By: Michelle Skamene On: June 2, 2023 In: Forms, Oracle Forms Comments: 0

Modernizing Oracle Forms applications with Oracle APEX is a strategic decision that can unlock numerous benefits for your organization. However, before diving straight into the cost aspect, it’s crucial to understand that there is no magic bullet when it comes to estimating project costs accurately.

In this blog post, we’ll explore why it’s almost impossible to provide a precise answer to the question of cost without performing a thorough assessment. We’ll also discuss the importance of this assessment phase and how it sets the foundation for a successful modernization project.

The Primary Consideration for Potential Clients: Cost

When modernizing legacy Oracle Forms applications, we understand that cost is a primary concern for potential clients. Knowing the financial investment required is essential for planning and decision-making. You want to consider ROI and risk mitigation and ensure your vendors are competitively priced. We get it.

We recognize the importance of knowing the cost upfront, but it’s crucial to be aware of the risks associated with providing even ballpark estimates. Without a comprehensive analysis of your existing systems and requirements, any estimate would be based on assumptions and may not reflect the project’s true scope.

Inaccurate cost estimates can result in budget overruns, delays, and compromised quality if unforeseen complexities arise during the migration process. To mitigate these risks, we prioritize transparency and delivering accurate estimates aligned with your specific needs.

Investing time in an assessment phase allows us to uncover complexities, identify roadblocks, and assess required resources. This comprehensive approach ensures that our cost estimates consider all aspects of your modernization project, reducing the likelihood of cost overruns and maximizing success.

The Problem with Estimating Project Costs Without an Assessment

Many factors can impact the cost of a modernization project. For example, while analyzing existing files to get a sense of current application complexity is possible, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Modernization projects are rarely like-for-like conversions. Understanding current needs, system architecture, security requirements, required integrations, reporting, possible new business needs, and more is crucial.

Consider a first Oracle Forms modernization project. Initially, the project may seem straightforward. However, upon closer examination, it’s discovered that some forms are obsolete, some business processes have changed, and a change in paradigm from client-server to web-based needs to be considered. These factors can significantly impact the project’s scope and, consequently, its cost.

Furthermore, different Oracle Forms applications may have different levels of complexity. A simple application with a few forms will be much easier to migrate than a complex application with hundreds of forms, complex business rules, and complex security requirements. Without analyzing the existing system, it’s impossible to know the true complexity of the project, making it challenging to estimate project costs accurately.

Estimating project costs without performing a thorough assessment is extremely difficult. It’s crucial to take the time to understand the existing system fully and to identify all of the factors that can impact the project’s scope. This information is critical to estimating project costs accurately and ensuring that unexpected costs and delays down the line do not blindside clients.

The Critical Role of an Assessment Phase in Project Cost Estimation

The assessment phase is critical in project cost estimation for Oracle Forms modernization with Oracle APEX. It goes beyond simply examining existing files and delves into various aspects of your current system, business requirements, and future goals. Let’s explore why this phase is essential for accurate cost estimation:

Understanding the Complexity

Every Oracle Forms application is unique, with its own set of complexities. The assessment phase allows us to uncover the intricacies of your existing system, identifying the number of forms, business rules, and underlying database objects. By comprehending the complexity upfront, we can provide a more accurate estimate of the effort and resources required for the migration.

Identifying Modernization Needs

During the assessment phase, we evaluate your current needs and business processes. This involves identifying key functionalities that must be migrated, obsolete forms that can be retired, and potential new business requirements that need to be addressed. By understanding these needs, we can assess the project's and determine the level of effort required for successful modernization.

Evaluating Security and Integration Requirements

Security and integration considerations are crucial in any modernization project. The assessment phase allows us to review your specific security requirements, such as authentication and authorization schemes, and recommend appropriate solutions. We also examine integration points with external systems, ensuring seamless data exchange and system interoperability. By addressing these requirements early on, we can estimate the additional effort and potential costs associated with security and integration.

Architectural Assessment

Moving from Oracle Forms to Oracle APEX often involves a shift from client-server to web-based architecture. The assessment phase helps us evaluate your system architecture and infrastructure needs for the migration. It allows us to identify any required architectural changes and estimate the associated costs. This assessment ensures a smooth transition and sets the stage for a scalable and efficient modernized application.

Planning for Deployment and Maintenance

Another critical aspect of the assessment phase is planning for deployment and ongoing maintenance. We consider factors such as source code management, coding standards, and the recommended DevOps methodology. By outlining a clear deployment strategy and defining coding practices, we help you streamline the development process and minimize future maintenance costs.

By conducting a thorough assessment, we gather essential information that forms the foundation for accurate cost estimation. It allows us to identify potential roadblocks, allocate resources effectively, and mitigate risks. Without this phase, a cost estimate would be based on assumptions, potentially leading to budget overruns and delays.

The assessment phase is a vital step in project cost estimation for Oracle Forms modernization with Oracle APEX. It provides a comprehensive understanding of your current system, business needs, and future goals, enabling us to deliver an accurate cost estimate and a well-informed migration plan. Investing in this crucial phase sets the stage for a successful modernization project, ensuring that you achieve the desired outcomes within your budget and timeline.

Deliverables from an Assessment Phase

A comprehensive assessment package should provide you with a personalized roadmap for modernizing your Oracle Forms application with Oracle APEX. It should be vendor agnostic and give you a solid jumpstart in your modernization project, regardless of who you choose to partner with, or even which technology you ultimately choose.

At Insum, after thoroughly evaluating your existing system, we will provide you with a detailed report, including an executive summary and a technical roadmap containing specific recommendations for your project.

It goes without saying that an estimate of project cost is a key deliverable of the assessment phase.

Our comprehensive report also includes statistics of the components found during the evaluation, a list of non-applicable components, and a list of database objects that require changes in the modernization process. This information will provide you with a clear understanding of the scope and complexity of your project, allowing you to make informed decisions about the modernization process.

The technical specification documents contain recommendations for authentication and authorization schemes, security requirements, architecture and infrastructure needs, interfaces with external systems, and source code management. We will also suggest menu management, libraries, and coding standards. These documents are designed to help you make informed decisions about the technical aspects of the project and ensure that your modernized application meets your specific business needs.

Finally, we will provide you with a personalized project plan that outlines the recommended approach for the execution phase of the project. This plan will give you a clear roadmap for moving forward, allowing you to prioritize tasks, allocate resources, and manage the project effectively. With this plan in hand, you will have a clear understanding of the steps required to complete the modernization process and can move forward with the confidence that you are making informed decisions about your project.

Our Insum assessment package provides the information you need to make informed decisions about modernizing your Oracle Forms application.

The Benefits of Investing in an Assessment Phase

Beyond simply giving you an accurate project estimate, an assessment phase for your Oracle Forms modernization with Oracle APEX project offers valuable benefits:

Conclusion: Don’t be fooled by instant estimates and automated conversions

Caution should be exercised when considering service providers that promise instant estimates and automated conversions. While the allure of a quick estimate and automated conversion may seem enticing, it’s essential to recognize the risks involved. The complexities of modernizing legacy Oracle Forms applications require a thorough understanding of your unique requirements, business processes, and technical intricacies. Quick estimates and automated conversions often overlook critical aspects that can significantly impact the success and cost of your project. By choosing a service provider that emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive assessment phase, you ensure that your modernization journey is tailored to your specific needs, mitigating risks, and maximizing the long-term value of the migration.

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Our Oracle Forms Modernization Success Stories

Our team of seasoned experts has guided numerous businesses through their Oracle Forms modernization journeys. With our deep knowledge of Oracle technology, a keen eye for business process optimization, and a client-centric approach, we ensure that your journey is not just successful, but also a significant leap towards enterprise excellence.

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Energy industry provider lights up for APEX Forms modernization due to its software editor’s upgrade to Oracle APEX, the client needed to Migrate 323 material management Forms screens to APEX in a 12-month timeframe. The screens included many extensions. 

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The client wished to update its tax collection systems as they were running on outdated versions of its Database, Oracle Forms and oracle APEX, and using a combination of role based & application-level security.

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• Needed to incorporate new business processes quickly
• Required better data visibility (reporting and data visualization)

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Oracle Forms’ reliance on old web techonolgy, lack of responsive design and concerns for overall security motivated this firm to seek a replacement. 

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To fulfill its industry regulator's role, this commission required functionality beyond the limits of its Oracle Forms-based legacy applications.

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