First of all, the fact that it is written in Java doesn't necessarily mean it will run on all the Java-
supported platforms. Indeed, as of version 3.5, it is restricted to just a few: namely, Windows,
Solaris and Linux (Red Hat 6.2). It provides the following features:
•JNLP-compliant, so Web Start can be used for launching the deployed applications.
• Support for native libraries taking advantage of the Java Native Interface (JNI).
•JRE bundling, for installing the JRE when there are no pre-existing JREs locally
•Final format options. The installer can be obtained as a Java class file, Java applet, “.exe”
executable on a Windows platform; or as shell scripts for Solaris and Linux installations.
For a general discussion of this kind of technology, see the discussions in the previous chap-
Java Deployment for Existing Solutions
Java and the Internet took existing software solutions by storm, too. It would be too lengthy
even to mention the many Java-extensions available on the market for the various software
appliances. Instead, we will focus on what Java implied for the deployment of database prod-
ucts. We will examine Oracle's Forms solution, just to select one, but all the major DB vendors
provide similar competitive solutions as well.
The following case is representative of a certain class of “shallow-enabled” client porting of
the Java technology that prevailed as one of the main usages of the applet technology in enter-
prise client applications.
Oracle's Forms Server
Java can be useful as a thin client in order to integrate server-side established technologies
such as the Oracle database application. This is done using the Forms Server architecture via
applets running in a common Web browser.
This technology includes a browser plug-in (much the same as the Sun's Plug-In technology)
called JInitiator, It offers more up-to-date JRE environments on the client platform where the
Oracle applets are run.
This is a typical example of a certain use of the Java technology that is very common when
server-side established solutions need to be ported to the Web. Despite the fact that JInitiator
and the Forms Server technology can be run from the Internet, their most common use is in
corporate intranets—to access centralized data stored in Oracle server databases. Here, we are
interested in showing the client-side deployment aspects of this and similar technologies.