Oracle Forms is Alive and Kicking! Oracle Forms Modernization Day

This past Tuesday, I had the privilege of running the Oracle Forms user group conference. It all started when Grant Ronald (Oracle Forms and JDeveloper product manager) and I got to talking at Open World 2011. We were saying how Oracle Forms developers are a huge community but  the forgotten people. Every Oracle conference of recent years has been filled with sessions on ADF, SOA, APEX, BPEL and all other 3 letter curse words (OOPS  I mean buzz words). But for the past few years Forms has dropped off the “session titles” map.

Well we decided then and there to make a conference specifically geared to the Oracle Forms developers community. With the help of Eyal Shani, CTO of Oracle Israel and Ami Aharonovitch, head of the Israel Oracle User Group (our heroes), we set out to prove that the Forms development community is a force to be reckoned with.

And rest assured, there were plenty of nay sayers:  “No one still develops in forms”,  “You won’t get more than 50 people” – Sound familiar? Well, this Tuesday, I got to say those three precious words: “TOLD YOU SO! ” With nearly 200  developers who attended, the event was a rousing success.

The day began with a session by Grant on the strategic direction of Forms. In a clear and proud voice, he declared that Oracle Forms is alive and well and will continue to be for a good long time.

Ofer Krichman, CTO and infrastructure manager of Isracard (Mastercard in Israel) then shared an incredible customer story about how Forms-related technologies improved his business. It is rare for a manager at his level to have such a deep understanding of the 30 technologies under his management and we were all impressed. I think when he told the forum that removing the web cache doubled his performance, half the room fell off their chairs! It’s those little nuggets of wisdom that make these forums so useful. You can see the presentation here: Isracard Customer Story

Then I had my session on best practices for migrating and upgrading Forms applications. Truth is, I had enough information to do a 10 day course. With developers working in versions 3.0 – 11g, character mode, client server, IAS and weblogic, it was no easy feat to give best practices in under 30 minutes.  [Upon popular demand, we’re hoping to have another forum gathering to drill down further with more tips and tricks specific to different versions.]

We then had a live demo of Weblogic, Jdeveloper and a customer story and demo of my solution, OraPlayer. Yaron Ralevi  from Malam-Coral showed how he was able to use the OraPlayer solution to build a mobile app that runs his Forms business logic – in only a day. It was pretty cool view it here

Then, we had a session about the new features of Forms 11g that allow you to take advantage of SOA. I did a killer demo of an Oracle Form application with an embedded google map and weather. (This demo form will be available to download shortly). Finally, we had a half day master class by Grant on ADF development for Forms users.

In short a huge success it was standing room only! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a conference where so many people stay from 8 am – 5 pm and the room is at full attention.

Kudos to Oracle Israel for its commitment to its legacy customers!

We are doing a similar day in the UK  on Feb. 28   if  interested  you can register here:  http://www.ukoug.org/events/ukoug-development-sig-meeting1/

Let me know – What topics would you like to hear about in future Oracle Forms forums? Would you be interested in an ADF hands-on?

Mia

P.S. To take a look at some more pictures from the conference click here.

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7 comments on “Oracle Forms is Alive and Kicking! Oracle Forms Modernization Day

  1. Hello Mia,

    As a “declared Forms guru”, I am very sorry that I could not participate this time to the meeting, though I intended initially to be there.
    I am delighted to hear that (at least if I understand it correctly, I hope so ! )
    the bottom line WAS NOT the usual one “drop to the basket your entire work investment in Forms” and move to ADF, Java or at least APEX .

    I am sure that you went through all this road and you know what I am talking about :)
    I “swared fidelity” to Forms, so I definitely follow after all the enhancements offered by Forms11g and I still believe that it is an excellent development tool and environment ( by the way, I answer frequently questions on a Forum on ITToolbox and it is amazing how widely spread is (still) even Forms6i, yes !!! ).

    I hope that next time I will be able to attend … maybe enriching a little bit my
    “general knowledge” in the meantime.
    ( then maybe I will also disclose why in fact I couldn’t be there this time :) )

    Thanks a lot & Best Regards,
    Thanks in advance for keeping us updated with any news !

    Iudith Mentzel
    ZIM – Haifa

    • Hi ludith,

      Happy to hear I have a fellow forms loyalist!

      What forms version are you developing in now?
      Now that Oracle has seen that we have a real community they will host another developer event in April then one in June.
      My blog followers will be updated on any new events so be sure you FOLLOW the community.

      Thanks,

      Mia

      • Hello Mia,
        I am currently developing in Forms10g.
        We only have the Forms component of the OAS installed, not the entire application server.
        There were some tests performed last year in the direction of moving to 11g,
        but as far as I know they got stuck somewhere with th WebLogic installations.
        In what concerns Forms, I think I have no problems to upgrade.
        Unfortunately (and really not due to my fault … ) I have so few time to deal with development, but each time I enjoy doing something new (for me !), like
        using the webutil components, Java beans, a.s.o. … which we never used before, because the organization in its entirety is focused around PowerBuilder and SAP, while I myself (enjoying some DBA privileges, access to servers, a.s.o.) am still able “to faithfully serve” my own Oracle Forms applications
        and I still enjoy doing it … and even answering many forum questions on Forms topics …
        I really don’t know why Oracle Forms started to be considered as a technology to be abandoned … as long as ADF and other Java technologies are so difficult to master even in their basic features in comparison wit Forms,
        I seriously doubt that moving to such technologies and “started to write Java effectively” was such a big step forward, after Oracle Forms’ web deployed version did already “hide the Java stuff” so elegantly from the developer,
        which was indeed a very valuable step …

        I’m afraid that Oracle Forms’ “fate” will be similar to that of the VMS operating system, that is, “to be the best by far and to be however kicked off the market”…
        Anyway, I’m already an “old wolf” and will probably hardly change my opinions and my faithfulness …

        Thanks a lot in advance for keeping me updated about any Forms related news :)

        Best Regards,
        Iudith

  2. Hi Mia,
    Thank you for the big work you are doing to gather the Forms and Reports 6i community that still exists through this forum :) Really thank you !
    I’ve followed your Forms 11g install guide, and I succeed without any problem.
    I still have a problem with Oracle Reports. When we justify text in arabic the justification doesn’t occur. I mean the text is not adjusted correctly into the item.
    I am using Reports 6i with Windows XP SP3. Maybe you have had this problem with hebrew. I will appreciate any help from you.

    Thanks in advance,

    Amine

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