Modernize Oracle Forms Applications with Oracle APEX
By: Francis Mignault On: December 7, 2018 In: Business Solutions, Oracle Forms Comments: 0

Although Oracle Forms applications offer their end-users a web-browser interface, they aren’t particularly web-friendly.  Indeed, most Forms developers will tell you that the Oracle Forms development platform is simply not suited for building web-based applications. And, as Forms applications still play a vital role in many companies, this has become a major issue that more and more businesses are now addressing.

The funny thing is that the most practical solution is literally under Forms owners’ noses, sitting in their Oracle Database, ready to use and already covered under their Oracle Database license. Not only that, this solution’s technology can run in parallel with Forms, extend it, or even replace it.

Whether you are an administrator, developer or end user, modernizing Oracle Forms with Oracle Application Express – APEX, Oracle’s Rapid Application Development platform is the most efficient way to bring your Forms applications into the 21st Century.

This blog is the fourth and final in a series that addresses Forms Modernization.  While I’ve tried to summarize all of APEX’s advantages when it comes to Forms in these blogs, if you’re knowledgeable about both APEX and Forms and believe I’ve missed one, please let me know in the comments section below!

So, here’s a brief summary of this blog series.

Oracle Forms Development Challenges

In the first article, I talked about the growing challenges Forms developers are facing. In our increasingly web-based world, Forms, with its limitations, is increasingly complex and costly to develop with and maintain. What’s more, developing functionality that’s not native to Forms, such as mobile capability or web services is simply not practical. Consequently, administrators and developers are slowly being forced to increasingly limit their choices. As a result, it’s a case of modernizing now or be forced to restart entirely from scratch in the future.

Oracle Forms Replacement options and APEX-Forms Similarities

In the second blog, I discussed Forms replacement options such as open source technology, ERP systems, object-oriented development, and custom software approaches. Then, I described the strong similarities between APEX and Forms. For example, they share the same “thick database” design, the same data model, methodology, development approach.  Most importantly, these similarities enable the Forms developer to quickly understand and adopt Web-based-development. It also paves the way for an AGILE development methodology.

APEX Advantages

Blog 3 is all about the collaborative advantages of Modernizing Oracle Forms with Oracle APEX. Specifically, how APEX creates a bridge between Forms developers, UI and UX experts, and other specialists (JavaScript specialists, web specialists) allowing them to work together productively. I also included recommendations on how companies can get started with APEX, while controlling their budget and resources.

APEX quick list

Finally, As a closing statement to this series, I thought it would be good summarize the advantages of using APEX to Modernize Forms in a list. The inspiration for this list comes from my personal Forms Modernization experience as well as from Oracle’s own list of advantages, which you’ll find here.

Technological Advantages

  • PLSQL/SQL Based (relational)
  • Included in the Oracle database licenses
  • Built and fully supported by Oracle
  • Database-centric: Secure, centralized, easy to maintain, easy to deploy and high-performance
  • RAD Rapid Application Development
  • Uses the same infrastructure (Only a web server required)
  • Easy to install and upgrade
  • Cloud Ready
  • Very enthusiastic and helpful community on Twitter (#orclapex, #OracleAPEX)

Business Advantages

  • Can re-use a lot of your existing Forms code/programming
  • Requires the same development team including DBAs, Developers, Analysts, PM
  • A very fast learning curve for Forms Developers
  • Leverages your investment in business functions (packages, data model, business logic)
  • Wide open to new technology (Webservices, HTML, Javascript, JQuery, Plugins, Maps etc.)
  • Replace Forms functionalities /modules by phases and avoid the Big Bang approach
  • Suited to Agile methodology
  • Cost-effective


End-User Advantages

  • Create attractive and modern interfaces
  • Create mobile and responsive applications
  • Generate interactive reports
  • Make beautiful dashboards
  • Possible to integrate with an existing Forms application

Now, are you ready to find out more about Forms modernization for your organization? See our Oracle Forms and Reports Modernization services!

Other Links on Forms Modernization

First blog in this series Forms and reports Modernization – Forms Challenges

Second blog in this series Oracle Forms Modernization, Forms-APEX similarities

Third blog in this series Advantages of Modernizing Oracle Forms with APEX

See also

Oracle Forms Conversion to Oracle APEX – Where to Start

Debating Whether to Keep Oracle Forms or to Migrate From It?

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