Thursday Dec 10, 2015

Oracle Lifetime Support Policy for Forms and Reports 12c

Oracle Forms and Reports 12c lifetime support dates are now defined.

At this point in time they are as follows:

Release  GA Date

 Premier

Support Ends

 Extended

Support Ends

Sustaining

Support Ends

Forms and Reports 11.1.2.x
Oct 2011
Dec 2016
Dec 2018
Indefinite
Forms and Reports 12.2.x
Oct 2015
Oct 2020
Oct 2023
Indefinite


For more specifics on Premier Support, Extended Support, and Sustaining Support, please refer to Oracle Lifetime Support Policy or visit us at oracle.com/support


Monday Dec 07, 2015

Creating and Starting a Standalone Reports Server in 12c

Due to its properties, a Standalone Reports Server provides better control outside the rwservlet process with the ability to separate the server process from the WebLogic Server instance.

As stated in Oracle® Fusion Middleware Administering Oracle Fusion Middleware, starting with 12c version, OPMN is no longer used in Oracle Fusion Middleware. Instead, system components are managed by the WebLogic Management Framework, which includes WLST and Node Manager.

Therefore, managing reports component process has been adapted as well.

With no further ado, here are the instructions to create and start a standalone reports server in the latest 12c version.


A. Create the components

The first step after running the Configuration Wizard in a new environment with Oracle Reports 12c is, to run the WLST command createReportsToolsInstance().
This command will create all the components at the file system level needed for Oracle Reports:

Example

1- Execute wlst.cmd/wlst.sh from ORACLE_HOME/oracle_common/common/bin

2- Connect to AdminServer.

    connect("weblogic","weblogic_password","hostname:7001")

3- Run the following wlst command.

    createReportsToolsInstance(instanceName='reptools1',machine='AdminServerMachine')


B. Create the standalone reports server

Example

1- Execute wlst.cmd/wlst.sh from ORACLE_HOME/oracle_common/common/bin

2- Connect to the AdminServer.

    connect("weblogic","weblogic_password","hostname:7001")

3- Run the following WLST command.

    createReportsServerInstance(instanceName='rep_server1',machine='AdminServerMachine')

* this will create a new standalone Reports Server named 'rep_server1'

4- Start the Reports Server.

Note: The examples use default credentials and ports.


C. Start / Stop the standalone reports server

Go to the DOMAIN_HOME/bin folder and issue any of the following commands:

startComponent.cmd or startComponent.sh [Reports Server Name]
or
stopComponent.cmd or stopComponent.sh [Reports Server Name]


Read more about Reports 12c in the official documentation:

Oracle® Fusion Middleware Publishing Reports to the Web with Oracle Reports Services
and
Oracle® Fusion Middleware Oracle Reports User's Guide to Building Reports


Tuesday Nov 24, 2015

JNLP embedded in HTML with Forms 12c


Last but not least in the list of new client deployment options available in Oracle Forms 12c is JNLP embedded in HTML.

By definition, Java Network Launch Protocol (JNLP) enables an application to be launched on a client desktop by using resources that are hosted on a remote web server.
Java Plug-in software and Java Web Start software are considered JNLP clients because they can launch remotely hosted applets and applications on a client desktop.

Starting with 12c version, Oracle Forms can be called through JNLP embedded in HTML.

This method requires Java Plugin and a browser and offers full support for SSO, SSO logout and Java Script Integration.
Also, Base64 encodes JNLP code in client side html source.

As with the other options, an example of how to use this type of configuration can be found in the Forms web configuration, formsweb.cfg.

For more details, consult Oracle Forms 12c Documentation and Oracle Forms Java Plugin FAQ

Thursday Nov 05, 2015

Browser-less access to Forms 12c


Oracle Forms 12c version can now be used without a browser while still keeping the native appearance of the application.

Either JDK or Java Plugin (JRE) has to be installed on the client PC.

An example of how to use this type of configuration can be found in the Forms web configuration file (formsweb.cfg), present in Forms 12c environment.

Keep in mind that, due to its standalone properties, there will be no support for SSO, SSO Logout, or Java Script Integration in this configuration.  The Java Web Start option is different from Standalone in that Java Web Start can still use SSO (using Oracle Access Manager).  Neither Standalone or Java Web Start can do SSO logout or Java script integration. 

For more details, check out the Oracle Forms 12c Documentation and Oracle Forms Java Plugin FAQ

Thursday Oct 29, 2015

Forms 12c and Webstart

Did you know?

Oracle Forms 12c offers support for Java Web Start.

Newer Oracle Forms versions (starting with 12c) are planned to support Java Web Start using a new configuration option.

Java Web Start applications should be called from a certified browser. A list of certified browsers that can optionally be used with Oracle Forms when configured for using Java Web
Start is provided in the Product Certification Guide

Because Java Web Start is not tightly dependent on a browser, the list of certified browsers is expected to be larger than the list of browsers supporting the Java Plugin.

Check out the Oracle Forms 12c Documentation  and this recently posted FAQ for more details: Oracle Forms Java Plugin FAQ

Monday Oct 26, 2015

Forms and Reports 12c are here!

 We are proud to announce the release of Oracle Forms and Reports 12c.

This version provides a compelling platform for developing and deploying your next generation of applications and upgrading your existing applications.

Read more about this version in the links below:

Documentation 
Certification
System Requirements and Specifications

For download go here

Thursday Oct 22, 2015

Apex 5.0.2 was released

A new Apex version was released on October 20, 2015.


This is a cumulative patch set for Application Express 5.0.0 and Application Express 5.0.1.
Full download, release notes and installation notes are available here.

Read more about the new features of this version in here.

Oct 2015 Critical Patch Update



The latest Critical Patch Update (CPU) has been released for Oracle products.

Start your reading here:
Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin

This is the home page containing links to all "Critical Patch Updates" released to date, along with sections detailing: Security Alerts, Third Party Bulletin, Public Vulnerabilities Fixed, Policies and Reporting Security Vulnerabilities.

On this page you will find the link to the: Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory - October 2015

For Oracle Fusion Middleware Forms and Reports, go to section 3.3.20.3 Oracle Forms and Reports 11.1.2.2 in note: Patch Set Update and Critical Patch Update October 2015 Availability Document (MOS authentication neededNote 2037108.1)

Wednesday Jan 21, 2015

CPU Quarterly - January 2015 Security Advisor

Note this quarter's Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory - January 2015.

The details for Oracle Forms and Oracle Reports environments - releases, patch numbers, configuration heads-ups, ... - are availabe via Master Note on Fusion Middleware Proactive Patching - Patch Set Updates (PSUs) and Bundle Patches (BPs) (MOS authentication neededNote 1494151.1)

Tuesday Aug 12, 2014

OTN Forum to Oracle Community

The Oracle technology Network (OTN) Discussion Forums is  a great place  to exchange, discuss, inform, ask questions, share, ... all around Oracle products. Nothing more to tell, as forums.oracle.com  is for sure a well known institution.

Just as small note, instead of "OTN Forums" it is now titled Oracle Communities (note also the change in URL http://community.oracle.com). Certainly it is not only a name change, it is basically the move to a new application platform introducing new look&feel, usability and functionality. Details about new features and best practices on OTNC welcome page.

MOSC By the way, it is the same platform as for MOS authentication neededMy Oracle Support Communities (MOSC).

Where to find the Developer Tools Communities?

OTNC

OTNC
Development Tools Application Development in PL/SQL Designer
Forms
Reports

Application Express


Wednesday Jul 16, 2014

CPU Quarterly - July 2014 Security Advisor and Java SE Updates Released

It is good practice to review the security updates for your Oracle products regularly. They are updated quarterly with latest just published (July 2014).
The Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory lists best practices and latest patches with scope making Oracle products more stable and robust.
TheMOS authentication needed PSU and CPU July 2014  Availability Document gives a comprehensive listing of recommended patching  for products and releases effected. Note that all effected components of a product are listed there.

For example for an 11.1.2.2.0 Forms/Reports environment follow this navigation path:

  • "Patch Availability for Oracle Products"
  • "Oracle Fusion Middleware"
  • "Oracle Fusion Middleware"
  • 3.3.17.4 Oracle Forms and Reports 11.1.2.2

 leading to Table 78. There are references for Java SE, JRockit, WebLogic Server, Database client, Oracle ADF,
OPMN, HTTP Server that are strongly recommended to review an implement. Even though Forms/Reports may not be effected directly, partner components need an update.

 An important part is always Java. With July 2014,  Java 8u11, 7u65, 6u81, and 5u71 are now in place (8u11 and 7u65 are publicly available through OTN).  The Information Center: Installation & Configuration for Oracle Java SE (MOS authentication neededDoc ID 1412103.2) will give more details on Java SE  download and installation.

as

Monday Jun 16, 2014

QR Codes in Oracle Reports

 QR codes are pretty popular, especially for paper based workflows and in logistics. "Quick Response Code" is a two dimensional (2D) visual representation of any alphanumeric string. Main purpose - same as with barcodes - is to integrate paper with computers, aka offer machine readability.

Depending on the use case, different variations of QR codes are established, like Micro-QR-Code, Secure-QR-Code (SQRC), iQR-Code. Typically their specifications differ in dimension and number of elements (which basically refers to the amount of data  that can be represented with it).

Also several (country specific) industrial standards (like JIS X 0510, GB/T 18284, ISO/IEC 18004) as well as de-facto standards (like OpenSource XZing) are in place, and so do many programs generating them (QR Code Generator).

QR Code Sample

Oracle Reports has the ability to integrate external Java programs while the report is executed. Existing reports can be modernized that way and additional functionality can be added. A nice use case is demonstrated for the Barcode Bean. The barcode is generated on the fly and added for any destination format. Find details about the concept, implementation and coding in

Chptr. 43 Building a Report with a Barcode

of the main reference manual Oracle® Fusion Middleware Oracle Reports User's Guide to Building Reports 11g Release 2 (11.1.2).

For QR Codes integration into Oracle Reports, the same concept comes into place:

How to Generate 2D Barcode / QR Code in Oracle Reports (Doc ID 1678110.1)

This brand new sample code comes with demo RDF, Java coding required and setup instructions. It is based on OpenSource QR code generators.

Give it a try and let us know your experience!

Thursday Apr 24, 2014

Java Headlines and Security Advisor April 2014

Java is the key technology for Fusion Middleware product stack and very relevant for Developer Tools, specifically Oracle Forms and Reports. Looking after the security updates and new features of JDK and JRE has impact on behavior of your application and thus effecting end users.

New Java versions have been released as part of the standard Critical Patch Update (CPU) cycle.  The latest versions are now:

  • 8U5
  • 7U55
  • 6U75
  • 5U65

Does your product allow to take advantage of these updates? Review carefully the Fusion Middleware Certification Guides before attempting to install them! Talking about Oracle Forms and Reports, the server side JDK and the client side JRE is to be checked - relevant are the branches 6 and 7.

Java downloads are available on OTNMy Oracle Support, and on java.com

Oracle Forms  and Reports are not directly effected by the latest Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory - April 2014, nevertheless worth to review with scope partner FMW components and Java.

Details on the new support timelines are available on the Oracle Java SE Support Roadmap page and are included in the updated Lifetime Support Policy: Oracle Fusion Middleware Products.

Wednesday Apr 09, 2014

Free Learning Sessions on Oracle Fusion Middleware

Free Learning Sessions on Oracle Fusion Middleware
Each session runs 2 hours and will provide an in-depth look into each topic. There will be demos, a question and answer session as well as a brief overview of next steps for those who require more detailed training.[Read More]

Tuesday Apr 01, 2014

MOSC Bits - Personalized Profile


 It is a good idea to have a unique profile in MOSC. Your activities there are better reminded and might even  become a well known brand! This leads to recognition and trust.

My Oracle Support Communities (MOSC)  is a well established platform where experiences are shared. Reputation and trust are the basis for the quality of all communication there.

A personalized  profile can help to build up a good reputation. Besides the experience counter, a good name, details about your location and business experience are valuable details. Although a little bit hidden, the profile's avatar can be customized, too. The profile's avatar is an eye catcher snd can act as an unique visual representation for  you. 

How to add / modify MOSC profile avatar (picture, icon)  ?   


  • Don't look in Edit Profile section.
  • After login, click on  your profile's name on top right.  

  • This lists all public information as part of the Bio section.
  • Select the Activity tab.

  • The Change Avatar link is on same level at far right.
  • A list of predefined symbolic pictures is populated.
  • Choose from the list of existing pictures or try Add Another to upload an image file from your local computer (JPG, PNG, GIF, or BMP only, maximum file size of 2.0 MB).
  • Note: New added images can be used only after running through a review process. Usually after one business day they can be selected for your personal avatar.


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