Group: Oracle Forms

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From the FSF High Priority Projects list:

We need a compatible free software replacement for Oracle Forms that works with free SQL databases. This software would allow people currently using the proprietary Oracle DB to more easily migrate to a free software database system, without having to rewrite all of their user-interface applications.

Proposed projects

GNU Enterprise

GNU Enterprise (GNUe) is a meta-project which is part of the overall GNU Project. GNUe's goal is to develop enterprise-class data-aware applications as Free software. GNUe is itself comprised of several subprojects: Developer Tools, ERP Packages and the Community.


Kexi is an integrated data management application, designed to fill the gap between spreadsheets and database solutions requiring more sophisticated development. Kexi can be used for designing and implementing databases, data inserting and processing, and performing queries.

The impetus for developing Kexi came from a noticeable lack of applications having the features of Microsoft Access, FoxPro, Oracle Forms or FileMaker while at the same time being powerful, inexpensive, open-standards-driven and sufficiently portable.

Kexi is a part of the KDE project, and runs on GNU/Linux, *BSD, Unix, Mac OS X, Solaris and MS Windows operating systems. It can run with any window manager or desktop (e.g. KDE, GNOME).

More information (Wikipedia).

   > One question -- does your program actually read forms written in the
   > Oracle Forms language? That's an important part of what we're looking
   > for, I think.
   Such a migration option would be relatively easy (compared to any other tool I have
   heard about) because Kexi formats are XML-based, operations are
   client-server or client-middleware-server -oriented, and the GUI
   framework and abstraction layer is one of the best and based
   explicitly on Free Software (Qt toolkit, core KDE libraries - no KDE
   desktop required for operations).
   That said, Kexi does not share 1-to-1 specs with Oracle Forms, and
   does not have migration option for these types of forms yet.
   Regarding Oracle support in Kexi, there is already Oracle driver that
   enables migrating of data from Oracle to Free Software RDBMS, e.g.
   >>>1. But the Oracle driver (you mean cxtools?) is dependend on 
   >>>(proprierity) Oracle libraries. Isn't there a free software driver to connect to Oracle?
   >>>2. I think GNU Enterprise is a better startpoint for 
   >>>developing then Kexi. In principle it just means to have a trigger mapping from Oracle forms 
   >>>triggers to GNU Enterprise Forms triggers, and build a converter for Oracle forms FMT (Text 
   >>>format source which can be created from the binary-source FMB files) to the XML GNU 
   >>>Enterprise Forms input format. But you will loose some functionality there, as GNU 
   >>>Enterprise Forms does not map every Oracle Forms trigger. 
   >>>Robheus 08:32, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
   > How hard would be to write an engine for Kexi that would enable 
   > people to use with their existing Oracle Forms? 
   --johns 11:53, 13 March 2009 (EDT)
   jstaniek: As in the case of MS Access import, the devil is in the details.
   I'd even say "80% of the features can take 20% of the time" :) 
   The task is not only with the translation process - we need to add 
   the features that exist in Oracle Forms and not in Kexi 
   (or any other Free Software offerings). 
   As you probably also know from " vs MS Office" saga,
   missing a few percent of features make people stop even considering 
   the switch.
   But the potential is here, and many Free Software/Open Source supporters 
   do invest in integrated and well extensible tools like Kexi.
   To be clear, I am unable to push the Oracle Forms migration plugin forward,
   so we need people dedicated exactly to this task. 
   From my past experience I guess, it would not be too hard to find someone.
   > Could I get some details on how to start working on the project...
   > What kind of knowledge do I need to start contributing to it..
   > question by Robheus 20:15, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
   > Does the client need to be source (and/or binary) compatible with Oracle forms?
   > What about other client tools (SQL*Plus, SQL*Loader, Reportwriter, Designer)?
   > Why not create a project to make a compatible Oracle database?
   >> Well we have of course PostgreSQL, but while similar with Oracle dabatase, it isn't 
   >> compatible. Oracle aquired already too many open source databases (Berkely DB, InnoDB and 
   >> MySQL), some real competion by a compatible Oracle database would be quite good I guess.
   >> Suggested project name: Elcaro.
   >> Note: There seems to be already a project (licensed under FOSS) named 'elcaro' that aims
   >> to be an Oracle Development tool for GNU/Linux. See: elcaro

Tiki Trackers

Tiki Trackers

Using Trackers, you can create forms for collecting data and make reports from that data. Trackers can combine structured information collected from users; the feature is a powerful, flexible tool. Originally, trackers were used to collect and manage bugs. They evolved into an open-ended system where you can track any kind of user input in a customizable form. Each tracker has its own mini database. Trackers operate as a standalone feature, and can be fully integrated within wiki pages. Users with the appropriate permissions can devise trackers to collect any kind of information they want. Combining trackers and the wiki makes Tiki a Structured Wiki.

Think of Tiki Trackers as a Free / Libre / Open Source and web-based alternative of Microsoft Access or FileMaker Pro. In development since Tiki 1.5 (released in 2003), Tiki Trackers have been developed for well over a decade and have over 40 field types:

There is no importer from Oracle Forms but this could be developed.


GNU Enterprise Kexi Tiki Trackers
Actively maintained and developed? Yes, last release was 26-12-2009 Yes, since 2003 Yes, since 2003
Stable release? ? (windows current version tested, but not bug free) Yes, 1.6.x Yes, latest version is 15.x LTS
Organization behind the project GNU Enterprise KDE e.V. Tiki Software Community Association
Main programming language Python C++ PHP
Licensing GPL (yes, but the project depends on CXtools which requires non-free Oracle libraries) (L)GPL LGPL

People working on the project

  • --johns 13:06, 8 December 2008 (EST)
  • GNUe: Alfredo Krieg, 18:15, 2 March 2009 (GMT -6)
  • Kexi: Jaroslaw Staniek --jstaniek (staniek @ kde . org)
  • Vivek : 13th may 2009 userid:
  • Nick Saika (nesv) 13 April 2010