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Last edit: 05-03-17 Graham Wideman


Summary of Models for Deploying Oracle Forms Applications
Article created: 97-??-??

The following document was originally created July 97 to summarize the three main choices for "deploying" (ie: connecting users to) Oracle Forms applications.  At the time I was participating in a committee looking into choices for deploying the SDSU Student Information Management System (SIMS/R).


Summarize the three models that the committee is investigating.

Traditional Client/Server

Installation: Application must be installed either on each desktop machine, OR on file server. Regardless of where executable is stored, desktop machines will need to have installed:

  • TCP/IP
  • SQL*Net
  • Initiation: Desktop computer loads application from local hard-drive or from file server (eg: Novell, NT).  Note: if a file server is used in this model it is sometimes called an "application server" since it serves the application file(s) to the client. However, this is not the mainstream use of the term "application server", which, as shown in the models below, usually refers to situations where the application server actually runs the application on behalf of the client.

    Operation: Client application carries out SQL Client/Server transactions with Database Server.

    Oracle Java Forms

    Current understanding is as follows:

    Installation: Forms application must be installed on "middle tier" application server. Desktop Clients need only start with a web browser (including TCP/IP).

    Initiation: At run time, user presumably uses Web Browser to navigates to desired application. Selecting URL or button causes Client Applet to load to desktop computer, either from web server, or from local hard-drive cache.

    Operation: Java Client Applet displays appearance of Forms Application, while actual Forms Application proper executes on the Application Server. That Forms application carries on the same SQL Transactions with the Database Server as any other Client/Server application would.

    WinFrame "ICA" Solution


    Installation: Forms application must be installed on "middle tier" WinFrame application server. Desktop machines need WinFrame, Insignia or other ICA client software.

    Initiation: On client machines, desktop icon or menu option can be set up to start ICA client, connect to ICA (WinFrame) server, and invoke desired Windows application, in this case a Forms application.

    Operation: ICA Client displays appearance of Forms Application, while actual Forms Application proper executes on the Application Server. That Forms application carries on the same SQL Transactions with the Database Server as any other Client/Server application would.

    Number of Tiers: As shown above the system has three tiers. WinFrame contains no magic to partition the system into more tiers. Forms applications to my knowledge are two tier only. Hence the overall total number of tiers would be three.

    Product Notes: Citrix makes and sells WinFrame, the ICA server, and also ICA clients for PCs (ie: various generations of Windows.) Citrix does not produce clients for other platforms, however other vendors do. Insignia sells ICA clients for Mac, unix and Java, and will resell WinFrame and other Citrix products if that's the way the customer wants to assemble the system.

    CSU Fresno Testing Activity: I talked with Brad Barker at CSU Fresno where WinFrame is in use. He related that in an instructional lab setting for School of Business, WinFrame allows a lab full of 386's to perform very well, and that installation is quite easy. Due to the server cost, however, he couldn't say whether there was a cost saving overall.

    Brad also indicated that Fresno had assigned a person to a six-month project to test WinFrame for deployment of SIMS/R forms and also Peoplesoft applications.

    Feature Comparison

    To make meaningful comparisons the deployment committee continues to need to identify a comprehensive list of:

  • Who are the audience groups for this software?
  • How many people (total, and max simultaneous)?
  • What desktops do they have, how are they managed?
  • What is the usage level, reliability requirements and access to help?
  • What is the priority level for each group being served upon initial cutover?
  • Who will do testing (of clients) and how?
  • Do all groups have networks?
  • Are all inside firewall?
  • What are the *actual decisions* that rest on the results our deliberations, and when do those need to be made?
  • Questions Arising

    1. Some attention needs to be paid to the incremental effort that the SDSU SIMS team would be undertaking by considering non-traditional C/S Forms deployment. Is it the case that the SDSU team would be developing a relatively small proportion of the screens, in which case a deviation from the CASA path would result in a large incremental increase in local team effort?


    Supporting Emails from Vendors


    Sorry for the confusion. Winframe/Enterprise v1.6 is primarily designed to deploy applications to a PC based environment. (Dos, Win3.1, Win 95, Window for Workgroups, Win NT, and OS/2 machines) Clients for these operating systems are included with our product.

    Insignia's product is primarily designed for a Unix or Mac environment. Although they are based on our technology they only include clients for these operating system. This is much like the NCD, or Tektronix offering.

    So, if your project is mostly or firstly a PC environment, it is going to be (or should be) more cost effective for you ot go with Winframe. And, If your project is mostly or firstly a Mac or Unix environment, it should be more cost effective to go with one of our partners.

    You can, however, purchase Insignia's Net Client which is a native ICA client for Mac and Unix that will work with Winframe. You can also purchase PC clients for Insignia's product.

    I hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me should you need further clarification.


    >Steven Pace

    >Southwest Territory Manager

    >Phone: 800-437-7503

    >Fax: 954-267-9319




    Yes, you are correct in that Winframe will only run with a PC platform as the package is sold.

    We sell a "client" called our Standard Edition UNIX and Mac Net Client which CAN be used with a Winframe server but this is only for a very small number of users (2-5). Cost benefit and performance benefit go with the NTRIGUE server where we can integrate non-PCs better from the server-side versus the client-side.

    For Mac and Unix clients they [Citrix] refer customers to us. If you call Citrix and ask for the clients for Mac and UNIX, Citrix will tell you to call us.

    Call me with other questions,

    Bernard Kyle, Insignia Solutions, Direct: 408-327-6318, Fax: 408-327-6666

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