Oracle Forms community at Oracle Open World 2012

Less than 3 weeks before the biggest Oracle event in the world kicks off: Oracle Open World 2012!

I already wrote about some interesting events: ADF EMG Sunday and the Oracle Benelux Architectural event.

In case you’re into Oracle Forms, you can add an extra event to that: The Oracle Forms Community Event.

After the session of Mia Urman and Grant Ronald “CON5639 - Give Your Forms a Face-lift: Tips and Tricks for Oracle Forms GUI Modernization“(Tuesday, Oct 2, 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM – Marriott Marquis – Foothill F) there will be an “Ask the experts” event.
Here we will answer questions from the audience with Grant Ronald (Oracle Forms Product Manager) as our moderator and a panel of experts(with Lucas Jellema, Oracle Ace Director, as one of them) both solution providers and consultants.

I will be one of the experts too:
– 14 years of Oracle Forms experience
– Presented on several conferences and seminars on Forms and Forms Modernization(OOW, UKOUG, …)
– Presenting this year on OOW: UGF3783 – Oracle ADF Immersion: How an Oracle Forms Developer Immersed Himself in the Oracle ADF World

You can register and add questions using this form.

Oracle Open World 2012 and ADF EMG

Indeed, it’s almost “that” time of the year again, the week that San Francisco will turn red and is full of Oracle people.
There so much to do, but I still have to build my agenda.

But there are already some things to schedule…
One day, one Moscone room, one main topic…ADF EMG Sunday.
A whole day of interesting presentations on ADF, kicking off with our own:

UGF3783 – Oracle ADF Immersion: How an Oracle Forms Developer Immersed Himself in the Oracle ADF World – 9am-10am Moscone South room 305

As I wrote in a previous blog post, we created an ADF course to introduce ADF to Forms/non-Java developers.
So if you’re a Forms developer or you don’t have any java experience and want to get introduced to ADF, this will be the right session to start.

You’ll find a nice overview on Chris Muir’s blog of the other ADF EMG sessions that day.

This one will be very interesting:
UGF10464 – Oracle Fusion Middleware Live Application Development Demo – 12:45-3:45pm Moscone South room 305

A three hour live demo by Lucas Jellema, Lonneke Dikmans and Duncan Mills.
Check this out!!!

Oracle ADF Immersion

When taking a look at the tools Oracle used to develop its own products, we see that the E-business suite is build in Forms and Reports. Later, new modules were developed according Java EE standards.  Those new modules/applications were released on the same application servers that ran Forms and reports,  where they shared services and infrastructure.

Nowadays Oracle Fusion Applications is the new standard for business.
Oracle Fusion Applications is based on the Java platform, SOA and web 2.0 and is built with the Oracle Application Development Framework.
Not only Fusion Applications, but also My Oracle Support and Oracle Enterprise Manager are built with ADF.

Like Forms did in the past(and still does!), Oracle JDeveloper  offers a visual and declarative development environment for ADF.

And while Oracle uses it’s own framework to build it’s own Applications, probably a lot of companies will use the same tools to build their own Enterprise applications.

Forms and Reports developers are using Forms for years  and are very experienced in building Enterprise applications, but usual don’t have Java Experience or are even scared of Java(I know I was years ago when I read about concepts like “Polymorphism”).
iAdvise still has Forms developers and to let them experience ADF, we created the “ADF Immersion course”.
In this two day hands-on course we “immerse” them in  JDeveloper and ADF.
First day was all about ADF Business Components(entity objects and associations, view objects, Application Module, validation rules,…).
The second was about creating a User Interface: ADF Faces, ADF Model(bindings), application flow, data visualization.

A lot for a two day course, but it wasn’t meant to be as a real course. We tried to show that JDeveloper and ADF aren’t something to be scared of.  And that somebody with experience in building applications can easely start with ADF.
I think it worked out very well!  At the first try out we choosed a mixed audience of Forms developers and java developers and the best feedback we got was from a Forms developer who moved to Java years ago: “After this course every forms developer should be able to work with ADF”.
This is what we aimed for!
After the “real” courses we got the same feedback!
Mission accomplished :-)

Gartner Report: “Modernization and Migration Strategies for Oracle Forms”

Grant Ronald brought this Gartner Report to attention on his blog: “Modernization and Migration Strategies for Oracle Forms“.

It’s great to see that our message brought to our customers and at our presentations is confirmed by this Gartner analysis

  • Upgrade to the latest version – At the moment this is Oracle Forms 11gR2
  • Modernize and integrate
  • Migrate(ADF, APEX, Open Source, …)

If you want more information on this topic, you can read my article on All Things Oracle: “What’s Your Choice for Oracle Forms?“.

Oracle Open World, build your schedule

As Oracle Open World is coming closer, it’s time to build your schedule…
Be prepared because there are so many choices.

So, here are some presentations I’m interested in and planning to attend.

Of course there’s my own presentation on monday.

  • Session: What’s Your Choice for Oracle Forms: Modernize, Upgrade, Integrate, or Migrate? (session id 08262)
  • Time and place: Monday, 12:30 PM, Marriott Marquis – Golden Gate A

When you are a developer working with Oracle Forms or an IT manager and have an Oracle Forms application, this is probably the session you should attend when you have questions about the future of Oracle Forms.
Together with Grant Ronald(Group Product Manager in Oracle’s Application Development Tools Division) we’re going to show you the possibilities of Oracle Forms in the future, not only with a presentation, but also with customer cases and demos.

What else is interesting on OOW:

  • ADF Enterprise Methodology Group (EMG) Sunday: 6 tracks about one subject: ADF
  • Presentations by Grant Ronald: starting with ADF?  Check his sessions and look how “easy” you can develop in ADF.
  • Four Ways to Transition from Oracle Forms to Oracle ADF by Wilfred van der Deijl(Monday, 03:30 PM, Marriott Marquis – Golden Gate A)
  • Reaching Out from PL/SQL by Lucas Jellema(Tuesday, 10:15 AM, Marriott Marquis – Salon 7)
  • Spend Some Quality Time on Your Oracle ADF Application by Aino Andriessen(Thursday, 12:00 PM, Marriott Marquis – Golden Gate A)
  • More interested in database(programming)?  Tom Kyte and Steven Feuerstein are “must see” presenters.

Seminar: “What’s your choice for Oracle Forms” – recap

A great turnout for the seminar: more than 40 interested attendees, a mix audience of IT managers, project managers and developers.
Hof ter Delft was a nice location!

Grant Ronald, Oracle Senior Group Product Manager for the development tools division, opened the seminar with a keynote presentation.
He started with the Oracle Statement of Direction: Oracle has no plans to desupport Forms and Reports.
After this he gave an high level overview of what is possible with an Oracle Forms application: modernize, upgrade, integrate and migrate.
Grant ended with an overview of ADF.

My session was next, same subject as Grant, but a bit deeper into detail with demos and customer cases.
I showed how you could modernize an application using Pluggable Java Components and JavaBeans.
Upgrade will bring you some nice features, eg. javascript integration and external events in 11g.
Those new features were shown in the integration demo, together with web service calls from Forms.
I ended with migration:  reasons to migrate, strategy(eg. a customer case of  redesign/rebuild in Apex), tools that  can be used(eg. JHeadstart ), …
One lesson: migration is not an easy path…

The following session walked this path of migration, the one of a phased migration.
Wilfred van er Deijl(Commit Consulting)presented OraFormsFaces.
A presentation about where OraFormsFaces can fit in and how it works.
When you choose for a migration and you don’t want a big bang, OraFormsFaces can help you in doing new development in a new technology(eg. Oracle ADF) and keep your Forms investment.
OraFormsFaces let you integrate a form in a webapplication and passes info between those two technologies.

To show that OraFormsFaces works with other technologies, Tom Bauwens(SmartApps) showed the integration of Oracle Forms with Eclipse RCP using OraFormsFaces.

After a nice lunch Grant Ronald gave an introduction training to ADF:

  • Building ADF Business Components
  • Business validation
  • Shaping your data
  • Application Flow
  • Building UI pages

This really showed the power of ADF to Forms developers.


OBUG Connect, the Oracle Benelux Usergroup conference in Brussels.

Opening ceremony by Wim Coekaerts & Janny Ekelson.
Nothing much to say about this…

First keynote session was brought by Chris Leone about Oracle Fusion applications.
Applications is not my thing, but it was nice to see how everything in Fusion apps is integrated like BI and collaboration.

My first session was “The best way” by Tom Kyte, a session about doing things the “best way” or “best practices”.
Tom quoted Bryn Llewellyn on what brings you to best practices.
It depends on things from “reasoning skills” over “education” to “know oracle inside out” to “know pl/sql inside out”.

An example join two big tables(big… big tables) with little distinct values.
What will be the fastest(best) way to retrieve records for one of those distinct values: hash joins or index scans?
In a batch operation the hash joins will be the fastest, but on a screen that only shows 20 records?

So, when is something the best way?  Well, it depends…

How can you tune using TKPROF?
A best practice…
Get the facts(physical I/O, logical I/O, difference between CPU and elapsed time,…).
Infer more facts.  Know your data, know how oracle works.
Build your context.
Rule things out.
Very interesting session!

Time for lunch!

Next session was one of Lucas Jellema and Patrick Stevens: “Randstad’s modernization of organization, architecture and applications powered by Fusion Middleware”.
They explained how they transformed the IT team to work with the agile approach.
This resulted in a faster develoment(about 4 times) and a team that is more involved.
Randstad also decided to make their applications service based.
So a service layer was build around all core processes using BPEL and OSB.
The only problem is Forms, which still accesses the database directly.
The Forms application will fade away in the future to a web application in ADF…

Last session was another AMIS session by Luc Bors together with Simon Vos of bol.com: “How BOL.COM benefited from ADF”.
Bol.com decided in 2007 to move to ADF.
Some reasons to move:
– Oracle statement of direction:  exit designer
– no authorization/authentication
– forms supported datamodel, not business processes
Where did they want to go to:
– SSO
– new and extended UI
– add reporting
– no direct database access

So they introduced scrum, ADF and trained they’re inhouse (forms)developers to use JDeveloper, ADF and JHeadstart.
Now they could start to rebuild the forms application in ADF.
The pl/sql and built-ins used in forms are put in the database or, if lucky, they could use an ADF alternative.
Others(little percentage) had to be programmed in Java.

This resulted in a new application with the same functionality(allthough some additional functionality was added) as the forms application with a new look and feel.

Some interesting sessions, allthough I like to see some more demos next time.