Client Adapters (OCA)
  10. Tuxedo Integration
  11. Performance Event Collection Services (PECS)
  12. PVCS and Clearcase Integration

Designer 6i

If you need to display Designer generated information/error messages (like "List of Value Available") in another language than English (like French) all you need to do it change the value of preference 'National Language for end-user Text' to your language (e.g. "FRENCH_FRANCE").


To list the files in a directory by descending order of date last modified:
ls -lat

Hervé Deschamps is a Technical Manager with Oracle Corporation. Over the years he has developed a number of applications using Oracle Development Tools and others.  He has an extensive experience of all phases of the development life cycle. He is also known in the technical community for his article publications centered around best custom development practices and for his user group presentations. You can reach him by e-mail at herve.deschamps@.oracle.com. He also maintains a web site full of articles, scripts, tips and techniques at http://www.iherve.com.