What is the common meaning of Oracle forms ?

If someone said they were working in Oracle forms, what exactly does that mean ? Is it client server or web screens nowadays ?

I did read Wikipedia so it sounds like the client / server model is done with, right ?

I currently work in Oracle Designer, and I build web modules. There does exist Oracle forms in that tool but it's no longer used at my client site.

So just need a quick explanation, and then how can I download / learn Oracle forms ? I do have JDeveloper 12c loaded up but have never cracked it.
Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAsked:
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slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
I haven't touched Forms for many many years.  It used to be a fat-client model but that was back when the Web was new.

They have merged Forms, Reports, all the old tools into their Middleware structure.

I would start here:

What I really have no idea about is if you can still develop full client forms or if everything is being forced web based.

I just wanted to get you a starting point.  I'm sure some Forms Experts will be along later...
Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
Slightwv, ok, good start, thanks !
Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
Slightwv, my understanding from your link is that Oracle form IS the traditional (client-server) forms tool, i.e., from the link:
Oracle's long-established technology to design and build enterprise applications quickly and efficiently. Oracle remains committed to the development of this technology, and to the ongoing release as a component of the Oracle platform

Also On this page are multiple Oracle Developer tools/technologies, all of which I am trying to understand their role:
- Application Express,
- Oracle Forms (from your link above)
- Oracle Application Development Framework

I might get involved in doing Oracle forms, and in advising a client on tool selection for a business application (data-centric). At the moment, as I understand things
- Oracle forms is the traditional / legacy development tool / environment
- Application Express is a web-based approach to a business application
- Application Development Frame work is - (not really sure . . . )

I haven't looked at all the details, but it looks like JDeveloper is the primary IDE (?).
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slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
>>At the moment, as I understand things

That is more or less how I understand the playing field.

Application Express is a free web-based application development package that comes with Oracle.  It allows you to create web apps using Oracle out of the box.

I've only read about it and never used it.  I'm a .Net guy.

I know other Experts on the site that have developed a couple of small apps using it and can ask them to get involved in this question if you wish.

I've never read anything about ADF.  Just clicking the link above and a couple of links on that landing page:  It appears to be more of a framework for Java Developers.

I have no idea what all can be done with it.

>>and in advising a client on tool selection for a business application (data-centric).

There are many front-ends available to many data-store back ends.  I would advise you to go with what you know.

huge disclaimer:  The following is based SOLELY on my opinion:
.Net and Java people are a LOT easier to locate than APEX and Forms folks.

Have you noticed that not a lot of Experts have chimed in?

There aren't many Form Experts on this site.

I only recall one Expert that has mentioned hands-on with APEX.

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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:

thanks, even your disclaimers are helpful. I believe the location I've had contact with is using the original forms (in its upgraded state).

There's no need to get others to chime in on Ap Express - it's not really in the mix right now, other than me trying to wrap my head around it.

>>There are many front-ends available to many data-store back ends.  I would advise you to go with what you know.
-- well, that's part of the issue. I'm hard-core PL/Sql back end with no hard front-end skills, but I have used Oracle Designer, which is past it's sell date. So what would you advise (to build a moderately complex business application).
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
>>So what would you advise (to build a moderately complex business application).

My advise:  Don't jump off the diving board in the first place if you can't swim that well!

A lot has to do with the specific requirements:
First question to answer:  Web based front-end vs fat client?

Some apps are better suited to one over the other.

A lot also has to do with the client.  For example:  If they already have Java folks, choosing a non-Java solution might alienate them.  Tailoring your decision to their current architecture might help you in the long run.

Right now, I know more .Net than I do anything else so I would lean heavily in that direction. The bad news there is .Net was sort of designed to work with SQL Sever (no shock there...).  It runs fine with Oracle but the developer tools are better suited to SQL Server.

Java folks, of course will choose Java.
Oracle folks, choose APEX/Forms/Reports/etc...

Heck, I've even seen MSoft Access as a front-end to Oracle.  It is quick and simple to design the UI.

If you don't have a current UI technology under your belt, sorry, but I don't think I'm in a position to weigh one over another.

My Forms experience is about 20 years old.  I don't remember it being that difficult.

That might be a really good question in other Zones here:
What UI product should I choose given my background?
Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:

good enough, no need to shop the question around, just what I was looking for, i.e., background.

I'm not going to choose, but I believe a potential client is using old forms, and I wanted to get some background, and I wanted to see about old-style forms, if it was still around, which apparently it is. I've done MS Access to Sql Server, Oracle, and native.

With Oracle, there's plenty to choose fromthere's plenty to choose from, and so there's plenty to download. For example, I've already downloaded JDeveloper v. 12, but they there's APEX to download, ADF (which I still don't have a grasp of), Reports, ODI (my other question today on ETL), Forms, and a few others . . .

So I think I got my answer (old-style forms is still around with some shiny new features), and some additional insights as well.

I'll leave this open until tomorrow, but thanks !
Helena Markováprogrammer-analystCommented:
"So I think I got my answer (old-style forms is still around with some shiny new features), and some additional insights as well." - you are right :). Since Forms9i there is no client-server, it is only WEB. It is still used also because of fast development.
Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
Henka, thanks as well !
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