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Chrome 42 and Java Plugin

Oracle Forms users might have noticed that the Oracle Forms Java applet does not work anymore in the latest Chrome browsers. Here’s how to enable it manually (until September 2015).

Java applets use a plugin technology called NPAPI within the browser to render the Oracle Forms application. Google sees the API as a stability and security risk. The Chrome development team has disabled NPAPI by default in Chrome 42 and will be completely removing the API from Chrome 45 in September 2015. It can be enabled manually until September.

NPAPI stands for Netscape Plugin Application Programing Interface and is being used by many browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer. It’s an old API introduced in 1995 to run plugins within the browser like for example MP3s, PDFs or Java applets with Oracle Forms. Most applications including playing MP3s and viewing PDFs are now already natively supported by the browsers and HTML5.

Since the plugin is disabled by default, it needs to be enabled manually again. This can be done using a few steps:

  1. Within the browser bar, type in the following URL: chrome://flags/#enable-npapi
  2. Click on the enable link underneath Enable NPAPI.
  3. Click on the relaunch button at the end of the page to restart the browser.

See the screenshot underneath for enabling NPAPI in Chrome 42 and up:

PRE-170

Note that this fix is a just a temporary solution, which will work until Chrome 45 in September. For a long term solution, we would recommend to use another browser like Firefox or Internet Explorer. Mozilla sees NPAPI as legacy, but is not planning to remove it any time soon. Microsoft will drop plugin support in their newest browser called Edge. With the amount of support decreasing over the coming few years, it might be time to start looking into an alternative like a migration to ADF or an open source solution.

See the following links for more information:

Blog by: Arvind Mohabir