Oracle Forms 11g R 2 RUEI – Real User Experience Insight – The Good The Bad and The Ugly

So I have been asked to evaluate a new feature of Oracle Forms 11g R2  called Real User Experience Insight (RUEI) by one of my clients.  Since I didn’t find much to go on I thought I’d share my findings with the Oracle Forms community.

Oracle Real User Experience Insight (RUEI) support is a new feature of Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g R2 that supposedly provides non-intrusive Oracle Forms system monitoring. In the newest version of Oracle Forms the Oracle development team have provided new arguments to the forms MESSAGE built-in, and environment to allow application developers to define their own messages to communicate with the RUEI server.

While on the surface this sounded great. What form users have not looked for a monitoring solution in the past 5 years. I set out to investigate what exactly this means for forms users and report my findings in this post called  “The good the bad and the ugly”.

THE GOOD

Real end user online monitoring for Oracle Forms. For many forms administrators this alone is a miracle. We can finally get information about system health and performance without tracing.

Great graphics. To be honest the reporting mechanism to review the statistics and monitoring data is incredible. They have tons of sexy graphs. See some examples here

The RUEI data that’s collected can be enhanced and manipulated programatically at run-time if coded accordingly in the form using new built ins.

1) The Message built-in
Two new constants have been added as valid values for the user_response parameter of the MESSAGE builtin. They are RUEI_BEGIN and RUEI_END. When these built-ins are used it sends a message to the client so that RUEI can note the information contained in the message. However, the Forms client does not display the message to the end-user. So for example we could put the code message(‘Begin DB stored procedure getname’, RUEI_BEGIN); This will send a message to the RUEI server to begin recording and to note the comment found in the message.

2) A new environment variable called FORMS_RUEI_SEND_FORM_NAME has been added. If this is set, the Forms server will send the name of the form module to the client for each window that is created in the form.

THE BAD

RUEI Uses the feature found in Enterprise Manager (EM)  called end user monitoring (EUM).  Enterprise Manager allows you to monitor the response time data generated by actual end-users as they access and navigate your system. This is a feature that has been around for a while. But the truth is I’ve never seen it work for Oracle Forms. We tried it at one of our clients where Oracle came to do an onsite demo for us and in the end they could not get it to work and recommended we wait for Oracle Forms 11g and keep our fingers crossed. :)

EUM is a feature used in Oracle Forms that basically calls a tiny gif for every call to a form in Oracle Forms systems. This way it can record information about the session and the system. Not to be too harsh but I think making 2 times the network traffic for every call in Oracle Forms is not the best idea. Especially if we are trying to monitor network and system performance.

THE UGLY

Although it’s all well and good these new forms built-ins were created, what it basically means is I will NEED to use them

It can hardly be called a non-intrusive monitoring system if I have to add code manually to my forms to get a monitoring solution.  Especially when my systems have 500+ forms.

WHERE’S THE DOCUMENT?

I am always weary to begin using a new feature or full solution when no documentation is available. I have been unable to find almost anything on this new feature. Aside from the new features white paper and a one paragraph in the Oracle® Fusion Middleware Release Notes for Oracle Forms and Reports 11g Release 2 (11.1.2) guide that has it in the section of information that was forgotten in the help.

IN CONCLUSION

It looks like they have good intentions but we are not there yet.
In the meantime people can stick with actual real-end-user monitoring solutions that do not require any development or mapping OraMonitor.

Got more questions for me? Write to me at miaurman@oracleformsinfo.com or comment below.

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5 comments on “Oracle Forms 11g R 2 RUEI – Real User Experience Insight – The Good The Bad and The Ugly

  1. Hi Mia,

    I’m happy to see there is interest in Real User Experience Insight for Forms monitoring. I was obviously also happy with the first paragraph of this review but do have some comments on the “bad and ugly”.

    As a product management director, I’m responsible within Oracle for the Oracle Real User experience Insight (RUEI) product, part of Oracle Enterprise Manager.

    That would be my first feedback, RUEI is not a part of Oracle Forms 11R2 but part of the Application Performance Management features of Enterprise Manager.

    RUEI is deployed at a customer’s data center, right in front the web server tier and monitors all network activity/communication between the end user’s browser and application infrastructure.

    Second feedback I’d like to provide; it is indeed completely passive and does not require any instrumentation!
    That includes EUM instrumentation of the oracle application server (aka chronos), RUEI is NOT depending in any way on this.(It is true that early versions did use the EUM instrumentation but this dependency was removed almost 2 years ago.)

    You do point to an interesting benefit of being a part of the development team at Oracle. We have the advantage of joining forces directly with our application development groups. As a result they did indeed include a small addition to their framework that allows for some specific messaging as part of the native protocol (in a header) that can be used in RUEI optionally.

    So in summary “the bad and ugly” described in this review really doesn’t apply as we are not using/requiring any instrumentation.

    Detailed information about the product can be found on:

    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/oem/uxinsight/index.html

    Specific documentation on Forms (and eBusiness suite) deployment:

    http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E26370_01/doc.121/e26360/ebs.htm#BEHEAGGC

    If you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me, jurgen.de.leijer@oracle.com
    I’m happy to guide you through any detail of our Forms coverage and/or answer any questions.

    R, Jurgen

  2. Pingback: Oracle RUEI for Oracle Forms 11g R2 : The good, the not so bad, and less ugly than before | Oracle Forms Community

  3. I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will
    be a lot more useful than ever before.

  4. Dear Mia,

    thanks for diving deep into this. Having had my own shot on EBS monitoring I would like to point your readers to the following blog post by my fellow colleague Jurgen Menge who writes up a How To for the configuration of RUEI for EBS / Forms monitoring.

    http://fmwtech.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/monitoring-von-oracle-forms-applikationen-mit-real-user-experience-insight-ruei/

    Please be aware that his blog post is in German and your readers may appreciate some automated translation:

    https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Ffmwtech.wordpress.com%2F2013%2F05%2F27%2Fmonitoring-von-oracle-forms-applikationen-mit-real-user-experience-insight-ruei%2F&edit-text=&act=url

    Kind regards,
    Stefan Thieme

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