Impact of Forms 12.2.1.3.0 RSF Change on Forms Development and Deployment - PDE-PEP006 Encoded Program Unit Has an Unknown Format (Doc ID 2256898.1)

Last updated on SEPTEMBER 07, 2017

Applies to:

Oracle Forms - Version 12.2.1.0.0 and later
Information in this document applies to any platform.

Symptoms

Forms 12.2.1.3.0 will ship with an upgraded version of the Required Support Files (RSFs). Previous versions of 12c (12.2.1.0.0, 12.2.1.1.0, 12.2.1.2.0) shipped with 11.2.0.3 RSFs.  Forms 12.2.1.3.0 will ship with 12.1.0.2.0 RSF files. This version of the RSFs will offer a number of improvements (stability and otherwise) to the product.

With the upgrade of the RSFs to a 12.1 version, there will be changes in the way 12.2.1.3 Forms will behave related to earlier versions of Forms.

Additionally, 12.2.1.3.0 will have new features that previous versions did not.  This is an additional reason why it will not be compatible with earlier 12c runtime environments.

Development

Once a pre-12.2.1.3.0 12c Form is brought into Forms Builder it will be upgraded to 12.2.1.3 and the RSFs will be upgraded to 12.1.0.2.0. What this means is that the upgraded 12.2.1.3.0 Form cannot be re-opened in an earlier version of 12c Forms Builder.  (One can convert the upgraded Form to xml using the xml converter for 12.2.1.3.0 and back to 12.2.1.2.0 with the 12.2.1.2.0 xml converter to resolve this but this is not supported).

For example, a simple 12.2.1.3.0 Form with a button trigger with a “message(‘hello world’);” in it will core dump when attempting to compile it using the 12.2.1.2.0 frmcmp_batch.sh utility.
In the 12.2.1.2.0 builder, this error will occur: “PDE-PEP006 Encoded Program Unit has an unknown format.”

Note. This won’t necessarily apply to very simple Forms with no triggers. For example, a simple wizard created 12.2.1.3.0 emp fmb opened in Forms Builder 12.2.1.2.0 will normally show no issues.

Deployment

Copying Binaries to Another Machine

Although this has never been supported, it is not uncommon for customers to copy their binaries (fmx, mmx, plx) to a different machine of the same OS and run them there as long as the deployed version of Forms is in the same version family. See <Note 1300396.1>. Because of the upgraded RSFs in 12.2.1.3.0 and also the fact that new features have been added to 12.2.1.3.0, in the majority of cases copying binaries (fmx, mmx, plx) to a different machine of the same OS will cause unexpected, negative behavior. As documented in the following note, customers should regenerate their forms on the target OS from the source files (fmb,mmb, pll).

<Note 299938.1>  Moving Forms Applications From One Platform Or Machine To Another.

Bottom Line: For 12.2.1.3.0,  the Development and Deployment environments both be 12.2.1.3.0. If customer's need to maintain both 12.2.1.3.0 and pre-12.2.1.3.0 versions/environments, strict configuration management measures must be implemented to keep the versions separate in order to avoid the issues mentioned in this note.  The following are some demonstration scenarios that show example puzzling behaviors that may occur if versions are mixed:

Example 1: Create a simple 12.2.1.3.0 form on Windows (no triggers) and add a new 12.2.1.3.0 feature – Row Band Frequency, for example. If one generates the .fmx and moves the fmx to a 12.2.1.2.0 Windows machine the form will run with no errors. However, Row Band Frequency will not work since it is a 12.2.1.3.0 specific feature.

Example 2: Create a button trigger with a simple message(‘hello world’); in it.  Generate the 12.2.1.3.0 fmx on windows and move the .fmx to 12.2.1.2.0 on windows. The form will run and the button will appear but will NOT execute.

 

Cause

Sign In with your My Oracle Support account

Don't have a My Oracle Support account? Click to get started

My Oracle Support provides customers with access to over a
Million Knowledge Articles and hundreds of Community platforms