1 2 Previous Next 27 Replies Latest reply on Apr 21, 2016 12:57 PM by Michael Ferrante-Oracle Go to original post
      • 15. Re: Do i have to move to Apex
        Mahmoud_Rabie

        I think the need for low-level client-side integration is not as important as the need for application usage and data entry from Mobiles or SmartPhones.

        • 16. Re: Do i have to move to Apex
          Eslam_Elbyaly

          Michael Ferrante-Oracle wrote:

           

          As for what you can do now and might be able to do later; in version 12.2.1.0, we introduced the ability to create your own colorScheme, improved image support in tab labels, and made a few other minor UI improvements.  In the coming versions, we are planning on providing support for gradient color on the canvas, row striping in multi-row blocks, and various other UI improvements.  But as I've mentioned numerous times, if you are not willing to upgrade AND make changes all the new features in the world won't change the way your application looks.

          What about running on mobile phones? Everyone needs his application to run on mobile phones .

          What about Image resolution ?

          The thing which makes me confused is that those things already exists.

          Francois digrelle and few number of developers created the LAF project , AuraPlayer runs any forms app even EBS suite on any mobile phone , then why Oracle doesn't add those functionality !!

          • 17. Re: Do i have to move to Apex
            Hari_639

            Hi,

             

            Check-out this Oracle Application Express for Oracle Forms Developers

             

            >> are there any features or things in apex i can not do with forms

            IMHO & AFAIK and heard from fellow forms developers (forms 11g)

            • It's difficult to implement dynamic trees (default APEX  component, just write a query and you are done)
            • Form components won't dynamically re-size based on window size. They are not "responsive"
            • There are nothing like plug-ins to extend forms functionality
            • Often issues with java version changes will arise (on both client & server). Central guidelines team issues mandatory java version update because of serious security bug. Oracle Forms Server may not be compatible with new java version. So developers are forced to upgrade to next compatible patch. This triggers whole round of additional work for developers and users (for testing). Expect this around every 6 months
            • Synchronous DB connections puts lot of load on DB server and makes forms applications less scalable. (if you expect 1000 concurrent users, be ready to handle 1000 db sessions in database)
            • You can't change look and feel for default log-in form provided by Oracle. (which is used for database user authentication)
            • Assume you have a form on table which has 100,000 rows. You apply filter and go to 99,999 row. You click "Copy" button which duplicates current row and puts it at 100,000 position as per defined sort-order in query. Now after "Copy" if you want to show newly created row to user, it's not possible in easy way. Either you have to navigate through all the 99,999 rows before showing 100,000 row to user (this will take lot of time and user has to wait) or you store newly generated row primary key id and try to show that row, but users may not navigate through other rows again!

             

            and if I continue this list may never end. And again, I'm not forms expert, these are issues I have observed and came to know from my forms colleagues. May be they are fixed in newer version of forms?

             

            Regards,

            Hari

            • 18. Re: Do i have to move to Apex
              Scott Wesley

              First of all I think we're all in agreement that it's hard to compare apples to oranges, that's why Chris Muir named his original blog one-size-doesnt-fit-all.blogspot.com.

               

              I will happily admit my opinion is coming from an aged perspective. I've been using APEX since 2008, and Forms (6i->10g) since 2000.

              That being said, the way I've seen forms being used is still with the features available since 6i, not so much with JavaBeans. In part I think because as stated, PL/SQL is the primary skill.

              I also only see it delivered over JInitiator (or it's likeness), which means it's very much constrained to the internal, corporate world. I'm happy to be educated otherwise, I'll be attending this (http://www.ausoug.org.au/cms/rest/event/2214) soon to help educate myself on the topic.

               

              APEX for web based applications? Certainly, as are many other development tools. But only for mostly rendering? That sounds like the argument that APEX is no good for enterprise applications, an attitude which joelkallman-Oracle has been battling for years (http://joelkallman.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/apex-its-only-good-for-crud.html) and he expressed with gusto at his Kscope15 keynote.

              Most data needs to be retrieved, in some form, so this is how Oracle Reports supplements Forms. APEX is just doing it in the one location, from the database.

               

              Significant back-office entry? Repetitive tasks? Again, this sounds like a job for application design. While Forms does provide a feature rich front end, the same can be done on a web page. I can't think of anything I've ever done in a Form and not be able to replicate and/or improve in an APEX environment. Latency goes somewhere, and Michael would no likely posit this is more apparent on a web page. I think this depends on app design, and my experience with Forms utilised off-premise is inherently latent as communication to the middle tier occurs on each field change. This leads to more communication back/forth between tiers, not less.

               

              I can't comment too much on device integration, requirements are few and far between, back to the point of one size doesn't fit all. Accessibility from smart devices is the future.

              Integration with local tools is certainly a plus, if security is not a concern. Again, some of these boundaries are being crossed all the time, either with HTML5(6) or direct from the db (https://code.google.com/archive/p/plsql-utils/). And APEX also has integration with BI Publisher.

               

              If you're starting from scratch, ignoring the common PL/SQL language, they are both different. Both have learning curves for the IDE, both use additional languages in some form. I don't think you can "brush up on" JavaScript in the same was you can't just pick up Java.

              The transition Forms to APEX is easier in 5.0 since the Page Designer IDE is similar, but still a challenge. I've helped educate a number of people to this in the office and in the training room.

               

              As for the follow up comments regarding "colours and flashy graphics". The world I live in requires better content delivery than we've had available in the past. This is what UI/UX is all about. It's the time of the infographic, where good data is consumed much better when delivered with the appropriate chart or page design. If you're not using colour to enhance the feedback of information & required tasks to the user, then you truly are living in a black & white world, no?

               

              Another point I think is very important, raised by Hari: scalability. I'm at a client transitioning Forms activities to APEX, plus new apps. The Forms apps are very resource hungry, while APEX (the database) has no problem incorporating new users and managing varied demand.

              • 19. Re: Do i have to move to Apex
                Holger.Lehmann

                is this discussion a clone of https://www.linkedin.com/groups/1050587/1050587-6033982796245061635 ?

                 

                i think there is pretty much interest in Oracle Forms and APEX as well.

                 

                A forms developer might say: it will never die. But if forms is the future I don't know. No one knows today:-)

                 

                Regards

                Holger

                • 20. Re: Re: Do i have to move to Apex
                  Michael Ferrante-Oracle

                  I was going to comment on everything you said, but decided to not distract from the fact that this is the APEX forum.  However, I will say this again.  Both APEX and Forms are excellent tools, but clearly serve two completely different purposes.  If you are trying to replace one with the other than you have either significantly changed the business requirements OR don't fully understand the purpose of how to use these tools.

                   

                  Regarding your mobile comment, I couldn't let this one go.

                  What about running on mobile phones? Everyone needs his application to run on mobile phones .

                  Really?  Everyone needs a Forms application on mobile?  I'd say this is a bit of an exaggeration. First of all most Forms applications were developed with the expectation they would be running on a desktop and not a 4 inch display.  I'm pretty sure that someone holding a smart phone or even a tablet would need a magnifying glass to get anything accomplished if the app was actually running on those platforms.  That said, I get the idea of accessing the data on mobile that may have been entered by the Forms app, but not the app itself.  If the Forms app was developed properly in the first place, the data can be easily shared with any technology and a mobile app developed to access it.  There you have it.... Forms on mobile.  For cases where the app wasn't well written and/or the logic in the Forms' app is relevant to presenting the data then this is where something like AuraPlayer shines.  If you need help re-coding your application, this is where PITSS shines.

                   

                  Whether it's APEX, Forms, a hammer, or a screwdriver, you must fully understand what each tool offers before using it.  Using the wrong tool for a job can result in disaster.  But choosing the right tool will always result in a positive experience.  Don't try working with a toolbox that only contains one tool.

                  • 21. Re: Do i have to move to Apex
                    Michael Ferrante-Oracle

                    Scott (Scott Wesley),

                     

                    Well said.  I actually agree with most of what you've stated.  My point though is to try to get people to understand that they are making a mistake trying to look at these products as if they are competing products.  From Oracle's point of view they are not.  These are easily complementing products.  Again, both have excellent quality and certain limitations.  It is you (the users) who are trying to put them against each other.  If you are using any Oracle product, I am happy.  If you believe APEX meets your needs I am happy and we will assist you in any way we can.  If Forms is your technology of choice, the same applies. 

                     

                    In addition to helping solve problems, what I would like to see more of in the forums is the sharing of technical knowledge.  For example, rather than trying to compare products let's spend more time sharing examples of something cool you've done and how you did it.  By sharing information everyone can become knowledgeable and potentially go back and make their applications better.  Funny how we can find the time to get on the forum looking for help or complain about something, but can't find the time to share something helpful or interesting.

                    • 22. Re: Do i have to move to Apex
                      Andreas Weiden

                      Hari,

                       

                      i disagree with most of your points.

                       

                      • It's difficult to implement dynamic trees (default APEX  component, just write a query and you are done)

                      No. It's at least as simple as in APEX, you have even full control over the tree and do partial tree loading.

                      • Form components won't dynamically re-size based on window size. They are not "responsive"

                      Yes, that's the point which is often mentioned as a weakness and i fully agree with that.

                      • There are nothing like plug-ins to extend forms functionality

                      You can do anything you like uisng javabeans and there is a lot of existing javabeans you can use. Is not as much as there are APEX-plugins, but they exist. And, as an advantage over APEX, you can fully access the client, write files to folders, control office via OLE, ...

                      • Often issues with java version changes will arise (on both client & server). Central guidelines team issues mandatory java version update because of serious security bug. Oracle Forms Server may not be compatible with new java version. So developers are forced to upgrade to next compatible patch. This triggers whole round of additional work for developers and users (for testing). Expect this around every 6 months

                      Yes, java versions are an issue. But what about issues with different browsers and versions in APEX? Same thing.

                      • You can't change look and feel for default log-in form provided by Oracle. (which is used for database user authentication)

                      I never knew that the look and feeld of the login-form is a major criteria of how good is a tool. Anyway, you can develop your own login-form without any problems.

                      • Assume you have a form on table which has 100,000 rows. You apply filter and go to 99,999 row. You click "Copy" button which duplicates current row and puts it at 100,000 position as per defined sort-order in query. Now after "Copy" if you want to show newly created row to user, it's not possible in easy way. Either you have to navigate through all the 99,999 rows before showing 100,000 row to user (this will take lot of time and user has to wait) or you store newly generated row primary key id and try to show that row, but users may not navigate through other rows again!

                      Why is not possible to show a newly created row to the user? And in what frontend you show 99999 rows to the enduser?

                       

                      I don't want to flame here for forms being superior to APEX, but i also disagree that APEX is superior to forms. I use forms since 1997 and i use APEX since 2012. There are things you can do in forms which are not possible or at least very complicated to realize in APEX. There are things you can do in APEX which are not possible or at least very complicated to do in forms.

                       

                      In my opinion, if you would do a "battle" between a forms-expert and an APEX-expert, both would compete at the same level.

                       

                      But as Michael and Scott say, you can't compare apples with oranges, both tools have their strength's and weaknesses and you are lucky if you can handle both tools and choose the best for the job.

                      • 23. Re: Do i have to move to Apex
                        Sven W.

                        I do have extensive experience with Forms ( > 8 years) and Apex (> 7 years). And I was good at both. Although I have to admit that I didn't work with the newest versions of forms. I can agree with many things that Michael mentioned.

                         

                        But if we take a step back and just look at the improvements that both frameworks do, I feel that Apex by far outpasses Forms.

                        I also wonder if the Data Enty comparison will swing in favor of Apex when version 5.1 is out. The new Interactive Grids do look extremly promising.

                        Also Apex seems to integrate other Frameworks more easily than Forms. Ok I'm a bit biased in this, because I mostly see the webbased Javascript frameworks.

                         

                        For a new developer I would strongly suggest to go the Apex route and not the Forms way. With the knowledge aquired there it is a tiny bit easier to adopt to other systems.

                         

                        On the other hand most of the disadvantages that were mentioned for Forms and for Apex I just don't see (e.g. trees, mobile stuff, ...). My impression was that the real problem if such issues arise might have been the developer, not the tool.

                        • 24. Re: Do i have to move to Apex
                          Hari_639

                          I went into comparison mode? Oh no! it was unintended. I was just trying to answer for the point "are there any features or things in apex i can not do with forms". I'm the one who firmly believe in "Using right tool for the job"

                          Thanks for your time for shedding more light on these topics. And reg. last point, I was talking about "single row form" where we can show one row at a time to user in edit mode.

                          • 25. Re: Re: Do i have to move to Apex
                            Holger.Lehmann

                            Sven W.For a new developer I would strongly suggest to go the Apex route and not the Forms way. With the knowledge aquired there it is a tiny bit easier to adopt to other systems.

                             

                            This might be the right way as APEX will probably get more and faster enhancements rather than forms. But we're sure that Forms will stay for a long while.

                             

                            Regards

                            Holger

                            • 26. Re: Do i have to move to Apex
                              Grant Ronald-Oracle

                              Just to clarify some opinions are masquerading as facts - so just to clear up some points.

                              "APEX is a growth technology and Forms is deader than Abe Vigoda" - Yes, APEX is growth area.  No, Forms is not dead - Oracle still develop Forms and recommend that if people are happy with Forms then they can stay with Forms."

                               

                              "For instance, you cannot deploy a Forms application over the web. The latency experienced when tabbing between two fields in such a stateful environment is too great to be usable" - Its not true to say "you cannot deploy a Forms application over the web" - you can (and not sure how FOrms statefulness has anything to do with it).  Yes, you have to be mindful of latency and the typical deployment is on a LAN, but I know customers who do and technically its a no-brainer.  Latency COULD be an issue, however that is because Forms has a rich validation model which pings the server on each field tab.

                               

                              To be honest its a little bit of ridiculous question to ask (and if you ask on an Apex forum you're likely to get an Apex slant to your responses) If you learn PL/SQL you'd be able to use both tools - Apex is incredibly popular now, Forms was pretty much THE tool for building applications on the Oracle database for about 25 years (now its less used now for any greenfield development)....new development is happening much more in Apex, but hundreds of thousands of Forms applications underpin 10s of thousands of companies globally.

                              The question also focuses on "which tool" - where no one asked the most obvious question which is "well what do you want to do". There are many tools other than Forms and Apex - don't think in binary terms.

                              • 27. Re: Do i have to move to Apex
                                Michael Ferrante-Oracle

                                You have to love a good healthy debate from time to time, but thank you Grant for always being able to bring us back down to earth.  Very well stated.

                                1 2 Previous Next