Oracle Forms Modernization – The Future of Oracle Forms is …. Forms !

This was a great week!

For the past 5 years, almost on a daily basis, I have had to explain to my Oracle Forms customers that Oracle Forms is not really dead just “Mature” and Oracle intends to keep it around for a long time. All the while quietly praying that Oracle doesn’t make a liar out of me in 2 years. Although the official message from Oracle was forms is not dead the word on the street seemed to be that Oracle Forms Modernization was a code word for migration to java. Even as new versions of Forms were released I heard more about the options for migrating Oracle Forms to APEX, ADF or Java.
Although the future of Oracle Forms seemed uncertain at best, for years I have been helping my clients secure their huge investments in Oracle Forms by stretching their legacy forms applications to the limit.  I have done projects such as modernize the look and feel of applications (see screen shots), adding webservice capabilities, integrating Oracle Forms into an IBM unified desktop application  including forms automation, adding java beans / PJC’s and integrating with SOA applications.
This week, finally and officially, Oracle has joined me in embracing the best message of all  “The future of forms is ….. forms”  in Lucas Jellema and Grant Ronald’s presentation for UKOUG presentation. I was thrilled to see Oracle was presenting the same message I have been preaching for years. :) Leave your forms systems as they are and integrate them with newer systems developed in any web-based technology.
Don’t get me wrong, I encourage all Oracle Forms users to get familiar with ADF and the next generation tools that Oracle are offering. Oracle is offering incredibly productive java development environments and object oriented programming is the way of the future. However your first project in these technologies should not be to convert a legacy system that was developed 10 – 12 years ago by 20 developers who no longer work for you and of course left no documentation. And by the way your company’s developers have no prior java or object oriented programming experience but you saw a demo at Oracle Open World and it looked so easy your sure you can re-develop your 700 forms application in a giffy.
A huge thanks to Grant Ronald who has kept the faith, and documentation, for us Forms evangelists all these years!To get everyone started on the true Oracle Forms Modernization projects you can refer to some links below.
Let me know if you know of other good ones..

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16 comments on “Oracle Forms Modernization – The Future of Oracle Forms is …. Forms !

  1. That is great news indeed. I certainly belong to the old school having seen forms from the version 1.0 days on vax vms, some 25 years ago. Since then I have developed innumerable apps for a while heap of clients, all the way to forms 11g.

    Sad to see java and .net has killed forms. Though not an expert at java, I have seen apps developed using the newer technology stack. These have left a lot to be desired when compared to the ease with which quality and rich ui could be developed.

    My heart says “long live oracle forms”, but it appears the end is nigh.

  2. Hi Sridhar,

    Wow Forms version 1.0 you make me seem like a beginer with only 13 years experience. :)
    I think this quote always best summed it up
    “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” said by Mark Twain after hearing that his obituary had been published in the New York Journal.
    No matter what people say java and .net have not killed forms (not yet anyways). The proof is in the developers. Forms is the 4th largest OTN forum. Most Oracle ERP customers are still on forms and they say that almost 40% of Oracle DB customers have a forms system.
    Although forms may not be popular one in the crowd it is the smart, productive, stable one.
    So both my heart and my carrer shows that forms is still alive and kicking.


  3. Very nice article.
    Forms is a great tool and I’m glad to see that a future is available.

    This will secure my client and myself (of course).

    Thank you Mia and have a good day. :)

  4. As a Forms developer, i feel we cannot stand in the market. Forms got its own limitation, oracle is not ready to add a flexible grid on Forms. I feel we should move to ADF. Let us all forms users join together and learn ADF with out using much java code. I am not good in Java.

  5. I started using Forms 2.0 before the onset of PL/SQL in 1988. In those days it was a big leap from 3GLs. I enjoyed working on Forms, Reports (and RPG).

  6. I also started using Forms 2.0 on Oracle5 version, and finally my journey end of using Forms with Forms 2000- Oracle7. By this time I entered in to Oracle DBA career. My heart still beats for Oracle Forms, thru which I learned to understand Oracle internals, tuning, and writing efficient SQL/ PLSQL and I am comfortably sailing my Oracle DBA boat. Long live Oracle Forms, of course enhancements needed to compete with real world.

  7. It was definitely interesting to see and hear what the Forms Community is saying and doing. Yes, Forms was a great technology (and ruled for a long time), but now the demands are different (see the push of ADF).

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