Wednesday Feb 12, 2014

Reasons for upgrading to Oracle Forms 11g Release 2

Screenshot of Forms 11g Logo

Oracle Forms remains as popular as ever. The product continues to evolve as Oracle remains committed to the objectives of making it easy as possible to upgrade and integrate existing Oracle Forms applications with new web technologies and service oriented architectures.

If you are an administrator of an Oracle Forms 10g or 11gR1 environment, have you considered an upgrade to Forms / Reports 11g Release 2? Let's summarize the reasons for moving to this version above and beyond thinking of it as being just the 'latest and greatest'.

1. Integration with Oracle Access Manager

Oracle Forms 11g Release 2 (11.1.2.x) is certified to work with Oracle Access Manager (OAM) 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.5+). Furthermore, although Oracle Forms can be manually configured to use OAM 11g, the 11gR2 configuration wizard makes life easier by offering an option to auto-configure Forms with a pre-existing OAM 11g solution. In contrast, Forms 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) is only certified/supported with Oracle Application Server Single Sign-On 10g. Note: Premier support for SSO 10g has expired. Oracle recommend migration to Oracle Access Manager 11g.

2. JDK 7 certification

In January 2014, Forms / Reports 11gR2 patch set 2 (11.1.2.2) was released and with it comes JDK 7 certification!

  • Is it Supported to Upgrade Forms / Reports 11gR1 or 11gR2 Install to JDK 7? [ID 1554189.1]

3. Simplified install and configure experience

Unlike 11gR1, Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 media does not include Portal and Discoverer. The install, configuration and accompanying documentation is therefore more straightforward to follow. What to do if the business require Portal and/or Discoverer as well as Forms? You do not have to stick solely with 11g Release 1 for all products. Install, configuration and maintenance of Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 and Portal / Discover 11g Release 1 in separate Middleware Homes is a recommended solution.

4. Install flexibility

11gR2 offers two configuration types: "Configure For Deployment" and "Configuration For Development".

The former is intended for production systems. All components are made available for configuration including Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) and Oracle Enterprise Manager (EM) Fusion Middleware Control. The latter type excludes the OHS and EM components. Note: Forms / Reports Builders are available for inclusion with either configuration type.

  • Oracle Forms and Reports 11g Release 2 (11.1.2) Development Installation FAQ [ID 1373210.1]

Secondly, Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 allows you to choose the location of the WebLogic Domain. When you run the Configuration Wizard, the default location for the domain home is:

MW_HOME/user_projects/domains

Best practice is to keep Fusion Middleware configuration and software binaries separate. In other words, locate the domain home, instance and application files outside the Middleware home. Unfortunately, a PFRD 11g domain can only be created in MW_HOME/user_projects/domains. No "Domain Location" field is offered. Extending an existing domain is not a work-around because Forms can only be added to a domain which has been created by the PFRD configuration wizard. Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 removes the restriction by offering a "Domain Location" field in the configuration wizard.

  • How to Use the Config Wizard to Create a FMw 11g WebLogic Domain Outside the Middleware Home [ID 1621205.1]

And finally ..

Here are two further Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 articles to add to your My Oracle Support bookmarks.

  • Announcing Oracle Forms & Reports 11g Release 2 (11.1.2) [ID 1364453.1]
  • Install and Configure Advisor: Oracle Forms & Reports 11g Release 2 (11.1.2) [ID 346.1]
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