I'd like to start applications via buttons in an Oracle Form, using the form for application integration. Is it possible? Presumably one would need to use that host command which you say cannot be called from a stored procedure.
If you use a HOST command from Oracle Forms, I recommend calling a batch file. In your batch file, be sure you use a start command. This allows your batch file to run in the background.
Below is an example of a batch file that uses a start command:
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start WINWORD.EXE http://<ip-address:port>/pls/plsql/get_documents?p_id=1
This batch file starts a Word document stored in an Oracle database.