Oracle Forms and Reports 18.104.22.168 is the latest patchset release for Oracle Forms and Reports 11gR2. Oracle has just recently released an updated version of Oracle Forms 11gR2 versioned as 22.214.171.124. However, Oracle Forms and Reports 126.96.36.199.0 (12c) is currently the most up-to-date version. It is highly recommended that you upgrade to Oracle Forms 12c as soon as possible as all releases of Oracle Forms and Reports 11gR2 are no longer covered by premier support via My Oracle Support. For more information regarding the differences between Oracle Forms 11g and 12c, please check out our article, “Differences Between Forms 11g and 12c.” This article contains Oracle Forms and Reports 188.8.131.52.0 information and findings.
For what we have seen on Oracle’s website and Oracle Support, the following has been updated in the latest version of Oracle Forms 11gR2 (184.108.40.206):
- Many bugs have been fixed (See Oracle Support ID 1612530.1 for a list of the bugs fixed)
- Only Oracle WebLogic Server (WLS) 10.3.6 is supported
- NOTE: If you would like to use Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1.x instead of WebLogic 10.3.6, you will need to upgrade to Oracle Forms 12c.
- The operating system support is the same as Forms and Reports 220.127.116.11 except for the following:
- AIX 6.1 must be Update Level 7 or higher
- AIX 7.1 must be Update Level 1 or higher
- AIX 7.2 is now supported
- RHEL 7, Oracle Linux 7, and SLES 12 are now supported
- Windows XP is no longer supported with Forms 18.104.22.168
- Windows 8.1 and 10 are now supported
- Windows Server 2012 R2 is now supported
- JDK support:
- Using Java 6: JDK 1.6.0_35+
- Using Java 7: JDK 1.7.0_40+
- NOTE: JDK 1.8 is not supported with Oracle Forms 11gR2, however, it is supported with Oracle Forms 12c
- Internet Browser support:
- Internet Explorer: 8, 9, 10, 11 (IE 11 is only supported if Oracle Patch 18277370 is applied)
- Firefox: 24+
- Google Chrome: 29+, 34+
- Safari: 5.x, 7.x, 8.x, 9.x
- NOTE: The NPAPI plugin (used by the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) for the Java browser plugin) is not usable in the Firefox, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge browsers. The Java browser plugin is the only supported way of running Oracle Forms 11gR2. Please read this article by PITSS for more information regarding Oracle Forms and the Java browser plug-in. Although the article is written for Oracle Forms 12c, the latest version, it also implies to Oracle Forms 11gR2 and older.
- Database support:
- 22.214.171.124+ (New to Forms 126.96.36.199.0)
- OAM support:
- Oracle SSO 10gR3 (10.1.4.3+)
- Oracle Access Management 11gR1 (188.8.131.52+)
- Oracle Access Management 11gR2 (184.108.40.206+)
- Oracle Internet Directory (OID) 11gR1 (220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124)
- Oracle Virtual Directory (OVD) 11gR1 (126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206)
- NOTE: OID and OVD 220.127.116.11 is not supported with Oracle Forms 11gR2. You must upgrade to Oracle Forms 12c if you wish to use these versions of OID or OVD.
- This version is released as both a base installation and a patchset (Oracle Patch 17882900) installation. This means that Oracle Forms 18.104.22.168 can either be installed as a separate installation or as a patch to an existing 22.214.171.124 or 126.96.36.199 installation.
For more information regarding Oracle Forms 188.8.131.52 certifications, please review Oracle’s certification matrix for Forms and Reports 184.108.40.206: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/es/middleware/docs/oracle-forms-111220certmatrix-2087910.xls?ssSourceSiteId=otnen
SIMILARITIES/DIFFERENCES TO FORMS 220.127.116.11
After successfully installing and configuring Oracle Forms and Reports 18.104.22.168 in both our Windows 7 64-bit and Oracle Linux 6.4 64-bit test environments, we found that there are no major functionality changes which we could detect. In our test installations, we worked with Oracle WebLogic Server 10.3.6 using JDK 1.7.0_45 (this was the latest JDK available for download as of January 8, 2014 when the test installs were performed). Based off the installation and configuration, we have noticed the following:
1. The installation and configuration steps for installing Oracle Forms and Reports 22.214.171.124 are identical to installing 126.96.36.199.
2. Environment files and formsweb.cfg work the same. In order to use the latest JRE, we have to configure the jpi parameters in formsweb.cfg. More information regarding this may be found in our knowledge base article, “How to Use Java 7 with Oracle Forms 11g in an Oracle-Supported Environment.”
3. Similar to Forms and Reports 188.8.131.52, we still receive the “REP-52262: Diagnostic output is disabled” error when we try to run reports. In previous releases of Oracle Forms & Reports 11gR1 and 11gR2 (184.108.40.206), using the default setting in rwservlet.properties would allow anyone to access anything related to rwservlet such as getjobid, showjobs, showenv, etc. For some reason in 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168, the default settings act the same as using <webcommandaccess>L0</webcommandaccess> in the file. To fix this, we have to manually add the parameter <webcommandaccess>L2</webcommandaccess> into rwservlet.properties and restart WLS_REPORTS before we can view generated reports. NOTE: If this was fixed manually in Forms 22.214.171.124 and you patch the install to 126.96.36.199, you do not have to redo this. More information regarding this error and the solution may be found in our knowledge base article, “Running Reports in Forms/Reports 188.8.131.52 Generates REP-52262 with Default Settings.”
4. Patching your Forms 184.108.40.206 installation to 220.127.116.11 requires little effort. All WebLogic servers associated with Forms 18.104.22.168, OPMN, and Node Manager will need to be shut down. After you run the patchset install, all you need to do afterward is to start everything up.
a. NOTE: When running the installer, make sure to select “Install Software – Do Not Configure”.
b. NOTE: If you have an Oracle Database installed on the same PC/server where you are upgrading Forms and Reports, the database, TNS listener, and DB Console will need to be shut down as well in order to prevent a possible error during the upgrade.
5. The OHS bug which occurred in many Oracle Forms 22.214.171.124 installations that was fixed in 126.96.36.199 is also fixed in 188.8.131.52. The problem was where you had to rollback and re-apply an Oracle patch to fix an issue where OHS would lose connectivity with the forms server, WLS_FORMS, after a report was run. URL: https://pitss.com/us/2012/10/08/failure-of-server-apache-bridge-weblogic/
6. The Reports Builder bug where it crashes when viewing the Data Model in 64-bit machines has NOT been fixed with Forms and Reports 184.108.40.206. The same holds true for all 12c Forms installations. Fortunately, applying the fix noted in our article, “Reports Builder 11gR2 Crashes When Viewing Data Model“, will still fix the problem. NOTE: If this was fixed manually in Forms 220.127.116.11 and you patch the install to 18.104.22.168, you do not have to redo this.
7. Oracle Forms & Reports 22.214.171.124 is backwards-compatible with Oracle Forms & Reports 126.96.36.199. We tested this by successfully opening up or loading a form in either an 188.8.131.52 Forms Builder or PITSS.CON saved in either Forms Builder or PITSS.CON using Forms 184.108.40.206. This means that if you are working with someone who is using Oracle Forms 220.127.116.11, you are able to use your PITSS.CON or Forms Builder using Forms 18.104.22.168 without any problems. NOTE: Forms 22.214.171.124 is not backwards-compatible with Forms 11gR1. In addition, any forms developed in 12c will not run in Forms 11gR2 and will not open in the 11gR2 version of Forms Builder.
8. In Oracle Forms 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, and 184.108.40.206, there was a bug where you were unable to edit any configuration files or logging information for OHS within Enterprise Manager as mentioned in https://pitss.com/us/2013/10/18/unable-to-edit-ohs-configuration-files-in-enterprise-manager-for-forms-11-1-1-6-or-11gr2/. This bug has been fixed in Forms 220.127.116.11 (as well as 18.104.22.168 if you are using Forms 11gR1). In addition, this problem does not occur in Oracle Forms 12c.
9. All Oracle jar files (frmall.jar, frmwebutil.jar, and any other jar file which starts with “frm”) have been updated with the permissions and codebase manifest attributes needed for the later Java JDK and JRE updates. Before you decide to upgrade your JDK and JRE to the latest version (Java 7u45 or higher) in your Forms and Reports 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 environment, it is best to upgrade to Forms and Reports 188.8.131.52 first (and WebLogic 10.3.6 if you are using 10.3.5). For any custom jar files used in Forms and Reports, they will still need to contain the permissions and codebase manifest attributes (and signed with trusted certificates). Please see https://pitss.com/us/2013/10/24/how-to-modify-custom-jar-files-with-permissions-and-codebase-attributes/ for more information. NOTE: The Oracle jar files will also have the required manifest attributes in all Oracle Forms 12c installations.
10. Like earlier releases of Oracle Forms and Reports 11gR2 (184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11), WebUtil for Forms 18.104.22.168 uses Jacob 1.14.3. No changes to the Jacob DLLs are required.
11. If you have Forms and Reports integrated with Oracle Access Manager (OAM) 11g, no changes are required on the OAM or OID side. Simply upgrading Forms from 22.214.171.124 (or 126.96.36.199) to 188.8.131.52 is all that is needed to log into your Forms application using OAM.
12. When configuring Oracle Forms and Reports 184.108.40.206 (using config.bat or config.sh) and you are integrating with OAM, you will still get an error when connecting to the OAM domain even if all information is entered correctly. This bug which was first seen in Forms 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 has NOT been fixed in 22.214.171.124. You will need to run config.bat or config.sh using the –novalidation flag to work around this error. NOTE: Be very careful when running the configuration wizard if you use the –novalidation flag as the wizard will NOT perform any tests or checks to see if anything entered is valid or invalid. More information can be found at https://pitss.com/us/2013/04/12/forms-and-reports-11gr2-configuration-fails-at-access-control-step-with-oam-2/.
13. Java Runtime Environment (JRE 8) is supported with Oracle Forms and Reports 126.96.36.199. However, if you are using JRE 1.8.0_131 or higher, any jar file signed with MD5 will be treated as unsigned. Make sure your custom jar files are signed without MD5 signatures. However, the Oracle jar files (the jar files which start with “frm”) are signed with MD5. The only solution is to either upgrade to Oracle Forms 12c or to apply Oracle Patch 19933795. More information may be found in our knowledge base article, “Running Oracle Forms MD5-Signed Jar Files Warning.”
Other than what we mentioned above, we did not notice any other major differences. We also setup a test PITSS.CON environment to run in Oracle Forms & Reports 188.8.131.52. We found that PITSS.CON works well with Forms 184.108.40.206. Everything works the same as it does in all other Oracle Forms 11g and 12c environments.