Is the Oracle conversion fully automated?
Yes: If you are an Oracle Forms customer (using Oracle Forms Developer) then the process is iterative. We provide tools with which you can set up rules and with these rules you can filter out the unnecessary parts from the Oracle Form to make sure that the QAML output is clean.
The better the rules set, the better the output. The Forms Conversion GUI is in fact a wizard, which helps you decide what to modernize.
Is QAML Builder Plugin required to try out Oracle Forms conversion using QAFE?
No. QAML Builder is an IDE. To convert Oracle forms QAFE has another tool called QAFE Forms Conversion GUI. The output of the Forms Conversion process can be opened in the QAML Builder, which immediately allows you to edit and run the QAFE application.
Can all of the Oracle Forms logic be migrated?
Most of them. Please take into account that some of the logic will not automatically apply to the new situation. We divide the logic into two main parts:
- Control logic (related to screen components/items)
- True business logic
The logic can in general be found in many places (triggers, program units, PLLs, etc.). Bear in mind that not all of the logic in your current FMB is relevant. For the relevant code we provide comments on the basis of which the developer can decide whether or not to use it. Our advice is to perform a functional migration at the same time as the technical migration
How do transactions from Forms work inside QAFE? Forms is a stateful application: your application has a new UI but do you still support stateful applications?
Since the migration is from 2-Tier (Client-Server) to N-Tier architecture, you cannot have a dedicated database connection. So in that sense, the concept of transactions (as known in FMB) is not applicable in modern web applications. Of course, the JEE standard defines how transactions should be used and we do support that feature. For this, you make your application state fully (you can store variables within the context of a user session).
What version of Forms is supported?
The FMBs are supported from Oracle Forms 6i and higher.
What if I use Oracle Designer?
Since Oracle Designer produces Oracle Forms (FMBs) we use the output. We know from our customers that there are post-generation steps that are not in Oracle Designer. So directly accessing Oracle Designer would not have all the contents. From 2012 we decided that the only source of information is the FMB (with post generation steps and manual modifications included).
I want to migrate multilingual Oracle Forms. How is that supported in QAFE?
QAFE has had multilingual support from the beginning. It’s quite easy to set this up.
I’m using the Oracle Translation Hub. What is the license model in this case?
With the Oracle Translation Hub you have to create new instances of the Forms in each language: for example one Form for English and one Form for Spanish. In QAFE this is not the case. We support multiple languages in one Form. We need the keys and their translation in the specific language. So the license model does not change because of the Translation Hub.
Are LOVs supported?
Yes, they are. We advise you to use a more modern approach, however: Auto-complete text field search while typing. Much faster and much more user-friendly! In QAFE Forms Conversion GUI we translated LOVs to autocomplete fields. This is what we call modernization besides conversion of the Form to another technology.
I’m using style libraries: what does QAFE do with this?
Style libraries are required in the conversion process, since even though the Item is defined as a Text Item (for example) in the FMB, the way it is rendered is mostly described in the Style libraries (OLB), so we require this as an input.
My Oracle Form has parameterized input, can QAFE do the same?
Yes, parameters are supported from Form to Form (or from an external source). Note: In the QAFE Runtime/Platform this is much easier and really fast!
How easy is it to extend the QAML output?
Once the QAFE Forms Conversion has output QAML code, it’s really easy to extend, modify, etc. in the QAML Builder. From this point on, development of this kind of application becomes really easy.
Do I have to learn Java to use the QAML output?
No, If you are a database developer, then Java is not required at all. The knowledge that a database developer has is very valuable and in QAFE you can use your QAML + PL/SQL knowledge to create state-of-the-art applications.
Do I have to migrate all the logic to my database? I don’t like cluttering up the database.
No, you don’t have to migrate useful PL/SQL code to the database. QAFE has an intermediate layer for database access. In fact this is the API to your database. These pieces of PL/SQL code can be moved to this layer (we call this the statements file). The only requirement is that the PL/SQL must be free of any Forms-specific logic.
Is the Oracle Forms migration 100% automated?
In Forms Migration starting from FMBs we can migrate almost 90 to 95%(!). After migration, some of the logic may not be needed anymore. There will always be a situation where a developer has to decide what to do with the PL/SQL. Most of the time there is a new and more modern way to solve this.
Can I customize the same form for each customer even though the language is the same? (Some customers use different labels on their buttons, although the button has the same functionality and for the customer they are both in English)
Yes, define a new set of message bundles for each customer (this is how we do multilingual support).
If I start a Forms conversion process with QAFE, do I have to implement it like a Big Bang scenario?
No, definitely not. Web Oracle Forms (Applets) will run within the QAFE Environment.
Do I still need Oracle Forms Service after migration to run QAFE Applications?
No, it’s not needed anymore. An open source web container implementation or application server (that supports servlet specification 2.4 and JSP specification 2.0) is sufficient. For example Tomcat 6.0.* is already working with QAFE.
Is there a GUI that can help me migrate my Oracle Forms?
Yes, there is. The QAFE Forms Conversion GUI is a web interface and will help you to migrate your Forms. In this process filtering is applied so that you don’t get what you don’t want.
There is so much Headstart auto-generated stuff in my FMB: can you get rid of this?
Yes. The GUI Forms Conversion supports filtering. For example if a Window starts with “CG$” then this might tell you that this is generated or built-in. This window is not needed after migration. Furthermore, a lot of applications have a separate Oracle Forms Window for the Calendar. In the case of QAFE, this is so much easier.
Can I choose which components I want to migrate for a specific form?
Yes, through the GUI Forms Conversion you can select what you want (including windows, toolbars, etc).
Is it possible to integrate the converted Forms in QAFE with other technologies (Java, SOA, etc.)?
Yes, this is possible. The Converted Oracle Form can connect to multiple databases or other sources of information. There is no need to use database links to get data from another database. The limitation to only connect to the source database is no longer there.
Can the Oracle Forms still use the same database in runtime? Do I have to change anything in the database?
Yes, you can use the same database as you used for the Oracle Form. You don’t have to change anything. The impact on your existing database is zero if your forms are simple, and low if the forms are more complex.
Now Oracle Forms are connected to one database only. I use database links to overcome this problem. Can this be done in an easier way?
Just connect directly to the other database. There’s no need to use Database Links.
I want to get data from another vendor database. Is that possible ?
Yes, QAFE doesn’t restrict you to using only the Oracle database. You could get information from a MySQL, SQLServer database in one go and see the data as an aggregated view.
How does QAFE relate to APEX and ADF?
QAFE is a framework to create Web 2.0 applications with a Service Oriented Architecture. ADF is an extension on the Java Server Faces and is mainly concerned with the presentation and navigation. With JQuery ADF tries to mimic the native Web2.0 technologies (like GWT/Flex). APEX is a solution from Oracle where the code you write is a combination of HTML and PL/SQL (and is client-server architecture). The http server runs on the database. It is very fast of course, but with integration of systems in mind, this is just not good enough for modern web applications.
We are interested in reducing costs by replacing Oracle with a PostgreSQL database. Our major concern is how to handle Oracle Forms applications. Do you have any experience in handling this type of conversion?
We do! The biggest problem is not necessarily the data migration to the Postgres Database, but the logic that is programmed in PL/SQL (for example in Stored procedures) to get them in target database. From a QAFE point of view, as long there is a driver for the database, it’s not a problem to connect to it (and there is a driver, see http://jdbc.postgresql.org/).
I noticed that Servoy claims that: it is as easy to learn and as productive as Oracle Forms. And it allows building applications 5x faster than with JDeveloper. Do you achieve the similar productivity levels after conversion?
QAFE is a lot easier to learn and a lot more productive compared to Oracle Forms (and Servoy). In order to answer the question exactly how many times faster than JDeveloper, you’ll have to see QAFE in action. Please send us an email or call us, so that we can setup a web conference session with you!
Why should we choose QAFE over other solutions?
QAFE is the first framework to combine Web2.0 and SOA in one solution and in a fully declarative way. It is able to do so much more with the data from an Oracle Forms environment. Object libraries are omitted in Oracle Apex Forms Conversion, while there is quite some relevant information in there. The same for Oracle JHeadstart. That is a shame. Furthermore, we know that some Oracle Developers don’t like Java and the whole object-oriented way of thinking, because it is not that productive as what they know from Oracle Forms. QAFE solved that.
Bottom line: being truly technology independent, QAFE is guaranteed to be around for a long long time to come.