Hi Formspider Team!

First of all I've have to say that after evaluating your product for a few days I'm very impressed. It's so easy in design and usability compared to Oracle ADF, particular for developers with PL/SQL background.

Our company develops and sell a warehouse management application with Oracle Forms. We're on the way to migrate the application to another front end (several hundred dialogs), but keeping the million lines of PL/SQL code. I would like to ask the following questions:

  1. Our Forms dialogs are managed with SVN, we've several versions of a dialog and also customer specific branches. How can I establish a version control with formspider if the application is stored in the database and the module concept in formspider is currently not very distinct?
  2. Beside the forms dialogs we've have a lot of dialogs on mobile devices (e.g. handheld terminals with Windows CE and mobile terminals mounted on forklifts). This environment is HTML based and we had a lot of effort for the error handling because a wireless lan connection is not always reliable. This for example includes the automated repeating of a http request after a timeout and the recognition of multiple requests on the server side. Because your communication between the client and the server is managed internally how does formspider behave if the connection is not always reliable?
  3. I've already learned that a formspider application is stateless and so we can't count on global variables in PL/SQL packages (which we currently use). I assume that you use JDBC connection pooling. The api_session is your alternative solution but do you have or plan to have more control on the used database session for the use of global variables?
  4. With a Interactive Report I'm able to configure grid items but there is no option to save the changes. Do you plan to add this feature (save changes per user) in the future?
  5. Something like the ADF af:query component with personalized saved searches and configurable items would be nice. Any plans to implement this?
  6. Do you have a feature roadmap?
  7. Do you offer on site trainings in Germany?


asked 28 Mar '13, 10:43

Frank's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Hi Frank,

Thank you for your kind words. :-). You asked some very good questions. I will try to answer them one by one:

How can I establish a version control with formspider?

There are two answers to this question. First one is what you can do currently and the second one is what you will be able to do.

Currently, you can extract your screens from the Formspider IDE using the File-->Export utility from the IDE menu bar and place this file to any source control utility you use. Formspider also tracks every change made to the panels in the History tab. For your PL/SQL code you can continue to do whatever you do now. We understand that this is not enough. Therefore we are working on integrating Formspider with Git.

Once this completes, you will be able to seamlessly manage your Git repository from the Formspider IDE with point and click screens. We are also integrating Git to the Oracle Database, so you will also put your PL/SQL code to Git and be able to manage it with PL/SQL API’s.

Unfortunately, I cannot commit to a delivery date for this. We only commit to delivery dates when working with our customers. I can tell you though the PL/SQL integration is about 70% done and the Formspider IDE integration is about 30% done.

I completely understand how important source control management is, especially in your situation. I also think that this will matter much less during the beginning of your Formspider project. It will become more and more important as you get closer to production. I am confident that Formspider source control will already be completed by the time it matters to you. So, I don’t think this should prevent you from starting.

How does formspider behave if the connection is not always reliable?

Well, that’s actually quite easy to try. :-). Build a small app. Run it. Turn off wi-fi or unplug the LAN cable. Do something in the app. Put the cable back on or turn on the wi-fi. See what happens. :-)

We have built-in solutions for the use cases you described. The Formspider app will keep trying to reconnect at certain intervals. The server also keeps tracks of the incoming requests and does not process the same request twice etc... So Formspider should do the right thing without you doing any additional work.

Do you have or plan to have more control on the used database session for the use of global variables?

In order for you to use package globals, we need to update the Formspider middle tier so that every user session works stateful i.e. uses the same database session. Yes, this can be done.

With a Interactive Report I'm able to configure grid items but there is no option to save the changes.

This is coming in the next 4-6 weeks. Stay tuned.

Any plans to implement something similar to ADF af:query component?

I don’t know what this component does. I don’t have access to JDeveloper where I am right now. I’ll take a look at ADF over the weekend and get back to you about this.

Do you have a feature roadmap?

Yes we do. You will see us deliver Formspider for Mobile Web, iOS (native) and Android (native). We will deliver a drag and drop GUI Designer. As mentioned above, we will integrate Formspider with Git. We will also implement reusable libraries in Formspider.

The roadmap should be mostly completed by the end of 2014. The order of implementation of features or changes in the roadmap depend on our customers. We work with them very closely and prioritize the list of the things we will deliver next accordingly to ensure the success of the projects they are working on. In general here is the way we prioritize what to deliver:

1) Requests from customers with professional support accounts 2) Requests from customers who purchased a license 3) Requests from the user community

Do you offer on site training in Germany?

Yes. :-)

I hope this helps. Thanks again for the excellent questions. I think this will help many Formspider users out there.

Kind Regards, Yalim


answered 29 Mar '13, 05:22

Yalim%20K.%20Gerger's gravatar image

Yalim K. Gerger ♦♦
accept rate: 20%

edited 29 Mar '13, 05:26

Hi Yalim,

Some of these questions had been in my mind as well. Good, this is asked and answered. Stateful sesseion. This feature is very important for converting a running oracle forms project into formspider. Such projects have already been using global package variables which became useless in formspider. Re-coding is the only solution which we are doing now. This is very costly both money wise and time wise. Keeping the session stateful and reconnecting any lost session as you currently do is a better option. In fact large number of installations will be using LAN connecitons. Continued..

(29 Mar '13, 22:07) George

Also, I know many companies using Oracle forms product operating from multiple location using ADSL lines. That means they are keeping the sessions stateful. My opinion: Keep the session stateful and reconnect if and when the session is lost.

ROADMAP: Your roadmap should be always available on your website. This boosts the developer spirit as he becomes aware of the new features planed. Further, this helps him to avoid coding for features that are already on the way.


(29 Mar '13, 22:22) George
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Asked: 28 Mar '13, 10:43

Seen: 7,482 times

Last updated: 29 Mar '13, 22:22

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