A typical database schema contains dozens of tables, each with several columns of various data types. We develop applications (forms, reports, menus, etc.) to make the job of manipulating data in those tables easier for users. In Oracle Forms, a form (or data entry form) acts like a window into the database schema. An individual focuses the attention of the user to one or a few of the tables at a time. In addition, a form can give prompts so the user knows what kind of input is expected and how data is to be entered and manipulated.
By default, every form in Oracle Forms has the capability to query existing data in a table, modify existing data and add new data (records) to the table. A form is built up using one or more data blocks that correspond to tables in the database. Fields within the data block correspond to columns in the database table. A data block is similar to a DataWindow object in PowerBuilder. In the following figure, a typical form is shown.
Oracle Developer9i provides various Graphical User Interface (GUI) tools to create functional applications from database definitions, without writing any code. You can use these tools to create, manage, and deploy integrated applications.
Some tools provided by the Oracle Developer9i are:
- The Forms Builder
- The Reports Builder
- The Discoverer Administrator
- The Discoverer Desktop
You can use the Forms Builder to easily and quickly construct multi-lingual and interactive database forms, charts, and business logic. Applications developed using Oracle Forms Builder can be instantly deployed over the Internet using the Oracle Internet Application Server.
Some features of the Forms Builder are:
Legacy Application Integration: Enables migration of existing client-server applications to the Internet using rich Java user interfaces.
Developer Productivity: Develop applications quickly with:
Easy-to-use re-entrant wizards to create blocks and relations.
Property pallets to set visual attributes.
Shared libraries and templates to enforce standards.
Easy PL/SQL scripting for triggers and business logic.
Debugging across application and database logic.
PL/SQL code exchange between application and database.
Live previewers to test your application and version control and impact analysis.
Oracle8i Integration: Enables you to leverage Oracle8i features, such as transaction management, resource management, advanced queuing, and parallel server to share application resources.
Scalability: Enables you to deliver scalable applications that perform across any network inside or outside firewall.
Manageability: Enables you to manage and configure multiple application servers from a single location with Oracle Enterprise Manager.
Internationalization: Enables you to develop applications that can be translated easily with multi-language support.
Enterprise Application Development: Supports application development through a built-in forms server, which receives CGI requests from thin clients, such as browsers and serve the appropriate request.
Interoperability: Is completely interoperable with Java and contains Enterprise Java Beans, Servlets and hosts smart applets. It is also compatible with object technologies, such as CORBA and COM+.
Reduces downtime: Supports previously offline DBA routines, such as database backup, restore, DDL statements through application routines. This reduces the downtime for the Oracle Database Server.
There are four main types of forms that can be designed