For those looking to upgrade to the latest Oracle Forms version, here is a brief look at some of the notable new features introduced in the latest versions, 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206. You can find an extensive list of all the new features in Oracle Forms 12c New Features whitepaper and the What’s New in this Release section in the release notes of 220.127.116.11 and What’s New in this Release section in the release notes of 18.104.22.168.
GUI / Visuals
- Custom Colour Schemes
In addition to the 9 runtime colour schemes already delivered in Oracle Forms, there is now functionality to create your own custom colour schemes.
- Canvas Gradient Colours
The canvas colour can now have a gradient applied to it. With the canvas background colour set, the developer can set which direction the gradient flows and the difference in colour throughout the gradient.
- Row Banding
Multi-record blocks can have alternative colour row banding applied, making it easier to distinguish between rows.
- Tabs with Icons
Tabs can now have icons included next to the tab name.
- Smartbar (Toolbar) Sizes
The size of the forms toolbar, and the buttons it holds, can now be increased meaning increasing the images of these buttons will no longer result in the images being clipped due to the buttons not matching the size of the images. This will assist applications with meeting accessibility requirements.
Some other GUI/Visual features include:
- Custom text for Logon and Password Change Hints
- Record Counter can be set to display on and off
- Item level cursor pointers mean the cursor pointer can be changed at item level
- BI Publisher integration
As well as integrating with Oracle Reports, Oracle Forms can now integrate with Oracle BI Publisher. Developers can now choose to generate reports with one of these reporting services or even both. This could be useful if you are looking to convert your reports from Oracle Reports to BI Publisher reports, as per Oracle’s recommendation with the deprecation of Oracle reports after version 22.214.171.124. I will release a blog in the future that has more information about licensing implications between BI Publisher and Oracle Forms.
- Audio Playback
Oracle Forms now allows the playing of audio files, although it is recommended that Java 8 is used to be fully supported
- New Client Deployment Options
There are a number of new ways of deploying your Oracle Forms application:
Other functional features include:
- As mentioned above, Single Sign-On is now supported with FSAL deployments from 126.96.36.199+
- Single Sign-Off has been included as a new feature even though it is not currently supported with apps deployed with FSAL and Java Web Start (Oracle have said this feature may be supported in future releases of FSAL)
- Improved WebUtil, including support for WebUtil-enabled applications with Oracle Forms Application Deployment Services in the 188.8.131.52 release
- New System Events
Gavin is a Development Consultant at Explorer. Having attained a BSc in Computing he embarked on a career working with Oracle technologies and specialising in SQL and PL/SQL programming. In previous roles he has worked with Oracle Forms and Reports (v9-12), Oracle Retail (v13) and APEX (v4.2-18.2). Here at Explorer he is part of a highly skilled development team providing APEX development solutions and training to both UK and international businesses.