Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Forms to Apex Migration (or Facebooking with Angelina Jolie)

I don't know if you read David Peake's recent blog entry about Apex 3.2 and how they're planning to produce a Forms-to-Apex migration tool. Yes? Good. Cos I'm really excited about it; I can't think of any news that could be more exciting than that. (Well okay, I might be a little more excited if I found I'd just won the lottery, or if I got an email from Angelina Jolie saying she'd spotted me on Facebook and wanted to come round to my flat to watch the Indiana Jones Trilogy on DVD and drink cheap wine.)

But think about it - no, not Angelina Jolie, the migration tool! It has the potential of being massive, of completely changing the direction in which a company like mine is moving. We've invested over a decade of our existence in building a sprawling (and successful) Oracle Forms application. We navigated the tricky waters of migrating from the frankly ugly Forms 4.5 to Forms 6i, but now we're struggling to convince our customers to take on the extra expense of upgrading from client/server Forms 6i to web Forms.

But even as we plough this row we're acutely aware that Oracle Forms is kinda like Glenn Close at the end of Fatal Attraction - yeah, she might spring to her feet with a sudden spurt of manic energy, but the end is definitely in sight. Would clients be willing to accept software written in dated Forms in 2 years' time? Or five? But what choice do we have? It'll cost us a million pounds and perhaps 2 years to rewrite our Forms app.

So this migration tool could be a total lifesaver. And it is completely in our interest to get in on the ground floor, and so we'll be taking David Peake up on his open invitation to collaborate with his team to convert some of our forms. I must admit that I'm a bit of a sceptic who cannot see how a Forms to Apex conversion could ever work smoothly, but I'm willing to be ... erm ... converted.

1 comment:

josephwilliam said...

The major reason being that developers will have a lesser learning curve for migrating Oracle forms to .NET considering that features similarities between both the development platforms. Oracle forms migration