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Forms Automated Testsystem with Forms Technology and PL/SQL only

Frank Hoffmann
Frank Hoffmann Member Posts: 768 Gold Badge
edited February 24 in Forms

Hi All,

we had this discussion a long time ago. I have a customer that needs to provide an automated testsystem by a government requirement. All the tools on the market I have analysed so far (Auratest, Smartbear, Loadrunner, ORACLE ATS) work by recording sessions and replay with some options of modification. I have talked with a couple of managers that run large Forms solutions and they confessed, that they need a test system but were not able to reach the requirements. Some test the application covering 10-15% with UTPLSQL but need a do a huge effort for this. Insurance companies started with some tools mentioned above but were not able to cover it because of the complexity.

As I go more and more into Forms "NOCODE" solutions I trust in the very fast Buildins in Forms that allow to read the values of various items and change them in a couple of milliseconds.

My Idea is to record sessions in Forms during a live user session into the database and make them to replay later. To read prompts and items and values out of Forms into the database and get values and workflows database driven. Goal is a minimum work for the test management and a high performance.

In my case I calculated at least 50.000 testcases for 475 modules. It is impossible to record this testcases hand by hand. I believe in the extremly fast C program on the serverside (frmweb) and the unbeatable speed to access the DB via SQLNET. In former test cases I was surprised by the the speed of loops and screen automation within forms. Changing a complete block with 40 items (Prompts, toolstips, values, position) was performed in 2 roundtrips (20ms).

Before I start with a POC here the question:

Did anyone do a solution like this before or heard from a large Forms customer that does mass tests with Oracle Forms? Are there solutions like this on the market (Forms+Database only) - and are there experiences and known limitations?

I want to start Forms with a testing parameter and start the testautomation with Formspackages and Formsbuildins within Forms and write all test results into a db test repository.

Any comments or hints would be very welcome!!

warm regards,


@Michael Ferrante-Oracle at the time you worked for the NASA - did they have a testsystem for their Forms applications? Do you know of a test system that ORACLE uses for their own EBS Forms solution?



  • Michael Ferrante-Oracle
    Michael Ferrante-Oracle Member Posts: 6,490 Employee

    @Frank Hoffmann

    Generally speaking, any test system must start with a recording or set of instructions that indicate what to do. A good testing system, in my opinion would be one that does not require any code be added to the application(s), even if the code is added automatically. Adding ANY code to an application, even if just one line alters performance and could destabilize the application.

    Regarding EBS, they use a variety of tools, one of which is Oracle Application Test Suite (OATS). Unfortunately, this tool is being phased out. We will continue to use it internally, but it will not be available to the public anymore.

    I do agree that there is a gap with regard to availability of good, yet inexpensive testing tools for Java based front-ends like Forms. Recently, I don't recall who but someone in this Forum suggested "AutoIt". I personally have never used it so can't speak for it, but if it actually works with Forms, it might be a good solution for smaller requirements.

    Here's another I just recently found. Again, I have not personally tested it so have no idea if it will work with Forms or is any good. However, it does seem useful.

    If you plan to dream up your own testing solution, my suggestions include some of the following:

    1. It should be light weight and have a small disk and memory footprint.
    2. Keeping in line with #1, it should not have a database dependency. Although the database can offer some powerful features and a good place to store data, requiring a DB means more licensing implications (cost), more overhead, more complexity, etc. If "storing" data is believed necessary, it should be file based and associated with the application. By using file based, everything can be mostly portable (if designed properly) to completely unrelated environments (if necessary).
    3. Related to #2, some applications, or at least some modules in an application may not be associated with a database (i.e. ON-LOGON NULL). Although this may seem rare, it does occur. If the testing tool requires the use of a database then this set of modules cannot be tested unless a database is available. Also, if you were a service provider and a customer asked if you would come run some tests for them, do you really want to install objects in their database if it is the case that when you are done testing you will be removing your testing software? That seems risky.
    4. The testing tool should offer a UI. Although the real power geeks might think it's cool to write scripts and code, the reality is that this is about business. Time is money. If a test script can be created by simply dragging and dropping, you likely can create an entire test suite for an enterprise in the time it would take a script writer to write the script for a single module. Again, time is money. This is why "low code" and AI are becoming more and more popular.

    Obviously these are just my personal opinions and I'm sure some people will debate them, which is fine.

  • Frank Hoffmann
    Frank Hoffmann Member Posts: 768 Gold Badge


    thank for your helpful suggestions. As I strongly believe in the power of Oracle Forms I want to record in Forms with Forms and write the events into the database. For the testcases I would make another form to maintain and run the testcases. But I will do a proof of concept first to see how far I get with the forms buildins. But I need a storage place also for documentation (don't hit me - I take reports for this). I will take the database for this.

    So the first attempt will be a solution that covers the requirements of the customer. Nice challenge.


  • Michael Ferrante-Oracle
    Michael Ferrante-Oracle Member Posts: 6,490 Employee

    Always love a good challenge. Good luck!

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