HTML Frame Options

Last Updated 03.28.03

General Description

In the past, Oracle web based applications have used a number of frame configurations to render the UI. With the behavioral consistency issues between frame usage and no frame usage, technical concerns regarding frame usage, and accessibility compliance concerns with frame usage, it is recommended that Oracle HTML applications not use frames to render the interface.

Guideline Attributes

Spec Version # - 3.1
Spec Contributors - Betsy Beier, Lisa Serface
UI Models - all models
Example Products - all products
Related Guidelines - Information about Accessibility, Tabs, Introduction to BLAF Page Templates

Interaction and Usage Specifications

Frame usage is not recommended at this time for behavior consistency issues, technical concerns and accessibility reasons.

Prior to BLAF guidelines, HTML applications across Oracle were not consistent in regards to usage of frames or no frames. Applications across Oracle were different, applications within the same product family were different, even a single application may have had frames used in some areas and not in others. This inconsistency can pose usability problems for users since the behavior of a framed environment can be different than a no frame environment. For instance, some applications used one frame at the top of the page for tabs, and another frame for content. When the content area scrolled, the tabs did not scroll off the top. On the other hand, other applications did not use frames, and the entire page scrolled including the tabs, when the page had much content. This inconsistency can cause problems especially when one application behaves a certain way, and another behaves differently. Consistency is key to the user experience.

Frame usage can also pose some technical issues that are undesirable. Printing can be problematic in a framed enviroment, as well as context sensitive global actions can be problematic. A no framed environment solves these issues.

A no frame enviroment is also being recommended by third party accessibility guidelines, that BLAF is compliant with. The current accessibility guidelines being delivered by the W3C strongly recommend that no frames be used in development of a web based application. Frames usage can pose a variety of problems for people with disabilities. These problems can sometimes be different for each type of disability and different depending on the third party accessibility software used to access the browser application.

Usability testing will be conducting in the applications UI group to understand all ramifications on usability of a no frames application environment.

Visual Specifications

No Frames Used for Web Based Application

Below are examples of BLAF pages that use no frames.

Open/Closed Issues