Posted by Hafed | Posted in apex(htmldb), Forms, oracle | Posted on 19-02-2011

For those planning to be at the annual ORAGEC here in Montréal, there are a number of interesting sessions. Of those, I will be attending the following sessions: Read the rest of this entry »

APEX presentation- Montreal march 18, 2010


Posted by Hafed | Posted in apex(htmldb), Forms | Posted on 19-03-2010

There were very good news yesterday at the APEX presentation made by Oracle and the team behind sie-solutions (website). The most interesting features that will be available in the upcoming 4.0 release were discussed in the morning sessions.

In the afternoon, there were 6 speed training sessions related to the following features:

  • Graphic look for an APEX application
  • Preparing an APEX application for smartphones
  • JQuery in APEX
  • Plugins
  • Dynamic actions
  • How to break down a database using poor programming habits within APEX

For Oracle Forms developers, the most interesting feature is what is called dynamic action, another term for trigger. I already raised that issue in this post a while back. In essence, I was concerned that in order to mimic a trigger behavior in APEX, you had to resort to javascript which a number of people are not comfortable with. Now, with the wizard in the 4.0 release, you should be able to implement some very interesting features in APEX.

As far as plugins are concerned, it is the way to go if APEX is to grow. However, I raised an issue dealing with the fact that most companies won’t use a plugin unless it is certified free from trojan, virues etc. The reason is that APEX is deployed in the database and as such a well (bad usage) crafted plugin would open the data in the DB to external mining. In this case, I think a plugin store similar to Apple store or Google market should be the way to go. Who is going or willing to manage it ?

Anyway, excellent presentations by the team behind sie solutions.

New year and new resolutions (Excel-like javabean for Oracle Forms)


Posted by Hafed | Posted in Forms, oracle, PJCs/Javabeans | Posted on 08-01-2010

Fortunately, 2009 is now gone. Really bad year as far as I am concerned. I lost my father in October after an illness. That does not justify the lack of posts or the updates on the various forms components I have here. The mood was not there unfortunately.

However, I did manage to squeeze out a nice Excel-like javabean that can be connected to Oracle data sources from Forms. While that works, I am totaly at a loss of what can be done with it since I am not really a spreadsheet expert.

So, if you have in mind some nice business scenarios for such a bean, please let me know. That would include for example one or more tables and simple usage scenario for a spreadsheet usage within Oracle Forms. Send them to info [at] degenio.com

The one I have done was just to import the data from the table and from there do some charting within the Excel bean. It would be interesting to get some financial usage scenarios.

Oracle forms 11g is now LIVE


Posted by Hafed | Posted in Forms, oracle | Posted on 08-07-2009

The long awaited Oracle Forms 11g version is now available. See this page on OTN.

Support for PDF and HTML output within FRITE


Posted by Hafed | Posted in Forms, oracle, PJCs/Javabeans | Posted on 19-02-2009

Frite is designed as an HTML editor for Oracle Forms and as such the content in the forms module when sent to report should also be available for output. The formats I had in mind are PDF and  HTML.

Those beta-testing Frite did not encounter problems with reports in HTML format. For example, links are clickable and all HTML content is rendered properly.

However, as far as PDF format is concerned, there are problems which I already illustrated in the developer’s guide. Those are due to limitation with Oracle reports. If you remember how reports processes items containing HTML content, you have to set the item property “HTML content” in the report itself. But this is not sufficient because reports does not take into account all of the HTML tags. Only a limited subset is rendered properly, for example bold, italic and underline.

So, how do you go about taking care of the other HTML tags?  Well, what I included in the example report is the procedure cleanHTML , it is one small example of how you would go about handling the HTML in the item.

if your format is PDF, then you would parse accordingly and then do the tags rendering conversion on the fly.

For the time being, that’s how I think I would do it but once Frite is made available to others, I will ask the community for ideas.

But definitely, I think we have a point there.

Google Static Map javabean with Forms 10g: new improvements


Posted by Hafed | Posted in Forms, oracle, PJCs/Javabeans | Posted on 11-02-2009

A number of users asked whether the bean can be improved in order to have the same feature as the full fledge google map.

The answer is Yes. I already tried the zoom and pan controls to the Google static map. However, my time now is being spent on completing the HTML rich text editor and I really can’t deliver the Google map bean without extensive testing.

This is the planned schedule for the coming days (note to myself :) of course):

  • Complete and release the HTML rich text editor. This one is in the hands of the beta-testers. It should be available very soon.
  • Translate the SMS article to English.
  • Test and release the Google static map with zoom and pan controls.

Forms HTML Editor- Update


Posted by Hafed | Posted in Forms, oracle, PJCs/Javabeans | Posted on 04-02-2009

I have completed the development and testing phases for the Oracle Forms HTML editor. Most of the features I mentioned before are now in the editor.

Based on some suggestions, the editor is now officially named FRITE  (pronounced like Freet).

Before I release it in the wild, I am looking for 5 or 10 beta-testers . You will get the JAR file, developer’s guide and user’s guide. You will receive the material Friday Feb 06, 09 and should send back your feedback by Monday Feb 09, 09 midnight EST.  I understand that most do not work week-ends but at least you’ll have monday to get FRITE through its paces.

Please send an email to info [at] degenio.com with your name and email address.


Update: Friday Feb 6,09. Beta-testing will start on Monday Feb 9,09.

First glimpse at the Oracle Forms HTML Rich Text Editor


Posted by Hafed | Posted in Forms, oracle, PJCs/Javabeans | Posted on 23-01-2009

Glad to be reporting that I am almost done with the Oracle Forms rich text editor. Some issues with outputting the rich text item thru reports and deciding how to save the contents. For the time being, I checked query and insert modes and the set_custom_property and get_item_property are working fine without any loss.

I am using a text item to store the contents and that’s the column that is physically tied to the table. I think that’s the best way to manage the rich text item. I checked Degrelle’s HTMLPane and that’s how it is being managed.

The JAR file stands now at 170 Kb which is not that big given that I have about 30 Kb for png images (used in the toolbar). However, I am doing now a refactoring and trying to slim the jar down to about 100 Kb. I am not too worried about the size since the file itself is cached the first time the user accesses the module.

The features that already passed testing:

Basic toolbar: in this mode, the user can opt to use only the top bar.

  • Basic text styling: bold, italic and underline
  • unordered and ordered lists
  • Text alignment
  • Indent and outdent

Advanced toolbar: more features with most having passed the test

  • Cut, copy and paste
  • Text Search and replace
  • Horizontal rule (HR), break (BR)
  • Special Characters insertion
  • Adding and removing a hyperlink
  • Adding an image (working but some issues)
  • Inserting Table, rows and cells
  • Font selection, size and color. Foreground property
  • Text highlighting color property
  • HTML source code editing (working but some issues)
  • HTML preview mode

Because of the limited screen real estate available for the rich text item, there are other features that can’t be accessed thru the toolbar buttons. I am using accelerator keys to let the user action them. Some of those are:

  • Undo
  • Redo
  • Deleting table rows
  • Deleting table cells

As I mentionned, adding images is a snap. However, I am still pondering about whether to let the user insert an image from a URL or from a drive. The only option I see working for the general case is allowing an image to be referenced fom a URL.

The editor uses a default cascading style sheet. However, there is going to be a way for the developer to assign a company mandated stylesheet.

Likewise, there are a number of properties that can be set from Forms.

That’s the status right now and I think the editor should be out by the end of January 2009.

Last, I am still undecided about the name. May be frmEd. I welcome your suggestions.

Rich text editor or HTML editor for Oracle Forms: Decision time !


Posted by Hafed | Posted in Forms, oracle, PJCs/Javabeans | Posted on 16-01-2009

A project that I started in September 2008 was motivated by the lack of rich text editors in Forms applications. Francois Degrelle has already provided an HTML editable bean that can provide adequate styling.

However, there are situations where features, comparable to those found on such editors as TinyMCE, are needed.

Based on this requirement, I started the project and quickly put together a bean that allowed several styling beyond Bold, Italic and left justified, etc.

However, one question remained and that one is related to the exact type of editor: should it be a rich text or HTML editor ?

While the difference might not be obvious, it is clear there are differences between the two. The main one being the font support. Remember that a Forms application is supposed to run on any supported platform and as such, and I believe that’s the case for most implementations, application servers are most of the time deployed on UNIX/LINUX boxes in addition to Windows servers.

With that in mind, I opted for an HTML editor with one strong requirement: support for printing through Oracle reports. The reason has to do with the way the editor will be used.

In most cases, it is not going to be used for blogs or whatever but simply to provide rich text editing for ITEMS in a Forms application and here we are talking about business (back-end) applications that ultimately output data to printers or pdf documents.

Oracle Forms Javabean Property Editor


Posted by Hafed | Posted in Forms, oracle, PJCs/Javabeans | Posted on 16-01-2009

As I was finalizing the technical note for another gauge bean, it hit me that I wasted quite some time designing the visual part of the bean. In Oracle Forms, you create the bean on the canvas, assign it a height and width and then set up the implementation class.

Now, in order to customize it, you would have to follow the bean’s developer recommendations and use the set_custom_property built-in in order to modify the bean properties. However, this implies that as a developer, you would have to compile and run the module each time in order to see the result.

In my case, it requires a number of iterations and that bothers me quite a bit. That’s where I suddenly realized that when I designed MouliForms, I created a class that was basically a clone of the Oracle Forms property palette editor ( Remember F4 !!).

I asked myself whether I can extend the same concept to Forms javabeans and here what I think should come out in a few days (hopefully not weeks):

  • Create an XML file that lists the bean’s properties, categories they belong to and type (String, Int or boolean).
  • From the property palette editor, read and parse the XML file.
  • Developer will select the values for each property and then Preview the bean
  • If the developer is fine with the design, output the bean init procedure as an Oracle Forms program unit.
  • I guess that should do it and could be very useful.