Right off the bat, relax, it is not so big a deal. Some Forms developers are faced with the need to move to become an Apex developer in order to maintain their role. As more and more companies are moving away from Forms for a web technology such as Apex, there is a need to retain current resources and to transition those resources to the new technology.Right off the bat, relax, it is not so big a deal. Some Forms developers are faced with the need to move to become an Apex developer in order to maintain their role. As more and more companies are moving away from Forms for a web technology such as Apex, there is a need to retain current resources and to transition those resources to the new technology.

While you might be stressed about making the transition from Forms to Apex, you should know that if approached correctly you can likely be productive as an Apex developer in a couple of months.

 One of the first things you must understand is that Forms is not Apex and Apex is not Forms. Obvious, right. Here you cannot simply develop in one the same way that you do in the other. As a Forms developer you have many skills that will help you in developing in Apex but it is a new thought process and a new approach to development.

As a Forms developer you are used to working on client server applications that maintain a persistent and distinct session in the database. When you are updating a row in a database table, Forms will lock that row until the update is complete no longer how long the client takes to update the data. But, that is not a web application works and is not how Apex works.

Apex is stateless in that it does not maintain a persistent connection to the data. When data is fetched from a database table, Apex uses a connection pool to connect to that database, fetch the data and display it on the web page. That use of the public session is terminated and there is no longer a direct connection to the database. This is a fundamental difference between  a  Form and a web page

When a client is updating the data or changing it in any way, this is not locking a row nor is it doing any validation against the table itself. If the user never submit the changes, the update is not performed. If the user does submit the page, there is another connection used from the shared connection pool to update the row. You need to become fully familiar with this concept as it will directly impact the way you go about building pages in an Apex application. For some Forms developers this is the most troublesome issue to understand.
You need to appreciate that you are not building an Apex page that will mirror a Form with all of its components and functionality. Apex simply does not work with the triggers, validation and program units that Forms does. This means a shift in understanding the tools that are in your toolbox.

There is no way to get around the fact that training will be required. To fully understand how applications are build in Apex you need to understand how pages and forms are created and how the elements of a page are set up and put in place. Ideally, classroom training that takes you from an introductory level to a more advanced level would be best.
 If there are enough Forms developers participating in the training, the instructor should be able to refer back to Forms in order to make parallels and differences clear. You need some time to play around with Apex before you turn your attention to actual project development. Once you have completed the training, you will be well on your way to becoming an Apex developer.

The good thing is that you already have some of the key skills that you require to advance. You are very familiar with SQL and P/SQL. You are used to applying business logic to a page and used to processing that page.

If   built   well an Apex application will not directly interact with database tables. Instead, the application will query on a set of views. Likewise, DML will be performed using a series of APIs that you will create. You will spend a lot of time in the database and you already know how to create the required database objects.
Sometimes with Forms the development of screens themselves were difficulty. The lining up of components proved troublesome.

As soon as you added a new component, other items went out of position. With Apex, we make use of a UI called the Universal Theme. Component are aligned using a grid system. The development of screens is not difficult and the result is pleasing to users and they are very familiar with using web applications as they do it every day.

The Oracle Apex development team has created a number of tutorials to help you. There is a 2 day tutorial in which you build a complete application from scratch. Completing this tutorial is a good way to get started with Apex Installed with Apex are a whole bunch of packaged applications. These are complete applications built around a business sector. You can use these applications as a way of exploring how things are done in Apex.  Even seasoned Apex developers will use these applications as a point of reference.

As with learning any new technology, you will surely be frustrated and confused at first. I promise you that having been a Forms developer you are already twenty percent there. As you learn Apex, you will love the new way of developing and will advance your career in a very positive way.

Over the years, the Apex community has created a lot of valuable resources. There is a lot of Apex blogs, videos, tutorials and community forums as well as the Oracle Application Express forum. If you google an issue, you are likely to find just the solution you need.
Many of the Apex gurus have written some very instructive books. Have a look at the listing of books in the books section of this site to find the ones most highly recommended. And there are new books always being published related to Apex?

Is it easy to transition from being a Forms developer to an Apex developer.  Well generally it is, if you open your mind to doing things in a new way. You become excited about developing a more modern and usable interface. Start slowly. Brace yourself for some moments of doubt and frustration, but isn’t it exactly the same as when you first learned Forms. Ask questions. Know that there are really good people to help you. For a while lower your expectations of yourself and realise that you will get there fairly quickly. In fact, some of the best Apex developers come from a Forms background.

Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the journey. You’ll get there sooner than you think.How Does A Forms Become An Apex Developer

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