Migrating Oracle Forms Applications to J2EE

27th July 2005


Java and the J2EE platform are now established as standards for building Web applications. With this drive towards an open and standard architecture, organizations who have used Oracle Forms may be considering their development options including whether they need to migrate existing applications onto the J2EE platform.

Oracle Forms Roadmap

Oracle has clearly documented its strategy and commitment with respect to Oracle tools and in particular Oracle Forms. For the full statement on Oracle's Tools Strategy read the Tools SOD.

Upgrade and Integrate is the key message from the tools strategy for existing customers. As an Oracle Forms user we recommend upgrading your Forms applications to the latest version to take advantage of new features, services and technologies. While you can continue to develop and invest in your Forms applications, it is worth considering the opportunities that the J2EE platform opens up, and whether these address your future business needs.

Embracing J2EE Technology

In exploring these technologies, or if you have made a decision to adopt J2EE for any new development, Oracle JDeveloper10g and Oracle Application Development Framework ( ADF) become the natural choice by providing concepts such as productive, declarative and framework driven development, which are already familiar to a Forms audience. Oracle JDeveloper10g and Oracle ADF simplifies J2EE development by minimizing the need to write and maintain code that implements design patterns and application infrastructure (in the same way that Oracle Forms provides you with a runtime framework which does much of the "plumbing" for you) .

J2EE Adoption

Mobile applications, Web services, character mode, self service applications: there may be many reasons to consider J2EE technology. If you decide to adopt J2EE technologies for application development there are a number of options:

New development
You may consider to retain your investment with Oracle Forms and coexist your web deployed Oracle Forms applications and new J2EE applications on the Oracle platform using the services of the Oracle Application Server to share common services and business logic.

Rewriting/Migration of existing components
You may consider that some elements of your existing applications are best served by the features available in new technologies. For example, you require a lightweight interface to an Internet deployed self-service or mobile application. You may consider that these modules be rewritten or migrated to J2EE and again, use the Oracle Application Server to share the common services and business logic of the Forms and J2EE applications (e.g. Forms and J2EE sharing database tables, PL/SQL code, common security services etc.).

Migration of complete applications
Finally, you may have decided that you require a rapid 100% adoption of J2EE. In this case you may consider a complete rewriting or migration of existing applications; in effect to produce a mirror of the existing application.

Migration options

Customers who have decided to migrate, either some or part of their applications, will want to know if there is a migration path. A  number of 3rd parties are building migration solutions. It is our opinion that if a migration solution is required, one which exploits similar concepts to Oracle Forms, as Oracle ADF offers, affords a greater chance of successful migration.  For more details visit the Forms Migration Partners page.

Frequently Asked Questions?

See the current list of Frequently Asked Questions.