Wednesday Feb 12, 2014

Reasons for upgrading to Oracle Forms 11g Release 2

Screenshot of Forms 11g Logo

Oracle Forms remains as popular as ever. The product continues to evolve as Oracle remains committed to the objectives of making it easy as possible to upgrade and integrate existing Oracle Forms applications with new web technologies and service oriented architectures.

If you are an administrator of an Oracle Forms 10g or 11gR1 environment, have you considered an upgrade to Forms / Reports 11g Release 2? Let's summarize the reasons for moving to this version above and beyond thinking of it as being just the 'latest and greatest'.

1. Integration with Oracle Access Manager

Oracle Forms 11g Release 2 (11.1.2.x) is certified to work with Oracle Access Manager (OAM) 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.5+). Furthermore, although Oracle Forms can be manually configured to use OAM 11g, the 11gR2 configuration wizard makes life easier by offering an option to auto-configure Forms with a pre-existing OAM 11g solution. In contrast, Forms 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) is only certified/supported with Oracle Application Server Single Sign-On 10g. Note: Premier support for SSO 10g has expired. Oracle recommend migration to Oracle Access Manager 11g.

2. JDK 7 certification

In January 2014, Forms / Reports 11gR2 patch set 2 (11.1.2.2) was released and with it comes JDK 7 certification!

  • Is it Supported to Upgrade Forms / Reports 11gR1 or 11gR2 Install to JDK 7? [ID 1554189.1]

3. Simplified install and configure experience

Unlike 11gR1, Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 media does not include Portal and Discoverer. The install, configuration and accompanying documentation is therefore more straightforward to follow. What to do if the business require Portal and/or Discoverer as well as Forms? You do not have to stick solely with 11g Release 1 for all products. Install, configuration and maintenance of Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 and Portal / Discover 11g Release 1 in separate Middleware Homes is a recommended solution.

4. Install flexibility

11gR2 offers two configuration types: "Configure For Deployment" and "Configuration For Development".

The former is intended for production systems. All components are made available for configuration including Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) and Oracle Enterprise Manager (EM) Fusion Middleware Control. The latter type excludes the OHS and EM components. Note: Forms / Reports Builders are available for inclusion with either configuration type.

  • Oracle Forms and Reports 11g Release 2 (11.1.2) Development Installation FAQ [ID 1373210.1]

Secondly, Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 allows you to choose the location of the WebLogic Domain. When you run the Configuration Wizard, the default location for the domain home is:

MW_HOME/user_projects/domains

Best practice is to keep Fusion Middleware configuration and software binaries separate. In other words, locate the domain home, instance and application files outside the Middleware home. Unfortunately, a PFRD 11g domain can only be created in MW_HOME/user_projects/domains. No "Domain Location" field is offered. Extending an existing domain is not a work-around because Forms can only be added to a domain which has been created by the PFRD configuration wizard. Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 removes the restriction by offering a "Domain Location" field in the configuration wizard.

  • How to Use the Config Wizard to Create a FMw 11g WebLogic Domain Outside the Middleware Home [ID 1621205.1]

And finally ..

Here are two further Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 articles to add to your My Oracle Support bookmarks.

  • Announcing Oracle Forms & Reports 11g Release 2 (11.1.2) [ID 1364453.1]
  • Install and Configure Advisor: Oracle Forms & Reports 11g Release 2 (11.1.2) [ID 346.1]

Wednesday Apr 03, 2013

One Stop Shop For Your Middleware Product Certification Questions

Introduction

A certification is a combination of Oracle and third-party products and operating systems that Oracle has tested and should work together.

In more detail, product certifications cover:

  • Platform/OS
  • Client, Browser and Java (JRE)
  • Database, Java (JDK)
  • Web Server Plug-Ins
  • Third Party Adapters and Interoperability
  • Network - IPv6
  • Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder

This month we are excited to announce two initiatives designed to help you quickly find the answers to your product certification questions:

"Get Proactive" My Oracle Support Knowledge Article

Review and bookmark this knowledge article

Get Proactive with Fusion Middleware : Find Product Certifications [ID 1532687.1]

The article contains:

  • Viewlets which provides hints and tips for finding product certification data
  • Product Breakdown to drill down to the location of product specific certifications.
  • FAQs
  • Information and links to related resources
Screenshot 1: ID 1532687.1

Screenshot of the new Get Proactive Certification Note

And a New Support Community!

Still have questions / issues. No need to create a Service Request. Instead post your Middleware product certification question to the Middleware Certification support community! A dedicated team of Oracle Support Engineers are monitoring the community and will respond to your enquiry in timely manner.

Screenshot 2: Middleware Certification Support Community

Snapshot of Cert Community

Note: A valid My Oracle Support license / login is required to access the knowledge article and support community.

Friday Jan 11, 2013

Guide to Finding Fusion Middleware "End of Support" Information

When does support end for my Fusion Middleware version? Such a simple question and frequently asked. But there is more to the answer than you might expect. Furthermore, finding the full detail can be challenging.

In this blog entry, I will describe the navigation path through the relevant documents - all of which need to be read not only to obtain the "end of support" dates, but to also gain an understanding of Oracle Lifetime Support and Error Correction (bug fixing) policies.

The starting point is the Oracle Lifetime Support page

http://www.oracle.com/us/support/lifetime-support/index.html

This page lays out the Oracle Lifetime Support terms, definitions and benefits. Once these are understood, go to the product specific Lifetime Support documents listed on the page. The direct link to the Fusion Middleware document is:

http://www.oracle.com/us/support/library/lifetime-support-middleware-069163.pdf

This is a weighty tome (60 + pages) which contains the actual "end of support" dates. The challenge is to pick out the dates for the different Middleware products which form your chosen technology stack / solution. On page 8, there is a table labelled - "Fusion Middleware Releases". While some dates are listed in this table, for 10.1.3, 11g and 12c you are referred to the footnotes e.g.

Screenshot of rows in Fusion Middleware Release Table on Page 8

To quote the footnote

"... For specific dates refer to the respective sections in this document. To find a section, refer to the Table of Contents."

Therefore, be prepared to jump to different sections to find the dates which are specific to the products you have chosen for your Middleware solution.

There is one other very important footnote on this page, to quote:

"For more-detailed information on bug fix and patch release policies, please refer to the “Error Correction Support Policy” on My Oracle Support ."

This statement leads you down the path to find "Error Correction Support" dates for given patch set version numbers. Establishing the "Error Correction Support" dates for your solution is key because it will inform your plans for patching / maintenance. 

For Fusion Middleware, you can cut to the chase and go straight to:

Error Correction Support Dates for Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g (11.1.1/11.1.2) [ID 1290894.1]

Monday Aug 13, 2012

Find Oracle FMw 11g Other Certification Information - Client/Browser, 3rd Party, Product Interoperability

Here is the fourth and final viewlet in a series of viewlets which discuss how to find Oracle Fusion Middleware certification information. The viewlet below explores the process of searching for Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g Client, 3rd Party and Interoperability certification information. The objective is to help you find the answers to questions such as

  • Which versions of WebLogic Server are compatible with the latest FMw 11g patchset?
  • Which browsers are certified e.g. Is Forms / Reports 11g certified to work with IE 9?
  • Is it supported to integrate FMW 11g products with Websphere?
  • Does FMW 11g support IPv6?

[Note - the viewlets have no sound and use the swf (FlashPlayer) format. It will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to work through the show.

If you are unable to use Flash Player, click here to grab a PDF version of the presentation.]

If you have not done so already, check out the previous viewlets in the series

Friday Aug 03, 2012

How to Find Oracle Application Server 10g Certification Information?

Here is the third in a series of viewlets which discuss how to find Oracle Fusion Middleware certification information. The viewlet below covers Oracle Application Server 10g - with hints / tips relevant to searching for certification information related to versions

  • Oracle Application Server 10g Release 3 (10.1.3) - including SOA Suite
  • Oracle Application Server 10g Release 2 (10.1.2)
  • Oracle Identity Management 10g Release 3 (10.1.4)

[Note - the viewlets have no sound and use the swf (FlashPlayer) format. It will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to work through the show.

If you are unable to use Flash Player, click here to grab a PDF version of the presentation.]

If you have not done so already, check out the other viewlets in the series

Wednesday Aug 01, 2012

Find Oracle FMw 11g System Certification Information - Platform, Database, JDK

If you have not done so already, check out the viewlet "How to Find Oracle FMw Certification Information? - An Introduction"

Hot on its heels, we are publishing the second viewlet in the series - a viewlet which explores the process of searching for Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g System (Platform / OS, JDK, and Oracle Database) certification information. The objective is to help you find the answers to questions such as

  • Is the platform / os I am targeting for my install certified?
  • Which versions of the Oracle Database can I use with my Fusion Middleware 11g choice of products?
  • Which JDK version can I use?

[Note - the viewlets have no sound and use the swf (FlashPlayer) format. It will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to work through the show.

If you are unable to use Flash Player, click here to grab a PDF version of the presentation]

If you have not done so already, check out the other viewlets in the series

Friday Jul 27, 2012

How to Find Oracle FMw Certification Information? - An Introduction

Every month we receive a significant number of Oracle Fusion Middleware certification enquiries. The answers to most questions are in the public domain, but they are not always easy to find. Below we present the first in a series of viewlets which provides hints / tips for finding answers to questions such as

  • Where is the Oracle Fusion Middleware certification information located e.g versions 10g and 11g ?
  • Is the platform / os I am targeting for my install certified?
  • Which versions of the Oracle Database can I use with my Fusion Middleware choice of products?
  • Which JDK version can I use?
  • Where can I find Oracle or 3rd Party product interoperability / compatibility information?
  • Which versions of the browser does Fusion Middleware support?

To get the ball rolling we start with a short introduction. Further viewlets in this series are in pipeline - watch this space!

[Note - the viewlets have no sound and use the swf (FlashPlayer) format. It should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes to work through the show.

If you are unable to use Flash Player, click here to grab a PDF version of the presentation]

If you have not done so already, check out the other viewlets in the series

Tuesday Mar 27, 2012

Guide to Downloading Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g Products

Introduction

The idea of writing a blog about downloading software seems a bit strange .. right? After all, surely just give me the web download link and away I go!? Unfortunately, life is not so simple if you are a DBA or Systems Administrator tasked with staging Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g products for your chosen business technology stack. Here are the challenges:
  1. Oracle Fusion Middleware is not a single product, it is a family of products - a media pack with many many "disks" - which ones do I pick?
  2. Are the products I pick certified / supported on my chosen platform?
  3. Which download site do I use?
  4. I need to be on the latest and greatest - how do I get hold of the latest product patch set?
The purpose of this blog is to give you a roadmap to get you through these challenges.

Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g - A Product Suite

The first thing to appreciate is that Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g is not a single product. It is a product suite, an umbrella label for many products. Typically you don't download the whole media pack - well not unless you want to stage 124 Parts - a total of 68 Gig  - instead you pick the pieces that are required for your chosen Middleware solution. Therefore, you need to research / understand which products are required to build your solution. In this respect, before you go looking for the software pick and persue the product guide from the table below which matches your situation:

 Installing a New / Vanilla FMW 11g architecture
Oracle Fusion Middleware Installation Planning Guide 11g
 Upgrading Oracle Application Server 10g to FMW 11g
Oracle Fusion Middleware Upgrade Planning Guide 11g
 Patching an existing FMW 11g architecture
Oracle Fusion Middleware Patching Guide 11g





Certification Information

Ok, so now you have an idea of what Fusion Middleware products you need. It's time to check whether these products are certified against your chosen platform. There are two places to find this information:

My Oracle Support Certification Tab Page

Figure 1.1 My Oracle Support Certification Tab Page - "Search on SOA Suite"



Figure 1.2 My Oracle Support Certification Tab Page - "SOA Suite Search Result"




The FMW 11g Certification Central Hub (in the format of xls spreadsheet)

Figure 2: Screenshot of FMW 11g Release 1 Certification xls spreadsheet




Hints / Tips:

Fusion Middleware 11g certification information has only recently been added into the Certification Tab page and I think it is the more friendly way to access the information. However, due to some restrictions with the Certification Tab page interface some of the more, let's say obscure certification information, is still to be only found in the Certification spreadsheet.

Be aware that to find certification information via the My Oracle Support Certification Tab page you must enter the FMW 11g product name e.g.

"Oracle SOA Suite".

Do NOT enter "Oracle Fusion Middleware". The certification information does not exist at this product suite level.  For example, if you are building a solution which includes

  • Oracle SOA Suite
  • Oracle WebCenter

then you will have to look up the certification information for each product in turn.

After choosing the product name, select the latest patch set version. This will not only tell you whether your chosen product is available at that patch set version but provide the certification information relevant to that version.  If the product is not available under the latest patch set version, seek the information under previous patch set versions.

Important: Make a careful note of the Oracle WebLogic Server version which is certified with your chosen product and patch set version. Oracle WebLogic Server is the core component of a Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g home. It is important therefore to ensure later on that you download the version of Oracle WebLogic Server which is compatible and certified with your chosen product and patch set version.

Also - sorry to state the obvious, but please do not take certification information from the screenshots above. The screenshots are only good for the time they were entered into the blog. To ensure you have the latest information, interactively look up the certification details.

For more information about finding certification information, bookmark and read

My Oracle Support Certification Tool for Oracle Fusion Middleware Products [Doc ID 1368736.1]
How to Find Certification Details for Oracle Application Server 10g and Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g [Doc ID 431578.1]
Oracle Blog - Certification News


Downloading the Software

Now you should be ready to download the software. There are two download locations

Oracle Software Delivery Cloud (formerly known as E-Delivery)

Figure 3 - Screenshot of Fusion Middleware Download from Delivery Cloud



Oracle Fusion Middleware Download Page on Oracle Technology Network

Figure 4 - Screenshot of OTN Product Download Screen


Hints / Tips:

Your choice of download location should be primarily driven by your licensing needs. Take note of the wording on the OTN site - to quote:

"The downloads below are provided for evaluators under the OTN License Agreement. Licensed customers should download their software via our Oracle Software Delivery Cloud site, which offers different license terms."

However, it has to be said that the presentation of the most of the product download pages on OTN does make the job easier. The Software Delivery Cloud provides you with a flat list of the Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g media pack. You have to know what you are looking for and pick out the right pieces :-( The OTN product download pages present not only the download for the product you want but also its dependencies such as WebLogic Server and Repository Creation Utility. So, even if your licensing requirements drive you towards the cloud, it is still worthwhile checking the OTN pages if only as a guide to what you need to pick out from the flat list found on the cloud site.


Latest Patch Set

This is an area which may cause you confusion - especially if you are more familiar with the Oracle Application Server 10g patching story. From Patch Set 11.1.1.6 and higher, the majority of FMW 11g products (N.B there are exceptions) provide installers which can be used both to update existing FMW 11g product installs or build brand new ones. This is good news because, unless you are dealing with one of the exceptions, it means you do not have to download base software and a patch set.

At the time of the writing, the two significant exceptions are:

  • Portal/Forms/Reports/Discoverer 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.x)
  • Identity Access Management 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.x)

The other key message here is ensure you are grabbing a version of Oracle WebLogic Server which is compatible with your chosen product patch set version. Get this wrong and you will hit errors / problems at AS Instance Configuration Time.

The go to place is this document - Oracle Fusion Middleware Download, Installation, and Configuration Readme Files

In fact, this README document pretty much takes you through what I have blogged above. The only thing is you need to know which README to choose, and that's why planning your FMW 11g technology stack and viewing certification information comes into play beforehand.

And Finally

As the Oracle Fusion Middleware Download, Installation, and Configuration Readme Files states don't forget to check

About

This is the blog of the Oracle Fusion Middleware Proactive Support Delivery Team. Here we will provide information about our activities, publications, product related information and more. Feedback welcome.

Follow OracleMWSupport on Twitter

Search

Archives
« July 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
  
       
Today