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 Jan 29, 2014

Oracle Forms - A Closer Look at the JRE Security Warning(s) Related to JAR Signing and Manifests

Latest versions of JREs demand some new security requirements on JAR files used by applets. Because of these new requirements, Oracle  Forms users started to see several different Security Warnings lately, which didn't popup in the past. With a careless glance at these Security Warnings, one may not realize any difference between them. But for careful eyes, there are important distinctions between each. And of course each of them has its own specific solution. This article shows the current set of security warnings and explains how to deal with them.[Read More]

Monday Dec 09, 2013

SQL Developer Data Modeler 4.0 (full release)

Just to forward the announcement:

SQL Developer Data Modeler 4.0 is now available. Thanks attending the Early Adopter initiative and providing comments and feedback!

Let's get you started.

Wednesday Oct 16, 2013

APEX Listener Release 2.0.5 is now available on OTN (Oracle Technology Network).

Oracle Application Express (APEX) Listener 2.0.5 is now available on OTN (Oracle Technology Network) 

Oracle APEX Listener 2.0.5 Download 

Friday Sep 27, 2013

A Case Study - Setting Up Oracle Forms 11g with OAM (Oracle Access Manager)

Article by Falilou Waidi, Principal Support Engineer, Oracle Corporation, France

Oracle Forms Services applications can be executed in a Single Sign-on environment using Oracle Access Manager 11g (OAM) and Oracle Internet Directory (OID) to eliminate the need for additional or different logins to access many applications during the same user session.

Oracle Forms Services applications in Oracle FMW 11g Release 2 can be protected by one of the following authentication servers:

  • Oracle Access Manager (OAM) 11g
  • Oracle Single Sign-On Server (OSSO) 10g
[Read More]

Monday Sep 16, 2013

Share your findings! - Oracle SQL Developer 4.0 Early Adopter 2 is now available

Oracle SQL Developer 4.0 Early Adopter 2 is now available. Besides JDK 7 support, this release includes Database Performance Monitoring features to manage snapshots, baselines and enhanced reporting options (ADDM  & ASH).
Anyone is welcome to raise findings, issues and comments - please log them on the OTN Forum marked with an "EA2" prefix in  the subject line.

Here are a few links to get you started :

Monday Aug 12, 2013

Available Now ! Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler 4.0 Early Adopter

 The Early Adopter release of Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler 4.0  is now available on OTN (Oracle Technology It completes as important add-on release 4.0 of SQL Developer. It comes with an interesting set of new features.

More details:

Wednesday Jul 17, 2013

Oracle Forms PJC Wizard goes JDeveloper Extention

An interesting piece ...

for Oracle Forms developers  targeting "Modernization of Oracle Forms".
PJCs (Pluggable Java Components) are one method changing the look&feel and functionality of Oracle Forms applications without modification of the application logic and sources itself. Change requirements and customizations can be implemented working on a wrapping Java layer.

To make it easy, the Oracle Forms PJC Wizard is around. Using JDeveloper the wizard guides along the PJC creation in some simple steps.

Forms PJC Wizard 1.0 is now considered as official Oracle JDeveloper Extensions. Available in the JDeveloper Update Center, installation and updating goes in synch with other JDeveloper components.

Forms PJC Wizard

Use Oracle JDeveloper 11.1.2.2+ update feature or get Forms PJC Wizard on the Update Center.

Friday Jul 12, 2013

Available Now ! Oracle SQL Developer 4.0 Early Adopter

The Early Adopter release of Oracle SQL Developer 4.0 is now available on OTN (Oracle Technology Network) with a lot enhancements on functionality and usability.

Highlighting some of the new feature areas :

  • Find Database Object - Search
  • Command Line
  • Cart
  • Reports
  • UI Enhancements
  • Data Modeler 4.0
  • JDK 7 Support

Here are a few links to get you started :

Enjoy !

Tuesday Jul 09, 2013

JRE Updates and Oracle Forms - JRE 1.7.0_25 & 1.6.0_51

Java is a very dynamic area. We see frequently updates and enhancements. Typically new functionality is added, often with scope security, so definitely worth to consider.
For Oracle Forms end users, it is safe and recommended to follow those JRE maintenance updates for their clients - certainly within the certification range for client platforms (System Requirements and Supported Platforms for Oracle Forms and Reports 11g Release 2 (11.1.2.1.0) Certification Matrix ).

For JRE 1.7.0_25 & 1.6.0_51 Oracle Forms administrators and end users must be aware of this potential impact:

  • Some WebUtil HOST calls may not work.  Specifically those which include strings that contain spaces and/or special characters (e.g. > < * & |).
  • Messages like "Missing Permissions manifest attribute for: http://machinename:port/forms/java/frmall.jar" and "Missing Codebase manifest attribute for: http://machinename:port/forms/java/frmall.jar" indicate that the JAR file manifest files will now require  new entries. New Forms JARs need to be obtained via Oracle Support.
  • Calls from html Java script into a form may throw a warning "Block potentially unsafe components from being run?".

Find the heads-up for Oracle Forms system administrators and more details in "Requires My Oracle Support (MOS) Login Release of JRE 1.7.0_25 & 1.6.0_51 and Impact on Forms 11g [ID 1563023.1]]"

Wednesday Apr 03, 2013

Just Released - Fusion Middleware 11gR1 Patchset 6 (11.1.1.7)

Oracle Fusion Middleware 11 G Release 1 is now on patchset 6 with version number 11.1.1.7.
Download it from

  • Oracle Technology Network (OTN) - FMW downloads
  • Oracle Software Delivery Cloud ( OSDC)
  • My Oracle Support (MOS) - Patches - 11.1.1.7 for Portal, Forms, Reports, Discoverer patch 16471668

Find more announcement details in Note 1535341.1. It is strongly recommended to move forward to the latest patchset to benefit from latest feature set and product defect fixing.

Considering 11.1.1.7, Oracle Reports users should check Alert Note 1522543.1.


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