15 mei: Een dag over de toekomst van en met Oracle Forms bij AMIS (gratis toegang)

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imageBen je werkzaam bij een organisatie die Oracle Forms gebruikt en ben je een (of de meest) ervaren ontwikkelaar in jullie team of misschien wel de applicatie architect, dan denk je ongetwijfeld wel eens over de toekomst. Wat zijn de plannen van Oracle met Forms? En hoe kan je aan de toenemende verwachtingen en eisen van de gebruikers en de business blijven voldoen met zo’n volwassen technologie als Forms? Hoe kan je de Forms applicatie combineren en integreren met nieuwe concepten als SOA en Web Services, als Web 2.0 en ADF of .NET en in mobiele toepassingen?

Natuurlijk, er zijn allerlei nieuwe tools en technologieen om compleet nieuwe applicaties te ontwikkelen, maar dat is helemaal niet zo aanlokkelijk. De bestaande investering in de Forms-applicatie dreigt verloren te gaan en de kennis en vaardigheden die ontwikkelaars moeten opbouwen voor een ander platform zijn zeer aanzienlijk. Er zijn vast subtielere manieren om de huidige Forms applicaties te moderniseren en met moderne technologie te combineren.

Op dinsdag 15 mei organiseert AMIS een evenement onder de titel: “The Future of Forms” – bedoeld voor ervaren Forms ontwikkelaars en applicatie architecten van Forms applicaties. De vragen die hierboven worden gesteld komen op deze dag aan bod en diverse manieren en tools om met Forms te moderniseren worden gepresenteerd, gedemonstreerd en bediscussieerd. Als je serieus bezig bent met de toekomst van de Forms applicaties in jouw organisatie – en je eigen toekomst natuurlijk – dan zou je dit bijzondere evenement niet mogen missen.

Erkende sprekers uit Nederland, Duitsland, Frankrijk, UK en Israel verzorgen een uitgebreid programma aan presentaties en demonstraties, vanaf ‘s ochtends 9 uur tot pakweg 17.30. Zie voor de details van het programma: Dagprogramma 15 mei Future of Forms. De toegang tot dit evenement is gratis. Aanmelden kan via de website: registreren voor The Future of Forms.

Het programma voor 15 mei staat hier weergegeven. NB: er is ook een avondprogramma met hands-on sessies. Hierin kan je kiezen uit zes verschillende workshops waarin je in detail kennis kan maken met een van verschillende moderniseringsrichtingen. Zie voor details over dit avondprogramma: The Future of Forms – Workshops & Deep Dive.

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De korte beschrijvingen van de presentaties zijn als volgt:

Forms to Future – history, evolution, architecture and future – Lucas Jellema
Oracle Forms starting from its earliest incarnations have been around for more than a quarter of century. The vast majority of today’s Forms – and Forms developers – have their roots in mid-90s Client/Server technology- even though WebForms introduced widely adopted three-tier deployment. The world obviously has changed. End user groups are more diverse with different and more advanced needs, working on flexible locations and odd moments. Technology advances have been made on different platforms and devices, new architecture patterns have been embraced and agile development striving for business agility is all the rage. Applications developed using Forms technology have not seen a lot of change. And it is about time that they do. This session looks back at the long history of Forms and the key ingredients to its success. It then quickly focuses on where business and end-user requirements are today and what approaches are available for meeting current and future demands with the current Forms applications as starting point.

The main approaches available for ‘a Future from [and quite possibly with]Forms’ to be discussed are:
 Evolve/improve/”pimp’ existing Forms, continue to run as Forms with a modern look and feel
 Integrate Forms a in SOA environment – hook up to push-mechanisms, queuing interaction and workflow managers
 Embed in Web 2.0 (UI integration with ADF, .NET or other ‘modern’ web technologies)
 Wrap as service (publish business logic from Forms and reuse with new User Interfaces or WebServices on top of them)
 Render to new platforms (render Forms as they are to new platforms such as Java free browsers and mobile devices)
 Migrate to new technology stack and architecture (semi)-automatically migrate/convert Forms to a new technology
 Migrate to new technology stack and architecture : rebuild functionality from scratch in a new technology stack – leveraging functionality and experience from the Forms application – but no more
Each of this approaches is subsequently discussed in much more detail by the speakers that contribute to this event.

Modernizing Forms using Pluggable Java Components and the Forms Look and Feel project – François Degrelle
In this presentation, we will see that Oracle Forms is an open product into which we can plug third party widgets to increase the capabilities. These plug-ins are called “Java Beans” and can push the standard product boundaries. As an example, you will see a presentation and a demonstration of the “Forms Look and Feel Project” plug-in, that is a set of tools that permits decorating a Forms module by reading the graphical properties from an external CSS file, and also providing over one hundred new features. You will learn how the PJC-architecture and the substantial library of community contributed components easily allow for adding attractive, modern features to your Forms – including Google Maps and PDF Reader.

To infinity and beyond: Extend the life of your Oracle Forms application by running your existing Forms from next generation technologies/platforms without migration – Mia Urman

Does your Oracle Forms system have core business logic that you wish you could share as business processes or webservices? Want to integrate Forms with your next generation systems without costly and risky migration projects? Then we have a solution for you! In this brief session we will present OraPlayer, a tool that allows companies to wrap the business logic trapped within their Oracle Forms systems and upgrade fast-track to a modernized, SOA or mobile enabled environment.

Forms 11g, ADF and APEX: Co-existence in Enterprise Applications – Madi Serban & Andreas Gaede
For some time now, Oracle Forms has addressed all the needs for database development. And it still does. The next challenge is taking advantage of the newest features in Forms 11g and integrating enterprise Forms applications with other modern technologies, like ADF and APEX. We will present and exemplify live our first-hand experience of migrating large, enterprise Oracle Forms applications to Forms 11g, ADF and APEX. The exemplified case studies are taken from our latest migration projects. The demonstration will not only take into consideration the web layout redesign, but will also offer solutions for dealing with true challenges like: how to assess the amount of work, how to re-use components and preserve the investment in Oracle Forms, how to ensure a smooth coexistence of Forms 11g, ADF and APEX. Come and join us in discussing the lessons we have learnt from our latest migration projects, the dos and don’ts and much more.

Rendering Forms to alternative platforms using YoForms – Oliver Tickell & Don Smith
One aspect of the communications revolution of recent years is the ubiquity of handheld devices – iPads, Blackberries, Androids and numerous generic Smartphones. Increasingly Forms users want to deploy their applications to such devices – and to do so in a universal way so as not to be tied to any particular technology. We determined that this would best be achieved by rendering to the browser using only HTML and JavaScript. A further requirement was pixel-accurate rendition – necessary because so many forms are laid out with pixel accuracy. We also wanted to reproduce precisely the original functionality so that Forms users would experience no change in application behaviour. We were intially uncertain if this would even be possible. But we can now tell you that not only is it possible, but we have done it. Our solution, YoForms, is written entirely in JEE6 enterprise Java and runs on any standards compliant application server. It communicates with the browser via a lightweight AJAX layer designed to minimise traffic volume, and uses a small subset of HTML features to eliminate browser / device-specific display variations.

In our first presentation we will set out the overall architecture of YoForms and will demonstrate its operation on a low-performance laptop computer running Windows XP, Oracle 10g XE database, Apache Tomcat application server, and Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Partial and or Gradual migration by embedding existing Forms in new UI technology – Wilfred van der Deijl
Thousands of companies have a large investment in Oracle Forms, often running their core applications. Many are considering moving to Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) to enter the new era of enterprise application development. Oracle does not offer a migration solution other than re-developing your application in ADF. This brief session introduces OraFormsFaces, a toolkit that allows you to integrate existing Forms applications in your new ADF, or other, web application. This allows for a hybrid application consisting of both Oracle Forms and new web technology. Over time you can remove individual Forms and replace them with new web technology.

JHeadstart: Real world experiences for migrating Forms to ADF – Steven Davelaar

In this presentation Steven will share his experiences with various customers he helped moving from Oracle Forms to ADF. He will explain how the JHeadstart toolkit helped these customers. In addition he will discuss common pitfalls, lessons learned, and some guidelines that can be extracted from these modernization projects.

Parallel Sessions

Run Oracle Forms business process from any UI (or service): Integrate, Go Mobile, SOA or BPM in minutes without migration – Mia Urman
Having trouble integrating your Oracle Forms applications with other Java/ADF/.Net / APEX/ portal systems in your organization? Want to enter the Mobile, Cloud or SOA world with your EXISTING Forms applications? Want to create webservices or ADF data controls from Forms business processes? Well we can help! In this brief session I will show how using OraPlayer we can reuse the business logic trapped within our existing Oracle Forms systems and deploy to new environments and platforms without costly and risky migration projects. Including live demos of running Oracle Forms business logic silently from an ADF faces UI and a mobile application.

More details on Modernizing Forms using Pluggable Java Components and the Forms Look and Feel project – François Degrelle
In this presentation, we will see that Oracle Forms is an open product into which we can plug third party widgets to increase the capabilities. These plug-ins are called “Java Beans” and can push the standard product boundaries. As an example, you will see a presentation and a demonstration of the “Forms Look and Feel Project” plug-in, that is a set of tools that permits decorating a Forms module by reading the graphical properties from an external CSS file, and also providing over one hundred new features. You will learn how the PJC-architecture and the substantial library of community contributed components easily allow for adding attractive, modern features to your Forms – including Google Maps and PDF Reader.

JHeadstart in depth: Real world experiences for migrating Forms to ADF – Steven Davelaar
In this presentation Steven will share his experiences with various customers he helped moving from Oracle Forms to ADF. He will explain how the JHeadstart toolkit helped these customers. In addition he will discuss common pitfalls, lessons learned, and some guidelines that can be extracted from these modernization projects.

Demonstrating YoForms – on your laptop / smartphone – Oliver Tickell & Don Smith
In our second presentation we will make our YoForms application available to participants via a local WiFi network, so that they can access it on their laptop, notebook, smartphone or any other device equipped with a browser. The session will feature the application itself, and the ‘treeview’ which presents any open YoForms session in tree format, including both form definition and live application data. Users will be able to edit the live session and observe the result take immediate effect.

Embedding existing Forms in new ADF applications using OraFormsFaces for perfect co-existence – Wilfred van der Deijl
After the brief session explaining the unique benefits of OraFormsFaces, this session will go into more detail. We will demonstrate, with live demos, how to take an existing Oracle Forms application and to integrate it with a basic ADF application. You can see how little, if any, changes are needed to the Forms application and how easy it is to use the OraFormsFaces JSF components within JDeveloper. Keep in mind, that even though the demo focuses on ADF and JDeveloper you can use OraFormsFaces with any HTML/JavaScript web technology.

Forms 11g, ADF and APEX: Co-existence in Enterprise Applications – Madi Serban & Andreas Gaede
For some time now, Oracle Forms has addressed all the needs for database development. And it still does. The next challenge is taking advantage of the newest features in Forms 11g and integrating enterprise Forms applications with other modern technologies, like ADF and APEX. We will present and exemplify live our first-hand experience of migrating large, enterprise Oracle Forms applications to Forms 11g, ADF and APEX. The exemplified case studies are taken from our latest migration projects. The demonstration will not only take into consideration the web layout redesign, but will also offer solutions for dealing with true challenges like: how to assess the amount of work, how to re-use components and preserve the investment in Oracle Forms, how to ensure a smooth coexistence of Forms 11g, ADF and APEX. Come and join us in discussing the lessons we have learnt from our latest migration projects, the dos and don’ts and much more.

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About Author

Lucas Jellema, active in IT (and with Oracle) since 1994. Oracle ACE Director for Fusion Middleware. Consultant, trainer and instructor on diverse areas including Oracle Database (SQL & PLSQL), Service Oriented Architecture, BPM, ADF, Java in various shapes and forms and many other things. Author of the Oracle Press book: Oracle SOA Suite 11g Handbook. Frequent presenter on conferences such as JavaOne, Oracle OpenWorld, ODTUG Kaleidoscope, Devoxx and OBUG. Presenter for Oracle University Celebrity specials.

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