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A blog by Hafed Benteftifa.

A migration dashboard with Forms JavaBeans


Posted by Hafed | Posted in Forms, oracle | Posted on 20-09-2008

In order to follow the migration efforts from 6i to 10g, I quickly put together a dashboard that shows the four states : migration-testing-correction-acceptance for the modules in our application.

On the left side, we can click on the buttons to show the global stats, stats per analysts, stat per application and the modules that are problematic.

Oracle forms migration dashboard

The gauge is a Javabean that I put together following an example I found on the OTN network. There are a number of properties that can be set on this javabean. I really did not spend that much time on the graphics part of the gauge but eventually I will have to do it since our application itself might include some versions of this gauge in the future.

Oracle forms PJC - gauge

There is also a timer (invisible on this canvas) that I borrowed from the Oracle foms 10g demos. The timer is set to 20 min and a custom event trigger is set to query a table that holds the module’s names and their states.

WebUtil to the rescue: how to maintain client-side functionalities.


Posted by Hafed | Posted in Forms, oracle | Posted on 23-08-2008

Now that we have crossed the midway phase in our conversion phase, we started the evaluation of all the client side functionalities we used to have in our application. Fortunately, in Forms 10g, webutil comes already pre-installed.

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Why you need to worry about NLS_DATE_FORMAT !


Posted by Hafed | Posted in Forms, oracle | Posted on 18-08-2008

One of those things that can irritate you for more than you can care of: the mix up in dates. That’s an old story for those dealing with the Oracle Db but in our case, that was something that bothered us for more than a week before we found out that we were missing the environment variable NLS_DATE_FORMAT in our report server setup.

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Oracle Forms to Oracle APEX migration


Posted by Hafed | Posted in oracle | Posted on 11-08-2008

Last week, one of our senior DBAs made a comment  regarding our current migration. Essentially, he was referring to Oracle APEX (formerly HTML-DB) and whether we looked at Forms to APEX conversion.

Management decided a while ago that we will be migrating to Oracle Forms 10g given that the in-house expertise is mostly Oracle Forms.

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Why you need a bugtracking system during an oracle Forms migration.


Posted by Hafed Benteftifa | Posted in Forms, oracle | Posted on 02-08-2008

Any software under development should have at least two essential systems, namely a source control system and a bugtacking system.

When we planned our migration, we did include a source control based on subversion but a bugtracking system was really not thought of. While we planned on using MouliForms as our migration tool, we did not envision that we also needed to track bugs within MouliForms and our application as well.

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Oracle reports 10g – local printing problems


Posted by Hafed Benteftifa | Posted in oracle | Posted on 30-07-2008

In the course of adapting our reports and submission forms to 10g, some of our users asked for a specific request. In version 6 of our application, users can either request a screen preview or print directly to the local printer.

In 10g, the local feature is lost because the processing is now done in the middle-tier. There are a number of alternatives, each having its own advantages and drawbacks.

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Week2 – Migrating a mission-critical Oracle Forms 6 application


Posted by Hafed Benteftifa | Posted in Forms, oracle | Posted on 27-07-2008

Here we are at the end of the second week in the migration of a mission-critical Oracle Forms 6 application. The main points we dealt with are:

  • AIX file transfert and compile processes
  • LOV visual appearance (differences between 6 and 10g)
  • Report rdf structure search in a batch mode from a keyword-based file

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Day 5 of the Forms migration


Posted by Hafed Benteftifa | Posted in oracle | Posted on 19-07-2008

One of our developers raised the question about finding specific strings within our Reports. For example, we might have to check whether a query has schema name used in building up the query. That can be a problem if we need to move the tables to another container (this will break the query since the schema name reference is no longer valid).

So we might be looking at searching strings such as: INVENTORY. or RESOURCES. etc…

But since we have more than 500 reports, it was suggested that this should be done in a batch manner. Given that Oracle Reports does not have an API similar to JDAPI for Oracle Forms, I looked at another option suggested by others (AMIS among others). This one involves converting the report from rdf format to XML, parse the DOM model and do some regexing (search and replace) and then convert back to rdf.

So I whipped up a small JAVA class to MouliForms in order to check the validity of this approach on a number of reports stored in a temp folder. It did the job as expected but I need to do some additional testing in week 2.

But as it stands, things are looking good at the end of week 1.

Day 3 of the migration from Forms 6 to Forms 10g


Posted by Hafed Benteftifa | Posted in Forms, oracle | Posted on 17-07-2008

Now that all the developers workstations are setup, we have started putting MouliForms through its paces.
We already started seeing some unexpected results. First, some items do have their prompts in non-standard fonts such as Arial Narrow. In this case, I added some search and replace rules for font name and size. Whenever one is found matching these fonts, we do replace them with Arial. In the case of Arial Narrow size 12, the best match was chosen to be Arial 10.

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Migration Steps Oracle Forms 6i-10g and MouliForms


Posted by Hafed Benteftifa | Posted in Forms, oracle | Posted on 12-07-2008

Here is the MouliForms-Oracle Forms 6-10g presentation related to the steps that will be followed when doing the migration from Oracle Forms 6i to 10g.
I also included some screenshots from MouliForms. There are also three flash presentations (made with Wink) that also show the interface, conversion steps and webutil module adaptation using MouliForms. These presentations are available to those who request it.
Please bear in mind that all four are in French but I plan to translate them to English when I have some free time to spare.