"Oracle Forms is our environment to scale and support 4,000 concurrent users running our store merchandise management system. Oracle Forms Developer enables us to quickly develop and deploy our applications with a RAD environment and an out-of-the-box Web deployment architecture."
- Stephan Houben, Development Tool and Configuration Support Department Manager , MGI

Company Information

Metro MGI Informatik GmbH (MGI) is a subsidiary of METRO AG - the third largest retail grouping in the world. As Metro AG's internal IT-service, its 700 employees provide IT services to the various branches of METRO AG all around the world. MGI's services include development of applications for national and international deployment, maintenance of computing centers in several locations and IT consulting.

Business Problem

MGI is developing various projects for Metro employees in other service companies and for different sales lines inside Metro. MGI needed development tools for quick and easy creation of transactional applications. Due to the size of the company, the tools had to scale to support thousands of concurrent users. To be able to handle many customization and enhancements requests meant that the tools had to be flexible enough in order to incorporate changes fast.

Solution

MGI uses Oracle9 i Developer Suite to develop its Web applications. The components of the suite support the full development life cycle of Metro's application from design through development to Web deployment.

Oracle Designer is used to visually model the database schema and application modules. Oracle Designer's centralized repository is used to store all of the design information. MGI generates database definition scripts directly from the model.

Oracle Forms Developer is MGI's main development tool for transactional Web applications. Graphical user interfaces and visual editors combined with tight database integration enable Rapid Application Development (RAD). Advance reuse capabilities enabled MGI to build "shared services" (i.e. shared reusable components) that are used to accelerate applications' development using standards and reusable components.

MGI developed a store management application that is deployed in 800 stores all across Germany. The application was originally developed in client/server. MGI migrated the application to the Web without re-writing the code, which preserved existing investments in code, training and tools expertise.

The store management application currently supports 4,000 concurrent users on a daily basis. The application is deployed on Oracle9 i Application Server taking advantage of load balancing and fail-safe capabilities to achieve maximum availability and reliability.

MGI also uses Oracle Reports Developer to develop sophisticated reports for end users. The reports are deployed on Oracle9 i Application Server, enabling users to run their reports and receive online output in PDF format from any Internet browser.

MGI uses Oracle9 i JDeveloper for the development of Java Server Pages (JSP) based application to exchange information with external suppliers. Oracle9 i JDeveloper gives MGI's developer a complete and productive Java IDE that supports the latest J2EE standards. The JSP application is deployed using the J2EE capabilities of Oracle9 i Application Server (OC4J) and currently supports 500 users.

Business Benefits

Oracle Developer Suite covers the complete life cycle of applications development at MGI. Leveraging the unique capabilities of Oracle Forms, MGI was able to migrate its applications to the Web with minimal effort preserving investments in business logic and programmers skills. The applications built with Oracle Developer Suite and deployed on Oracle9 i Applications Server are highly scalable supporting thousands of users. Deploying their applications on the Web protects MGI from expensive installation and maintenance costs.