Upcoming session by Steven Davelaar on migrating Forms to ADF with JHeadstart 11g

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My former collegue and JHeadstart Team member Steven Davelaar will join us at AMIS on wednesday May 19th, at 18:00, to present on a particular feature of the new JHeadstart 11g release: the JHeadstart Forms2ADF Generator (JFG). Forms to Java and/or ADF migration tools have been around for a long time – for instance, VGO Software has been doing this for quite some time now with their EVO tool, and their latest release also offers ADF 11g as a possible “target” technology. But there are many more. And with every Forms2Jave migration tool, the critical issue is always: “What about the PL/SQL logic??”.

Some tools I have encountered over the years boast a 100% migration of all PL/SQL logic to Java. The way they do this is invariably by creating an almost exact replica of the Forms Runtime environment in Java, so that every when-new-item-instance trigger, and every Forms internal library method, will have an exact counterpart in the target environment. The point of this type of tool totally evades me. I remember talking to a core developer of one of these products on an Oracle Open World conference a long time ago, who proudly announced that from an average .FMB file, tens of thousands of lines of Java code could be generated. I think that the implication behind this was that otherwise, you would have needed to write those tens of thousands lines of code yourself. But in all my years of developing Java applications, I have never EVER written a “when-new-item-instance” method in Java… and I bet you, the reader, didn’t either.

Fortunately, most modern tools take a more thoughtful approach. Rather than blindly migrating each and every line of Forms PL/SQL, they help the developer identify which parts of the code need to be migrated, which parts implement functionality that does need to be carried across to the target architecture, but implemented in a totally different way, and which parts of the code are simply obsolete. VGO Software’s EVO toolstack does this by means of an iterative migration process, and many in-depth report facilities to gain insight in the code structures of the Forms and PLL libraries.

And the JHeadstart 11g Forms2ADF Generator does this by… well… I guess you have to come to the session on May 19th
at AMIS for that :) One thing I will disclose: if you have worked with previous versions of JHeadstart, and particularly with the JHeadstart Designer Generator, make no mistake: the Forms2ADF Generator is a brand new component in the JHeadstart 11g stack, and a lot of development effort went into creating it. You should check it out!

Session information can be found here: http://www.amis.nl/evenementen. As always, registration (and dinner) are free. I hope to see many of you there!

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