Surprises – Trying Oracle 12c Forms & Reports on Win 10

Oracle is a leader in providing database workhorses to big corporates and businesses worldwide. One thing I always liked about Oracle is good and extensive documentation.

But this time it was time for surprise.

One of product for database community, has been Forms, providing Client/Server based UI to accept and feed data to criss cross tables & Reports to fetch same and present in different (PDF etc.) ways.

This has been a success story for many years, however with passage of time and prominence of web, it added a layer of Fusion Middleware, a battery of WebLogic Servers in release 11g and now 12c. It offered a, JNLP/Applet based solution so that Forms and Reports be presented via Browser, instead of Oracle Clients.

Though this model is deprecated and unsupported by most browsers, except for IE.

However Oracle 12c Fusion Middleware still offers it for next couple of years.

One of the interesting features in 12c only, is a standalone launcher mode (FSAL). It lets developers to test Forms on their desktops without loading it via Browser.

Note It is not a typical web application not supported on Mobiles. Forms are launched via browser. Oracle recommend migrating Forms/Reports to its APEX framework to make it responsive as a web application.

Anyway, I wanted to try and experience traditional Oracle Forms 6i on Oracle 12c FM.

Oracle does not supports Mac as an OS for its DB and FM (12.2.x.y), so I opted for Win10 laptop.

This decision was for full of surprises and twists. Installation/ configuration went on peacefully, but Forms would not launch in FSAL/ Standalone mode and Report Builder would not start at all.

Only web based launching via IE 11 was up.

Searched various forms (oracle’s and others) without any clues.

Finally in one of old 11g support forums, responding to similar issue they accepted it as a defect in 11g to be fixed in subsequent releases, recommended to the full path including Middleware Home to be less than 64 characters on windows machines. This defect was not marked closed.

Assumed this should have been fixed in next generations of 12c, so ignored. Lost all my hopes struggling to make it work , finally removed it from laptop.

But still had a tweak of hope, so decided to give it another shot.

This time with all sub directory names of 2 characters, funny, it looked like “E:\or\mw\oh\up\bm\bd …”, this will keep entire tree small.

Voila, with some more undocumented surprises, everything worked as expected.

Interestingly this is not documented in official documents. I know of one case where it worked on a different version of Win.

Message of The Day for Developer Community

God Still Helps Those Who Help Themselves !

Never lose Hope. Specially when a giant like Oracle is involved.