Java Web Start Now Available for EBS 12.1 and 12.2

By: Steven Chan | Senior Director

Java Web Start (JWS) is now available for Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 and 12.2:

What is Java Web Start?

Java Web Start launches E-Business Suite Java-based functionality as Java Web Start applications instead of as applets.  Java Web Start is part of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

Does EBS use Java on desktop clients?

Yes.  The E-Business Suite requires Oracle Forms.  Oracle Forms requires Java. 

Other EBS products also have functionality that require Java.

What is the new approach with Java Web Start?

It's not technically "new" (it is a mature Java technology originally released in 2004), but we're using it for the first time with the E-Business Suite.  This approach launches EBS Forms-based screens and other functionality as Java Web Start applications instead of as applets.

What prerequisites are needed for Java Web Start?

 Oracle E-Business Suite Release  Minimum JRE Release
 12.2  JRE 8 Update 121 b33
 12.1.3  JRE 8 Update 121 b33

 

A small number of server-side patches for Forms and EBS are needed. See:

Why is this important?

Until now, E-Business Suite's Java-based content required a browser that supports Netscape Plug-in Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) plug-ins.

Some browsers are phasing out NPAPI plug-in support.  Some browsers were released without NPAPI plug-in support.  This prevents the Java plug-in from working.

With the release of Java Web Start, E-Business Suite 12.1 and 12.2 users can launch Java-based content (e.g. Oracle Forms) from browsers that do not support Java plug-ins via NPAPI.  Java Web Start in EBS works with:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Firefox Rapid Release (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Firefox Extended Support Release (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Google Chrome

How does the technology architecture change?

Java Web Start changes the way that Java runs on end-users' computers but this technical change is generally invisible to end-users.

Java Web Start applications are launched from browsers using the Java Network Launching Protocol (JNLP).

E-Business Suite Java Web Start architecture diagram

Will the end-user's experience change?

Generally not. We have worked hard to ensure that your end-users' experience with Java Web Start applications is as similar as possible to applets via the Java browser plugin.  The differences between the Java Plug-in and Java Web Start are expected to be almost-invisible to end-users.

Will E-Business Suite still require Java in the future?

Yes.  It is expected that our ongoing use of Oracle Forms for high-volume professional users of the E-Business Suite means that EBS will continue to require Java.  We replicate, simplify, or migrate selected Forms-based flows to OA Framework-based (i.e. web-based HTML) equivalents with every EBS update, but Oracle Forms is expected to continue to be part of the E-Business Suite technology stack for the foreseeable future. 

Does the E-Business Suite have other Java applet dependencies?

Yes.  In addition to Oracle Forms, various E-Business Suite products have functionality that runs as Java applets.  These Java applets require browsers that offer plugin support.  These products include applets:

  • Oracle General Ledger (GL): Account Hierarchy Manager
  • Oracle Customers Online (IMC): Party Relationships
  • Oracle Call Center Technology (CCT)
  • Oracle Sourcing (PON): Auction Monitor
  • Oracle Installed Base (CSI): Visualizer
  • Oracle Process Manufacturing (OPM): Recipe Designer
  • Oracle Advanced Supply Chain Planning (MSC): Plan Editor (PS/SNO)
  • Workflow (WF): Status Diagram, Notification Signing with Digital Signatures
  • Scripting (IES): Script Author

What is the roadmap for browser support for plug-ins?

Plug-in support has various names, including:

This article will simply use the term "plug-in support," which refers to all of the different types listed above.

Some browsers are phasing out plug-in support. Some browsers were never released with plug-in support.

Some organizations may wish to use browsers that do not offer plugin support.  The Java Web Start approach works with all browsers, regardless of whether they have plugin support. 

What is the roadmap for Java's support for plug-ins?

The Java team recently published their plans
for removing the Java browser plugin in a future version of Java. The announcement states (highlighted for emphasis):

Oracle plans to deprecate the Java browser plugin in JDK 9. This technology will be removed from the Oracle JDK and JRE in a future Java SE release.

What does "deprecate" mean?

In this context, "deprecate" means there will still be a Java Plug-in in JRE 9.

In other words, JRE 9 will include the Java Browser Plug-in and Java Web Start.  Users will still be able to run Java-based applications using the Java Plug-in and Java Web Start in JRE 9.

What does this mean for E-Business Suite users running the Java Plug-in with JRE 9?

The release of Java 9 is not expected to affect E-Business Suite users.

JRE 9 is expected to continue to work with the E-Business Suite in browsers that support the Java Browser Plug-in via the NPAPI protocol.

JRE 9 is expected to work with the E-Business Suite in browsers that support Java Web Start.

What browsers are expected to support the JRE 9 plug-in?

Internet Explorer, Firefox ESR 32-bit, and Safari are expected continue to support NPAPI -- and, therefore, Java and Forms. 

Firefox Rapid Release, Firefox ESR 64-bit, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge do not support NPAPI, so Java-based apps cannot run in those browsers using the Java Plug-in.  EBS users can run Java-based content using Java Web Start with JRE 9.

What are the timelines for browsers' plugin support?

Individual browser vendors have been updating their plans regularly.  Here's a snapshot of what some browser vendors have stated as of today:

Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)

Microsoft has indicated that they intend to continue to offer plug-in support in IE.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge was released in Windows 10 without Browser Helper Object (BHO, aka. plugin) support.  Microsoft has no plans to add plugin support to Edge.

Mozilla Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR)

Mozilla indicated in early 2016 that Firefox ESR 52 32-bit will be the last version to offer NPAPI (and JRE) support.  Firefox ESR 52 32-bit was released in March 2017 and will be supported until May 2018. 

Mozilla removed NPAPI support from Firefox ESR 52 64-bit in March 2017.  

Mozilla Firefox Rapid Release

Mozilla removed NPAPI support from the Firefox 52 Rapid Release version in March 2017. 

Apple Safari for macOS

Safari offers Internet plug-in support for macOS users.  Apple has not made any statements about deprecating plugin support for macOS users.

Google Chrome for Windows

Chrome offered support for plugins until version 45, released in September 2015.  They removed NPAPI support in later Chrome releases.

Will I need to change browsers for EBS 12.1 or 12.2?

Not generally, but it depends on your choice of browsers and whether you wish to use Java Plug-in or Java Web Start.

Here's the compatibility matrix for EBS 12.1 and 12.2 certified combinations:

   Java Plug-In  Java Web Start
 Microsoft Internet Explorer  Yes  Yes
 Microsoft Edge    Yes
 Firefox Rapid Release 32-bit    See Note 1
 Firefox Rapid Release 64-bit    See Note 1
 Firefox Extended Support Release 32-bit  Yes  Yes
 Firefox Extended Support Release 64-bit    Yes
 Google Chrome    Yes
 Safari on macOS  Yes  See Note 2

 

Note 1: Expected to work but not tested.

New personal versions of Firefox on the Rapid Release channel are released roughly every six weeks.  It is impractical for us to certify these new personal Rapid Release versions of Firefox with the Oracle E-Business Suite because a given Firefox release is generally obsolete by the time we complete the certification.

From Firefox 10 and onwards, Oracle E-Business Suite is certified only with selected Firefox Extended Support Release versions. Oracle has no current plans to certify new Firefox personal releases on the Rapid Release channel with the E-Business Suite.

Note 2: Not certified.

Apple changed the Gatekeeper permissions in macOS Sierra 10.12.  These changes prevent JNLP execution, making the Java Web Start user experience very challenging.  We are investigating options right now. 

Will Oracle release its own browser for the E-Business Suite?

No.  Long-time Oracle users may remember the Oracle PowerBrowser. The industry has since moved away from software that requires proprietary browsers.  We have no plans to release a browser specifically for E-Business Suite users. 

Will this work on Android or iOS?

No. Neither of these operating systems are compatible with Java. 

E-Business Suite users who need to run Oracle Forms-based content or other Java-based functionality should use Windows or macOS.

Will Java Web Start be mandatory?

Not immediately. It is expected that the use of Java Web Start will be optional at least up to, and including, Java 9, which may be the last Java release to include the JRE browser plugin. 

Will Java Web Start coexist with JRE?

Yes.  You can have a mixed environment where some end-users launch Java Web Start applications, while others use applets via the Java plug-in.  This mixed group of end-users can connect to the same E-Business Suite environment.

EBS system administrators have full server-side control over these choices.

Will this affect EBS customizations?

Maybe. It depends upon which of the following apply to your environment:

  • Scenario 1You have modified standard EBS screens running in Forms: 
    No actions needed. These customizations are expected to work with Java Web Start without any additional changes.
  • Scenario 2You have built custom Java applets of your own to extend the E-Business Suite:  These will continue to run with the Java plug-in, but you may wish to update those applets to use Java Web Start.
  • Scenario 3You have third-party extensions or products that depend upon the Java plug-in:
    These will continue to run with the Java plug-in but you may wish to contact your third-party vendor for details about their plans for Java Web Start.

Are there any additional licensing costs?

No. Java Web Start is included with EBS licenses and does not introduce any new licensing costs.

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Disclaimer

The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction.  It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract.   It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decision.  The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

 

Join the discussion

Comments ( 23 )
  • François Gendron Monday, April 24, 2017
    Will it be possible to launch EBS with a Java Web Start desktop icon?
  • Pieter Breugelmans Monday, April 24, 2017
    Hi François,
    The uptake of Java Web Start in Oracle E-Business Suite does not allow the end users to launch e.g. the Forms application from a desktop shortcut.

    The HTML-based Oracle E-Business Suite Home Page remains the single point of access. Via that way, the application users continue to launch the Forms application with Java Web Start as they are doing today with the Java Plug-in.

    See Section 6: Browser User Experience and Configuration as part of Knowledge Document 2188898.1 Using Java Web Start with Oracle E-Business Suite for more information.

    Kind regards,
    Pieter Breugelmans (Oracle EBS Product Development)
  • François Gendron Tuesday, April 25, 2017
    Thank you!
  • Richard Wednesday, April 26, 2017
    Most of our users are on Windows machines, but a handful are using Macs.

    Can we use web start for the Windows users, but continue to use the plug in for the Mac users, or is it an all or nothing thing - either web start or Java plugin for everyone?
  • Steven Chan Wednesday, April 26, 2017
    Hello, Richard,

    Yes, it is possible for Mac and Windows to coexist; see the "Will Java Web Start coexist with JRE?" section in the article above.

    Regards,
    Steven
  • Paolo Marzucco Thursday, April 27, 2017
    Hello Steven,
    will it be still possible to open 2 different eBS instances at the same time on the same PC when using only Java Web Start?

    By reading paragraphs 7.1 and 7.2 of MOS note 2188898.1 it seems that would not be possible anymore. Did I understand it right?

    Thanks,
    Paolo
  • Mathias Schröder Friday, April 28, 2017
    Hi,

    i just tested this and yes only one Forms session per client possible as stated in section 7.2.

    Can this maybe enhanced in future versions of EBS and JWS to support more than on session? We have some clients running multiple sessions on different instances all the time (and sometimes on the same instance as well). This will be a big drawback when implementing JWS.

    Thanks,
    Mathias
  • Steven Chan Friday, April 28, 2017
    Hellow, Mathias,

    Thank you for your feedback about your requirement to run multiple Forms sessions. We will investigate the feasibility of that for future updates.

    Regards,
    Steven
  • Steven Chan Wednesday, May 3, 2017
    Hello, Paolo,

    This is a known functional limitation with the current version of our JWS support. Several customers have already raised this as a critical requirement. We are listening closely to this feedback.

    It is possible to have multiple sessions from *different* EBS instances (e.g. to compare PROD to TEST).

    It is not possible to have multiple sessions from the *same* EBS instance (e.g. to compare PROD to PROD).

    We are examining technical options for allowing multiple sessions from the *same* EBS instance for a future JWS update. We’re in the midst of this evaluation now, so we don’t have sufficient details to comment on feasibility or timing at this point.

    You can work with Support via a Service Request to link your organization to the following enhancement request:

    25993693 - ER: SUPPORT MULTIPLE FORMS SESSIONS WHEN USING JAVA WEB START

    Oracle's Revenue Recognition rules prohibit us from discussing certification and release dates, but you're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog. I'll post updates here as soon as soon as they're available.

    Regards,
    Steven
  • Paul Jason Perez Thursday, May 11, 2017
    Hi Steven,

    We followed the Doc ID 2188898.1 and were able to complete the patching and running of autoconfig.

    The Profile values for "Enable Java Web Start" and "ICX: Forms Launcher" were also automatically updated by the autoconfig.

    However, when we are launching the forms, we are just getting the message in the browser it is now Java Web Start but nothing is happening (we tried on different browsers in different OSs).

    We filed an Oracle SR but it seems that the support doesn't know what to do. The first one asked for a lot of sql queries to be uploaded but then after we uploaded the output of the queries, transferred us to another support, who asked again the same questions, which seems to be not related to Java Web Start.

    Has anyone here able to successfully implement Java Web Start?
  • Steven Chan Thursday, May 11, 2017
    Hi, Paul,

    I'm sorry that you're encountering issues with this.

    Can you email me your SR number? We'll get someone to look into this.

    Regards,
    Steven
  • Paul Jason Perez Friday, May 12, 2017
    Thanks Steven!

    Right now I am working with a 5th Oracle Support. My initial SR number is: 3-14859895061, they created a spin-off SR: 3-14877563067.


    Basically, what happened is autoconfig completed with error but the profile values were successfully updated. They created a spin-off SR because they said we need to figure out first why autoconfig completed with error.

    Thank you for your help on this matter!
  • David Giorgi Monday, August 28, 2017
    Hello Steve

    Mac Safari users simply need to control click the .jnlp file to open/launch and bypass gatekeeper settings.
  • Steven Chan Thursday, August 31, 2017
    Hello, David,

    Yes, that's a feasible workaround, but a very-cumbersome one for most users since they'll need to do that for *every* form that they try to open. JNLP files will proliferate with every form, so the longer a user does this, the greater the chances of them clicking on the wrong JNLP file. It's inherent to Mac OS's security constraints and a sub-optimal user experience.

    We are investigating other workarounds right now.

    Regards,
    Steven
  • Jovy Wednesday, September 6, 2017
    Hi Steven,

    Our organization is still at E-Business Suite R12.1.2. Will Java Web Start work with R12.1.2?

    Thank you!
  • Steven Chan Friday, September 8, 2017
    Hi, Jovy,

    We haven't tested JWS with EBS 12.1.2. We don't have any insights into compatibility.

    If you apply the prerequisite patches listed in Section 4.3 of Note 2188898.1 and have issues, our default recommendation would be to apply the 12.1.3 Family Packs for the products that you're running.

    Regards,
    Steven
  • Richard Wednesday, September 13, 2017
    We have installed Java web start now, it seems to run EBS much faster.

    The only issue we found that was not documented is that Java Web start fails to launch in Internet Explorer if the user has both Java 64 bit and Java 32 bit installed. Uninstall Java 64 bit and that resolves the issue.

    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/44058428/jnlp-files-wont-launch-from-ie11-on-windows-10
  • Richard Wednesday, September 13, 2017
    Reading further, the Oracle notes say 64k Java can be used with Java Web start.

    That is incorrect
    https://bugs.openjdk.java.net/browse/JDK-8185661

    See above, Java Web start does not work with IE and 64k Java after the Windows 10 Creators update due to a known bug. Please can you update the documentation to save others the time diagnosing this.
  • Steven Chan Wednesday, September 13, 2017
    Hello, Richard,

    I'm sorry that you encountered issues with this.

    I appreciate your tracking down the underlying JDK issue. We are investigating now and will post an update in our documentation and on this blog, if needed.

    Regards,
    Steven
  • TT Wednesday, September 20, 2017
    We have recently implemented Java Web Start on our 12.2 EBS instance.
    Our expectation was we do not need JRE on client machine once we implement this.We thought everything will be invoked within the browser and has no dependency on client software installed.
    But the moment we delete JRE from client machines, forms won't open. If JRE client is still a requirement what is the benefit we are getting with this new technology.

    We are not sure what are the benefits users getting with this new technology ? We were under an impression it will remove the client JRE dependency. Please suggest.
  • Steven Chan Wednesday, September 20, 2017
    Hello, TT,

    EBS requires Forms. Forms requires Java. You will need to have Java on the desktop if your end-users access Forms-based screens in EBS.

    The main difference now lies in how desktop-based Java is started. The older technology used a browser plug-in. The latest technology uses JNLP files and Java Web Start.

    Some customers will need to switch to Java Web Start because of their chosen browsers. Some browsers are phasing out support for plug-ins. See the section in the article above, "What are the timelines for browsers' plugin support?"

    Regards,
    Steven
  • Rod Hills Tuesday, October 3, 2017
    I noticed that the bug 25993693 to fix multiple form session is targeting EBS 12.2. Will it also be available for EBS 12.1.3?

    We have many users launching multiple Form sessions as a matter of productivity not just convenience.
  • Steven Chan Tuesday, October 3, 2017
    Hello, Rod,

    Yes, we're hoping to make this functionality available to both EBS 12.1 as well as EBS 12.2 users.

    Regards,
    Steven
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