AXI Jinni 11g

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Nov 12, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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AXI J
inni

11
g


MIGRATION FROM ORACL
E FORMS TO ORACLE AD
F





AXI Jinni
-

Migr
ation from Oracle Forms to Oracle ADF

P a g e

2


CONTENTS

1

AXI
-

AN ORACLE GOLD PARTN
ER

................................
................................
.........

3

2

INTRODUCTION

................................
................................
................................
.........

4

3

MIGRATION FROM ORACL
E FORMS TO JAVA/ADF
WITH AXI JINNI

...................

5

3.1

W
HAT WILL HAPPEN TO
O
RACLE
F
ORMS IN THE FUTURE
?

................................
.................

5

3.2

W
HAT ARE THE CHALLENG
ES FOR THE MIGRATION

OF
O
RACLE
F
ORMS TO
J
AVA
/ADF?

.......

7

3.3

W
HAT SOLUTION DOES
AXI

OFFER FOR MIGRATING
FROM
O
RACLE
F
ORMS
?

......................

7

3.4

W
HICH MIGRATION STRAT
EGY CAN BE SUPPORTED
?

................................
.......................

10

4

SOME OF THE FEATURES

OF AXI JINNI

................................
...............................

12

4.1

G
ENERAL ARCHITECTURE

................................
................................
..............................

12

4.2

U
SING
ADF

F
ACES

................................
................................
................................
......

13

4.3

L
AYOUT TEMPLATES

................................
................................
................................
......

15

4.4

W
IZARDS

................................
................................
................................
....................

16

4.5

R
ULES

................................
................................
................................
.........................

16

5

HIGHLIGHTS OF AXI JI
NNI

................................
................................
.....................

17

5.1

M
IGRATION OPTIONS

................................
................................
................................
...

17

5.2

E
ASY LEARNING CURVE F
OR THE
O
RACLE
F
ORMS DEVELOPER

................................
.........

18




AXI Jinni
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Migr
ation from Oracle Forms to Oracle ADF

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3


1

AXI

-

AN
O
RACLE
G
OLD
P
ARTNER

As an Oracle Gold Partner, AXI was founded in 1985. With its software solutions and IT
services, AXI focuses on the public sector, healthcare, retail chains and organisations
from the trade, service and industry sectors.

AXI software has been developed ba
sed on Oracle technology.

The software portfolio
includes: ERP, financial software, budgeting, invoice management
, purchasing and
logistics,
case

management, point of sale, management information systems ...

The IT services focus on the implementation and

management of high
-
availability,
future
-
proof environments.

The mission for the 250 AXI employees is: ‘We will help your organisation to
be
successful
’.

Both in Belgium and in the Netherlands, AXI regularly receives awards for its Oracle
expertise.

Indeed AXI has won the following awards, amongst others:

-

Oracle Partner of the Year 2011 (BE)

-

Oracle Database Partner of the Year 2011 (NL)

-

Smartest Oracle Partner 2011 (BE)

-

Oracle Technology Partner of the Year 2010 (NL)

-

Oracle Innovation Award 2009 (BE)

-

Oracle Partner of the Year 2008 (NL)

-

Oracle Innovation Award 2007 (NL)

-

Smartest Oracle Partner 2007 (BE)

-

Oracle Technology Partner of the Year 2006 (NL)

-

Smartest Oracle Partner 2004 (BE)

-

Oracle Outstanding ISV 2003 (NL) …

In 2010 AXI was also able to make
a presentation at Oracle Open World, a global
platform where Oracle highlights all recent developments. Being selected on a global
stage to talk about AXI experiences is a special recognition of the investment that AXI
has been making in adopting new techn
ologies. Important in this was also the
migration from Oracle Forms to Oracle ADF.

The AXI offices are located in Willebroek (B) and Breda (NL).


In 2010 AXI had a total turnover of +/
-

50 million Euros.

For additional information:
www.axi.be

or
www.axi.nl


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2

I
NTRODUCTION

Right from the time of its establishment in 1985, AXI
develop
ed

a methodology for
the
realisation of software
projects.

This
methodology is focused on the most efficient way of developing new software and
of safeguarding the long
-
term maintainability of the software. Migration to new
versions of the database, the system software and the operating system plays an
important role i
n this.

To guarantee the long
-
term maintainability of the software, AXI has developed a
framework called AXI Jinni.

Using AXI Jinni over recent years AXI has generated software that, in particular, is
100% compatible with Oracle Forms. Thanks to AXI Jinni,

customers have been able to
migrate almost automatically from one version of Forms to another, during which new
features were added automatically using generators. As a result, many customers
have evolved from character
-
based to Windows and Web; this has
been achieved
whilst preserving the business logic and gaining maximum leverage from past
investments.

Over recent years, Oracle has provided a second development platform based on Java:
Oracle ADF. This development platform provides numerous opportunities

for building
intuitive screen applications.

AXI Jinni also has a Java/ADF generator. This Java/ADF development is fully
compatible with the strategic Oracle Fusion Middleware architecture; based on the
open standards of SOA, Java EE, HTML and XML.

Becaus
e AXI is pursuing the Oracle
strategy, AXI is able to support all Web 2.0 and SOA
-
based developments.

In addition to the development of new Java applications, AXI is also able to read old
Jinni Oracle Forms and re
-
generate them ready for the new Java/ADF
environment.

For your information: the new generation of Oracle applications (Oracle Fusion
Applications) are also completely based on the Oracle Fusion Middleware architecture.

This white paper indicates how AXI Jinni supports both Oracle Forms and
Oracle ADF,
and how, thanks to AXI Jinni, AXI is also able to respond to the issue of migration.

AXI Jinni
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Migr
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3

M
IGRATION FROM
O
RACLE
F
ORMS TO
J
AVA
/ADF

WITH
AXI

J
INNI

3.1

What will happen to Oracle Forms in the future?

To allow organisations to use the latest Java EE, SOA

and Web 2.0 capabilities, market
leader Oracle recommends a gradual migration to Oracle ADF, a new platform based
on open standards.


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One frequently asked question is: ‘What will happen to all of my Oracle Forms
applications in the future?’

In its
Statement Of Direction for Development Tools, Oracle states that:

-

Oracle Forms will continue to develop within Oracle Fusion Middleware, there is no
question of phasing out

support

-

Oracle Forms, including in Oracle ERP (E
-
Business Suite), will continue to be use
d
as a 'Professional User Interface'. We are using Java/J2EE (Oracle jDeveloper and
Oracle ADF) for the 'Self Service User Interface' and for new modules.

-

Current customers of the e
-
Business Suite are advised to integrate new Fusion
Application modules wi
th the existing modules of the e
-
Business Suite that have
already been implemented.

-

The currently implemented modules can (and will continue to) evolve further (in
Oracle Forms) and it will be possible to gradually migrate, in the long term, to the
new Fus
ion Applications.

-

Forms and Java applications are able to use the same business logic using PL/SQL
procedures. PL/SQL remains an important language for programming business
logic.

The latest version of Oracle Forms (Release 11g) has also been adapted so th
at
applications can be seamlessly integrated into a Java EE
-

and SOA
-
based architecture.


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3.2

What are the challenges for the migration of Oracle
Forms to Java/ADF?

It was always possible to migrate to new technologies within Oracle Forms. That is
why organis
ations have migrated from client/server to a web
-
based environment.
Migration from Oracle Forms to a different architecture
-

whether or not it may be
Java
-
based
-

is not self
-
evident. Nor does Oracle provide an automated migration from
Oracle Forms to Ora
cle ADF while fully preserving the business logic. Such automatic
migration was previously available for the various versions of Oracle Forms.

In other words, organisations that currently use Oracle Forms applications, now face a
number of major challenges
:

-

How is it possible to migrate from Oracle Forms to Oracle ADF or another
environment, whether or not it is Java
-
based, without having to invest heavily in a
totally new application or development?

-

Is it possible to migrate gradually, so that investments
can be spread over time?

-

During the migration process is it also possible to make further developments
incorporating new features so that the business logic can be centrally managed for
the different technologies?

3.3

What solution does AXI offer for migrating

from Oracle
Forms?

In response to the current market demand, AXI has developed a migration strategy
and solution, which is based on the following principles and objectives:

-

Java EE
and SOA architecture as a basis

-

use of one development environment to ge
nerate both Oracle
Forms and Java/ADF
applications

-

maintainability of both Forms applications and Java/AD
F applications during
migration

-

integration of Forms and Java/ADF applications as a function of gradual migration,

-

re
-
purposing of the business logic

-

business logic separated from the user interface, so that in the future the user
interface can continue to develop without havin
g to modify the business logic

-

support
of

the ADF Faces user interface components; the presentation layer of
O
racle ADF

-

e
asy access for Forms developers

-

su
pport
of

standards and conversions.

Based on these principles, the AXI Jinni framework has been extended with generators
for Java/ADF.

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The AXI Jinni development framework supports the AXI methodology, based
on data
analysis and activity analysis.

As well as the data model and the properties of tables and fields, the application
properties (division into pages, tabs, blocks and items, etc.) are defined in AXI Jinni.

From a single development environment with A
XI Jinni it is possible to:

-

migrate Oracle Forms applications to new versions of Oracle Forms by importing
Oracle Forms applications and re
-
generating them in the latest versions

-

migrate Oracle Forms applications to Java/ADF applications

-

build new Oracle
Forms applications, where applicable

-

build new Java/ADF applications.


AXI Jinni also has generators for SQL statements, PL/SQL packages, C programs for
developing business rules, batch applications and reports…

Using AXI Jinni
-

based on standard GUI co
nventions, the user interface can be created
automatically; for both Oracle Forms and Oracle ADF.

For Oracle ADF, the user interface is enriched with the so
-
called Oracle ADF Faces
components, whose properties are set in AXI Jinni. In this way, for example
, Google
Maps, Gantt charts ... can be supported.

AXI Jinni also provides layout templates for quickly building uniform applications.

The framework also makes it possible for the user interface to develop in the future
and to support other user interface c
omponents or objects.

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Additional features will also be added to Jinni AXI for the purposes of more rapid
development and wherever possible to support automatic generation.

In addition, a high level of flexibility is also an objective, in which a number of

elements can be managed without the need for the application to be modified. To
achieve this, a number of standards and conventions have previously been established
that have also been incorporated into the generators.

Here are some examples:

-

Language ind
ependence:

For error messages, field descriptions, application descriptions ... which can be
managed by the customer.

-

Field positions and layout:

The generator only creates the structure of the application. The positioning of the
fields and the layout of the screen can be dynamically adjusted; for each user or
user group.

-

Authorisation:

Access to (parts of) applications can be managed dynamically p
er user or user
group.

-

Audit:

Automatic audit log (who has done what, modified when).

-

Flexfields:

Dynamically add additional fields to an application. These additional fields can be
given a meaning by the customer, and the customer can also determine their

characteristics, itself.

-

Wizards in ADF:

Dynamically add wizards to an application to simplify the process of querying,
inserting or updating.

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3.4

Which migration strategy can be supported?

It is not currently necessary to migrate all Forms applications. Th
ere is no question of
phasing out support. Furthermore, the latest version of Forms is also seamlessly
integrated into the new Web 2.0 and SOA
-
oriented environment of Oracle Fusion
Middleware. In

other words, there is no
need for

a 'big bang' scenario.

There will most likely

be a gradual migration
-

also based on what the functional
requirements are
-

in which all types of applications (Oracle Forms, Oracle ADF and,
where applicable, any other ones) run integrated within the same architecture.

A migration can ta
ke place over a number of stages. Some stages will be combined or
split up on a case by case basis.

By way of illustration, set out below is an example of
a possible phased approach:

Stage 1: transition to the latest version of Forms (11g).

-

The transition to the latest version of Forms does make sense because Forms 11g
provides more features in terms of integration into an SOA architecture and
integration of Oracle Forms and Java/ADF applications (which includes the use of
Javascript working
in the Form).

-

During this stage, where applicable, a number of essential PL/SQL functions or
procedures in the Forms can be transferred to the database. As a result in
themselves they are made Forms
-
independent. They can then also be offered, for
instance,

as a Web service to other applications, thus making interfacing and
integration more future
-
oriented.

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Stage 2: Applying a number of Quick Wins in terms of user experience.

-

In practice, on the one hand, it has been found that in the case of developments
in
volving older Forms not much attention has always been paid to the user
experience; as a result some applications have not been adapted to current needs.

On the other hand, there are a number of features in Forms that can enhance the
user experience and th
e look & feel and which can be implemented in a relatively
short period of time (e.g. using pluggable Java components).

-

AXI Jinni supports a number of automatic enhancements in this regard.

Stage 3: partial migration to Java/ADF; e.g. depending on the need

for wizard
-
driven
applications, self
-
service applications.

-

In many organisations, there is a requirement to provide a number of self
-
service
applications. Instead of processing everything centrally, more people are involved
in the various processes.

-

AXI J
inni provides the opportunity to create a number of wizard
-
driven Java/ADF
applications, which fully utilise the current 'Forms logic’.

Stage 4: full migration of all Forms applications to Java/ADF.

-

The speed at which this might be completed will be differ
ent for each organisation
or project.

-

By using AXI Jinni, any investments from the past can be re
-
purposed to the
maximum extent and a high level of automated migration is possible.

-

With automated generation there are also direct benefits in terms of the '
user
experience' because the current Forms screens are converted to Java/ADF.


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4

S
OME OF THE FEATURES
OF
AXI

J
INNI

4.1

General architecture

AXI Jinni is a development framework that generates both Oracle Forms applications
and Java applications, which run withi
n the Oracle ADF architecture and use Oracle
ADF Faces objects.


The business logic is managed centrally, for both Oracle Forms and Java/ADF
applications.


The AXI Jinni Repository contains all the definitions (data model, data analysis,
application
properties …).

For each technology, there are specific properties or application triggers, but the
overwhelming majority is (re
-
)usable for both environments and based on the naming
conventions that are recognised by Oracle Forms. In this way an Oracle For
ms
developer is able to start to migrate Oracle Forms applications or to develop new
applications to/for the Java/ADF environment with only a limited learning curve.

Both the Oracle Forms applications and the Java/ADF applications operate on an Oracle
data
base with PL/SQL as the main basis for the development of business logic that is
common to both environments.

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Both types of applications can be accessed from a central portal in a mixed
environment running on the Oracle WebLogic Server.

Java/ADF applicatio
ns can also be launched from an Oracle Form application, and in so
doing parameters can be passed. Or in a single screen, a part can be developed in
Oracle Forms and another part in Java/ADF.

4.2

Using ADF Faces

ADF Faces contains default additional functions
that just don't exist in Forms. For
example: laying out screens in frames, which can be maximised, minimised or
collapsed/expanded, or fields that can be moved using drag and drop...


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ation from Oracle Forms to Oracle ADF

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AXI Jinni
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ation from Oracle Forms to Oracle ADF

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4.3

Layout templates

The more possibilities there are in terms of
user interface design, the greater the risk
that this is going to require additional time. It is logical that
-

for certain applications
-

more time is invested in graphical user interface features; but in a typical project, a
large proportion of the appli
cations can be given a design based on a default template.

AXI Jinni provides a number of default layout templates. These templates also work
with properties so the layout can also be dynamically adjusted.


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4.4

Wizards

Using AXI Jinni, wizards can be built th
at guide the user through the process of
handling a certain task, e.g. creating a new customer. To do this a number of screens
succeed one another
-

in a logical order. Using the wizard, the user no longer needs to
navigate through the basic application to

enter data.

The power of AXI Jinni is that both the basic application and the wizard share the same
business logic.
In other words, the wizard is another graphical interface.


4.5

Rules

All the available triggers (both in PL/SQL and Java) can be saved as a separate XML
file and linked as a so
-
called 'Rule' to an application.

This means that you can dynamically adapt and deploy a Rule without needing to
generate applications for it again.


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5

H
IGHLIGHTS OF
AXI

J
INNI

5.1

Migration
options

With AXI Jinni it is possible to migrate from Oracle Forms to a Java architecture based
on Oracle ADF Faces.

What is innovative about AXI Jinni is primarily its ability to
generate both Oracle Forms
and Oracle ADF programs from the same source code and thus from the same
development environment.

This, on the one hand, makes the migration process manageable and, on the other,
also makes the software maintainable in the long t
erm. In the future, new versions of
Oracle ADF Faces or other user interface objects will also be developed from the same
business logic.

Using AXI Jinni it is perfectly feasible to convert existing applications in Oracle Forms
into dynamic, Java
-
based scr
eens and/or to add friendly wizards or self
-
service
applications to an existing Oracle Forms environment. In so doing most of the Oracle
Forms software (data models, project meta data, PL/SQL procedures and triggers,
business logic ...) is reused.

The resu
lt: dynamically configurable ADF Faces screens, customisable based on
parameters. With a choice of best practice templates, use of replaceable components,
wizards ...

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It should be clear that AXI Jinni is much more than a migration tool. It is the
framewor
k from which ADF Faces and Forms applications are generated; using the
existing business logic in PL/SQL, that can be supplemented with new business logic in
Java and/or PL/SQL.

The fact that an organisation can opt for a gradual migration (no need for a o
ne
-
time
generation) and that the business logic is re
-
used to the maximum extent and can be
shared by the different technologies, is one of the strengths of this approach compared
with competing products.

5.2

Easy learning curve for the Oracle Forms developer

With AXI Jinni, Forms developers are able to develop a Java application for which
minimal knowledge of Java is required. The business logic is written in PL/SQL; the
rest is mainly declarative and is generated automatically. Especially if the application
m
eets standard agreements.

Developers, who are familiar with Java, can also write triggers in Java. The Oracle
Forms developer can also gradually add Java code
-

where it is helpful and efficient to
do so. Typically for purely screen operations where no da
tabase processing is required.

In practice, often most of the business logic is based on database processing and PL /
SQL continues to be a good choice
-

even for the long term.

The naming conventions for properties and triggers, even for Java/ADF applications, is
based on Oracle Forms naming conventions. Of course, there are properties and
triggers that no longer apply or new ones have been added.

Because the same logic is used,

the Oracle Forms developer can quickly create their
own material in AXI Jinni and thus develop both Oracle Forms and Java/ADF
applications, manage existing Oracle Forms applications and migrate applications from
one technology to another.

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AXI has taken the utmost care in compiling the information in this documentation. Because the
solutions evolve over time, however, it may be the case that certain information has been omitted, is
no longer correct or is incomplete.

[ Belgium ]

AXI nv, Molenweg 107, 2830
Willebroek

Tel: + 32 3 860 40 00

e
-
mail: info@axi.be

web: www.axi.be

[ Netherlands ]

AXI bv,
Hooilaan 1, 4816 EM Breda

Tel: + 31 76 572 55 15

e
-
mail: info@axi.nl

web: www.axi.nl