We have had quite a few enquiries about how BIP might/can integrate with an Oracle Forms application. I have been doing some digging and testing but again I need to thank another Oracle team for doing all the leg work. Jurgen Menge and his sales consulting team in Germany have been looking at this for a while and come up with multiple possibilities, each of course with thier own pros and cons. So if you are looking for a way to integrate your Oracle Forms application with BIP read on.
1. Calling BI Publisher application via URL
- using Forms Built-In web.show_document(<url>);
- principally the same mechanism as calling Oracle Reports except you would use
the run_report_object function.
- some restrictions concerning security and functionality namely you will need SSO to hook the
two applications together to prevent dual sign on.
2. Integrate BI Publisher classes into Forms using API functions
- write some class based on the BI Publisher APIs taking data, template, output format, etc
- import the class using Forms Java Importer (PL/SQL wrapper will be generated inside Forms)
- add BI Publisher libs into classpath for Forms server
- program some trigger or button to call the PL/SQL functions of the wrapper
- restriction: BI Publisher libs on the same server as the Forms service is running
3. Writing a servlet using API functions
- write a servlet based on the BI Publisher APIs similar to #2
- using Forms Built-In web.show_document(<url>); to call the servlet
- BI Publisher libs can be on a different server as the Forms service is running
- great flexibility concerning parameters, functionality, security etc.
4. Calling BI Web Services from Forms
- the same as 2. but importing the web service stub instead the class
- stub can be generated in JDeveloper
- keep in mind that Web Service API is still not public
- Forms service can run on different server than the Web Service
I have tested 1, 2 and 3 ... 4, I have not and we have not currently documented the web services but I want to let you know that we are working on completely web service enabling the BIP server in a coming release so integration of applications with the BIP server will become more straightforward.
For those of you on EBS 11i, as you know the Forms version in there is 6i, I think your options are going to be more limited for direct integration with the java APIs. There is relief in sight, we are now looking at a solution built on top of the forms personalization layer to allow direct integration into the XMLP functionality, so you can hit a button and generate a document there andthen without the need to wait for the concurrent manager to process and request ... more soon.