Explorer is the #1 APEX development consultancy in the UK but our heritage is in PL/SQL development and Oracle Forms. Since 2000, Explorer has been providing development services to customer that require database centric applications and for many years, our development tool of choice was Oracle Forms. But nothing lasts forever…

Oracle Forms is a time served component of the Oracle Fusion Middleware stack and has been a long established development tool for building data driven applications. Disappointingly, Oracle Forms has not kept pace with the evolution of the web and the evolution of the standards and expectations users have from their applications. This has led to a dramatic decline in Oracle Forms development and an upturn in adoption in alternative development tools, such as Oracle Application Express.

Explorer has been involved in hundreds of Oracle Forms related development projects with APEX and customers have chosen to move away from Oracle Forms for the following reasons:

   1 Poor user experience
   2 Web browsers de-supporting NPAPI
   3 Cost of support
   4 Migration to Cloud
   5 Mobile application requirements

When a customer decides to move away from Oracle Forms, there are generally 2 choices to make: stay with PL/SQL and the Oracle Database or completely redevelopment on a different platform.

For the vast majority of Oracle Forms users, the motivating factor in redeveloping the Oracle Forms application is not anything to do with the underlying Database. Therefore, once that decision is made to stick with Oracle the next decision is what development tool to use.

Oracle Application Express (APEX) and Oracle Forms share the same DNA – PL/SQL. Therefore, customers can often redevelop their Oracle Forms applications much quicker using APEX compared to any other tool because we can re-use the vast majority of the business logic and code base. You’re not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

The key difference to using APEX is that APEX runs completely through the web browser with no client-side tools, browser plugins, extensions or applets for both the development and the application runtime. Therefore, we can produce fully responsive APEX applications to run on any device and provide scalability and performance in line with the Oracle Database.

Where do we start?

Modernising Oracle Forms applications is redevelopment project. There is no migration service or silver bullet to transform your application into a beautiful, modern and intuitive web application. It requires Expertise and Experience. In other words, it requires Explorer.

Explorer has developed an “Oracle Forms Inspector” application to assess the size and complexity of your Oracle Forms estate. By using this tool we get “t-shirt” sizes to estimate the time and cost of redeveloping the Forms into APEX pages

Explorer provide development services on either a fixed cost or credit pool model. Each model provides flexibility and security, depending on how you prefer to use our development services. Each project will also be assigned a Project Manager and Service Delivery Coordinator to provide a professional wrap around service for all projects. For more information on our developer resource model, click here.

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