Oracle Open World 2010: Forms in the Middle of Middleware

People attending Open World to have a closer look at fusion technologies and how to integrate them in your existing applications, need to check out the following session:

  • ID#: S315945
  • Title: Oracle Forms in the Middle of Middleware with Oracle Product Management
  • Track: Application Servers, Application Grid, and Development
  • Date: 22-SEP-10 Time: 13:00 – 14:00
  • Venue: Marriott Marquis Room: Salon 9

Together with Grant Ronald we will talk you through the possible scenario’s to modernize your existing forms applications. After each scenario we will demo the functionalities and showcase some of the success stories we’ve conducted together with our benelux customers.

The different scenario’s include upgrading to 11g to use the event-driven architecture, integrate with existing applications such as apex, .net, google maps, bpel, …

In other words if you’re using fusion technologies such as BPEL, OSB, ADF, … you can easily integrate these with your existing forms applications using the new features provided in 11g.

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.