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FoReDoclet 1.1 features

Keeping the documentation and the code together

Without a technical documentation generator, developers are forced to create and maintain documentation separately from the source code. Separate documentation is costly and error prone, which is the main reason of the immense popularity of automated tools like JavaDoc. Using FoReDoclet brings the same benefits for Oracle Forms based developments as JavaDoc does for Java projects.

HTML format documentation

The HTML format documentation generated by FoReDoclet ensures the best usability for development projects since the latest documentation can be easily re-generated and published on WEB servers of the team. Technical leaders can keep track of the documentation level and quality by regularly (e.g.: daily or weekly) checking the up to date, generated articles of the source code being developed.

Parsing binary format source files (fmb, mmb, pll, olb)

FoReDoclet is a complementary tool of Oracle Forms and provides the long missing functionality of automated technical documentation generation. The software is capable of parsing the binary source files of the Oracle Forms development environment. No preliminary conversion required, the generator uses public libraries provided by Oracle to facilitate work with binary sources (Oracle Forms has to be installed to make FoReDoclet work).

The generator analyses the development units of the project and creates a detailed article about each of them. The article contains all of the important properties (Comment) of internal objects (items, blocks, LOVs) in a hierarchically structured format. The Comments property of internal objects may contain any HTML tags which allows advanced formatting of the detail section of the object.

Parsing PL/SQL code

One of the highly advanced aspects of this generator tool that documents not only internal objects but PL/SQL code as well. Triggers of different levels (block, item, menu item...etc), procedures, functions and package specifications are parsed and comments placed in them are included in the article of the development unit. Package variables, functions and procedures are documented as well, not only the package header. Similarly to internal objects, PL/SQL comments may contain any HTML tags which allows better formatting of the documentation. FoReDoclet supports a subset of JavaDoc tags (e.g.: @param, @return, @throws) which allow comfortable commenting of method/cursor parameters and other aspects of PL/SQL code.

Easy and efficient customization

Since most of the development companies have their own standards for technical documentation, generators have to provide a wide range of customization for the generated output. FoReDoclet provides these options on two different levels:

1) Style sheet customization

FoReDoclet generates style sheet compliant HTML code which means that most parts of the documentation can be easily customized by simply modifying the classes defined in FoReDoclet's main style sheet definition file.

2) Template modification

Thanks to the MVC architecture of the software, the format of the generated output can be changed completely by simply modifying the default template files. This gives total control over the exact details shown and the format applied in the generated documentation.

Comment formats

FoReDoclet accepts both informal (--) and formal comments (/** */) in PL/SQL code in order to document sources using multi-line informal comments. Its pre-processor is capable of removing separator lines (e.g.: placed between methods in a package) and collecting comments placed incorrectly in definitions (e.g.: placed after the declaration's keyword).

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