The Challenge of Converting Oracle Forms to ADF

Ever since JDeveloper 3.0 was released, there have been many questions regarding the conversion of Oracle files to ADF. Even after several years, there are still many challenges regarding the conversion of Oracle Forms to ADF. There is no standard way for these files conversions and what may be simple in one environment may be very difficult in another atmosphere.

There are certain things about Oracle that makes it difficult to convert them. Here is a list of some of these unique features.

  • Forms do not have real model layers. The blocks have UI grids and data sources and migrating them into MVC architecture is not easy. It demands lots of effort and time.
  • With forms, there is no notion of canvases nesting unto stacked canvases. This means that you will not find a base canvas on which you can put other canvas. With this kind of structure, it is really challenging to translate it into a container system.
  • Generally, forms code is interpreted. A “SHOW_ALERT” notification actually pauses the code until the user inputs his or her command. It will be challenging to make a conversion if the “SHOW_ALERT” command is hidden in some complex logic.
  • Another thing with forms is that it uses PL/SQL for scripting. PL/SQL scripting is coupled with the database.
  • Things that are easy using forms can be tedious in the web environment. For instance, you can easily use a zip code to write a code to populate a city using forms. This will be difficult in a web environment.
  • Another thing is that forms use x/y layout. Most of the web environments do not support this.

The challenges discussed above have not slowed down converter companies. Several converters have been available over the years. Converters that work take a similar pattern which includes the following.

  • The converters produce applications that are entirely different from any application written if you work in the target environment from scratch.
  • You will need to make some manual inputs for a successful result. This is because the converters do not do all the work. If you rely on the converters, you will not be able to complete your task.
  • The user interface is similar to the interface provided by Forms. This means that the new interface will still look like the old Forms interface created decades ago.

Even though there are challenges when migrating from Oracle Forms to Oracle ADF, there are ways through which you can migrate with ease. Integritas Solutions provides a simple and stress-free way of migrating directly to ADF. You will need to use the ADF Faces user interface: this forms part of the Oracle ADF Application. This user interface provides easy access to development components of the software. It also bridges the gap between the two software. The ADF Faces user interface will allow you to be able to access Oracle Forms within the ADF user interface. This will make it easy to successfully migrate from Oracle Forms to ADF.

Author: Steffy Alen