Many software managers and CTOs fail to identify the potential pitfalls of Oracle Forms to ADF migration. The result is countless hours of development effort spent to re-write your existing application and deliver ‘new’ software system (may it be ERP or CRM) that end users refuse to work with. This article shows 3 major points that will show you how to go through the migrational process and deliver great product that will not only make your users happy, but also push the whole organization to the next level.
1) Be the innovator, just like someone was 20 years ago
20 years ago, Oracle Forms used to be top-notch, state of the art technology that turned the software industry upside-down. Many companies transformed their business and internal operations thanks to it. Remember the time when your company started using it? It was definitely a life-turning event, just like the moment when you start using Oracle ADF!
In order to be successful, you need to copy the innovative approach, not copy the Forms application that you already have! Here are some tips on this:
- watch presentations and videos about ADF (e.g. Oracle video tutorials)
- get acquanted with the UI features the new technology provides http://jdevadf.oracle.com/adf-richclient-demo/faces/
- understand how you benefit from ADF Web Architecture
- understand how ADF can lead you to the SOA and BPM world
- research about products that boost the migration process – e.g. JHeadstart and FormADFApp
2) Do not code in the dark – involve all users and stakeholders as early as possible
Imagine you are a bank accountant, working with an existing Oracle Forms Banking Portal. You have been using this Portal for the last 10 years, interacting with it day after day, year after year. You know this application better than your spouse(or at least you have spent more time with it)!
Now imagine that yesterday your manager walked in the room and told you that from today you are forced to stop working with the Oracle Forms Banking Portal and you must start using the new ADF Banking Portal. How would you feel? How are you going to do your daily tasks with this brand new system, that already has tons of new features and the old ones just don’t look the same? Nobody on Earth would applaud this drastic change.
The solution? Involve your users from day one! Deploy your brand new ADF system to production from the very beginning! (more about that in part 3)
It is crucial to keep your users in the loop and show them your progress on monthly basis – don’t keep the ADF product in the dark for too long. Get feedback and engage the stakeholders as early as possible and remember: your Forms Application is a product of iterative changes and development for several years – you cannot achieve the same quality from scratch!
If you want some more tips on how to improve the delivery process, read on the last tip.
3) Don’t abandon valuable resources – reuse existing Forms and Reports
You might wonder how you can start using the new ADF product without completing all screens and user scenarios. Or how you can put the system to production without having the reports migrated.
The answer to both questions is: integrate the existing Oracle Forms and Reports in the new ADF application. This has many benefits including:
Reuse the existing reports by calling the from the new ADF pages
Present the new ADF application while it still does not have any ADF forms in it
Migrate form by form, gradually replacing the old Oracle forms with ADF ones
Migrate module by module
Give the users ability to use the old Forms until they get comfortable with the new ones
For more info on how to integrate Oracle Forms and Reports in ADF you can visit http://formadfapp.com/