Wednesday Oct 08, 2014

A Sample Install Plan for Oracle HTTP Server 12c

Even when a task appears straightforward, there can be a little more to it than meets the eye. So some research / planning upfront can save time and avoid mistakes / misunderstandings. Here is a sample plan for installing Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) 12c.

Objectives:

  • Install Oracle HTTP Server 12.1.3 on MS Windows 2008 (64bit)
  • OHS will front end an custom java servlet application deployed in WebLogic Server.
  • The connection to the application must be secure, therefore the final solution should feature SSL terminating at OHS.
  • Administrators would like to have the option to manage Oracle HTTP Server (configuration, start / stop etc) via Fusion Middleware Enterprise Manager Control.

Additional Comment

  • The build is for a production system
  • Oracle Database 11.2.0.3  has already been installed and can be used to host any database objects required

Software Download

Pre-requisites

JDK SE 7U55+

  • Download latest JDK 7 version e.g. “jdk-7u67-windows-x64.exe”

Oracle Database : 12.1.0.1+ or 11.2.0.3+ or 11.1.0.7+

Fusion Middleware Product Download

As this build is for production system, in order to comply with licensing the software should be downloaded from Oracle Software Delivery Cloud

After sign in, choose:

Product: Oracle Fusion Middleware
Platform: Microsoft Windows x64 (64bit)

Click on “Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c Media Pack (12.1.3)”

The choice of software depends on the administrator's requirement:

Option A: Manage / administer Oracle HTTP Server via Fusion Middleware Enterprise Manager Control

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c (12.1.3.0.0) Infrastructure
  • Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c (12.1.3.0.0) HTTP Server for Microsoft Windows x64 (64-bit)

Note : An Infrastructure requires Metadata schemas to be installed in an Oracle Database (see comments in "pre-requisites")

Option B: Manage / administer Oracle HTTP Server via command line only

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c (12.1.3.0.0) WebLogic Server and Coherence
  • Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c (12.1.3.0.0) HTTP Server for Microsoft Windows x64 (64-bit)

Patches

At the time of writing, there are currently no recommended patches or patch set updates for WebLogic Server 12.1.3. Also currently, no recommended patches or patch set updates for OHS 12c.

Release dates for critical patches and patch set updates can be found in the Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin . The next critical patch update release may or may not include a call to action for patching some or all of the components in the target build : JDK, WLS, Infrastructure, OHS.

Bookmark and regularly review the following support documents:

  • Master Note on WebLogic Server Patch Set Updates (PSUs) [ID 1470197.1]
  • Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c Release Announcements [ID 1567707.1]

Prepare for future patching of 12.1.3 by reading this note:

  • Using OUI NextGen OPatch 13 for Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c (12.1.2+) [ID 1587524.1]

Product Documentation

 Title  Comment
Oracle Fusion Middleware Download, Installation, and Configuration ReadMe 12c (12.1.3) A step by step guide to finding the software and related collateral
Oracle Fusion Middleware Supported System Configurations Web Page containing links to all the FMw certification spreadsheets (xls)
Oracle Fusion Middleware System Requirements and Specifications 12c (12.1.3) Document specifying the pre-install system requirements
Installing and Configuring the Oracle Fusion Middleware Infrastructure
Chapter 1 Planning the Oracle Fusion Middleware Infrastructure Installation
Product Documentation

An Infrastructure install is needed if you want to manage / administer the Oracle HTTP Server via Fusion Middleware Enterprise Manager Control. This makes the build more complex. An alternative approach is to install Oracle HTTP Server ‘standalone’ and manage the OHS via the command line (WLST)

Installing and Configuring Oracle HTTP Server
Chapter 1 Planning Your Oracle HTTP Server Installation
Product Documentation
Release Notes for Oracle Fusion Middleware Infrastructure
Chapter 1 Install and Configure
Product Documentation

List of known issues to review .. many however will not be applicable to simple Web Tier + Infrastructure Build.
Release Notes for Oracle HTTP Server
1.1 Known Issues in Oracle HTTP Server 12c (12.1.3)
Product Documentation

List of known issues can be here
Administering Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c (12.1.3)
New and Changed Features for Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c (12.1.3)
Product Documentation

There is no OPMN in 12c. Therefore, OHS administrators, especially those who are familiar with the workings of 10g or 11g, will need to learn the new command line administrative mechanism - WLST.


Support Documents

Related to Install and Patching

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c Release Announcements [ID 1567707.1]
  • Master Note on WebLogic Server Patch Set Updates (PSUs) [ID 1470197.1]
  • Announcing Oracle WebLogic Server PSUs (Patch Set Updates) [ID 1306505.1]
  • Using OUI NextGen OPatch 13 for Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c (12.1.2+) [ID 1587524.1]
  • How to Create a Fusion Middleware 12c Oracle HTTP Server Standalone Domain In Silent Mode Using WLST Scripts [ID 1627341.1]

Related to SSL configuration

  • Master Note for SSL Configuration in Fusion Middleware 12c [ID 1628909.1]
  • Configuring Oracle HTTP Server to use SSL in Fusion Middleware 12c (12.1.X) [ID 1662675.1]
  • How to Configure mod_wl_ohs to use SSL between Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) and Oracle WebLogic Server (12.1.X) in Fusion Middleware 12c [ID 1665711.1]
    • This article is only relevant if a decision is made to have SSL end to end

Thursday Dec 13, 2012

How to Run Apache Commands From Oracle HTTP Server 11g Home

Every now and then you come across a problem when there is nothing in the "troubleshooting manual" which can help you. Instead you need to think outside the box. This happened to me two or three years back. Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) 11g did not start. The error reported back by OPMN was generic and gave no clue, and worse the HTTP Server error log was empty, and remained so even after I had increased the OPMN and HTTP Server log levels. After checking configuration files, operating system resources, etc I was still no nearer the solution.

And then the light bulb moment!

OHS is based on Apache - what happens if I attempt to start HTTP Server using the native apache command. Trouble was the OHS 11g solution has its binaries and configuration files in separate "home" directories

  • ORACLE_HOME contains the binaries
  • ORACLE_INSTANCE contains the configuration files

How to set the environment so that native apache commands run without error? Eventually, with help from a colleague, the knowledge article

How to Start Oracle HTTP Server 11g Without Using opmnctl [ID 946532.1]

was born!

To be honest, I cannot remember the exact cause and solution to that OHS problem two or three years ago. But, I do remember that an attempt to start HTTP Server using the native apache command threw back an error to the console which led me to discover the culprit was some unusual filesystem fault.

The other day, I was asked to review and publish a new knowledge article which described how to use the apache command to dump a list of static and shared loaded modules. This got me thinking that it was time
[ID 946532.1] was given an update. The result

How To Run Native Apache Commands in an Oracle HTTP Server 11g Environment [
ID 946532.1]

Highlights:

  • Title change
  • Improved environment setting scripts
    • Interactive, should be no need to manually edit the scripts (although readers are welcome to do so)
    • Automatically dump out some diagnostic information
  • Inclusion of some links to other troubleshooting collateral

To view the knowledge article you need a My Oracle Support login. For convenience, you can obtain the scripts via the links below.

MS Windows:

Wrapper cmd script - calls main cmd script [After download, remove the ".txt" file extension]
Main cmd script - sets OHS 11g environment to run Apache commands [After download, remove the ".txt" file extension]

Unix:

Shell script - sets OHS 11g environment to run Apache commands on Unix

Please note: I cannot guarantee that the scripts held in the blog repository will be maintained. Any enhancements or faults will applied to the scripts attached to the knowledge article.

Lastly, to find out more about native apache commands, refer to the Apache Documentation

apachectl - Apache HTTP Server Control Interface
[http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/programs/apachectl.html]

httpd - Apache Hypertext Transfer Protocol Server
[http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/programs/httpd.html]

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