Installing Formspider Manually

We created a solid installer for Formspider which has a very high success rate. However, IT environment can be very complex and restrictive (and understandably so). So having an installer does not work for everyone and every organization.

Therefore, we are making the Formspider installation scripts available for download. Below are the steps you can follow to install Formspider to your environment manually.

Installation of Middle Tier Components

  1. For Linux and Mac OS, install Git manually from https://git-scm.com/. For Windows, Git is already included to this setup.

  2. Move Formspider folder to the place you want to locate Formspider middle tier components.
    e.g /Users/username/

  3. For Windows, open fix_parameters_WINDOWS.bat to edit.
    For Mac OS, open fix_parameters_MAC.sh to edit.
    For Linux, open fix_parameters_LINUX.sh to edit.
  4. Set FORMSPIDER_ROOT parameter to the absolute path of the Formspider folder from step 1..
    e.g /Users/username/Formspider

  5. Set FORMSPIDER_DATABASE_CONNECTION_STRING parameter to the correct jdbc connection string to your database.
    e.g jdbc:oracle:thin:@192.168.1.99:1521:orcl
  6. For Mac OS and Linux, set GIT_EXECUTABLE parameter to the path of git executable.
    e.g. /usr/bin/git
  7. Set FORMSPIDER_SCHEMA parameter to the name of the Formspider database schema.
    e.g. FORMSPIDER

  8. Set Formspider_SCHEMA_PASSWORD parameter to the password of the Formspider database schema.
    e.g. FORMSPIDER

  9. Open command line terminal and run fix_parameters_WINDOWS.bat for Windows, fix_parameters_MAC.sh for MAC OS, fix_parameters_LINUX.sh for Linux.

  10. For Windows, add absolute path of “Formspider\Git\bin” directory to the PATH environment variable of your system.

Installation of Database Components

  1. Connect to the Oracle Database with the SYS user

  2. Open 01_SYS.sql to edit.

  3. Replace all occurrences of @FORMSPIDER_SCHEMA@ to the schema name for Formspider database components.

  4. Replace all occurrences of @FORMSPIDER_PASSWORD@ to the password for Formspider database schema.

  5. Run 01_SYS.sql

  6. Disconnect from SYS

  7. Connect to the database with the Formspider schema that you named on step 3.

  8. Open 02_FORMSPIDER.sql to edit.

  9. Replace all occurrences of @FORMSPIDER_SCHEMA@ to the name of Formspider database schema.

  10. Run 02_FORMSPIDER.sql

  11. Ensure that there are no invalid packages in your Formspider schema.

  12. Create a row in table T_TEMP_APPLICATION.

  13. Copy the contents of FormspiderIDE.xml to this newly created row.

  14. Issue a commit to save this row to the database.

  15. Run 03_FORMSPIDER.sql

  16. Disconnect from FORMSPIDER user.

  17. Connect to the database with SYS user.

  18. Open 04_SYS.sql to edit.

  19. Replace all occurrences of @FORMSPIDER_SCHEMA@ to the name of Formspider database schema.

  20. Replace the two occurrences of @VERSIONCONTROL_HOST@ keyword with the IP address of your Formspider middle tier machine, where Formspider web server and middle tier components are installed. You need to ensure that your middle tier machine is accessible from database machine by checking network and firewall settings of both machines.

  21. For Windows, change the value of “folderSeparator” parameter from ‘/’ to ‘\’.
  22. Run 04_SYS.sql

  23. Disconnect from SYS.

Start Up

  1. For Windows, run Formspider/apache-tomcat-7.0.69/bin/startup.bat
    For Mac OS and Linux, run Formspider/apache-tomcat-7.0.69/bin/startup.sh
  2. Open your browser and type http://[MIDDLE TIER IP ADDRESS]:7997/formspider/main.html?name=FormspiderIDE

Formspider is coming to US

We are opening a branch in US! As part of this effort, I will be in US between Jun 13 – July 4 to meet with organizations and developers who are interested in Formspider.

Formspider offers  interesting opportunities for freelancers, consulting firms, IT Departments and ISV’s. Please get in touch to find out how Formspider can help you grow your business, meet your goals and make it easier to develop cross platform applications.

I’ll be happy to arrange a meeting to talk to you.

Kind Regards,
Yalim K. Gerger
Founder

Mobile Apps with Formspider

Today, we are happy to announce that the first mobile apps built with Formspider Mobile are now in production in Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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We worked with a client from Netherlands to bring the first mobile apps built with Formspider to the market. Here is their story:

The Challenge

PlanMySport is a complete solution for sports clubs to manage their members, lessons, court bookings, club facilities and everything in between. PlanMySport wanted to build a mobile app so that:

  • Members can manage their game schedule
  • Trainers can manage their lessons (take attendance, cancel lessons etc…)
  • Members can stay informed about tournaments, competitions and upcoming club events
  • Members, students and trainers can communicate with each other

calendar

Moreover the new mobile project had the following restrictions:

  • PlanMySport need two apps, one for iOS and one for Android
  • Smart phones with Windows 10 must be supported with a mobile web application
  • The apps must support push notifications
  • The apps must be feature rich yet very easy to use and well designed to distinguish PlanMySport among the competitors

Almost all of the business logic of the current PlanMySport web application is coded with PL/SQL. Even though the web application has tens of thousands of users, thanks to the productivity of PL/SQL the development team is very small (one developer to be precise :-) ).

However, when PlanMySport looked at their options to build mobile apps, they weren’t thrilled. They needed to work on multiple fronts even to build a cross platform hybrid application (i.e. a web application wrapped in a native app shell) . Before Formspider Mobile, as a PL/SQL shop PlanMySport have the the following list of tech stacks to work on to build their hybrid mobile app:

  • SQL and PL/SQL for the back end
  • APEX for session management
  • PL/SQL for transaction management because APEX doesn’t have a transaction layer
  • APEX, HTML, Javascript, CSS for the mobile web application UI development
  • PL/SQL and JavaScript for application logic
  • The Apple technology stack to implement the iOS app shell (no small task by the way), and push notifications
  • The Android technology stack to implement the Android app shell (again not a small task) and push notifications

dashboard

For comparison, PlanMySport competitors have 5-7 developers working on their own mobile apps in active development for months. PlanMySport don’t have the resources for such a big project.

The Solution

Formspider Mobile provided a great solution for almost all of the issues in the PlanMySport mobile app project:

FunctionsFS Mobile Solution
Members can manage their game scheduleFormspider Mobile includes a gorgeous and functionally rich Calendar component
Trainers can manage their lessons (take
attendance, cancel lessons etc...)
Formspider Mobile has built-in transaction management
Members can stay informed about tournaments, competitions and upcoming club events.Formspider Mobile enables developers to build screens using the same syntax as Formspider Desktop.
ChallengesFS Mobile Solution
PlanMySport needs two apps, one for iOS and one for Android.All FS Mobile apps work both on Android and iOS out of the box. PL/SQL developers don’t need to do additional work to support the two platforms.
Smart phones with Windows 10 must be supported at least with a mobile web applicationAll FS Mobile apps work on Windows 10 as mobile web applications.
The apps must support push notifications.FS Mobile has simple, easy to use PL/SQL API’s to enable developers send, receive and process push notifications in their mobile apps.
The apps must be feature rich yet very easy to use and well designed to distinguish PlanMySport among the competitorsFS Mobile comes with a great default, easily customizable CSS which provides a wonderful native look&feel for mobile applications.
Required Skill SetFS Mobile Solution
SQL and PL/SQL for back endFS Mobile supports using SQL and PL/SQL both for back end and application code.
Session Management FS Mobile has built-in database session management features for both stateful and stateless applications. It also manages web sessions seamlessly.
Transaction managementFS Mobile has built-in transaction management capabilities. Developers can easily work with transactions that span multiple screens.
HTML, Javascript, CSS skills for the mobile web application development.No HTML or JavaScript knowledge is needed even to build the most feature rich applications. Some CSS know-how is needed if the developer wants to customize the look&feel of the app.
Know-how of the Apple technology stack to implement the iOS app shell.FS Mobile comes with a ready-to-use native iOS application shell that enables PL/SQL developers to use iOS rich set of features with PL/SQL API’s such as push notifications.
Know-how for the Android technology stack to implement the Android app shell.
FS Mobile comes with a ready-to-use native Android application shell that enables PL/SQL developers to use Android’s rich set of features with PL/SQL API’s such as push notifications.
Other ConsiderationsFS Mobile Solution
Multilingual SupportComes built-in with Formspider Mobile
Source Code Management/Version ControlFS Mobile comes with integrated Git support to manage the entire lifecycle of your application, including its PL/SQL code base.
User Authentication and AuthorizationUse external systems (such as an LDAP repository) or the internal Formspider authentication and authorizations repository.
Professional SupportUnlike APEX, FS Mobile comes with quick, affordable and high quality professional support services from its creators. Working with the engineers who created FS Mobile comes in very handy to jump start a mobile project, design a mobile friendly UI or add complex new features to mobile applications.

Conclusion

club

Formspider Mobile enabled PlayMySport to build both an iOS and an Android app using a single PL/SQL code base. The app also works as a mobile web application in devices with Windows 10 Mobile as well as on all other devices supported by major browsers.

The team consisted of two developers (one PlanMySport developer for back end development and one Formspider developer from our team). We started with nothing more than a Formspider Mobile Beta for iOS and after three months, both iOS and Android applications are now in production.

The Formspider Mobile apps were built using a fraction of the effort, time and budget of the competitors apps and were in production well before them despite a later start.

Even if you are not a member of any club that uses PlanMySport, the apps provide some functionality for logged out users. Go ahead and try them on iOS and on Android.

Formspider Mobile Availability

Formspider Mobile will be released publicly late 2016. However, as you can see from the pictures above, it is quite ready and already has applications in production.

Our boutique consulting arm is accepting mobile projects to build with FS Mobile. If you have a project you want us to develop with you, get in touch.

We offer affordable rates and a high quality service but can only accept a small number of projects at the same time.

Open Source Formspider Demo Application

As an independent consultant, Nicholas Mwaura needed a Formspider demo application so that he can show the best of the product to his potential clients.

However, all the sample applications on the Formspider web site were developer oriented. We had no application online which consultants, IT managers can use to impress other stakeholders with Formspider. (Facepalm)

Nicholas decided to built this demo application himself even though this was going to be the first time he is going to work with Formspider. The tool encouraged him that much.

Think about this for a minute. When we learn a new tool, most of us are happy if we build a Hello World application as our first one. Nicholas built a demo application to demonstrate the best of Formspider. This speaks volumes about his high technical skills and how Formspider empowers Oracle Forms and PL/SQL developers.

You can watch the entire webinar below. The webinar consists of four parts:

1) Introduction to Formspider by me
2) Nicholas Mwaura on Formspider
3) Development of the Demo Appliaction
4) Questions and Answers

Below are the slides Nicholas used during the webinar:

Open Source Demo Application

Nicholas is sharing his work as an open source application with the Formspider community. This is indeed very nice him and we are much indebted to him for his generosity.

You can use the application at this link.

You can download the source code of the application from this link.

If you’d like to contribute to this open source project, here is the project’s GitHub page.

Yalim K. Gerger
Founder

Developing an Application the Formspider Way

Formspider continues to empower freelancers, IT consulting companies, ISV’s and IT Departments all over the world.

On November 24, attend our webinar to watch Professional Consultant Nicholas Mwaura as he talks about his experience with Formspider and shows you how you can build first class applications to impress your prospective customers and end users.

Watch a short demo of the application Nicholas will show you how to build:

During the webinar the following topics will be discussed:

– The importance of Formspider for PL/SQL developers and Oracle customers
– Why are Oracle Forms applications very easy to migrate to Formspider
– Introduction to the demo application
– Building the demo application: How to design the UI, how to work with windows, panels, tabs, trees and various other Formspider components, working with LOV’s, application structure in the database.

At the end of the webinar, the attendees will get priority access to the source code of the demo application.

During the webinar, each attendee will receive a discount offer for Formspider developer licenses! :-)

Sign up to the webinar now!

Oracle Forms to Formspider Migration Webinar Video and Links

Last Tuesday, we hosted a webinar for developers who are interested in migrating their Oracle Forms applications to Formspider. Ridex CTO Andrew Pouckatch talked about how Ridex successfully migrated its clients from Oracle Forms to Formspider. During the webinar, he also built a master detail application with Formspider, a common use case in many Oracle Forms applications.

Don’t worry if you missed it though! Below is a recording of the event.

The webinar consists of six parts:

1) About Gerger, the company behind Formspider.

2) Brief history of Formspider and a short overview of its references and success stories.

3) Formspider Benefits & Features.

4) Ridex success story with Formspider

5) Let’s build an application with Formspider

6) Questions from the Audience (excellent questions from the audience! :-) )

You can watch the webinar below:

Here are the slides we used during the webinar:

You can view the demo application Andrew built during the webinar at this link.

You can download the assets of the demo application from this link.

There is an excellent thread on our Q&A page in which developers who successfully migrated their Oracle Forms applications to Formspider share the best practices they use. We encourage you to read it and jump in to the discussion with your questions and comments.

Please also check out this blog post we published a while ago which puts together the most important resources to start learning Formspider.

Many thanks to Andrew Pouckatch for his excellent presentation and everyone who attended to the webinar.

Ridex succeeds with Formspider

Formspider continues to create new opportunities for freelancers, IT Consulting Firms and ISV’s around the world. There is nothing more pleasing for us than hearing stories of IT companies succeeding with Formspider.

Ridex Ltd. from Russia, is one of them.

The first application Ridex migrated from Oracle Forms to Formspider is the material resource planning application built for AK Group, one of the largest supplier of engineering services in Russia. The application is now in production.

Material Resource Planning Application Migrated to Formspider

After the success of the first migration project, Ridex is now migrating the warehouse management system for RailTransAuto to Formspider. RailTransAuto is the largest railway carrier for automobiles with a fleet of 2500 specialized car-carrying wagons.

Join our webinar on October 27th and learn from Ridex CTO Andrew Pouckatch how you can migrate your Oracle Forms applications to Formspider.

Watch the CEO Sergey Flerko showcase the projects Ridex completed with Formspider below:

Ridex Uses Formspider from Yalim K. Gerger on Vimeo.

Learning Formspider Webinar Video and Slides

Yesterday we hosted a webinar for people who are interested in learning Formspider but could not find the time. Don’t worry if you missed it though! Below is a recording of the event.

The webinar consists of seven parts:

1) About Gerger, the company behind Formspider.

2) Brief history of Formspider and a short overview of its references and success stories.

3) Formspider Benefits & Features.

4) Formspider Architecture

5) Overview of the Formspider IDE

6) Introduction to Formspider Objects and API’s.

7) Let’s build an application with Formspider

During the webinar, we also answered a lot of questions coming from the audience.

You can watch the webinar below:

Getting Started with Formspider from Yalim K. Gerger on Vimeo.

And here are the slides we used during the webinar:

Getting started with Formspider from Yalim K. Gerger

You can download the assets of the sample application we built from this Dropbox link.

Please also check out this blog post we published a while ago which puts together the most important resources to start learning Formspider.

Many thanks to everyone who attended to the webinar.

Formspider 1.9 is available for download

Today, we are very excited to announce the availability of Formspider 1.9. Formspider 1.9 has many new features that make building applications with Formspider better than ever.

Beautiful New Themes

FS 1.9 includes six beautiful new themes with modern, flat design.

Stateful Database Connections

With FS 1.9 applications can now run in a stateful database connection. This enables Formspider developers to use many features of the Oracle Database in their applications such as global variables and global temporary tables.

Moreover, this feature makes migrating existing Oracle Forms applications to Formspider much easier. The code base you’ve worked on for so long assuming a stateful database connection can now be reused in Formspider. Find out more about how you can start using stateful database connections feature in your Formspider applications here. (Hint: It is a single line of code).

ROWID Support for DML

FS 1.9 supports Oracle ROWID so that developers can easily issue updates and deletes to database objects with multi column primary keys.

Dynamic Where Clauses

No more writing superfluous predicates in where clauses to compensate for bind variables with null values. Formspider creates the optimal where clauses for your queries to make them run faster.

Search Screen Wizard

In FS 1.9, the Formspider IDE comes with a new wizard which helps developers to create efficient search screens quickly.

Check out the change log for other new features, enhancements, API’s and bug fixes in FS 1.9.

Download Formspider 1.9 now.

For more information on Formspider 1.9, browse the slide deck or the watch the webinar recording below:

New Features in Formspider 1.9 from Yalim K. Gerger

Formspider 1.9 Event Video and Links

In a special virtual event this week, we introduced the new features in the upcoming version of Formspider. It was the most crowded online event we have ever done. Several attendees could not even find a virtual seat to sit on. :-)

Many thanks to everyone who attended. It’s been a blast to share the result of our work with you and get your invaluable feedback.

You can watch the recording of the webinar below:

Introducing Formspider 1.9 from Yalim K. Gerger on Vimeo.

You can view the slides of the presentation below:

New Features in Formspider 1.9 from Yalim K. Gerger