December 01, 2011

Save Oracle Reports

Many thanks to all of you. I got many emails in the first days of my "Save Oracle Reports" campaign.

I forwarded all emails last week to Oracle Product Management.

I'm interested if we get response... and what kind of response, if we get one.

We need

November 21, 2011

Campaign Save Oracle Reports

I started last thursday the campaign "Save Oracle Reports" and I get more and more EMails. All of them have company-wide applications running with forms and reports and cannot live without reports.

One customer (thanks to Markus) pointed me on the actual OTN-Forms-Forum-Poll named "How many Oracle Reports do you have" :

I think, it is important, that we all attend at this poll.

November 17, 2011

Oracle Reports is dying?

At the DOAG Development Panel yesterday was told about the future of Oracle Reports. That did not sound good

Next week there will be an important internal meeting at Oracle, where they speak over the future of Oracle Reports in the Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c. It looks like, that the BI Publisher will be the replacement for Reports and Oracle Reports 11g would be the last version.

That's not good... And not only because the price of the BI Publisher, I do not even speak about ...

And here is my idea to save Oracle Reports:

I need emails from all customers, who have an invest in Oracle Reports and want to save it. Write down your arguments, why you need Oracle Reports in Fusion Middleware 12c. The emailaddress is

I will bundle all answers a.s.a.p. and forward them to Oracle Development directly. They agreed with me yesterday about that. They need and want this feedback !

Very important: We don't have time and have to react very fast. Spread this idea to other customers, your colleagues, etc. They should write me in the next days.

I hope we have a chance to get our

let's try it

November 16, 2011

Oracle Forms 12c

"Oracle Forms 12c" is the new official name in the Fusion Middleware 12 universe for our good old forms!

Heard on the German Oracle User Group Conference from the development team.

So it looks like all products are getting the c (for cloud) in their name.

Let's hope, that Fusion Middleware 12 starts in 2012 !

August 30, 2011

Result of the 2011 Oracle Forms poll - part 9


When I take a look at the poll results, I recognize as a major concern for many users, the fear of an uncertain future. Oracle should give a clear commitment to Forms and combat this insecurity so active.

There is a big risk that the majority of those who went away from Oracle Forms and go to .NET. That was not aware before my survey and is one of the biggest surprises for me in this poll. This product-change will have far-reaching consequences. Anyone who has tried .NET, perhaps thinks in a second step, that Microsoft SQL Server might be a good alternative to the Oracle database. In this way, Oracle not only loses its loyal customers in the forms front-end, but also in the core business.

I conclude this article with the knowledge that we must have no fear in the next 10-15 years with our good old Oracle Forms! I look forward to 2012 to participate in the beta testing of Forms 12, if Oracle starts a new big betatest campground in Redwood Shores as in 2007.

Just use Forms

Here starts the poll

Back to part 8 of the article

August 29, 2011

Result of the 2011 Oracle Forms poll - part 8

What will the future bring?

What is the roadmap of Oracle Forms? All features that are mentioned below, are subject to Oracle's safe harbour statement

In other words, we may look forward to most features with reasonable certainty. If one of them now should not be installed, it will (hopefully) in the next version.

New Features Forms 11g Release 2:
- Integration of the forms runtime in Oracle Access Management - an alternative Single Sign On
- Easier and better installation of Forms 11g on the Web Logic Server

New Features Forms 12:
- Oracle Real-User-Experience-Integration for better testing environment
- Enhancements in the Forms Builder
- Better integration in the Oracle Enterprise Manager
- Better support of new OS versions (32+64 bit)

To be continued with the summary

Back to part 7 of the article

August 26, 2011

Result of the 2011 Oracle Forms poll - part 7

Question 6: Which new Features did you wish for Forms 12?

Most named topics were:

- reintroduction Client/Server
- integration of a modern pl/sql editor
-- with auto-suggest, formatter and code completion
-- enhanced syntax highlighting
- integration of pl/sql-refactoring
- easier installation
- forms-blocks build on data grids
-- access to all records at the same time
-- switching columns
-- increase and decrease column width
- better integration of reports and java beans
- creating objects at runtime
- drag and drop
- zooming formlayout

To be continued with What will the future bring?

Back to part 6 of the article

August 25, 2011

Result of the 2011 Oracle Forms poll - part 6

Question 5: What did you think about the future of Oracle Forms?

That was not a question with an easy Yes or No. But 70% of all answers gave positive feedback.

Some answers were extreme positive or negative: For example: "More stable that all java-frameworks", "Forms Web is bad, as Client/Server full of grandeur", "There are no clever alternatives" or "Forms will die, whatever we do in the next 5, 10 or 20 years".

In most answers they repeated the appeal to Oracle, to develop Forms further: "It must be more done for Forms! Then we have a future", "Forms is our most important development-tool for dialog-programs and we hope, that Oracle will maintain it for a long time".

In many cases they said, that Oracle Forms is the most productive development environment for Oracle Databases: "In our opinion we think, that there is no other product, were you can develop in comparable time such a good output"

To be continued with Question 6: Which new Features did you wish for Forms 12?

Back to part 5 of the article

August 24, 2011

Result of the 2011 Oracle Forms poll - part 5

Question 4: Are you thinking about a replacement?

One-third of all forms-applications will be replaced with Java, ADF and .NET.

Very interesting: 40% of all customers, who leave Forms, went to Microssofts .NET. Oracle's ADF is only on rank 3.

To be continued with Question 5: What did you think about the future of Oracle Forms?

Back to part 4 of the article

August 23, 2011

Result of the 2011 Oracle Forms poll - part 4

Question 3: Are you thinking about a migration?

More than two-thirds of all forms-applications will be migrated to Forms 10g or 11g in the next years.

That's good news. It means, that all those unsupported old forms-versions went to a modern three tier architecture.

But what about the 20 percent of the applications, which are still running under Forms 6i Client/Server? Maybe the next question is the answer:

To be continued with Question 4: Are you thinking about a replacement?

Back to part 3 of the article

August 22, 2011

Result of the 2011 Oracle Forms poll - part 3

Question 2: Since how many years did you work with Forms?

Some answers like "I work with Forms since 2.3" are matched to "24 years" :-)

The average of all forms-developers work sind 15 years with the toolset. That is an amazing amount of time.

To be continued with Question 3: Are you thinking about a migration?

Back to part 2 of the article

August 19, 2011

Result of the 2011 Oracle Forms poll - part 2

Question 1: With which forms-version did you work today?

Nearly 40% of all customers are working with the good old Forms 6i Client/Server. They love their Client/Server and don't want to go to the expensive web-servers of Forms 10g and 11g.

Less than 10% are working with the new Weblogic Server and Forms 11g. That's quite few. I hope I get more infos about that topic, when I start the next poll in 2012.

To be continued with Question 2: Since how many years did you work with Forms?

Back to part 1 of the article

August 17, 2011

Result of the 2011 Oracle Forms poll - part 1

I realized the last months, that it is not that easy to find some hours in one piece to write down my results of the Oracle Forms poll.

So I decided to split it into parts and here is the first one:

Why did I start the Oracle Forms poll ?

Ten years ago I heard the first rumors about "Forms is dead and modern software engineers should use Java". It was the time of Forms 6i Client/Server and Forms 6i Web on the Internet Application Servers.

Some years later we got Forms 9i with a lot of new features and 2006 came Forms 10g, which was the stablest version based on OC4J in the Oracle Application Server. But the rumors didn't end.

Oracle launched in 2007 a huge 5-day-betatest in Redwood Shores. I got an invitation and had a close look at the newest versions of all products including the new Oracle Forms 11g. That was amazing!

The new Forms 11g worked so stable in the betatest, that I thought, the production version cannot be far away. One year later Oracle purchased BEA. The new Weblogic Application Server was now strategic and all products had to run on it. This was the reason, why Oracle Forms needed two more years to get ready.

In those years, Oracle was pushing Java and ADF as the best way for developing applications.

That was the point, to hear, how the mood of the forms-developer and forms-projects today is. I started a poll and invited nearly 1000 customers to help me and find out, what they think about the future of Oracle Forms.

To be continued with Question 1: With which forms-version did you work today?

May 02, 2011

SQL Developer Data Modeler is now for free

The old SQL Developer Data Modeler was not for free. It was expensive and this was a big problem for customers.

SQL Developer Data Modeler is now a free data modeling and design tool.

Read this

This is another good point for us Oracle Designer Fans to migrate one day to a new Data Modeling Environment from Oracle.

Thank you Oracle

April 19, 2011

SQL Developer 3.0 includes Data Modeler

The new version of the SQL Developer is a big step. The data modeler is now integrated part of the toolset!

The first screenshot shows the differences between the new and old object navigator:

New topics are :
- Editioning Views
- Crossedition-Trigger
- Scheduler

A little enhancement in the user interface is for example the Close-Button in the tabs. They are permanent visible, not like in the old version, where you had to do a mouse-over, to see, where the buttons are.

The tables are automatically filtered, so that the recycle bin is excluded.

In the menus are new menuitems for the data-modeler and the new data-mining:

To start data modeling you didn't have to start another tool like in version 2.1. Only click on View->Data Modeler->Browser and start working.

You can open an existing model through File->Data Modeler->Open or create a new model from scratch via import from the data dictionary. Models are stored in their own directory plus a configuration-file with the extension DMD.

My next tests will be:
- generating scripts
- creating packages and sourcecodes in the data modeler

I hope, that all of these topics are big steps too!

March 30, 2011

SQL Developer 3.0 is available

Oracle's breaking news from yesterday :

Breaking News: Oracle SQL Developer 3.0 is now available for download (29 March 2011)

I'll test it the next days and I hope, that the Data Modeler now is integrated.

February 28, 2011

Oracle Forms poll "Forms 12 and beyond"

6 weeks ago I wrote a posting about the big german poll I wanted to start.

5 weeks ago I invited nearly thousand companies in germany, austria and switzerland to attend my forms-poll.

The first results returned 2 minutes after starting the poll.

The last 2 weeks I used for reviewing and collecting the results, writing my article for the DOAG News and now the article is ready and goes into printing.

The result of the poll is very interesting. I cannot write here about it, because the DOAG News should publish the article first.

So we have to wait another 4 weeks till the April edition is published. Then I'll discuss the poll in detail here in my blog.


January 17, 2011

Versioning forms and comparing sourcecode

Comparing sourcecodes of different versions of the same FMB is very important while developing an application or during maintenance.

If you want to store all versions of your FMB's, then they are two ways:

Manual versioning

Each version of all files is stored under its name plus the versionnumber. E.g. emp_27.fmb, emp_28.fmb, ... In this case "emp" + "_27" + ".fmb".

Parallel to each version you store the textversion of the FMB, emp_27.txt, emp_28.txt and so on. You get the textversion in forms through Edit-Administration-"Object list report".

For viewing the changes between two versions you can use tools like Beyond Compare, my favorite compare tool.

Using Subversion, Git or another VCS

Using a version control software is the other approach. But here we have the problem, that storing the binary file in tools like Subversion didn't solve our origin problem, finding sourcecode differences between two versions. Storing the textversion of the binary FMB plus the forms FMB is here the best practice for the check-in.

If we now want to see the changes between two version, we can easily use the builtin features of the versioning tool:

just use it

January 11, 2011

The future of Oracle Forms

In the last days of 2010 the German Oracle User Group asked me to write an article for the april edition of their magazin.

First I thought, that I write a normal deep technique article like all the others in the last years.

But then I reconsidered and found a better topic: "The future of Oracle Forms"

This article has two main parts. The first one gives an outlook, what Oracle integrates in the new Oracle Forms 12 release and the second part is result of a german wide poll, which I start this week.

The poll should give us an overview, what the german forms developer think about their development tool, which version they actually use, how long they work with Forms and what they think about the future of Oracle Forms

I'm very interested in the results of this poll