Top 5 lessons learnt from the "Where do we go post Forms" Panel at Kscope 2012

June 25, 2012

I had my first ODTUG Kscope 2012 session this morning at 8:30am ūüôā and it was GREAT.

We had a panel of 6 experts (moderated by Paul Dorsey of Dulican) each representing one position on where to go post Forms. We had developers/consultants from all positions ¬†– a Java open source, a Stay in Forms (me), ADF, APEX, Homegrown Framework, and a bit of everything . I of course¬†represented¬†the “what do you mean POST Forms – Forms is still here alive and well” position.

We had a few real gems of wisdom that resulted from the session so I thought I’d share them with you all.

1) Think before you migrate РDo you NEED to leave Forms?Why?  Do you have a solid business case and ROI justification for leaving forms? Are you sure you can not develop new modules in a new technology and integrate with existing systems? Make sure you have a good reason to leave since the budget and time it will take is SIGNIFICANT.

2) Design and analyse before you migrate РRedeveloping or migrating a Forms systems is a MAJOR PROJECT. Do not expect a 20 year old system with hundreds of Forms to magically appear in a new technology in a few months. This is a project that requires planning, a new system design and analysis of the current system functionality. It is critical that you understand how the new system will function before you start playing around in the new technology.

3) Before you start with a new technology  РClean up the old and learn the new

  • You may have 900 Forms in your existing system but how many do people actually use? There is no need to redevelop all forms if half of them are no longer used or the¬†functionality¬†is outdated or now found in newer systems. Before you begin the project, do an analysis of what actually needs to be migrated and do it with your eyes open.
  • Don’t expect to be an expert in a new technology in a few weeks when it took you 5 years to become an Oracle Forms expert. Developers forget what it was like at the¬†beginning¬†with Forms. Its always hard to go back to the¬†beginning of any learning process but¬†developers¬†must understand that in any technology there is a learning curve and they must have the training and patience that comes with being a¬†beginner¬†again.

4) Try to put as much of your business logic in the database as possible – This will help you keep more flexible for UI layer changes later on

5) When deciding to redevelop a system ask your self РWhat does the new system NEED to do РNOT what does the system do today. People can spend months or years trying to duplicate existing functionality when today there are easier more usable ways of achieving the same business need.

This was a great beginning with more great Forms content coming this week. 

My sessions are:

Survival of the Fittest: How to Evolve Your Existing Oracle Forms Applications to the 21st Century”¬†Wednesday¬†June 27 at 9:45 AM.¬†I will show how Forms can be cool again by incorporating new elements like Javascript, events and mobile deployment of Oracle Forms systems from existing systems.

Oracle Forms Extreme Makeover – Tips and Tricks for Oracle Forms GUI Modernization”¬†Wednesday June 27 at 1:45 pM. I will show how Forms can be designed to look modern with UI changes, adding visual elements in java and even running Oracle Forms from a mobile UI.

And all sessions can be found in this post

Hope to see you all there!