Tag: Forms2Net

    Morphis Helps Modernize Leading Oil & Gas Financial Management Solution

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    P2 Energy Solutions logo

    We’re delighted to share the announcement by P2 Energy Solutions of the modernization, but not re-invention, of Qbyte FM the oil and gas industry’s leading financial management solution. (Oracle forms modernized to .NET)

    Qbyte FM 2.0, originally built in Oracle Forms, was modernized using Morphis’ proprietary platform to a .NET environment and the product now sports a modern UI with full browser functionality. The snazzy new UI can be seen here.

    With the backend remaining unchanged, the entire Qbyte FM UI (including business logic embedded in Oracle Forms) was modernized to a .NET target environment with:

    • an HTML5/JS presentation layer
    • Metronic Admin theme styles
    • a SASS CSS Processor
    • using a SOAP C# Services tier
    • the current Oracle DBMS
    • and deployed via Azure PaaS, VM and Physical Server

    The Morphis modernization process offers a fully functional 1:1 transformation of applications while, at the same time, facilitating client customizations to be built into the automation process such as:

    • Responsive layout. Specific positional to non-positional rules were defined and incorporated into the transformation tool to enable support of multiple devices and screen sizes.
    • Integration with other applications and/or services such as:
      • single sign-on
      • leading edge search functionality
      • Google Analytics API for Single Page Applications

    In the case of Qbyte FM, the 2.0 release preserved the functionality that made the product market leader and included the following improvements (in addition to the improved UI and usability):  

    • Leading edge search functionality
    • Ability to instantly access related reports and export to Excel
    • Improved naming for consistency and standard business language
    • Scalable and full-screen browser windows
    • Support for multiple monitors

    Michael Danielewicz, Senior Vice President, Canada for P2 Energy Solutions said, “Functionality is crucial, but usability matters too. With this update we’ve invested in a better experience for our customer’s end users. While the interface has been completely revitalized, the rich functionality of Qbyte FM remains untouched. We’ve also made sure to keep the data model and back-end processes the same. We did this to protect our customers’ IT investments and make upgrading pain free.”

    Here at Morphis we’re delighted to see our clients delight their customers with modernized products. The look and feel of Qbyte FM 2.0 is outstanding and likely to ensure the product’s market leading position for many years to come. 

    Request a demo here >>>

    For further information on our Oracle Forms solution, please visit our page on Oracle Forms Migration.

    It’s 2018. Are We Done With Legacy Modernization Yet?

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    It’s 2018. Are We Done With Legacy Modernization Yet?

    Firstly, Happy New Year!

    Secondly, apologies for the slow down in post frequency towards the end of 2017. No excuses, it’s just tough to keep up a weekly posting schedule and I just started to hate the sound of my own typing. In 2018, we’ll be taking guest posts so if you have something to say just hit me up using the Contact link above.

    This blog will be 3 years old this year during which time we’ve completed one of the largest legacy modernization projects ever (Ellucian), successfully delivered multiple projects in the public sector (Miami-Dade County) and are closing multiple other projects that we hope to be able to showcase soon.

    But that’s it, right? Legacy modernization solutions must have become so pervasive that there’s not much left to modernize? After all this all started with Y2K didn’t it? Actually no, Morphis has its legacy in the mid-90s (long story) and the early computer systems of the 50s and 60s were modernized in the 70s. Weren’t they?

    You may remember the post from last summer highlighting the 10 oldest US federal government systems (the oldest being commissioned in 1961 and the 10th oldest being a mere whippersnapper at 39 years of age) so there are still plenty of systems out there that need ‘modernizing’ before they completely fail (with who knows what consequences).

    And, of course, the rate of technology change means that even modern systems are very quickly in need of modernizing (Facebook) and increasing technical debt means that legacy modernization is not a one-time event but a constant capability that needs to be be acquired by any serious software development team.

    Far from slowing down, the need to ‘modernize’ software applications is accelerating. Why the single quotations around modernize? Just to indicate that there are many competing approaches to modernization. Note also the use of the term ‘software applications’ instead of ‘legacy systems’ which is meant to be indicative of the growth of the continual modernization of software using low-code development frameworks as opposed to the modernization of old monolithic systems written in, for example, Cobol.

    All that said, there is no shortage of these old monolithic systems out there. If you’re still running an Oracle Forms, Powerbuilder, Cobol, Delphi, VB, Informix 4GL… system and looking to protect yourself against retiring knowledge (the silver tsunami) or simply looking to reduce costs (maybe from moving off the mainframe) then we’re here to help. We have a page specific to Oracle Forms users plus a demo of the process from Oracle Forms to .NET (we use the same process for Java too). For all the other languages you can engage with us via the Getting Started page and you can find examples of Powerbuilder transformations and Cobol use cases throughout the blog.

    We’re set for a busy 2018 with lots of projects and continued development of the Morphis platform with a particular focus on supporting serverless cloud architectures. Watch out for more regular posts (than the end of last year) and don’t be shy! We’re not short of contact points on this blog…

    Morphis Transformer Demonstration (Forms2NET)

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    Oracle Forms to .NET Demonstration

    The Morphis platform and modernization process uses a three-step approach:

    • Analyze – how is the legacy application constructed? How large is it? How complex? What are the interdependencies between modules? Which modules are most interconnected/complex and therefore present the greatest risk in a modernization project? You can read more on this stage in several posts on Morphis Insights. This example Application Analysis provides a good overview.
    • Transformation – this is the automatic transformation stage that ingests the legacy application and automatically converts it into target language and environment. The video below shows this stage for Oracle Forms to .NET (C#, ASP.NET, MVC with Razor views). Note that the same platform and process can target the Java equivalent and ingest any legacy language.
    • Develop – the low-code development frameworks that enable continued maintenance and development of the modernized applications. This previous post outlines the Morphis low-code development frameworks.

    This is the Oracle Forms to .NET demo video for the transformation stage.

    If you have any questions on how we can apply our technology to your legacy applications then please contact us.

    Oracle Forms Modernization – Get Started Today!

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    Oracle Forms Modernization - The Clock is Ticking

    The clock is ticking for Oracle Forms Modernization. Extended support for Oracle Forms and Reports versions 12 ends in 2025. Premier support will end in two years. Here is the Oracle Lifetime Support Policy for Forms and Reports 12c.

    Oracle Information-Driven support

    Are you still running a stack to support Forms and Reports based applications? You’re not alone, but the clock is ticking.

    The good news is that you have a choice – other than following the prescribed Oracle upgrade path. Morphis has been modernizing Oracle Forms and Reports to a Java or .NET stack for many years. You can get started by clicking the download button below (but keep reading first).

    “While we looked at several, there wasn’t another vendor that could execute with the same level of proficiency as Morphis. Their technology was vastly superior to anyone else we considered.”Kari Branjord, senior vice president, strategy and product management, ERP at Ellucian.

    Or check out the success we had at Miami-Dade County where both Java and .NET were targeted across the 20+ applications modernized.

    “One of the reasons we chose Morphis is because of their flexibility to re-architect to either Java or .NET, and because they have the capability to convert an Oracle database to a SQL Server database. Since we were 100 percent Oracle, this piece was critical. As far as outcomes, the tech guys we work with are phenomenal. They do everything they can to make us successful and we stay with them because we know what they can do.”Sue Camner, Database Manager of Miami-Dade County.

    Note that Miami-Dade moved to a SQL Server database but you have the choice of maintaining your database or migrating that too. It’s up to you.

    Some of the Miami-Dade applications were modernized by Miami-Dade developers using the Morphis platform with training and support from us. Others were completed jointly, some were delivered entirely by Morphis. If you have developers that you would want to apply to the Oracle forms modernization projects then we can support you. Again it’s your choice.

    How do you get started? Fill out this contact form to receive a copy of our Inspector tool. This is a tool that you will run and which will extract meta data on your application that you send back to us for analysis. From there we will provide you with an initial estimate (time and cost) for a 1:1 transformation of your app to a Java or .NET stack (i.e. the same functionality as the source application).

    Get Your Copy of Morphis’ Inspector Tool


    Further, if you wish to build new functionality into the product as part of the automatic transformation process, we can do that too (but we’d need to quote separately for that). Things like accessibility, responsive design, extensibility, SSO are all routinely built into the automatic transformation process making Morphis even more cost effective and time efficient.

    What are you waiting for? Follow this link to get our free tool and no obligation initial estimate.

    Miami-Dade County Leading the Way With Legacy Modernization

    Morphis was recently featured in three news articles regarding our work modernizing Miami-Dade County’s information technology department. We have teamed up to complete 10 application modernization projects, with 13 other due for completion this summer. Some projects were completed by Morphis, some by Miami-Dade County and some by a combined team, but all used the Morphis platform for application modernization.

    Miami-Dade County has been able to accomplish this while addressing all security and user experience issues, extending the functionality of some apps, and saving hundreds of thousands of dollars over alternative solutions. Click on the news headlines below to learn how Morphis and the county streamlined its systems, targeting 60 applications, including more than 1,000 forms and 1,300 reports to be modernized, rewritten or retired.

    How Miami-Dade County, Fla., Updated Complex Legacy SystemsGovernment Technology

    Taking the plunge: What it takes to leave a legacy platform behindGovernment Computer News

    How this county cut costs and increased security with techSouth Florida Business Journal

    Miami-Dade County Case Study (IT Modernization Saves Time and Money While Increasing Functionality and Security)

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    Miami-Dade County

    There’s nothing better than having clients say great things about you…

    “One of the reasons we chose Morphis is because of their flexibility to re-architect to either Java or .NET, and because they have the capability to convert an Oracle database to a SQL Server database. Since we were 100 percent Oracle, this piece was critical. As far as outcomes, the tech guys we work with are phenomenal. They do everything they can to make us successful and we stay with them because we know what they can do.”Sue Camner, Database Manager of Miami-Dade County

    Here’s the background to what is an ongoing engagement with Miami-Dade County. Ten projects completed, nine in process and, hopefully, still more to follow. Some delivered by Morphis, some by Miami-Dade County, some by a combined team, ALL using the Morphis platform for application modernization.

    Challenge

    The Miami-Dade County Information Technology Department manages the IT infrastructure for all but two (the Police Department and Seaport) of the county’s lines of business including: Solid Waste Management, Public Works, Water and Sewer, Building, Small Business Development, etc. In 2011, an enforced IT change by their selected technology platform provider was going to necessitate significant staff training and transition expenses while offering little in terms of improved functionality and security.

    Situation

    In 2011, an Oracle upgrade required all Forms and Reports customers to move to its WebLogic Suite server. To facilitate this upgrade, Miami-Dade County’s database administrators (DBAs) would have needed extensive training to learn the entire WebLogic Suite language just to support their use of Forms and Reports which is, in fact, only a small part of the whole system. This would then introduce unnecessary costs as well as potential downtime, and Miami-Dade County already had two other middleware stacks available (IBM’s WebSphere Java and Microsoft’s IIS.NET) and didn’t want to incur the cost of a third.  The decision was made to modernize their applications and associated databases to one or other of these solutions.

    However, this path also presented challenges. Not upgrading to WebLogic meant a race between getting the applications modernized and the mounting issues caused by having to maintain outdated infrastructure, including:

    – Support: Support for Forms and Reports ended in 2011 and Miami-Dade County was quickly at the highest supported version of the databases underpinning these applications. This meant the database too would eventually be out of support causing major maintenance issues while the applications are modernized.

    – Cost: Until all application modernizations are completed, the county will have to maintain the existing Oracle infrastructure for just a handful of applications, resulting in several hundred thousand dollars in licensing and hardware costs annually.

    – Security: Since Oracle was no longer supporting either Forms/Reports or the Oracle Application Server (which was stuck on Windows Server 2003), updated security patches were not available. Special software needed to be procured to protect OAS.

    – User Experience: Stability issues meant users (generally County employees) had to spend hours loading and reloading applications. As the old Oracle Forms applications became more outdated, stability of the applications was becoming progressively worse and it looked like they may soon stop working altogether.

    Solution

    In December 2011, Miami-Dade County began a months-long process to both scope the issue and find the best solution. They determined that 60 different applications were effected, including nearly 1,000 forms and more than 1,300 reports. While some apps could be re-written, retired or rationalized, many needed to be modernized. Morphis was determined to be the best solution for their needs assessment based on:

    – Morphis’ ability to migrate the database to SQL Server database, something other competitors did not offer
    – The ability to re-architect to either .NET and Java, something only Morphis offered
    – Morphis’ superior tools and methodologies

    In June 2013, the first project started — modernizing Impact Fees from Oracle Forms to .NET — and went into production in May 2014. Apps currently being modernized include Garbage Roster, Paving Restoration, Special Tax and Calculation (STC), Case Management System and the ICI Billing System.

    The majority of the apps are used internally (for example, the Impact Fees app is used by the building department), and many of the modernization projects also include enhancements to the applications. Some of the applications were completely modernized by Morphis, while other modernization projects were carried out internally by Miami-Dade County using the Morphis toolset. The decision on which approach to take was made by the Miami-Dade County application developers and depended on existing workload and availability of resources.

    Results

    To date, Morphis has completed the modernization of approximately 10 apps with as many as 13 planned to begin soon. Best of all, they have been able to accomplish this while addressing all security and user experience issues, extending the functionality of some apps, and saving hundreds of thousands of dollars over alternative solutions.

    Legacy Modernization – Step-by-Step, App-by-App

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    Morphis Modernizes ACS

    Enterprise-level security updates are vital, and expected. But, they can also be costly, and take hours of staff time to complete. In some cases, lack of vendor support for technology versions within the stack may produce a security hole and provide a driver for application and stack modernization.

    Security is only one of many drivers for legacy modernization and with tens, if not hundreds, of applications in use within any given enterprise, the task of modernizing these outdated systems can seem overwhelming. For help in determining which applications to modernize and the most appropriate modernization approach, please review our step-by-step guide.

    For companies with decades-old legacy software, sometimes the best approach is to modernize at a pace that doesn’t seem so overwhelming. Many companies that are taking the modernization process app-by-app and seeing positive results.

    For example, ACS (a Xerox Company) chose to modernize a set of five applications (Common Account, Preview, Fuel Tracking, Tobacco Tracking and Permitting). The updates occurred on a total of 250 Oracle Forms modules, 11 library modules and 235 report modules used across eight states (Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Kentucky, Mississippi and Virginia). The project, which involved several moving parts, helped ACS to support the use of the application on multiple browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome) and move much of the PL/SQL code existent on the modules to the database while keeping the same level of service for customers.

    The migration (to .NET/C# and SQL Server Reporting Services) was carried out using a customized version of Morphis’ Forms Transformer (Forms2Net) and the Morphis Foundations framework was used for ongoing application development.

    The major benefit to ACS was that all five applications now use the same environment and development framework. In addition to the obvious skills and time saving benefits provided by the unified environment and development framework, this solution also afforded installation flexibility since each module can be deployed separately and each ACS client can choose the desired suite components to deploy. The same modularity features apply also to the SSRS reports.

    By choosing to modernize only a few forms at a time, ACS was able to scale their modernization in a way that kept their software up-to-date without completely uprooting their business and risking customer experience issues.

    Lockheed Martin used a similar modernization strategy to update an internal support application that was developed in Oracle Forms. They also worked with Morphis to migrate a set of Oracle Forms modules to C# ASP.NET and SQL Server Reporting Services. The new .NET app structure was based on the Model-View-Controller pattern, enabling easier maintenance, better integration possibilities and greater potential for re-use.

    App-by-app modernization is often the best option for companies who are looking to modernize, but want to do so at a pace and cost that isn’t overwhelming, creating achievable goals that will benefit the entire enterprise.

    Categories: Morphis Clients Tags: Tags:

    Have You Sorted Your Future Digital Infrastructure Strategy? Qube Global has!

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    Morphis Modernizes Qube

    2016 is the year to ask yourself, “How much longer can we afford to keep our legacy IT systems in place?” It’s time to identify which applications to modernize and the best modernization approach. I’m sure you have many products and services in the pipeline for launch in the new year, but it’s important to note that you need to consider your legacy modernization strategy BEFORE developing a new, state-of-the-art mobile/cloud-enabled app.

    If your consumer-facing business has not yet launched a cloud-enabled or mobile application into its’ software portfolio, you are officially behind the times. But first consider your modernization strategy — the customer interface and experience should avoid future compromises that may result if the enterprise has not cloud-enabled internal IT systems. Outdated legacy systems are a major hinderance on innovation within a company that brings along great risk: providing an acceptable or exceptional user experience versus a terrible failure and service outage.

    Federal CIO Tony Scott used a great example to touch upon the importance of the federal government changing priorities to update their IT systems instead of waiting until they break.

    “We have to have a mindset of working this out in a way, economically, policywise that keeps riding the curve and practices that through all of the ecosystems that contribute to this,” said Tony Scott, according to FierceGovernmentIT. “It’s no different than paving roads,” Scott continued. “You don’t just put a road in and then wait until it breaks apart. You repave them every once in a while. And every once in a while you have to tear it up and put a whole new road down. We just got to get in that cycle.” Scott said that there is “a growing gap” between advances the private sector has made in upgrading their networks and overall digital architecture and what the federal government has been able to do in those areas,” (Phil Goldstein, FedTech.com).

    Lack of innovation and a compromised customer experience will leave large enterprises in the dust in 2016. Outdated legacy systems will lead to fewer new customers, which will translate into less revenue from lack of software updates and support in the future. Here is an example of a global enterprise we worked with to modernize their applications in order to improve their customers’ experience.

    Client Background

    Qube Global Software is a provider of technology solutions for commercial and corporate real estate, with more than 1000 organizations in more than 70 countries, managing and operating their business portfolios. Their mission statement located on their website exemplifies their commitment to the users’ experience:

    “Qube Global Software is committed to being an agent of change, pushing the limits of existing technology to maintain our competitive edge. We’ve been doing this a long time and being good just isn’t good enough. Your success is a reflection of our commitment to deliver unparalleled results. Customer support is more than a voice over the telephone; we are your partner, building an unrivalled depth of reliability, trust and connection.”

    Challenge

    Qube Global Software’s Horizon real estate management application was experiencing negative customer feedback around the usability of the existing Oracle Forms user interface and requests to have data optionally delivered via SQL Server. The problem existed in 372 Oracle Forms Modules and 100 Oracle Reports (both 10g) running inside an I-Views container, which also ran a separate HTML application for read-only data access.

    Solution

    Qube Global Software partnered with Morphis to create a simpler user experience, using one solution on any device for a total real estate management solution. Morphis migrated both the Horizon and HTML app to a single ASP.NET application, which supported both Oracle and SQL Server databases.

    The new .NET app structure was based on the Model-View-Controller architectural pattern, enabling easier maintenance, increased integration capabilities and greater potential for re-use. All generated code was based on .NET recommended best practices, enabling the Qube team to quickly adopt the new coding style. Data access components generated by Forms2Net were extensions of ADO.NET, facilitating access to other databases than Oracle. Other benefits include customization of the look and feel so that users can choose the fields they want to see as well as reposition and resize those fields.

    Moving Forward

    The need for businesses to innovate is increasing dramatically and enterprises should be strategizing ways to quickly and securely mobilize data from outdated legacy systems into modern mobile and web applications. How are you going to improve your customers’ experience in 2016 when your legacy systems are slowing app delivery? The time for band-aids is over, the time for modernization is here.

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