Grant Ronald's Blog

Migrating Forms to Java or ADF, the truth and no FUD

The question about migrating Forms to Java (or ADF or APEX) comes up time and time again.  I wanted to pull some core information together in a single blog post to address this question.

The first question I always ask is "WHY" - Forms may still be a viable option for you so "if it ain't broke don't fix it".  Bottom line is whatever anyone tells you, its going to be a considerable effort and cost to migrate from Forms to something else so the business is going to want to know WHY you spend all those hard earned dollars switching from something that might have been serving you quite adequately.

Second point, if you are going to switch, I would encourage you NOT to look at building a Forms clone.  So many times I see people trying to build an ADF application and EXACTLY mimic the Forms model - ADF is NOT a Forms clone.  You should be building to the sweet spot of your target technology, not your 20 year old client/server technology.  This is also the chance for the business to embrace change, so maybe look at new processes, channels and technology options that weren't available when you first developed your Forms applications.

To help you understand what is involved, I've put together a number of resources.

  1. Thinking about migration of Forms to Java, ADF or APEX, read this to prepare yourself
  2. Oracle Forms to ADF: When, Why and How - this gives you an overview of our vision, directly from Oracle Product Management
  3. Redeveloping a Forms Application with Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle ADF.  This is a conference session from myself and Lynn Munsinger on how ADF can be used in a Forms migration/rewrite
As someone who manages both Forms and ADF Product Management teams, I've a foot in either camp and am happy to see you use either tool.  However, I want you to be able to make an informed decision.  My hope is that there information sources will help you do that.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 11 )
  • Giovani Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    Hi Grant

    You speak here about migration. I agree with you. But for brand new application that will contain some key business logic and will need to integrate with other services via OSB, it seems to me that Java is most suitable and mature technology. Not to mention if you already have in your team more expertise with Java than Oracle Forms.

    Do you agree Java EE could be natural choice?


  • Giovani Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    Another question (sent you in another comment)

    Does Oracle Forms support creation of SAML tokens? I mean, when talking to a SAML protected web service.


  • Grant Friday, June 1, 2012

    If you think Java is right for you, then use Java, especially if you have a team with Java experience. That makes sense.

    Regarding your other question - thats a non forms question since Forms would talk to a Java proxy client and it would that which would be responsible for security/tokens.

  • guest Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Hi, Where i can find 1 example with source code, i just want see the source code and compare .fmb vs web application.

  • guest Thursday, September 11, 2014

    Is there any built in tool ? which can be used for Migration of Oracle forms to Java application.

  • CT Monday, February 9, 2015

    Hi Grant,

    In our shop we are running oracle 6i Reports. I am wondering can we migrate this oracle 6i reports to oracle 12C reports as we are planning to upgrade our Database to oracle 12C. Any help on this would be appreciated.

    Thank you


  • guest Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    CT...Reports 12 is not out - you can upgrade to 11g Reports - generally speaking its straightforward - Support can help you with the upgrade documents - or there is an upgrade guide as part of the official document set.


  • animesh kumar Monday, January 11, 2016

    what is best way to migrate the oracle forms 6i to java application.

  • Shoeb Monday, January 11, 2016

    I have done migration using JSF Technology, it works fine.

  • Akhilesh Friday, October 28, 2016

    We are planning to migrate oracle forms application to java web application using Springs. Could you please provide us any doc or links which would be helpfull for us?

    Currently we are in planning phase. We are looking best possible solution in java.

  • guest Friday, October 28, 2016

    Akhilesh I'm afraid its difficult to advise you - I strongly urge to carefully consider any migration effort and if you do choose to migrate you have to be clear on what you are looking to achieve. I would not recommend trying to build a clone of Forms.

    Furthermore, I personally think that ADF has a better fit for a Forms style of application rather than Spring - but that depends on many factors.

    Remember, staying with Forms is always an option

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