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Migrating Forms to Fusion: What You Should Know

Migration is a touchy subject and you should take time to really weigh the decision.

Oracle has really outdone itself with Fusion.  The company brings a variety of software products and features – including Java EE, integration, business intelligence, developer tools, content management and collaboration – together.

This is actually not a new development.  It is the same technology that powers Oracle Application Development.  The point?  You should be looking at how to take advantage of this technology, which is available to you right now.  More importantly, what do you do with the technology you are currently using?

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Let’s take Oracle Forms for instance.  

Nothing wrong with staying with Oracle Forms

Oracle has made it very clear that you really do not have to abandon Oracle Forms.  They are still going to support the software. The company also said that they’re updating and developing it further.

However, Oracle still recommends that some businesses in certain situations should migrate from Forms to Fusion.

Why?

There are some situations when it would be easier and more cost-effective to just migrate Forms to Fusion, such as not having a Forms programmer, or wanting to save on costs involved with an Oracle Forms license.  Or is your company looking to streamline your IT investments and just use one standards-based technology?

It would all depend on your expectations.  All migrations have its risks, required efforts, learning curves and costs.  Would a migration ultimately help you save money while delivering the same level of service or better to your users?

So if you decide that a migration is worth it, what do you need to consider?

1. Differences in architecture and user interface.  Forms is based on client-server applications that are transactional in nature and works closely with your database.  On the other hand, Fusion applications are based on Web technology that are stateless and are more service-based.  The user interface for both are different too.

This means that when you are migrating from Forms to Fusion, you would need to consider the architectural differences so that you do not end up re-implementing the Forms runtime.  You also need to update the user interface so that it would look like an application that users would intuitively know and use.  Moreover, you should note that Fusion applications make use of the model-view-controller pattern, which means that the business service is isolated from the user interaction.  You need to make sure that your Fusion applications integrate your source form into the business and data side of things.  In short, you would need to completely restructure your Forms application in order to take advantage of the new features and architecture of Fusion.

2. You need to make sure that your migrated applications are maintainable by a Fusion developer.  It is not enough that your developers know Forms or Java; this will not be enough as your migration efforts would be based on Oracle ADF.

3. You should know that a lot of your PL/SQL codes will be rewritten in Java.  You will be migrating PL/SQL codes to Java, but there are a few exceptions.

For instance, any code related to working with your database.  You need to identify which codes would stay in PL/SQL or else, you would have a very inefficient code that is very difficult to maintain. Also, you will find that some PL/SQL codes such as validation, lookups and navigation are already implemented in Oracle ADF, so there is no need to spend time migrating these.

How easily can you migrate

Migration is a touchy subject and you should take time to really weigh the decision.  But if you need help in migrating Forms to Fusion, you can call Four Cornerstone.  We offer innovative solutions that can get you up and running in no time. [/expand]

Photo by Hideya HAMANO.

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