Oracle Forms is part of what is now called Developer 6i. This is Oracle's tool for developing the GUI front end, or screens—what customers see on their client PCs. Behind the forms is the Oracle database, including all the tables, security, and so forth that you have already built. Forms is your tool for presenting the data to your clients in a graphical, friendly way.
With Developer 6i, Forms now has a pretty nifty wizard:
This wizard greatly streamlines the process of creating a good-looking screen. Here's an example of a simple screen, produced with the wizard, that shows each person in the STUDENT table, and automatically shows the first course that each person took by taking that information from the TEST_HISTORY table.
Some people have taken more than one course, but our example shows only the first one. Using Forms 6i, we are able, in a matter of a few seconds, to change the form to list ten courses at a time, so the screen now looks like this:
Look at Oracle Forms this way: It's your chance to show off your artistic talent, make your users happy, and have something unique to show for your efforts. Even more, with Oracle 8i and 9i and Developer 6i, you can now move your forms into the Web environment, giving you the best of the client/server world and the Web world.
Oracle Reports is your tool for publishing reports from your database. As with Oracle Forms, you can also deploy your reports over the Web. Along with being fully integrated with Oracle Web, Reports comes with quite a bit of pizzazz. Besides creating standard columnar or tabular reports, you caninclude charts and graphs using the Developer Graphics Builder. You also have several other powerful tools, such as Procedure Builder to add PL/SQL commands, and Query Builder to add queries from your database. Furthermore, you can easily turn your report files into XML (Extensible Markup Language) documents with a couple of quick, simple steps. And just as with Forms, you can add video, audio, or images to your report. Oracle Reports has taken us many steps beyond the old green-bar computer printouts that used to be delivered twice a day!
As with Forms, there is a wizard to assist:
Here's a report we created in just a couple of minutes using the wizard:
If we wanted to send out this report as an XML, HTML (HyperText Markup Language), or other type of file, we would just select File | Generate to File:
And here's what the report looks like in a browser:
There are some good reference materials available; please take a look at them. For now, I hope that I've gotten you interested in the power of Oracle Reports.