A government healthcare organization wanted to move their Oracle Forms to a modern web-based UI. We offered to migrate their source Oracle database to SQL Server while converting the deprecated Oracle Forms to the modern-looking web-interface. We used a previously developed technology to automate the major part of Oracle Forms conversion.
To demonstrate the feasibility of this technology, we converted one the most complex forms. Having successfully completed the proof of concept, we convinced the customer to continue our partnership.
Learn how we approached this database migration project from the following video.
What to do with Outdated Oracle Forms
Our customer used a rather old version of Oracle Forms no longer supported by Oracle. So, they desperately needed to switch to a system with a modern web-based user interface.
We presented a solution that allows for the conversion of Oracle Forms to any modern platform, including SQL Server, Amazon RDS or even the latest versions of Oracle itself. Any of these platforms provides the WEB API to interact with the web interface designed to replace the old awkward-looking Oracle Form.
Previously, we have developed a proprietary technology that automates the Oracle Forms conversion to any of the above-mentioned platforms. We proposed our customer to migrate from Oracle to SQL Server using this proven solution.
To convince the customer, we decided to migrate one of their source Oracle Forms and deployed it online.
At this proof of concept stage, we needed to convert not only the original Oracle Form but also the related database elements, which interact with the form. Initially, we had quite limited access to the source database system. Thus, we even had to create a script that generates the data to fill in the web form.
We tried to automate the conversion process using the SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) for Oracle to convert the database schemas. Also, we used our proprietary technology to convert the selected Oracle Form. Both these tools proved to be an efficient accelerator and allowed to complete the task in a very short period of time. However, they couldn’t completely eliminate the manual effort in the end.
One of the issues our conversion tool initially didn’t support was the dynamic layout of fields in the source Oracle’s form. Our customer used a specific function of the Oracle Forms that dynamically calculates the position of each field. Hence, we performed the layout of the fields manually during the stage of pilot migration.
Then we deployed the SQL Server database in the test environment and connected the web-form to it. The customer found no differences in the work of the original Oracle Form and the converted web-form. So, he decided to partner with us to complete this feature-rich Oracle Forms migration to the web project.
Database Migration Workflow
We proceeded to the phase that included the database migration afterward. First, we completed a thorough on-site assessment. At this stage, we discovered the complexity of Oracle Forms. As it turned out, around 40 percent of Oracle Forms had a simple structure and could be easily converted with the help of our proprietary tool. On the other side, nearly 40 percent of the source Oracle Forms had a very complex structure and required a lot of manual conversion efforts. The majority of complex forms included multiple tabs.
Eventually, we analyzed the source database structure. We created the Oracle schema dumps and used SSMA to analyze them. Based on this analysis, we selected the architectural design of the target database. Then we performed the database schema conversion with the help of SQL Server Migration Assistant. To complete the database migration, we migrated the data, upgraded the customer’s front-end application and reconnected it to the new database.
After completing the thorough testing of the target database and the newly created web-forms, we launched the system in production.
In the meantime of completing this project, we upgraded our existing Oracle Forms Conversion tool by adding some new features. The customer received the following benefits:
- Migrated to a cloud-enabled database system that meets the latest industry standards.
- Reduced license costs since SQL Server is less expensive than Oracle;
- Modern web-interface for the customer’s forms and the ability to integrate them with various web services.