Desupport of Java Applet Plugin – is my Forms Application at risk?

Desupport of Java Applet Plugin – is my Forms Application at risk?

February 8, 2016

There is a lot of noise on the internet about the desupport of the Java Browser Plugin, which means that applets will no longer run in browsers. While the plugin support was available for more than a decade, it seems the security issues around it are causing a lot of trouble and the major browser vendors have decided to take actions. This varies from browser to browser, so let’s see what is the situation with each of them:

Google Chrome:

The official page confirms that Chrome v45 will no longer support NPAPI which is the plugin, responsible for launching Java Applets. As Oracle Forms are usually launched as Java Applets, the desupport of NPAPI will be a problem. However, the official Java website continues and also notes that Java Web Start is still supported.

It is good to know the main difference between Java Applets and Java Web Start. While both of them are launched via browser, Applets are capable of interacting with the browser (and depend on plugins), instead, the Java Web Start applications do not interact with the browser and do not rely on any browser plugins or integrations after its start.

Mozilla Firefox:

The official Mozilla page confirms that NPAPI plugin will be supported in Firefox by the end of 2016. This means Applets will not be running in Firefox, Mozilla will only continue to support the NPAPI plugin for Adobe Flash Player.

Internet Explorer:

Since IE7, all Applets are rendered using ActiveX controls, instead of NPAPI plugin. Microsoft says there are no plans to desupport anything, which means Applets should continue to work even in newer versions of IE.

Shall I take any actions:

If you really want to use the latest Chrome and Firefox browser, one thing you can do is to update your Forms 11 configuration and run the Forms application as Java Web start application, instead of Applet based one. You can find 1 useful link in the resources section.

Otherwise, you may continue to use your Forms application as Applets, but apply strict policy on browser versioning and make sure not a single user updates their Chrome/Firefox to the latest one.

Last but not least, as an Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle ADF and Java consultant, I will strongly advice you to take steps towards migration to a newer technology, which will make your application more competitive on the market.



Todor Gigilev

Having entrepreneurial and business knowledge, I am eager to help innovative companies and startups to build their sales strategy and business model, improve their value proposition and design and develop their product. If you want a software project delivered, you can message me and I will make sure to do my best to propose the best solution. My main expertise is in the Oracle Fusion Middleware stack - I have been heavily involved in actual development, consulting and delivery of Webcenter, ADF, SOA Suite, BPM and Java EE solutions.

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