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Oracle9i Forms Developer and Forms Services Release Notes
Release 2 (9.0.2) for UNIX

Part Number A92187-01
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Oracle9i Forms Developer and Forms Services

Release Notes

Release 2 (9.0.2) for UNIX

April 2002

Part No. A92187-01

This document summarizes updates to Oracle9i Forms Developer and Oracle9iAS Forms Services:

You can also obtain the latest edition of these Release Notes and other Oracle9i Forms production information at:

1 General Issues and Workarounds

This section describes general issues and their workarounds for Oracle 9i Forms Developer and Oracle9iAS Forms Services.

1.1 Support For Databases Other than Oracle

With Oracle9i Forms, Oracle no longer ships the Open Client Adaptor (OCA) for accessing databases through ODBC rather than SQL*Net. The stated replacement for OCA is to use the Oracle Transparent Gateways as a way to access data in databases such as Microsoft SQL Server or IBM DB2. In the initial releases of Forms 9i, however, we cannot support access via the transparent gateways due to the lack of support in the gateways for "Select For Update" to enable row level locking. This deficiency will be addressed in a future release of Oracle Forms.

1.2 demoCAcert.txt Does Not Exist in Installed iAS

(2258527) The following excerpt is in Chapter 3 of the Oracle9iAS Forms Services Deployment Guide Release 9.0.2:

"If you are using the test certificate supplied with Oracle9iAS for test purposes, you must edit the JInitiator certdb.txt file and append the contents of the demo root certificate, which is located in <9iAS oracle_home/Apache/Apache/conf/ssl.crt/demoCAcert.txt."

The demoCAcert.txt file no longer exists. If you are running with Oracle9iAS Web Cache enabled (which is usually the case), you should use the file <9iAS oracle_home>/webcache/wallets/default/b60certificate.txt instead. If you are not running with Web Cache (that is, you are accessing the Oracle HTTP Server directly) you will need to create the demo root certificate file as follows:

  1. Start up Oracle Wallet Manager

  2. Open $ORACLE_HOME/Apache/Apache/conf/ssl.wlt/default/ewallet.p12

  3. Select menu option Export Wallet under the Operations menu

  4. Save as text file "demoCertCA.txt"

Once you have the required certificate file, you should follow the instructions in the Oracle9iAS Forms Services Deployment Guide to configure JInitiator to use the certificate (appending it to JInitiator's certdb.txt file).

1.3 Online Help Topics Not Found Error

(2275360) In the Online Help, F1 links to obsolete built-ins, properties, triggers, and constants give the following error message "FRM-10063: Cannot find the help file or help file is damaged". This error occurs because obsolete information has been removed from the help system. See Oracle9i Forms Developer and Forms Services: Migrating Forms Applications from Forms6i, part number A92183-01, for migration and obsolescence information.

1.4 Availability of JDAPI Javadoc

(2205868)You can download the latest JDAPI Javadoc from:

1.5 Availability of XMLTOOLS Javadoc

You can download the latest XMLTOOLS Javadoc from:

1.6 Availability of GUI Version of Migration Tool

You can download the latest graphical user interface (GUI) version of the Migration Tool at:

Documentation for the GUI version of the Migration Tool is available at:

2 Configuration Issues and Workarounds

This section describes configuration issues and their workarounds for Oracle 9i Forms Developer and Oracle9iAS Forms Services.

2.1 Graphics Integration Issues

2.1.1 TK_PRINTER Value Must Be Set

(2266745) Graphics, such as a chart, may not appear when a Form runs. As a workaround, modify the to set TK_PRINTER to the actual $PRINTER value.

2.1.2 Graphics Integration in a Form

(2298868) The PATH environment variable in default.env must be set to:


in the 9i Oracle Home.

2.2 Availability of Translated Documentation

Oracle9iDS Forms Japanese documentation is not available for this release. It will be available in the Japanese Oracle9iDS Forms 9.0.2 release.

2.3 ORARRP Is Not Supported

ORARRP is not supported. In the Oracle9i Forms Developer and Forms Services: Migrating Forms Applications from Forms6i manual (P/N A92183-01), the following options are not supported:

You can ignore these options.

2.4 Forms and Reports Integration Issues

2.4.1 Reports integration fails with error frm-41213

(2278644, 2280598) As a workaround when you receive this error, add the following to the default.env file:

HOME%/rep orts/jlib/rwrun.jar

2.4.2 Cannot Invoke Reports Builder from Form Builder

(2228305) As a workaround, modify the file and uncomment the line that calls

2.5 Sun Java 1.3 Plug-in Not Supported for Application Deployment

(2262949, 2268090) On Solaris platforms, the formsweb.cfg file contains VM parameters that are not supported for deployment in a production environment. The 1.3 Sun Java plug-in is not supported as a client platform for runtime deployment. The entry in the formsweb.cfg file for this plug-in is included only for use with Oracle9iDS Forms Developer on Unix platforms, when running or debugging a form.

2.6 Deploying Forms Applications

To deploy Oracle9i Forms applications on Oracle9iAS, you must configure the forms90.conf file. Oracle9iAS Forms Services use OC4J, via mod_OC4J, for the Forms Servlet and the Forms Listener Servlet only. All other file handling, such as downloading client Java archives and JInitiator, is performed directly by the Oracle HTTP Server. the forms90.conf file is automatically configured during product installation. See the Oracle9iAS Forms Services Deployment Guide (part number A92175-01) for information about the forms90.conf file.

Because there is no Apache HTTP Listener on Oracle9iDS, however, Forms uses OC4J directly for design-time deployment and for downloading client archive files.

2.7 New Error Message

FRM-93000: Servlet internal error.
Cause:  A servlet error occurred, or runtime did not start propery.
Action: See the error messages in the servlet (OC4J) log file for 

You can find the OC4J log file at:


The log file is called application.log, and is usually in a subdirectory like OC4J_BI_Forms_default_island_1, depending on how iAS has been configured.

2.8 Unable to Use Debugger When OTHERPARAMS in a Named Configuration Section

(2161032) If you use OTHERPARAMS in a named configuration section in the formsweb.cfg file, you overwrite the default the OTHERPARAMS parameter, which contains the DEBUG parameter.

For example, suppose you have a named configuration that looks like this:


Then you are overriding the default OTHERPARAMS, which looks like this:

otherparams=debug=%debug% host=%host% port=%port%

Therefore, if you use the debugger with the MyApp configuration, the debugger will not run. This behavior also occurs if the Application Server URL is modified in the Form preferences to use the MyApp configuration.

The workaround is to put DEBUG, HOST, and PORT as separate parameters. Modify the appropriate base.html file and the three separate parameters. Make sure to also add them in the default section of formsweb.cfg. Then, remove them from OTHERPARAMS.

2.9 Configuring Run Form on UNIX Platforms

To use Run Form on UNIX platforms, do the following:

  1. Install the JDK 1.3.1_02 plug-in.

  2. Set NPX_PLUGIN_PATH to <Plug-in Installation location>/plugin/i386/ns4 to enable the Java plug-in for Netscape.

  3. In the Form Builder, select Edit | Preferences |Run Time.

  4. Enter the absolute path to the browser in the Web Browser Location text field.

    Note The Web Browser should not be a symbolic link; if so Run Form will hang.

  5. Click OK to save the settings and dismiss the dialog.

2.10 Enabling HTTPS and Single Sign-On (SSO) with Oracle9i Forms

(2293330) To enable HTTPS and Single Sign-On (SSO) with Oracle 9i Forms, do the following:

  1. Register HTTPS information by running the following commands on the middle-tier server.

    $ORACLE_HOME/jdk/bin/java -jar $ORACLE HOME/sso/lib/ossoreg.jar -oracle_
    -port 1521 -sid iasdb -site_name %<INFRASTRUCTRE_MACHINE_NAME>%:1521 
    success-cancel_url TRUE -u root 
    -sso_server_version v1.2
    Note: Port 4443 is the default port with Oracle9iAS.
  2. Import the certification file $ORACLE_HOME/webcache/wallets/default/b64certificate.txt.
If you want to run a form with Jinitiator, append the b64certificate.txt file to certdb.txt. If you want to run a Form natively in Internet Explorer, import this file into Internet Explorer.

3 Oracle9i Forms Issues

The following sections describe known issues in Oracle9i Forms components:

3.1 Oracle9i Forms and Enterprise Manager Issues

3.1.1 Killing Forms Session Takes about One Minute in Enterprise Manager

(2190329) The Forms Server is doing necessary clean-up work, such as cleaning up memory allocations. The same effect happens when the Form process is killed from the command line.

3.1.2 Enterprise Manager Strips Comments from formsweb.cfg

(2171120) If you modify the formsweb.cfg file using Enterprise Manager, and then submit the changes, all comments that were in the formsweb.cfg file are removed. This behavior does not occur until you submit the changes; therefore, viewing is safe.

3.2 Oracle9i Forms Trace Issues

3.2.1 Unable To Create Defined Log Name

(2247822) Users can no longer specify the log name for the Forms Trace file in a URL. This behavior prevents a user from accidentally writing a file to an invalid location. If a user specifies log=<filename> in the URL, the URL will be ignored. The file will be named forms_<pid>.trc where <pid> is the process ID on the server. The file will be created in the directory specified by the environment variable FORMS90_TRACE_PATH, which is specified on the server.

3.2.2 Oracle Trace Has Been Desupported for Oracle9i Forms

(2296258) If you specify record=otrace, the Form will fail to start. This issue will be resolved in the next patch set to Oracle9i Forms.

3.3 Unable to Use Run Form When Saving Forms in Directories with Spaces in Path

(1983066) When creating a simple form and saving it to a directory such as C:\Program Files\Oracle\test.fmb, and when you click the Run Form icon, an error dialog appears:

FRM-40010 : Cannot read form C:\Program.

This error message appears when there is a space in the URL.

3.4 Changed Keyboard Shortcuts

The following keyboard shortcuts have changed:

Table 1 Keyboard shortcuts
Action, Function, or Tool Shortcut in previous releases Shortcut in Oracle9i Forms

PL/SQL Editor



Debug Module



Step Over



Step Into



Step Out



Run to Cursor



4 Oracle9i Forms Known Bugs

The following sections describe known bugs in Oracle9i Forms and suggested workaround where available:

4.1 Time Zone Support for Dates Prior to November 18, 1883

(2105230) There is a known problem with conversion of dates prior to November 18, 1883 between different time zones - e.g. US/Eastern to GMT. The wrong result can be returned in these circumstances. This problem will be addressed in a future patch of Oracle9i Forms.

4.2 Forms Can Mangle Data In NCHAR Or NVARCHAR2 Columns

(2060602) Data in NCHAR or NVARCHAR2 columns may not be correct. When a Form is running against a database that has non-Unicode NLS_CHARACTERSET, data can be mangled when inserting or updating from a CHAR item in the Form into an NCHAR or NVARCHAR2 column in the database, even when the server hosting the Form specifies the UTF8 character set for NLS_LANG.

Data can also be mangled when querying from NCHAR or NVARCHAR2 columns.

4.3 Getting ONETIMEWHERE Block Property after Querying May Crash Forms

(2175919) After querying records into a data block, and if the ONETIMEWHERE property is set for the data block, Forms crashes while retrieving the ONETIMEWHERE property.

As a workaround, if you set the ONETIMEWHERE property on a block, then execute the query, do not get the ONETIMEWHERE property.

4.4 Layout Editor Should Show Iconic Button GIF/JPG Images

(1960603) In a Web environment, icons are either.GIF or.JPG files. However, in the Layout Editor in the Forms Builder, ICO files are still used to display icons. These icons are used for design-time only. At runtime, GIF and JPG files are used. A future version of Oracle9i Forms should support GIF and JPG files in the Form Builder at design-time.

4.5 Cannot Use Keyboard to Navigate to Select Java Classes Field

(2235125) In the Import Java Classes dialog, you cannot navigate using keys to the Select Java Classes field.

4.6 Migration Assistant

(2250726) DATA_PARAMETER that is used with Run_Product to call Reports cannot be passed to Reports via Run_Report_Object. The migration assistant issues a warning that if this is used in Conjunction with RUN_PRODUCT() for Reports then it will no longer work.

4.6.1 Migration Assistant and PLL files

(2116895 and 2116644)

The migration of a PLL file is unsuccessful if the PLL contains either the keyword "language" or "userenv('LANG')". As a workaround, we have fixed the Migration Assistant so that if it finds the occurrence of either of these words inside the PLL, it will abort the migration process with an error message. The error message is different for each keyword, and looks something like:

ERROR: <OBJECT_NAME>: Invalid PL/SQL variable name "language" found. 
This variable should be renamed.

ERROR: <OBJECT_NAME>: Invalid PL/SQL construct "userenv('LANG')" found.
ora_nls.get_lang_str(ora_nls.language_abbr) should be used instead. 
ERROR: Stop word(s) found. Rolling back changes and aborting migration.

Unfortunately, the occurrences of these stop words inside comments also cause migration to be aborted. If you don't want to abort migration of the PLL, you can comment out the userenv and language category lines in the file.

4.6.2 Compile After Conversion

(2175830) Compile After Conversion (default.generateruntime) is still valid, and is a true/false property. If it is set to "true", the module is compiled after conversion (i.e .fmx or .mmx or .plx file is generated). In the case of PLL files, the PLX file is always generated, irrespective of the default.generateruntime property. This behavior is incorrect, and bug 2175830 has been filed for it.

As a workaround, look at the Edit | Inherit menu. It will be disabled if the property in question has a grey dot; otherwise, it is enabled. When it is enabled, you can look at the Subclass Information property, navigate to the property class, and see if the property is inherited or not and compare values.

Alternatively, you can convert the .fmb file to XML and look at the properties there. Only overwritten properties will be displayed in the XML.

4.7 RUN_PRODUCT Built-in Fails When Used to Start a Second Forms Session

(2258275) When the RUN_PRODUCT Built-in to invoke a second Web-deployed Forms application, you may receive the error:

Connection from a new browser window not supported 

Also, the original Form session may freeze when the newly created one is exited. As a workaround, use the "open_form" PL/SQL built-in to run another (or the same) Form instance in a new session instead of using run_product. This is the recommended way of running multiple Forms sessions in one browser window.

4.8 Valid Bean Name In Implementation Class Returns FRM-13008 Error

(2254547) After assigning a valid bean name in the Implementation Class Property, Forms returns the following error:

FRM-13008: cannot find javabean with name 'mypackage.PJCBeanWrapper'.

Make sure all the dependent class files are available to Forms builder. If you have created the bean using JDeveloper PJC Wizard, add jdev-rt.jar, f90all.jar and the jar containing the bean classes to FORMS90_BUILDER_CLASSPATH as a workaround.

4.9 Valid Bean Does Not Display in Bean Area of Layout Editor

(2258187) On Solaris, you won't see a new object in the Layout Editor after a valid bean name is set in the Implementation Class property. Unlike the Windows version of the Layout Editor, the Solaris version does not give any user feedback.

Since no feedback is given, and if you've set the classpath incorrectly, or an invalid Bean name is set in the Implementation Class property, you won't know about the error until you run the Form module.

4.10 XMLTOOL Issues

4.10.1 Converting a Form Module to XML and Back

(2252171) After converting an Oracle9i Forms module to its XML equivalent and then back to a Forms module, the canvases may not display correctly because custom color palettes are not preserved in the conversion.

4.10.2 XML To FMB Conversion Does Not Report Image Errors

(2061461) When doing an XML to FMB conversion on an Oracle9i Form that contains a graphics object of type IMAGE, and the image file is not found, the conversion utility provides no warning. When this Form is loaded into the Forms Builder and the canvas containing that object is opened, the Form Builder crashes.

4.10.3 XML Converter Throws Exception if PLL Is Missing

(2255174) When using the XML converter on a Oracle9i Form with an attached PLL file, and if the PLL file is not in the FORMS90_PATH, the XML Converter throws an exception. Instead of a clear message which indicates the PLL file that is causing the problem, the user gets an ambiguous error:

Processing XML module vec0005_fmb.xml 
@ ERROR - an exception has been encountered:
@ oracle.forms.jdapi.JdapiException: _jni_attach_lib failed

However, the XML Converter will continue without the library.

4.11 PL/SQL Converter Issues

4.11.1 PL/SQL Converter Converts All Occurrences of the Word "CALL" to "CALL_FORM"

(2114805) This behavior happens even if the word "CALL" is used elsewhere, such as in comments.

4.11.2 PL/SQL Converter Displays Warning About Commented-Out Obsolete Built-in

(2116969) The PL/SQL Converter shows warnings about obsolete Built-ins that are commented out.

4.12 JDAPI Issues

4.12.1 Use Uppercase When Referring to Forms Objects that Use JDAPI

(2215797) Internally, Forms uses uppercase characters for Oracle9i Form objects. Since Java is case-sensitive, it is important to use uppercase when referring to Forms objects using JDAPI.

5 National Language Support Issues

This section describes known issues with national language support.

5.1 Obsolete Menu Item Type Upgrade Messages

(2055224) This following messages related to the upgrade of obsolete menu item types are not present in non-English versions of the message file.

The following messages were added to the message file:

2500,0, "PLUS-type menu items are not supported in this version of 
2501,0, "FORM-type menu items are not supported in this version of 
2502,0, "MACRO-type menu items are not supported in this version of 
2503,0, "This menu item has been converted to a PL/SQL-type menu 
item.\nThe  old command text is shown within comments below.\n" 
2504,0, "Consider using the HOST built-in with the original text." 
2505,0, "Consider using the CALL_FORM built-in with the original text." 
2506,0, "Consider using the MACRO built-in with the original text." 

5.2 Use of Multibyte Characters in URL Query Parameters and Form Name

(1994138 and 1961840) Multibyte or bidirectional characters in query parameters in a URL used to invoke the Forms Servlet may not be handled correctly. For example, attempting to run a form whose (fmx) file name contains multibyte characters using a URL like


may fail with an error saying the form module was not found (where XX represent multibyte or bidirectional characters). Also, specifying a multibyte form name in the formsweb.cfg file may fail in the same way too. The workaround is to rename the Form fmx file to a name not containing multibyte characters. These issues will be addressed in a future release.

5.3 Multibyte Characters in Environment File

(194001) Multibyte or bidirectional characters in the environment file (usually called default.env) may not be read correctly. For example, if the FORMS90_PATH variable contains such characters the form may not be found (case where path to the form includes directories whose names contain multibyte characters). A workaround is to place the form module under directories with names which only include single byte characters.

6 Documentation Errata

This section describes known errors in the Oracle9i Forms documentation set:

6.1 Online Help System

6.1.1 Browsing PL/SQL Package Global Variables in the Debugger

In the Online Help topic "About Debugging", the sixth bullet in the list incorrectly mentions that you can browse instantiated PL/SQL package global variables. These variables cannot be seen in the debugger.

6.1.2 Default Alert Button Property Is Required Not Optional

(2278996) The Online Help topic for the Alert Property "Default Alert Button Property" describes the property as optional when in fact it is required.

6.1.3 Incorrect Environment Variable

(2281042) On page FORMS90_DEFAULTFONT, the description for FORMS90_DEFAULTFONT is incorrectly written as FORMS60_DEFAULTFONT.

6.1.4 Incorrect Path in Java Importer Help

(2249678) In the Online Help topic "Java Importer", in the C.3 Installation Requirements section, there is an incorrect path:


The correct path is:


6.1.5 Incorrect Java Code in JDAPI Documentation

(2215338) The Online Help topic "Starting A Jdapi Session" contains the following piece of Java code:

  import oracle.forms.jdapi.*; 

  // Jdapi.startup() does not need to be called because we are starting 
  // the Jdapi in default mode. 
  public class JdapiSessionExample 
    public static void main(String[] args) 
      // suppress errors from missing subclassed modules 
      // suppress errors from missing PLLs 
// This line will cause initialisation FormModule. fmb = new 

FormModule. fmb = new FormModule("myform.fmb"); 
// program code goes here ... // finally, free API resources Jdapi.shutdown(); } }

The bold line has a period following FormModule; therefore, Java will not compile with that period there.

6.1.6 Incorrect Code in JDAPI Subclassing Example

(2170544) In the Online Help topic "Low-level Subclassing Using Parent Properties", the following line of code:


causes a compilation error:

cannot resolve symbol 
symbol: variable PAMO_FILESYSTEM_CTID

The solution is to comment out this line of code and the example will compile.

6.1.7 Incorrect JavaBean Source Code Example

(2273363) In the Online Help topic "Including a JavaBean and Custom Controls", the following source code will not compile:

XPos := CurrentValue;
   YPos := CurrentValue;
   MsgBox('If you click at '||to_Char(XPos)||'/'||to_Char(YPos)||' 
   again I may drop these beans');

In the bold line, replace "message" for "MsgBox" and the code will compile.

6.1.8 Ambiguous Description of DO_COMMIT Behavior

(2257223) In the Online Help topic for the EXIT_FORM Built-in, the description for DO_COMMIT states:

"Forms validates the changes, performs a commit, and exits the 
current Form without prompting the operator."

The actual behavior is that Forms validates the changes, performs a commit, and exits the current Form without prompting the operator if they want to commit the changes.

6.1.9 Incomplete Description of Available Windows for Modifying Variable Values in the Debugger

(2242622) In the Online Help topic "Modifying a Variable Value", the first step says:

  1. Display the appropriate debug window (Variables, Form Values or Global/System Variables).

However, it should read:

  1. Display the appropriate debug window (Variables, Form Values, Watch, PL/SQL Packages or Global/System Variables).

6.2 Oracle 9iAS Forms Services Deployment Guide Release 9.0.2

  1. In step 1 of Chapter 5, change mod_osso.conf file to

    ORACLE_HOME/forms90/server/forms90.conf file.
  2. Also in step 1, the directions say to add the following to the forms90.conf file:

    <IfModule mod_osso.c>*
     <Location forms90/f90servlet> 
        require valid-user 
        authType Basic 
    However, the above is already in forms90.conf, but it is commented out. Uncomment it to enable Single Sign On (SSO).
  1. In the code above, * indicates new lines that are not in the current documentation.

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Copyright © 2002 Oracle Corporation.

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