Oracle Forms is the single most important tool used to create sophisticated applications for Oracle databases. The latest versions of Oracle Forms have reflected Oracle's Internet-centered strategy, adding powerful capabilities for building Web-centered applications to the product's traditional client/server focus. In Oracle Forms Developer's Handbook, one of the world's leading Oracle developers presents powerful techniques for leveraging Oracle Forms in both web-centered and client/server environments. This is the first Oracle Forms book to reflect the brand-new Version 6i. Oracle Forms Developer's Handbook starts by presenting step-by-step instructions for using every tool in the Forms environment, including the Forms Designer, Object Navigator, and the Layout Editor. Next, learn how to use PL/SQL in Forms applications; master all of the methods and objects available to Forms programmers; and learn how to apply object-oriented programming practices to Forms development, including inheritance, reusability, encapsulation, and polymorphism. Then, walk step-by-step through developing a series of complete, elegant, well-performing Web-based and client/server applications. An accompanying CD-ROM contains all of the book's applications and source code examples, plus all files needed to create and populate sample database objects -- enabling readers to start from any chapter and follow the hands-on activities.
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Oracle Forms is the most important tool used to create client/server and World Wide Web applications that run against Oracle databases. Oracle Forms Developer's Handbook is a complete reference guide for those who use Forms to build sophisticated database systems rapidly and productively. The book covers in detail all the aspects, features, and functionality of Oracle Forms. It also focuses on how modern application development concepts, such as client/server computing and object-oriented programming, are applied in the Oracle Forms environment. Organization of the Book
Oracle Forms Developer's Handbook is divided into five parts. They can be read sequentially or independently, depending on the your familiarity with Oracle Forms. The following paragraphs describe these parts:
Part One. This part introduces readers to Oracle Forms programming. Following the detailed instructions provided in this part, you build and run your first form. In the process, I present important concepts of Form Builder and Runtime environments. At the end of this part, you will have completed the first form and become familiar with terms and concepts that will be encountered throughout the rest of the book.
Part Two. This part equips you with the necessary tools to create, design and enhance forms. It begins with an overview of Oracle Developer suite and then focuses on the Form Builder and its components: Object Navigator, Layout Editor, Property Palette, Menu Editor, Object Library Editor and PL/SQL Editor. Separate chapters discuss the purpose, access methods, components and usage of each tool. Rapid Application Development (RAD) and object reusability with Oracle Forms are also covered in this part. The final three chapters discuss the elements of the Standard Query Language (SQL) used in Oracle applications, the Oracle's own programming language—PL/SQL—as well as object-relational features introduced by Oracle8 that affect Oracle Forms programming.
Part Three. This part presents the Form Builder as an object-oriented and event-driven programming environment. It explains the features and functionality of its objects, including data blocks, items, windows, record structures, and menus. It also discusses events associated with each object, triggers they fire, and how you can use them to enhance Forms applications.
Part Four. This part covers advanced programming with Oracle Forms. It begins with debugging techniques and activities. Then it discusses the integration of Forms with other Oracle Developer tools such as Report Builder and Graphic Builder. I dedicate an entire chapter to the reusable components provided by Oracle Developer and the benefits you draw by including them in your applications. Another important subject I cover in this part is the development and deployment of Forms applications on the Web in a three-tier architecture. In a separate chapter, I present tips and techniques to simplify Forms development and installation using the Project Builder. I conclude this part discussing the use of Oracle Designer in creating, maintaining, and generating Form Builder modules.
Part Five. This part focuses on the integration of Oracle Forms with other Microsoft Windows applications through Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) and Microsoft's COM-based technologies, including OLE Documents, Automation, and ActiveX controls. I also cover here the implementation of user exits and the extension of Oracle Developer applications' functionality using the PL/SQL interface to foreign functions.
Oracle Forms Developer's Handbook is intended primarily for software engineers whose mission is to create database applications for the Oracle DBMS. As such, this book addresses the needs of this group of IT professionals. Because of the way the material is organized, the book can be used by application developers at all levels of proficiency.
The first part is for newcomers to the Oracle Forms environment. This part explains important Form Builder and Runtime concepts, which benefit not just the beginner, but also end-users of Oracle applications.
The second part addresses the needs of intermediate programmers who do not have a vast experience with Oracle Forms. The chapters in this part are organized to serve as reference materials for the main components of the Form Builder, where most of the development activities occur.
The third part explains fundamental concepts that every serious Oracle Forms developer should know and master. The material covered in this part is for programmers dedicated to creating applications conforming with object-oriented principles, Multiple-Document Interface (MDI) paradigm and well-established GUI principles.
The last two parts of the book provide information for advanced programmers who go the extra mile to deliver integrated and user-friendly applications. The focus in Part Four is the integration of Oracle Forms modules with others Oracle design and development tools—Oracle Designer, Oracle Developer tools, and Oracle Developer reusable components. Part Five targets developers familiar with Microsoft Windows programming techniques and shows them how to integrate them in the Form Builder environment.
Here is a list of the most important benefits this book offers to you:
Clear and concise explanation of all the features of Oracle Forms.
Presentation of important aspects of Oracle Forms programming in the context of building Oracle-based enterprise applications.
Gradual introduction of concepts and techniques that allows readers to build on their existing knowledge and increase their Oracle Forms proficiency level.
Detailed instructions on how to perform the major development activities in Oracle Forms.
A number of hands-on activities that allow readers to apply the concepts discussed in the book.
A companion software downloadable from the Internet that contains all the software modules discussed in the book. The software provides readers with a chance to execute these modules and explore for themselves the code segments that implement the features discussed in the book.
The Companion Software
Oracle Forms Developer's Handbook is first and foremost a hands-on guide to application development with Oracle Forms, and you should read it as such. I strongly urge you to follow the discussion of different topics in the book by performing the activities with one or more application systems in your environment. In order to help you with these activities, I have provided a number of Oracle Forms modules that you can use in your environment. These modules will enable you to follow the discussion of different topics in the book by performing the activities described there. These software assets are very important because they allow you to start from any chapter in the book and follow the hands-on activities discussed in that chapter. They also serve as reference items that can be used to explore the implementation of the features discussed in the book. Oracle Developer version 6 was used to produce the application systems and record the movies.
The software provided is configured for Microsoft Windows operating systems. You can browse the contents by using your Web browser. Simply point to the file D2KFORMS.HTM on the root directory and then follow the hyperlinks to different assets provided. For questions, comments, or an updated list of contents, point your Web browser at belacorp/OracleForms.
The software items provided are organized by chapters of the book. At the end of each chapter there is a list of software assets discussed in that chapter as well as instructions on how to access these assets. The following is a list of the applications covered in the book that you will find in the companion software:
Equipment Tracking System application. This is the application discussed in Chapters 1, 2, and 3.
Movie Rental Database objects. These are tables you can use to test the SQL statements discussed in Part Two.
MRD application. This is the application system developed throughout Part 3 and, partly, in Part 4.
Form Builder modules integrated with Oracle Developer reusable components. These are the modules discussed in chapter 22 in which I have integrated Oracle Developer reusable controls, such as a calendar, hierarchy navigator, wizard dialog box, and so on to your Forms applications.
Form Builder modules implementing DDE. These are the modules discussed in chapter 26 that allow you to integrate Form Builder with Microsoft Excel, Word and Program Manager through Dynamic Data Exchange.
Form Builder modules implementing COM-based technologies. These are the modules discussed in chapters 27 and 28 implement OLE documents, Automation, and ActiveX controls in the Form Builder environment.
Installing the Database Objects
All the commands to create the database objects discussed in the book and populate them with the necessary data are provided in SQL*Plus files in the folder Software\SQL of the companion software. The instructions to run these commands are provided online as part of the assFrom the Back Cover:
The Definitive Developer's Guide to Oracle Forms 6i.
Web and client/server development with Oracle Forms 6i: the definitive guide!
Whether you're building Web or client/server applications, Oracle Forms Developer's Handbook delivers the real-world techniques and industrial-strength code you need to achieve outstanding results. Best-selling author Albert Lulushi offers start-to-finish coverage of the Oracle Forms 6i, and walks you step-by-step through building several complete, elegant, high-performance Web and client/server applications. You'll discover how to:
From project management through object-oriented analysis and design, coding to debugging, it's covered here—with unprecedented depth, clarity, and practical insight. To build the best Oracle Forms applications, learn from the best book: Albert Lulushi's Oracle Forms Developer's Handbook.
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