Forms Modernization, Part 1: Motivation for change

In the first part of our seminar we discussed some topics that forms customers want to change today.

These changes are mostly focussed on the island most forms applications and teams are working on today, such as:

    1) Internal services that are provided within the enterprise that could uplift the provided functionality to the end users.

    E.g. Order-information that is provided via a webservice of the existing legacy application. This information can be provided to the back-end and forms interface to have real time information provided to the accountancy-department that is using the forms app.

    2) External services that are provided by partners that could uplift the provided functionality to the customers and the business users.

    E.g. a good example of the ROI is explained in the ZLM Case Study.

    3) Existing pl/sql functionality that can be offered as a service to enterprise applications or external partners.

    E.g. the forms application handles the allocation of consultants of iAdvise. To be able to provide customers a better service we could offer the business unit managers, pre-sales and sales a real-time view on the whereabouts (no we don’t play tennis ;o) ) of the consultants. In other words, a customer is facing production problems and needs support asap, the sales person looks up which consultants are nereby the customers with the needed skills. Given the coordinates the sales-person can then call the consultant and give the customer a much better service without needing to cross to many channels to get the necessary information.

    4) Get on the fusion track and let your forms application talk to you jee, adf, apex, custom made application.

    You want to integrate new functionality which is provided through ajax, java server faces, event driven architecture, … to improve look and feel and to let end users profit from the added value such as asynchronous event handling, JavaScript integration, …

In other words when you start thinking about improvements you could make to your existing forms application, the ROI mostly is very obvious.

The investments made in human capital, architecture and infrastructure are protected whilst enabling integration of new technologies and improving your existing skill set and investments.

What I would like to know from other customers, developers, end-users, …:
Is anybody facing integration/modernization issues today within their Forms Apps that can’t be addressed using one of the following scenario’s: modernization, integration, upgrade to 10g/11g?

If so, please provide us this information so we can discuss the different scenario’s, aspects that are applicable to your specific case.

Oracle Forms … alive and kicking

Yesterday Gert Poel, Yves Van Looy and myself organised a Forms Modernization seminar for customers, developers, partners … everyone that was interested.

The seminar was a huge succes and the customers were reassured that Forms is still alive and kicking.

First we discussed the improvements customers want to make to their existing forms applications, why would you want to change. Afterwards we discussed the how, which different scenario’s are applicable when you want to modernize your Forms Application. Most customers are indeed looking to improve their UI, open up the forms application’s services and integrate them within the enterprise, service-enable the existing pl/sql functionalities.

After the theoritical approach we showed some of our succesfull case studies, such as the ZLM Case that’s published on the Forms Modernization URL. These cases showed the customers how to achieve integration of forms with a soa architecture, how to implement a document workflow within forms and how to modernize your UI using LAF, thanks to François Degrelle’s resources.

In other words the first part of the seminar hit the nail on the head ;o)

In the second part we demonstrated the Forms 11g release and discussed the migration path towards 11g. This was very interesting for the customers as well because they were reassured that Forms will be part of the fusion ages. Most of all, Forms is one of the players within Event Driven Architecture using the AQ-mechanisme, thus using the scalability and performance of the Oracle Database.

The attendees’ feedback was great and they were eager to start modernizing … in other words: Forms will no longer be an island within the organisation but will definitly become an important player within the fusion strategy.

I would like to thank the attendees, Gert & Yves for the great experience !

Let’s start modernizing !!!

Oracle Forms Modernisation at Oracle Open World 2010

This year we’re able to give another Oracle Forms Modernisation seminar at Oracle Open World 2010 … YIPIE !!!

We will be discussing the different aspects a Forms Customer needs to take into account when wanting to uplift the existing Forms Applications. Different scenario’s could range from modernisation to upgrade, integrate and last of all migrate if this has been a strategic decision in the company’s business plan.

1st of June we’re already giving a sneak preview of these different scenario’s to our benelux customers … and looking at the number of attendees it’s already a succes.

In other words … stay tuned and make sure you’re present at the Oracle Forms Modernisation seminar at OOW 2010.

ADF EMG at OOW 2009

Everyone’s that’s going to be present at Open World and has questions regarding ADF, regarding project approach or want’s to share his/her experiences with the community … this is the ideal moment to step up and talk about it!

Besides the different sessions that are organised by as well Oracle, partners as ACE’s, the ADF EMG will be present as well.

Take a look at the schedule for ADF EMG and put it in your agenda.

Hope to see you all there, to have lively discussions and some cool demo’s!

Selecting a testing approach?

We’re approaching OOW rapidly, and we’re discussing the different topics that can be adressed during the ADF EMG Sessions.

One of the topics I would like to start discussing in this group, is the testing strategies that are used at the different project sites.

In most projects we’re now trying to introduce Test Driven Development, to make sure that all functionality that is integrated within the project lifecycle is thouroughly tested before releasing the code into the release management lifecycle.

What does it mean Test Driven Development :
Each new feature begins with writing a test, which will inevitably fail because it is written before the feature has been implemented. To write a test, the developer must clearly understand the feature’s specification and requirements. This could also imply a variant, or modification of an existing test.
This is a differentiating feature of test-driven development versus writing unit tests after the code is written: it makes the developer focus on the requirements before writing the code, a subtle but important difference.

At our current ADF project most developers we’re already acquanted with Unit-testing code and had no difficulties with the TDD-approach.

The benefits for the project:
1) Better communication and collaboration between the business analyst, product owner and development team
2) Code was much more failproof and the team could easily delegate tasks amongst each other. E.g. one developer wrote the tests and the other member of the team implemented the functionality.

Limitations:
1) When deadlines and production dates are approaching, it’s hard to keep the team focussed on this approach. It’s in everyone’s mindset that refactoring test cases and creating new ones, will take up time that is limited, instead of just writing the code, or changing it and pushing it through release management
2) The tests themselves become overhead for the maintenance part of the project.
3) Test cases aren’t bullet-proof, if the code and test cases don’t cover the functional requirements, it won’t be shown in the testing results. As well functional and business validation is needed before you can be sure the implemented functionality is bullet-proof.

Attending OOW – Interested in ADF / Fusion Sessions

For those who are attending open world and are interested in ADF / Fusion Sessions, have a look at the following overview page.

Have a look at the unconference sessions as well, where the ADF Enterprise Methodology Group and other ACE Directors will talk about their experiences within Fusion Middleware: http://wiki.oracle.com/page/Oracle+OpenWorld+Unconference

If you’re looking for best practices, tips & tricks or want to discuss problems you’re facing at your current projects, come to the ADF EMG meetings where we can try to tackle them.

Forms Modernization at OOW 2009

Oracle OpenWorld 2009 is rapidly approaching, only a few weeks from now, San Francisco will turn into the mekka for the developer community around the world to share experience, knowledge and of course to network and learn from eachother.

At OOW 2008 we gave 2 presentations regarding Forms Modernization and Data Warehousing, and the audience was great. A lot of people were facing the same questions and problems we discussed during the sessions.

At ODTUG 2009 we saw that the audience was very pleased with the Fusion Middleware 11g, because more and more questions regarding Oracle and BEA infrastructure were getting answered.

But what to do next, how to get started?

That’s why we’ve decided to give another presentation regarding Forms modernization:
“Integrate Bleeding-Edge Technologies in Your Existing Oracle Forms Application”!

We will talk about the different issues customers are facing today with their existing Forms Applications. After identifying some cases, we will dive in to some Forms cases we’ve worked on were you will see it’s no rocket science to integrate with bleeding edge technologies and of course about modernization.

Do you also want to modernize your existing Oracle Forms applications, give it a rich look and feel, adopt bleeding edge technologies without throwing away years of investments in Oracle Forms?

During this session we will show you how you can achieve this!

More details regarding the presentation:
ID#: S308194
Date: 11-OCT-09
Time: 13:15 – 14:15
Venue: Hilton Hotel
Room: Yosemite C

Hope to see you all there !

ADF EMG at UKOUG and OOW

This year we’ve had a interesting pannel discussion at ODTUG regarding the ADF EMG where we’ve discussed some customer cases, do’s and dont’s regarding fusion and ADF development, thoughts regarding Fusion 11g, …

Because we want to follow up on the new technologies, discuss the new concepts, new features and work out guidelines and best practices, we encourage people to become a member of the group and share their experiences with the community.

That said aside … we try to share the experiences and material worked out by the ADF EMG at any possible event, and we’ve got very good news!

We’re very happy to announce that we’ll be running an ADF EMG session again this year at Oracle Open World 2009, and even more excited to let you know we’ll be running another session at the UKOUG conference in Birmingham Nov/Dec.

Like last year’s OOW session, we’d like to invite you all to make these events a success. This group is only as good as with your participation. We’ll be blessed by the presence of Oracle Corporation’s own ADF gurus, as well as Oracle ACEs and ACE Directors, leading ADF experts from around the world.

The OOW session details:
Session ID: S312516
Title: Oracle ADF Enterprise Methodology Group (An ODTUG Oracle Fusion Middleware SIG session)
Date Time: Monday 11th October 10:30 – 11:15

The UKOUG conference session details are pending.

Are you planning to attend OOW09 or the UKOUG conference? Happy to attend the ADF EMG sessions?

With less than 60 days to OOW09 we’re getting excited.
We very much look forward to hearing from you soon, and seeing you at OOW09 or the UKOUG conference!