Q&A: Oracle Forms to Microservices

Your top questions answered by our experts 


In our webinar “Shape Your Microservices Out of Oracle Forms Based on ORDS”, we demonstrated how you can easily integrate IoT solutions, mobile devices, customers and suppliers interfaces and low code frameworks into your Oracle Forms application. Again, our Oracle experts are answering your most asked questions on Oracle Forms and microservice integration. 


1. What should I do if I need to run Oracle Forms on mobile as a native app?
If you once define this infrastructure in a green field approach, you would design a data model and implement the functionality in a way that both frameworks are able to consume those as single point of implementation. That is exactly what we advise. Refacture the Forms module, so that the complete data model and the implementation of business logic is inside the database and expose this as a webservice to the mobile application. In this case, you have only one point to maintain, the mobile application consumes the webservice and the Forms Application uses the underlying PL/SQL programming.


2. Does ORDS provide webservices through firewall/proxy?

Yes, it does! ORDS benefit from the complete power and security of your webserver infrastructure!



3. What are the benefits of microservices?

There is a lot of interdependency,  network access, customization, open standard in B2B, etc.
From the Forms Developer perspective my personal favorite is, that treating the monolithic Forms Application from a microservice perspective, or more or less from the Bounded Context perspective, transforms the application into a more sustainable architecture, without the need for a bing-bang approach. It’s a smooth extension and a kind of metamorphose from Oracle Forms into a new architecture.


4. How to integrate Oracle APEX with Oracle Forms?

Identify Bounded Context with less overlapping functionalities between the two applications and run them side-by-side on the same infrastructure. With Javascript you could communicate on the client side with back-end functionality, like Advanced Queueing on back-end side. Best practise is not to have too many context switches on the User Interface between APEX and Oracle Forms. 



5. How can I preserve my functionality while providing acceptable performance?

First, take a look at the main task of the microservice. The more data you try to touch with CRUD-Statements, the tighter these operations should be placed to the database. That’s independent from microservices. User Interaction nowadays in most cases does not CRUD so much data through an interface, so the architecture of microservices based on ORDS is performant enough to follow the user interactions. 



6. What are the details of the API pipeline from caller to PL/SQL routines?

That is pretty easy. In ORDS you map each URI with the different methods (POST, PUT, GET, DELETE) to a specific database procedures. The caller/consumer of the web service setups the request, which is directly forwarded to the assigned database package. Inside the implementation of the service you could transform the parameters and set the response. 


7. Is it possible to implement SSO API with ORDS webservices?

If you deploy the ORDS on WLS you could benefit from the WLS-SSO capabilities. If you deploy the ORDS on any other Application Server you could use OAuth2 to manage SSO. See this post from Oracle Product Management: https://www.thatjeffsmith.com/archive/2019/02/ords-architecture-a-common-deployment-overview/



8. What are the best practices with Forms and microservices?

Open the monolithic architecture from Oracle Forms and provide as much as functionality from Forms by moving parts to database and expose them as webservices. Stay tuned for Forms 14.x to better consume other third party webservices. 

Your questions have been answered by

Stephan La Rocca

Stephan La Rocca

Business Development Manager, PITSS

Stephan has been helping companies to bring their Forms applications to the next level and maximize profit for over 20 years. He can be seen presenting innovative solutions for Oracle applications at events such as the DOAG (German Oracle Users Group) Conference.

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