Microsoft Access Migration to Oracle Application Express Overview

Microsoft Access Migration to Oracle Application Express Overview
Microsoft Access to Oracle
Application Express Migration
Overview
An Oracle White Paper
May 2009
Microsoft Access to Oracle Application Express
Migration Overview
Introduction ....................................................................................................... 3
Reasons to Migrate to Oracle Application Express ..................................... 4
Microsoft Access Migration Process .............................................................. 4
Microsoft Access Migration Complexities..................................................... 4
Microsoft Access Migration Options ............................................................. 5
Scenario 1: Departmental Reporting.......................................................... 5
Scenario 2: Organizational Information Management ............................ 6
Scenario 3: Company Accounting Systems............................................... 6
Conclusion.......................................................................................................... 7
Microsoft Access to Oracle Application Express Migration Overview
Page 2
Microsoft Access to Oracle Application Express
Migration Overview
INTRODUCTION
Oracle Application Express is a rapid web application development tool for the
Oracle database, which combines the qualities of a personal database, productivity,
ease of use, and flexibility with the qualities of an enterprise database, security,
integrity, performance, scalability, availability, and built for the web. The browser
based design time interface, the declarative programming framework, and simple
wizards make Oracle Application Express a natural replacement for multi-user
desktop database applications such as Microsoft Access.
Microsoft Access to Oracle Application Express Migration Overview
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REASONS TO MIGRATE TO ORACLE APPLICATION EXPRESS
Microsoft Access is a database intended for small projects with a few users, to
manipulate data from a Microsoft Windows machine that has Microsoft Access
installed. It is not intended as an inherently reliable solution. Such personal
databases don’t offer the productivity, performance, scalability, manageability or
security that companies need for regulatory compliance. Often simple applications
grow in size and complexity and become mission critical. These same applications
are often scattered throughout the network making maintenance, backups, security,
and access increasingly costly and inconsistent. Building a Web-based application
that supports a multi-user environment is a more efficient way to manage
information. Oracle Application Express can quickly replace unsecured, personal
databases and as business grows, the migrated application can easily accommodate
additional users and increased volume, and all protected within a secure Oracle
database.
MICROSOFT ACCESS MIGRATION PROCESS
The Oracle Application Express Application Migration Workshop is a feature of
Oracle Application Express that assists customers in migrating Microsoft Access
application to Oracle Application Express. It works in harmony with Oracle SQL
Developer Migration Workbench (Migration Workbench) to provide a total
solution for your Access Migration requirements. You first use the Migration
Workbench to migrate your database schema and data and then use the Application
Migration Workshop to migrate your forms and reports. The solution is focused
on recovering the design of existing Microsoft Access applications and generating
Oracle Application Express applications based on the findings. This sometimes
requires manual intervention after the migration tools perform the bulk of the
migration work. Your new application can then be refined to take advantage of all
the power and capabilities of Oracle Application Express.
MICROSOFT ACCESS MIGRATION COMPLEXITIES
A number of factors can add to the complexity of a migration, such as the existence
of Visual Basic (VB) code, poor database design, lack of knowledge on the design
and behavior of the original application, and attempting to replicate the original
application in a Web-based environment. It is important to analyze the original
database and application, and identify the user requirements for the migrated
application, in order to establish the complexity of the migration.
Microsoft Access to Oracle Application Express Migration Overview
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MICROSOFT ACCESS MIGRATION OPTIONS
Depending upon the complexity of the Microsoft Access application, and the user
requirements defined for the migrated application, the migration process can vary.
A Microsoft Access migration typically falls into one of the following scenarios:
Scenario 1: Departmental Reporting
What started off as a personal, mid-sized∗ desktop database used for reporting
departmental information, has now become a mission critical, fragmented,
unmanageable, and unsecured application which needs to be shared with other
members of your organization, across locations. The data model is normalized and
well structured, and the user interface can be replaced with more enhanced
reporting capabilities.
In 2 days, you can have your database schema and data migrated to Oracle using
the Migration Workbench, and an application built for the Web, using Oracle
Application Express wizards to generate the new user interface and take advantage
of components such as Interactive reports and charts. Interactive Reporting
Regions use Web 2.0 technology to enable dynamic end-user report customization,
eliminating the need for many of the reports and queries defined in the original
application. Users can alter the layout of report data by displaying the columns
they are interested in, applying filters, highlighting, and sorting. An extensive
charting engine allows SQL queries to be represented graphically and incorporated
into your reports, providing a more effective form of communication. There are
also multiple download formats available, including comma-delimited file (CSV)
format, Microsoft Excel (XLS) format, Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF),
and Microsoft Word Rich Text Format (RTF). Once you have determined the
primary purpose and functionality of the original Microsoft Access application, you
will see that it is easy to build an application based on the same data and database
objects using Oracle Application Express.
∗ Less than 10 tables, over 20 queries and associated reports, and no VB code.
Microsoft Access to Oracle Application Express Migration Overview
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Scenario 2: Organizational Information Management
The contact management application for your organization, containing sensitive
customer information, needs to be made more secure and support a multi-user
environment. The application consists of over 30 tables, in a normalized model.
The overlying user interface consists of over 30 forms and reports, which now
appear dated.
The Application Migration Workshop would prove beneficial to users wishing to
retain components of their original application, and also take advantage of the
extensive components available in Oracle Application Express. This approach
allows you to define the scope of your migration, refine your data model and
recover design information from the original application, which can be
incorporated into your new Oracle Application Express application. Typically,
both the data model and application definition are modified to improve deficiencies
and to take advantage of all the features of Oracle Application Express (PDF
Printing, Flash Charts, etc). Depending upon the level of customization applied to
the generated application, the migration process could be completed within a week.
Scenario 3: Company Accounting Systems
An organization manages its departmental Accounting records using a Microsoft
Access application. The database consists of over 40 tables and 100 queries, where
the tables are not normalized, which has led to a high level of information
duplication. The application consists of over 60 forms and reports, including some
third party add-ins for formatting reports and managing authorization on forms.
Also, a substantial amount of business logic is held within VB modules.
Where the data model is not properly normalized, and information duplication is
prominent, remodeling of the database should be strongly considered. Using the
Migration Workbench, the existing database objects and data can be migrated to
Oracle within a day. Once in Oracle, you can then spend time modifying the
model to improve deficiencies. In instances where the data model has been
remodeled, it is recommended that you use the Oracle Application Express wizards
to create a new application on the new database model. It is important to
understand that there are differences in the user interface of a client/server
application and a Web application, so it’s best not to try and implement the same
user interface in a Web-based environment. Although the original application had
over 60 forms and reports, it will most likely be unnecessary to generate an
equivalent number of objects in your Oracle Application Express application.
Logic contained in VB code could be manually rewritten in PL/SQL. Many Oracle
Application Express features such as Interactive reports, built-in authentication
schemes, PDF printing, and user interface themes can be used to greatly enhance
the new application, and in less than 20 days.
Microsoft Access to Oracle Application Express Migration Overview
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Before undertaking a migration, it is important to have an understanding of the
core functionality and purpose of the original application, as well as the underlying
data model. You should also have an understanding of the Oracle Application
Express user interface. Estimations for a migration task can vary depending on a
number of factors, such as the number of forms & reports to be migrated, the
chosen method of application generation, and the level of customizations to be
applied to the generated application. Regardless of the scenario into which your
application may fall, it is advisable that you review the Oracle Application Express
Best Practices White Paper, available on OTN, which provides a collection of best
practices on the development, deployment, UI consistency & usability, security and
performance of an Oracle Application Express application.
Oracle Application Express Application
Migration Workshop
http://www.oracle.com/technology/product
s/database/application_express/migrations
/mig_index.html
Oracle Application Express Access
Migration Tutorial
http://www.oracle.com/technology/product
s/database/application_express/migrations
CONCLUSION
Microsoft Access databases are an inefficient, unsecured method of managing
information. A more efficient, scalable, and secure approach to managing
information is to use an Oracle database with a Web application as the user
interface. Oracle Application Express provides centralized control of company
information via a Web-based application that supports a multi-user environment,
allowing department level users to generate Web 2.0 applications quickly, with high
performance, usability and security.
/tutorial.html
Oracle Application Express Free Trial
Service
http://apex.oracle.com
Oracle Application Express Home
http://apex.oracle.com/otn
Oracle Application Express How To
Documents
http://apex.oracle.com/howtos
Oracle Application Express Forum on OTN
http://apex.oracle.com/forums
Oracle Application Express References
http://apex.oracle.com/references
Microsoft Access to Oracle Application Express Migration Overview
Page 7
Microsoft Access to Oracle Application Express Migration Overview
May 2009
Author: Hilary Farrell
Contributing Author: Marc Sewtz
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