Home > Articles > Data > Oracle

Why Use Oracle Developer?

📄 Contents

  1. Criteria for Oracle Developer Applications
  2. Summary
The purpose of this article by Matthew Bennett is to compare and contrast application development tools and to tell you which software projects are best addressed by using Oracle Developer.
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

One of my favorite sayings is, "When the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat all of your problems like nails." I don't know who to credit the saying to, but have found it to be very accurate for software application development. Software developers are more apt to use tools that are familiar rather than experiment with tools that might make the job easier and/or more efficient. The purpose of this article is to compare and contrast application development tools, and discuss which software projects are best addressed by Oracle Developer.

My first experience to software development came in the late 1970s with the BASIC programming language. It was useful for teaching simple programming constructs, but was difficult to do any real work. Later, while attending high school in Silicon Valley, I had the chance to take a Pascal programming class. One of my assignments involved creating a simple database program using records. During my senior year, my dad got me a job at Oracle Corporation, and I was immersed in the database world.

While at Oracle, I worked in the telesales department and had the pleasure of learning the earliest versions of Oracle Developer. There was a huge difference in creating running applications. While it took me a good three months to write a simple database application using Pascal, it only took an hour using Oracle's development tools. As obvious as that example may seem, I continually see companies or departments try to do things the hard way.

In the same way that development tools have evolved over the years, so has the method of deploying applications. My first applications were written using a Digital Equipment Corporation VT100 terminal talking to a host computer over a serial port connection. There was no such thing as a graphical user interface (GUI), and a PC resembled something that looked like three refrigerators and two dishwashers stacked next to each other. Times have changed since then. Most people wouldn't even think of using a computer without a GUI, and PCs now fit in the palm of your hand. While a dumb terminal connected to a server is still a valid method of application deployment, there are several others, such as client/server and the Web, which are better-suited for given environments.

Criteria for Oracle Developer Applications

Oracle Developer is not the tool to use for all software development projects. One of the demos Oracle shipped with the first GUI release of Forms 4.5 (one of the predecessors to Oracle Developer) was a chess game. While this showed what was possible, another development tool would have been better suited for the task. Therefore, it is important to qualify what types of applications are best created using Oracle Developer. Oracle Developer is geared toward applications that do the following:

  • Rely on the Oracle database
  • Use a large number of forms and reports
  • Span multiple platforms (that is, Windows and Unix)
  • Use multiple deployment methods

Oracle Developer should be the first tool evaluated for any application that relies on the Oracle database. While another tool may turn out to be a better choice, Oracle Developer should be considered. The other three criteria act as a further reinforcement that Oracle Developer is the right choice for the application.

Applications that Rely on the Oracle Database

When we talk about applications that rely on the Oracle database, we mean those that use Oracle extensively. While Oracle Developer can be used with other ODBC databases, it is not recommended as the primary development tool, regardless of what the Oracle documentation says. Oracle Developer is meant to be used with an Oracle database, and has some built-in features that dramatically cut down development time.

When Microsoft's Visual Basic first gained popularity back in the early 1990s, a lot of developers decided it would make a great database application development tool. Several third-party companies even came out with products to make database connections easier. However, when it came time to develop anything but the simplest single table for, the complexity of the application code became hideous. A simple master-detail form required a lot of extra coding (and therefore a lot of testing) to make sure the code was correct.

Oracle Developer was built from the beginning to interact seamlessly with the Oracle database. Master-detail forms are created using as few steps as possible. This results in fairly complex application elements being developed quickly and efficiently.

Applications that Use a Large Number of Forms and Reports

Oracle Developer is an efficient tool for developing database applications that use a large number of forms and reports. Forms are best described as user-modifiable data screens. Forms are generally used to modify or add data to the database, while reports are used to simply display the data. If you are building an application that uses one or two forms and no reports, the cost to acquire Oracle Developer may not offset the efficiency derived from the development tool. However, if you have an application that utilizes hundreds of forms and/or reports, the time savings alone will justify the cost of the tool as well as any learning curve required to use it.

A note should be made about taking the entire scope of the application into account before deciding for or against Oracle Developer. I have seen many projects start out small with only a few forms and reports, only to have it explode when the users discover what is possible. This could mean the application will need to get rewritten, and sometimes that is the best solution. However, if there is a possibility that the application will grow well beyond the original scope, you may want to consider Oracle Developer from the beginning.

Applications that Span Multiple Platforms

Oracle was one of the first software companies to embrace cross-platform products. Back in 1986, I worked at Oracle, modifying their Leads tracking system. I would do all of the development and testing on my PC and then upload the finished application to a VAX 11/750 for the telesales department to use. Even if Microsoft Windows seems to be the platform of choice for most users, Oracle has continued to support other application environments as well. This support extends to both Unix dumb and X-terminals. While many developers will not need this added benefit, those that do will need it badly.

Applications that Use Multiple Deployment Methods

The Web has dramatically changed the computing world. During the past 20 years, we have seen the computing environment move from centralized mainframes and minis to client/server and now to the Web. Centralized mainframes and minis had the advantage of being centrally administered. Then came client/server, in which everyone had a nice graphical environment that made applications much more user-friendly. The Web combines the best of those with the added benefit of platform agnosticism. Applications no longer need to be copied to each individual client machine each time a bug is fixed. This has a tremendous savings in application-maintenance costs.

While the Web is definitely turning into the deployment method of choice, there are still many environments that rely on directly connected dumb terminals or the client/server deployment method. Factory floors with applications that don't require a complex GUI are prime examples of situations in which a cost-saving dumb terminal is a better solution than using a loaded PC running a browser. While the case can be made for using a network computer, we have yet to see the costs match those of a good old fashion dumb terminal. That, coupled with the fact that there is often no room for the mouse, leads me to believe that the dumb terminal is not going to completely die any time soon.

There is also the case to be made for continuing use of the client/server model. Web connections are generally stateless, so it is difficult to determine when a transaction begins and when it ends. For this reason, the client/server model still has merit and is found in use.

One of the advantages of Oracle Developer is that the same application can be deployed in all these environments. If you know you will be deploying the application on a dumb terminal, you will not be able to use some of the nifty graphical elements such as pull-down list items or event triggers caused by mouse actions. However, that is easily taken into account at the beginning. Otherwise, no coding changes are required to deploy the application in the various environments. I find this particularly useful when I develop the application in client/server mode and then deploy using the Web.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020