Friday, July 23, 2010

Oracle forms not starting with JRE and IE8

Most likely a hot debated topic at the sites of many Oracle EBS customers is the question if they would like to stay on Oracle jInitiator or to make the switch to the JRE approach.

Oracle E-Business Suite makes use of Oracle forms which is a Java application for witch you have to load some .jar files onto your local browser who will take the client software role. Oracle always used jInitiator for this which used to do this task. Recently Oracle made a switch to a new approach and started to advocate the use of Sun Java Runtime Environment or JRE for short.

This also makes it possible to start your forms part of Oracle E-Business suite from Internet Explorer 8 for example and other browsers like FireFox. This was possible in the past however would take some hacking from the users who wanted this to happen. As most customers are upgrading their workstations and browsers to a newer versions it is feasible to go for the JRE option.

The following things need to happen:

(A) You have to apply patches on your server and make it ready for JRE.
In this case you should review metalink note 290807.1 which informs you about all the steps needed to take to make this happen on the server side.

(B) you have to make sure the correct version of JRE is installed on (or gets installed) on your clients.

Due to some bugs it is very important to look for which version is the best at the moment you start this project. My best advice would be to keep an eye on the weblog of Steven Chan for this subject and start a service request at metalink before you make a decision.

Even if you have taken all the steps to make sure all should work fine you can run into problems with some clients which for some reason will refuse to start a new forms session. I recently had this issue at a client and it later turned out to be a networking/firewall/proxy issue. The best way to start debugging in those cases is the logging in JRE which is not very known to many people.

Open the Java Control Panel and go to the advanced tab. Here can activate tracing and logging. When you have activated those try to start a forms session again and review the log and trace file.

The resulting files can be found at "\Sun\Java\Deployment\log" and do contain a lot of useful information for you debugging. I would like to advise to always do a trace/log first on the client in cases you have problems on a client starting the forms session with JRE instead of Oracle jInitiator.

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