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
  • Esmond

    we are an Oracle Forms shop trying now to migrate our forms, actually re-write, in either APEX or FS.

    Can you please tell us whether FormSpider developers should know
    (a.) JavaScript
    (b.) CSS
    (c.) HTML

    APEX developers should know all of the above 3 technologies.

    If FS developers don’t need to know the above 3, it could be the reason we will choose it.

    Appreciate if you could let us know.

  • http://www.gerger.co Yalim K. Gerger

    Hi Esmond,

    Great question.
    a) JavaScript
    No. You don’t need to know JavaScript at all.
    b) HTML
    No. You don’t need to know HTML, either.
    c) CSS
    If you like one of the default look&feel’s we provide, you don’t need to know CSS. You can modify basic things like font, backgroundcolor etc… without CSS. If you’d like to change the look&feel a little bit more, we help our customers with CSS. Basic CSS knowledge will be enough and we’ll guide you if needed.

    Moreover, the way FS works is very similar to Forms. So it will be very easy for you to start coding.

    Kind Regards,
    Yalim

  • Esmond

    Thanks Yalim. I think we have a good idea now.

  • Mike

    Dimitry, we are evaluating FormsSpider (with APEX) as a development tool for our future projects.

    We want to convert our existing .Net C# application (Windows desktop Application) to a web-application.

    Our data model is an EAV one.

    So, to put a long story short, can we create a “dynamic” web page like described blow. Not in the traditional “dynamic” sense but like this:

    So, we have a table (this is the simplified version) with all the screen names. This is called SCREEN_TABLE. This has one row for each screen we see in the Windows application.

    So, for example for the customer screen we have like this:
    Pk, screen_id, description
    100, cus_screen, “Customer Details”.

    All the fields for this screen is stored in the detail to this table called SCREEN_FIELDS.
    It has
    PK, screen_table_pk, field, data_type, label, seq
    1 , 100, cus_name, ‘C’, ‘Customer Name’, 1
    2 , 100, cus_age, ‘N’, ‘Age’, 2
    3 , 100, dob, ‘D’, ‘Date of Birth’, 3

    Now, when the user clicks the link to the customer details screen, FormSpider should read these 2 tables and construct the page and show it to the user.

    If we want to add a new field, all we have to do is add the data (row) to the SCREEN_FIELDS table. Then FormSpider will show the new field in the screen at the right place, WITHOUT ANY CODING. I think these kinds of screens are also called “flex fields”, also called “data-driven” applications.

    Is this type of development possible using FormSpider?

    If so how can we do it?? (At a high level explanation is OK).

    Thanks
    Mike

  • http://www.gerger.co Yalim K. Gerger

    Hi Mike,

    The short answer to your question is: Yes.

    The slightly longer answer: The data model you described above with two tables is pretty much exactly the data model of Formspider. To put it in a very simplified way, Formspider has a SCREEN table and a SCREEN field table. So you can use Formspider’s PL/SQL API’s to add, remove fields from an application.

    Formspider has an IDE where you can define a screen using XML notation but in the end this XML is converted to rows in tables.

    I’d be happy to talk to you in details about the Formspider data model and how it stores application meta data.

    Kind Regards,
    Yalim Gerger
    Founder