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Recommended migration path from Designer as development tool

Marie-Louise Lindstrom
Marie-Louise Lindstrom Member Posts: 4 Red Ribbon
edited Aug 27, 2015 6:32AM in Designer

Hi all,

We're currently using Designer plus Headstart to maintain and develop legacy applications running Forms and Reports 11gR1 in Oracle databases 11gR2.

As Designer is desupported and no longer maintained, and so is Headstart, we are looking for replacing tools and evaluating the efforts and costs of various migration paths to newer development tools.

Do you have experiences from a corresponding migration project? What would your recommendations be (the short version)?

The scenario is

- the database will be upgraded to release 12c

- Forms will be maintained and upgraded to 11gR2 (or 12)

- need to migrate/convert the current application model including the rules and framework set by Headstart to be compatible with DB 12c, Forms 11gR2

- requirement for data modelling and versioning management

Your opinions would be highly appreciated, thanks in advance.


  • AndersonBestteti
    AndersonBestteti Member Posts: 5
    edited Aug 25, 2015 10:09AM

    Hi there,

    We have the same context as you have regarding development environment. There is a company from Singapore called Wonderworks that has a solution for migrating FMB, PLL, MMB, OLB and RDF to Java. The product is called FusionPaaS and we had the opportunity to do a proof of concept migrating our HR system from Oracle Developer Suite 10 Release 2 to FusionPaaS.

    FusionPaaS is an Eclipse plugin that supports all the development life cycle once you have migrated you application. Being in Java world you can benefit from modern tools to  keep track of software artifacts, version control and so on.

    Technically the migrated PL/SQL code, embedded in Forms, Menus, PLLs and RDF,  are well written 100% in Java and, the best of all, maintainable. The persistency layer is based on JPA, and the presentation layer uses Google Web Toolkit (GWT), which is great due to the migrated application keeps the same look-and-feel from Oracle Forms and is supported by any web browser that support HTML 5.

    The Wonderworks' web site is

    I hope that information can help you.

    Yours sincerely,

    Anderson Bestteti

    Marie-Louise Lindstrom
  • Mark Striekwold
    Mark Striekwold Member Posts: 442 Bronze Badge
    edited Aug 25, 2015 1:37PM

    Facing the same problem at some customer sites. Oracle Designer is desupported and no longer maintained. We installed Oracle Designer on Windows 7 (64bit) but parts of Designer (like the matrix diagrammer) no longer work.

    We are thinking of the following scenario:since Oracle Designer is not supported inside the Oracle Database12c.

    - Maintain Forms inside Oracle Forms Builder 11gR2. Create a good template as base for a new fmb's. Orcl Toolbox have a tool like FormsTool or FormsApiMaster for comparing Forms.

    - Maintain the datamodel inside Oracle SQL Datamodeler.(import it from Oracle Designer and store it as files which can be maintained inside a version control system as subversion or git)

    - We no longer have the advantage of generating Forms with designer.

    The are some companies which give some migration solutions like:



    And if you search for Oracle Forms migration you will find some more companies offering a solution.

    Marie-Louise Lindstrom
  • InoL
    InoL Member Posts: 9,880 Gold Crown
    edited Aug 25, 2015 2:10PM

    You can keep Designer 10g to generate fmb files, as it will be really difficult to replace Headstart.

    You can then compile the fmb's using Forms Builder 11gR2.

    As Mark indicated, you will probably need to maintain some old 32 bit development environment.

    On a bad note: we tried to upgrade from Designer/Forms 6i to 11g on a 11gR2 database, but completely failed. From 6i to 10g we got the application working, but not on 11g.

    Failed in our case meant: even the logon didn't work! We kept getting "not connected to Oracle', because Forms just skipped the logon process.

    We decided to move to Apex. That is a big investment, but I think more future proof. We did experiment a bit with Java, but Forms and PL/SQL developers often don't do well in the Java world.

    A good thing about the move to Apex was that it was a time to re-think about our old application and how it needs to look in the modern world. Also, it gave us an opportunity to clean up old code and get a better insight in a legacy application's functionality.

    Marie-Louise Lindstrom
  • Marcel Hoefs
    Marcel Hoefs Member Posts: 29 Blue Ribbon
    edited Aug 27, 2015 6:32AM

    Unfortunately there is no good (Oracle) alternative for Oracle Designer. I agree with Mark that you can continue to maintain you Oracle Forms in Forms Builder 11gR2 and 12c eventually. For the datamodel Oracle SQL Datamodeler is a viable alternative. For Headstart there is no alternative for the Oracle Forms generation part. But for the CDM Ruleframe part of Headstart, if you are using this, you can consider Rulegen ( as an alternative. This is an excellent product but it will require redefining all you database integrity rules.

    Marie-Louise Lindstrom
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