Who should consider migrating from Oracle to Open-Source? (and how to plan for it)

Who should consider migrating from Oracle to Open-Source? (and how to plan for it)

Who should consider migrating from Oracle to Open-Source? (and how to plan for it)


Posted by Patrick Hamou on 2022:12:07 21:08:11

Going to Open-Source: Why and How to Migrate from Oracle

Is there any vendor lock-in in Oracle?

Vendor lock-in is a situation in which a customer using a product or service cannot easily transition to a competitor’s product or service. Vendor lock-in is usually the result of proprietary technologies that are incompatible with those of competitors.

The existence of vendor lock-in is real, especially with Oracle Technology. The best way to avoid vendor lock-in is to choose your technology wisely in the first place. Unfortunately, that is not possible when such technologies have already been deeply embedded in companies’ business processes for years or even decades.

Some Oracle Technologies such as APEX (Application Express) are a good example of a vendor lock-in that has been introduced within the Oracle Database product in 2004 as a free and easy to use development platform. Oracle Databases that are using Apex are particularly hard to migrate to other technologies and would require an applicative re-design first.

Other Oracle technologies are great candidates for a real migration to open-source technologies, such as:

  • Oracle Database to PostgreSQL (without Apex);
  • Oracle WebLogic Middleware to any Standard open-source Java Middleware such as Tomcat or JBoss;
  • Oracle Forms Objects (fmb, mmb, pll, olb) to Java;
  • Oracle Reports Objects (rdf) to Jasper Reports;

Are you looking to migrate from Oracle to more modern and versatile solutions?

Facing prohibitive licensing costs and a dwindling developer community, many IT departments are looking to break free from Oracle Forms in favor of a more versatile and modern solution.

The first edition of Oracle Forms was released four decades ago. Since then, many associated products, such as Translation Hub, Oracle Graphics, and Oracle Designer, have been retired. More and more enterprises are starting to take advantage of open-source software supported by active communities as they drive their digital transformations forward.

Despite this, Oracle Forms is still alive, with about 17,000 enterprise customers worldwide. As such, migrating should be a strategic choice carried out with clear goals in sight. Some of the most common reasons are unifying the development platform of your organization, more flexible licensing agreements, better support options, or to simply overcome technological limitations to modernize enterprise development and resource planning.
Java, an open-source framework, is one of the most powerful and openly available programming languages. It's also a very popular language among developers. There is a real desire to migrate away from Oracle Forms to Java.

What you should consider before migrating to Open-source solutions.

Migrating to an open-Source solution Companies lacking experience with open-source solutions will have more difficulties in implementation or management. Of course, migration can be done through external providers, however questions must be asked beforehand to make sure you are fully aware of the most suitable solution. From "identifying the right technology" to "deploying the new system", there are many steps and hurdles to overcome. By following a solid framework for migration with the following steps, much of the risks associated with migration can be ironed out:

  • Identifying the right technology
  • Simplification of your existing code base
  • Creation of stand-alone modules
  • Separation of internal code from external dependencies
  • List external dependencies and have a clear path forward for each of them
  • Code redesign and improvements
  • Provide documentation and examples
  • Proof of Concept and deployment on a new environment

Who should migrate from Oracle to open source?

These types of migrations are ideally suited to any enterprise computing environment based on a custom-made in-house Oracle Forms deployment, as well as those deployed by independent software vendors. Moreover, any customized Oracle Forms apps that have been added to an existing ERP system are excellent candidates to be migrated to open source. Once a Forms and Reports Migration is completed, the Oracle Middleware can easily be replaced by an open-source alternative such as Tomcat or JBoss.

The Oracle database migration to PostgreSQL is ideally suited to any in-house Oracle Database, whether it is based on Oracle Forms or not doesn’t make any difference.

To summarize the order of this process, those running Oracle Forms and Reports can migrate their apps to Java, the Reports can be migrated over to Jasper Reports, after which it will be possible to migrate the databases from Oracle to PostgreSQL. Those running an Oracle Database that is not used for a Forms/Reports system can migrate their databases to PostgreSQL regardless of which application runs on it.

This approach will allow enterprises to benefit from the highly flexible and scalable open-source software ecosystem, instead of being held back by legacy software and a single support and licensing model.

In the end, there is no reason for enterprises to be stuck with legacy Oracle Forms/Reports or Oracle Database technology. With rapid change being the only constant in today’s highly technology-driven world, having that degree of flexibility is crucial for staying relevant in the years to come.



RENAPS helps businesses modernize their computing infrastructures with managed migration services and expert guidance. Give us a call today, and let’s talk about your legacy migration challenges.


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