When will Oracle Forms Be De-Supported?
Oracle Forms Support Deadlines
Not a day goes by that an Oracle Forms customer in the midst of a demo, proof of concept or even on our website asks the inevitable question, how much longer will Oracle Forms be around? If you’re reading this, I’m sure you too have been wondering what’s happening with the Oracle Forms support deadlines, anxiously awaiting news of an upcoming support extension or maybe fearing the worst, wondering what will happen if your Premier Support deadline arrives. As it stands today, here are the current support date deadlines. Of course please note, Oracle Forms has extended support until well into the next decade with indefinite sustained support.
Support Martrix for Oracle Forms
So although this table seems to imply Forms has 2 years to go, we wanted to set the record straight, Oracle Forms is here and is not going anywhere! But no need to take our word for it. We went straight to the source, the Oracle Forms Product Manager, and our community’s fearless leader, Michael Ferrante.
When we first asked him what’s happening with the Premier Support end date of 2022, he seemed to look at us in shock,
“I honestly have no idea how customers get into these mental pickles where they believe that just because a product version reaches its end of Support that it is the “end” of this product’s existence. Consider this, Database 19.x has Premier Support until April 2024. Is anyone under the belief that Oracle will not deliver a new version of the DB after v19, but before 19 ends in April 2024? Of course not. The likelihood of Oracle not delivering the next DB is greatly improbable. Well, similar is true of a product like Oracle Forms that is currently still very active. August 2022 is just short of two years away. That leaves us plenty of time to release the next major version.”
When we said, that’s obviously good enough for us but our customers seem to be hesitant to move into the future with Oracle Forms with only 2 years left. That is when he replied with utmost confidence,
“If, for whatever reason we believe we cannot release a new version while still leaving customers at least 12 months to consume this new version, the current Support dates for FMW 12.2 will likely be extended to ensure enough time is made available for upgrading. That said, I/we cannot guarantee any of this, but this is how we typically have done things in the past (at least for my nearly 21 years with Oracle).”
For customers wondering about the plans for Oracle Forms, they can always refer to the Statement of Direction for Oracle Forms, found on Oracle’s website which Michael updated in October 2019 or contact the Forms experts at AuraPlayer.
Is Oracle Forms Dead?
After having talked with Michael Ferrante, we decided to go even further and do a small investigation of our own. If we actually look at the history of Oracle Forms, it seems that Oracle Forms was more dead about 10 years ago than it is today. Oracle Forms 12 seems to be doing incredibly well and Oracle has integrated it into both what used to be known as the Oracle developer cloud service, which is now Oracle Visual Builder studio. What is more, Oracle has provided support for running Oracle Forms on Oracle’s OCI (Oracle Cloud Infrastructure). Thus, I highly doubt that Oracle would be investing the time, resources and energy supporting Oracle Forms in all their next-generation cloud environments if they didn’t have plans to continue supporting Forms well into the future.
Oracle Forms to Cloud — Moving Into The Future With Oracle Forms
Oracle Forms is here to stay and is moving into the future by rising to the clouds — Oracle Cloud Infrastructure that is. We were thrilled to hear in Oracle’s blog that it is now possible to take advantage of all the cloud benefits such as automatic configuration, using imaging in the cloud, hosting, and to have elastic cloud — and to be able to scale up as you go with your Oracle Forms environment. Read more here.
Moving to the cloud provides customers with endless opportunities and ultimate flexibility, as they don’t need to manage their servers in-house and now are able to scale up in minutes.
The Oracle Cloud Marketplace VM Image (of Oracle Forms) is provided as a quick-start way for customers to try and use Oracle Forms in Cloud. When provisioned, it automatically installs a Database, WebLogic Server, Forms and Reports, and a few others. During provisioning, all of the mentioned components are configured (except Reports) and their corresponding servers are automatically started.
The first time the customer gains access to the environment, the entire machine will be pre-configured for them. What is expected of the customer is that they patch this software (as desired) and consider the various security aspects of the machine. That is something that Oracle does not do out-of-the-box.
Because this Marketplace image is provided only as a quick-start tool, it is entirely managed by the customer. This means that if they want to customize it, they can (and should) do so. It also means that if they don’t like what Oracle pre-installed, they are free to delete it all and start over. Feel free to access the marketplace to learn more here.