Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Technology change as efficient as possible

Renowned research department at the University of Gießen makes the leap from Oracle Forms to Oracle APEX in record time using FORMS REPLACER KIT

Justus-Liebig-University Giessen’s Transformation Goals

Replacing the Oracle Forms Application

Migrate in a resource-saving way

Maintain and evolve application independently

Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) is one of the oldest universities in Germany and the second largest university in Hesse. A century-long tradition characterizes the Department of Medicine, which is the contact for numerous clinics throughout Germany due to its intensive research activities.

The associated Institute for Medical Informatics runs an Oracle Forms application, which is used by about 90 customers and therefore has a particularly high importance. However, changes in the technical requirements as well as customer constraints have resulted in the already outdated Forms application having to be replaced at short notice for some installations. A web-based alternative already exists for a part of the application that is particularly specialized in the intensive capture of highly complex data. However, a large number of masks for storing catalogs and for configuration remained. A migration or modernization was inevitable, the only question was where to go and how?

In search of a feasible and cost-effective solution space to serve the requirements of its customers in the future, the Institute for Medical Informatics at JLU became aware of the attractive possibilities of the partially automated migration of PITSS.

Mit Oracle APEX genau die passende Lösung gefunden

Oracle APEX is exactly the right solution
Technical, financial and human resources should be optimally utilized within the Oracle Forms application modernization project – this was the main requirement of our customer. Once again, the limited solution scope and limited time and financial resources did not present our migration experts with an impossible task.

Based on all communicated requirements for the implementation of the modernization and after a multi-phase analysis, we were able to clearly identify Oracle APEX as the successor to the part of the application of the previous Oracle Forms environment that had not already been redeveloped with other technology. This was confirmed both by the joint assessment workshop, in which a proof of concept was developed, and by the in-depth migration analysis with presentation of the quantity structures and expected expenses.

Despite the change in technology, our customer would not incur any additional licensing costs with APEX and at the same time the future viability of the application would be ensured. Moreover, due to some technical similarities between Oracle Forms and APEX, especially the usability of PL/SQL, the development team of the University of Giessen would have an easy time maintaining and further developing the application. Only one question remained to be clarified: How should the migration proceed?

Migration tool FORMS REPLACER KIT plays an important role


As far as the speed factor is concerned, among other things, the tool-based approach of PITSS remains without competition on the market. Thus, our self-developed FORMS REPLACER KIT was able to win the trust of the Institute for Medical Informatics.

Since time was also a scarce resource for our customer, he could only benefit from the intelligent migration automatisms of the FORMS REPLACER KIT, which accelerated the technology change. Thus, the conversion from an outdated Oracle Forms application to the latest and future-proof Oracle APEX version was accomplished almost at the push of a button, and the customer was able to limit himself to the reprogramming of the functionalities that are not convertible due to conceptual differences between Forms and web applications for the majority of the masks to produce a functional application.

The results speak for themselves

In migration and modernization projects carried out using the PITSS tool-based approach, nothing less than unsurpassed efficiency can be expected. This is also confirmed by the current project figures:

  • 390 Forms modules were transferred to Oracle APEX in only 4 weeks in a partially automated way – assessment, migration analysis and APEX training included.
  • The originally estimated development times were noticeably reduced by the optimal solution finding and the automated migration.
PITSS and the FORMS REPLACER KIT helped us with a problem that seemed difficult to solve at first sight within a very short time. Our previous Forms application got a solid and promising basis for the part implemented with APEX.
Udo Altmann

Head of Coordination of Clinical Cancer Registries, Institute for Medical Informatics, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen