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 Modernization seminar

iAdvise organises a seminar on Forms modernization.

During this seminar we will show you how you can modernize your Oracle Forms applications, give it a rich look and feel, and adopt the latest technologies without throwing away years of investment in Oracle Forms.
We will show you how you can combine the power of an Oracle Forms application with functionality from external application (javabeans, pluggable java components, webservices,…) and how you can give a Forms application a modern “look and feel”.

Also part of this seminar is an overview of the new features in the latest Oracle Forms release(11g)

When: June 1, 2010
Where: iAdvise office, Kontich
Language: Dutch

View invitation

What new features would you want to see in Oracle Forms?

A few months ago I wrote a blogpost about forms titled  “Forms isn’t dead!”

Since then I went to Oracle Open World and gave a presentation on how to modernize your existing Oracle Forms application.
So you don’t have to throw away years of investment in Oracle forms.

I’m working at a customer that created a new application in Forms 10g and it was put in production last year.

And now there’s a thread on the OTN Forms forum started by Grant Ronald(Product Manager at Oracle):
What new features would you want to see in Oracle Forms?

So, if you want a cool new feature or an improvement in Oracle Forms…you know what to do!

Still not convinced that “Forms isn’t dead”?

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 !

Forms isn’t dead!

This is it…my first blog entry!

And by this I want to say that Forms isn’t dead :-)

I’m still convinced that Forms is one of the most suitable environments for data entry applications(Prove me wrong).

Some of you think it’s old fashioned or maybe antique.
But there are still companies choosing for an Oracle Forms environment, even to create new applications.
Using Pluggable Java Components, Java Beans, webservices,… it’ll be a pretty modern application.

And now there’s even the new version: Forms 11g(I told you Forms isn’t dead).
From now on Forms can “react” to external events(Asynchronous Web Services, BPEL, JMS) with the “When-event-raised” trigger.
I’m looking forward to work with it.
For those who want to install Forms 11g, check out Jan Carlin’s blog

I know it’s a bit daring to talk about Forms on a blog that is usualy visited for SOA, APEX and other “newer” technologies.

But I hope that my future posts will indicate that there is still a Forms future.

OFM 11g Launch – The fusion ages kicked in

Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g has finally arrived and it’ll give as well developers as customers the possibility to implement bleeding edge technology throughout the Oracle Stack.

Just looking at the different features and functionalities that have been build into the stack is amazing and most of all, you can’t get round fusion anymore.

So let’s have a look at what fusion has to offer us (it’ll swipe you of your feet!):

  1. The BEA Integration Milestone:
    1. Weblogic Server will be the underlying backbone of all fusion applications, going from classic environments such as Forms, Reports to the web 2.0 environments such as Webcenter and ADF. What will this milestone offer us:
      1. Flexibility and agility by declarity of design
      2. Take decisions in real time by integrating analytics within the transactional context
      3. Power for the end-user so business and it can interact and collaborate whilst enabling end-users with a flexible, personalized and easy-to-use business oriented environment
      4. Ease-of-upgrade using automated tools to upgrade existing OC4J applications towards the new Web Logic Server
        1. Automated upgrade for soa components, webcenter applications, forms and reports applications
        2. Smart Upgrade for OC4J JEE Applications
          1. Descriptor analysis to report on recommended findings
          2. Upgrade all the pieces of configuration necessary (pick and choose)
      5. Consolidation and virtualization of the data-center to enable companies to maximize return on investment using the data grid
  • Budget can go to development instead of administration and management
  • Services-based delivery that will enable companies to re-use services throughout the enterprise using a standards based approach giving customers and partners the ability to work within a shared-service infrastructure
  • Unified management and monitoring capabilities within one environment and a rich user interface
  1. Enterprise Manager will be the window on the data-center!
  2. Fusion Middleware Control gives you the ability to manage multi-domains, policies, alerts, SLA and much more in a single environment.
  1. The Grid: A new model for efficient resource utilization:
    1. The Coherence in-memory data grid gives you the ability to paralyze computation across the grid
    2. Inherently use the grid for as well cpu as memory
    3. State-aware continuous availability for service infrastructure
    4. Software-only solution, no hardware costs necessary
    5. Off-heap storage = Significantly reduced coherence nodes
  2. Unified Security Model
    1. Using the Oracle Platform Security Services you can define a generic and integrated security model throughout the Oracle Stack = 1 Common Security Layer

So now we have the backbone of our infrastructure laid out, now it’s time to have a look at the different components that will offer these functionalities.

  1. SCA – Service Component Architecture:
    1. Composites will be key throughout this stack which will give you the possibility to deliver and reuse any service that has been built Enterprise-wide. When you’re talking about data services, business services, web services or even mediator services, it’ll all be managed within one environment. In other words ease of development, deployment, management using a unified approach for as well business and IT.
      1. These composite services can be re-used in different ways throughout the business and it lifecycle going from business dashboards, to side-by-side versioning on composite level, to global-policy management, to unified management and monitoring of each aspect and transactions within and E2E-context and much more.
    2. Integration of BEA products :
      1. OESB will become the mediator component within the Service Component Architecture used for basic routing between components
      2. OSB will become the new service bus that’ll offer routing, transformation, chaining of services and much more within SCA
    3. B2B, BAM, BPEL, Human Workflow, OSB can be hooked up into the SCA cloud using Adapter technology to enable business and it to focus on different aspects of the organization whilst holding the needed agility and flexibility throughout the entire development lifecycle.
    4. A unified BPM Platform which is fully BPMN 2.0 compliant and leverages BPM capabilities using a single environment for as well business as IT, namely Jdeveloper
      1. Integration of BPM Studio within Jdeveloper
      2. Share processes and services using the BPM Process Composer and business Catalog
      3. Easy-to-upgrade using the migration path provided when going from 10g to 11g
  2. Jdeveloper – The development environment for as well business and IT, a unique proposition
  • Integration of BPM Studio
  • Composite based development using Adapter-technology
  • ADF which will put a face on each application that needs to be delivered to end-users
    • ADF render kits for Ajax and Flash
    • ADF render kits to .png (talking bandwidth and performance into account)
    • ADF render kits for usability purposes (e.g. Screen reader-functionality)
  • Active Data Services Push
    • Data changes are pushed into the UI instead of needing to pull for data changes, using Coherence Cache Listeners and asynchronous calls
  • Application Lifecycle Management
    • Pluggable interface to quickly access documentation, bugs, reports etc. used throughout the stack
  • ADF Desktop Integration
    • Build transactional spreadsheets using the existing binding layer of ADF

In other words SCA Suite, Webcenter Suite, Forms, Reports and Fusion Apps will use the same infrastructure which will enable the usage of consistent admin and management tools whilst leveraging capabilities of the infrastructure and database throughout the entire stack.

My 2 cents … Fusion has become a reality with unlimited functionality and features!
Working within a forms, JEE, DB or Apps environment, everyone will be using the same technologies throughout the stack … The fusion ages kicked in!

6 april tem 10 april 2009 – Oracle Forms Beginners-cursus

Oracle Forms wordt nog steeds succesvol toegepast voor zowel grote als middelgrote ondernemingen, waarbij de keuze voor Forms vooral gebaseerd is op de stabiele en performante omgeving. De laatste jaren kunnen deze toepassingen eveneens geïntegreerd worden met web applicaties, web services, event-driven applicaties, … Oracle Forms 11g is hier een mooi voorbeeld van met nieuwe features zoals event-driven handling, integratie met web services, etc.
De Oracle Forms toepassingen blijven een zeer belangrijke investering in kennis en kunde, die zeker niet moet ‘vervangen’ worden, maar wel kan gemoderniseerd worden. Modernisering kan dan bijvoorbeeld inhouden dat we de toepassing gaan upgraden naar een web applicatie en gaan integreren met herbruikbare en gestandaardiseerde web services, …

Voor meer informatie betreffende de mogelijke uitbreidingen van uw bestaande Oracle Forms applicatie, kan u ons steeds contacteren op info@iadvise.be.

Om al een tipje van de sluier op te lichten kan u de aanpak en mogelijkheden van een modernizatie-traject bekijken op OTN of op onze website, Oracle Forms Modernization – The Case of ZLM.

Voor meer informatie betreffende de mogelijkheden van modernisering, kan u eveneens terecht op OTN.

Om u aan te tonen dat deze technologie nog steeds veel mogelijkheden te bieden heeft, organiseert iAdvise een 5-daagse beginners-cursus rond Oracle Forms.