Recomendations for Forms Migration

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Gustavo Torres

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Mar 1, 2018, 2:31:05 PM3/1/18
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All,

 

Suppose an IT Company is planning to migrate an Enterprise HR application which runs on Oracle Forms (~2000 Forms), Oracle Database and PL/SQL.

The natural path would be Oracle ADF, but maybe they can also consider Visual Builder Cloud Service and Oracle JET.

Most of their developers do not have Java or Javascript skills.

Would you stick to ADF or will recommend a different approach? but I will love to hear your thoughts…

 

Thanks,

Gustavo.

Oracle

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Mar 1, 2018, 3:34:14 PM3/1/18
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Why not APEX?

Sent from my iPhone
Please forgive typos and incorrect auto-correction.
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Grant Ronald

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Mar 1, 2018, 3:50:30 PM3/1/18
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This is this old and and partisan "my tool is better than your tool" debate which never ends well.  Come on an ADF list and you're slanting your possible responses.  Same is true if you ask on an Apex mail list.  People tend to be religious about tool choice.  Two things I recommend

1) First of all, be 100% crystal clear on WHY you are migrating - NOT migrating and upgrading is an choice to consider

2) Forms/ADF/Apex are tools - you would never start at DIY job by saying "what tool should I use"  - you decide on what you are looking to achieve, and pick the tool that fits.  Open architecture?  Database centric?  Web services?  Client side UI?  Mobile?  These are architecture choices which will drive tool choice.

If you have no skills in Java or JS then its is a difficult decision to make to commit your development team to skills they don't have.. but equally, you have to consider if your future (maybe when these developers have evolved or been replaced) is based around the skills you've traditionally had and thus ignoring what is available to you now.

My third recommendation would be unless anyone knows your business requirements then ignore what tool they tell you to use.

Regards

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Alexis Lopez

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Mar 1, 2018, 3:58:31 PM3/1/18
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Hello Gustavo,

I architected a similar project: Oracle Forms migration (15+ years old project...), about 500 Forms (lots of validations in Forms), Oracle Database and PL/SQL.

I can't talk about Visual Builder CS, since is quite new and haven't had the chance to use it in a real project.
On the other hand, If by Javascript you mean JET, I'm not sure how ~2000 views would work on a Single-Page Application (SPA) which is what JET is. So I think several JET applications should be developed, like modules under SSO or something similar. I know Javascript is in a hype right now (or has been for a few years) and clients just love Javascript frontends, but just remember that taking this path means you should build/maintain two applications (frontend and backend).

So for the migration we chose ADF since is robust enough, ADF Faces components + ADF BC works good, we were to use the same Oracle database and mobile devices weren't the target. Long story short, HR hired new junior developers with Java experience for this project and they started to learn ADF, it was only after a few months that they were productive though. As an ADF implementation specialist, I created the common modules following ADF best practices for code reuse, chose the right ADF application design and set up a CI environment to work with ADF+maven, then they developed the other modules.

My suggestions for whichever technology you choose for this project:
  • Take a moment to really think about what is to be migrated, is it really ~2000 Forms or maybe there are 30% unsued Forms?
  • Rethink Forms design, you are now moving to a new paradigm do not try to take your Form design and put it in a Web page. Also, clients would like to have the same functionalities they get from Forms out-of-the-box and maybe some things work the same but others do not, make sure they understand that
  • Have senior developers with experience on the technology you choose, do not depend just on junior developers.
  • Of course, your team should have developers from the old Forms application otherwise it will take more time to know what a Form does, or is there a really good documentation for each Form?
  • Projects this big need code reuse otherwise maintenance will be hell.
  • If mobile is your target, then I can't recommend ADF


Regards,

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Alejandro Tovar Lanz

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Mar 1, 2018, 4:15:02 PM3/1/18
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I second Alexis on what he wrote above. 

Just please, make sure you hire a SENIOR and SPECIALIZED ADF architect if you are going to get into ADF. Otherwise you are going to have a guranteed failure or business trying to leave Oracle stack altogether. 

I would recommend start with an integration and hybrid application Oracle Forms + Oracle ADF where forms menu option would trigger the ADF app and they both would be living on a SSO environment. That way you can start migrating areas or functionality little by little.

I have also seen companies trying to migrate without an actual and valid reason. 

I would therefore stick to Oracle ADF as long as you have a good plan and someone that can lead and architecht the technical side. However, depending on where you are, it may be difficult to find the right candidate for the senior role. 

Alejandro

Nelson

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Mar 1, 2018, 4:15:02 PM3/1/18
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I would also consider Apex, specially because of their internal knowledge

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Girish

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Mar 2, 2018, 8:29:53 AM3/2/18
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Why anyone would build a custom HR application in this day and age is beyond me. Unless this customer is someone special like the military etc - you'd be better off buying into one of the cloud solutions like Workday or even Oracle Fusion HR. It will probably be cheaper too overall.


Rgds



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Regards,
Girish Lakshmanan

Jeba Jothimoni

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Mar 2, 2018, 8:29:55 AM3/2/18
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I am not sure whether APEX emerged enough to be an enterprise application of that capacity.

 

We have been using & building on ADF Faces with EJB backend (interestingly not using ADF BC ) for more than 7 years. When it comes to enterprise application, the features like Event-driven, AJAX, partial rendering, reusability, maintainability, more importantly Security, target customers etc., should drive the technology or tool selection. I don’t think it’s simple enough to have all these with the Javascript frameworks out there, unless we build these on top of those frameworks. But most of it comes out of the box with ADF Faces.

 

One other thing to consider is the life span of the frameworks or technology that you choose. We piloted with Oracle JET a year ago, at that time the latest version was 3.x and with little over a year that version is going to be sunset (after the release of v5.0 in April). I am guessing this is the same case with other JavaScript frameworks as well. We never faced this issues with ADF. Lately we have been disappointed that not much of development happening in ADF Faces, but at least it’s not sunset.

 

We also have mobile app built using Oracle MAF. Our team of developers, who have strong Java background, jump back and forth between ADF Faces and MAF without any issues.

 

Thanks,


Jeba Jothimoni,

Oracle Certified Master Enterprise Architect, PMP®

Senior Solutions Architect, Aires

Tel +1.412.788.0461 • Direct +1.412.677.1693

website • email • connect on LinkedIn

Łukasz VV.

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Mar 6, 2018, 8:20:53 AM3/6/18
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Hi,
If you want to close yourself in very niche technology ... go ahead.
I'm working with ADF quite a few years now, it looks like even Oracle has abandon ADF towards APEX or OracleJet, but even those I'd reconsider very strongly pros and cons.

Regards
Lukas

and even better is this one: https://www.thelayoff.com/t/Nl2mnfg 
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