Quick guide to Oracle IRM 11g: Server installation

Quick guide to Oracle IRM 11g index

This is the first of a set of articles designed to assist with the successful installation, configuration and deployment of a document security solution using Oracle IRM. This article goes through a set of simple instructions which detail how to download, install and configure the IRM server, the starting point for building a document security solution. This article contains a subset of information from the official documentation and is focused on installing the server on Oracle Enterprise Linux. If you are planning to deploy on a non-Linux platform, you will need to reference the documentation for platform specific information.


  1. Introduction
  2. Downloading the software
  3. Preparing a database
  4. Creating the schema
  5. WebLogic Server installation
  6. Installing Oracle IRM



Because we are using Oracle Enterprise Linux in this guide, and before we get into the detail of IRM, i'd like to share some tips with Linux to make life a bit easier.
  1. Use a 64bit platform, IRM 11g runs just fine on a 32bit server but with 64bit you will build a more future proof service.
  2. Download and install the latest Java JDK package. Make sure you get the 64bit version if you are on a 64bit server.
  3. Configure Linux to use a good Yum server to simplify installing packages. For Oracle Enterprise Linux we maintain a great public Yum here.
  4. Have at least 20GB of free disk space on the partition you intend to install the IRM server. The downloads are big, then you extract them and then install. This quickly consumes disk space which you can easily recover by deleting the downloaded and extracted files after wards. But it's nice to have the disk space spare to keep these around in case you need to restart any part of the installation process again.

Downloading the software

OK, so before you can do anything, you need the software install kits. Luckily Oracle allows you to freely download every technology we create. You'll need to get the following;

 You can use Microsoft SQL server 2005 or 2008, in this guide i've used Oracle RDBMS 11gR2 for Linux.

Preparing the database

I'm not going to go through the finer points of installing the database. There are many very good guides on installing the Oracle Database. However one thing I would suggest you think about is enabling TDE, network encryption and using Database Vault. These Oracle database security technologies are excellent for creating a complete end to end security solution. No point in going to all the effort to secure document access with IRM when someone can go directly to the database and assign themselves rights to documents. To understand this further, you can see a video of the IRM service using these database security technologies here.

With a database up and running we need to create a schema to hold the IRM data. This schema contains the rights model, cryptographic keys, user account id's and associated rights etc.

Creating the IRM database schema

Oracle uses the Repository Creation Tool which builds your schema, extract the files from the rcu zip. Then in a terminal window;

cd /oracle/install/rcu/bin


This will launch the Repository Creation Tool and you will be presented with the image to the right. Hit next and continue onto the next dialog.

You are asked if you are going to be creating a new schema or wish to drop an existing one, you obviously just need to click next at this point to create a new schema.

The RCU next needs to know where your database is so you'll need the following details of your database instance. Below, for reference, is the information for my installation.

Hostname: irm.oracle.demo

Port: 1521 (This is the default TCP port for the Oracle Database)

Service Name: irm.oracle.demo. Note this is not the SID, but the service name.

Username: sys

Password: ********


And then select next.

Because the RCU contains schemas for many of the Oracle Technologies, you now need to select to just deploy the Oracle IRM schema. Open the section under "Enterprise Content Management" and tick the "Oracle Information Rights Management" component. Note that you also get the chance to select a prefix which defaults to "DEV" (for development). I usually change this to something that reflects my own install. PROD for a production system, INT for internal only etc.

The next step asks for the passwords for the schema users. We are only creating one schema here so you just enter one password. Some brave souls store this password in an Excel spreadsheet which is then secure against the IRM server you're about to install in this guide.

Nearing the end of the schema creation is the mapping of the tablespaces to the schema. Note I had setup a table space already that was encrypted using TDE and at this point I was able to select that tablespace by clicking in the "Default Tablespace" column.

The next dialog confirms your actions and clicking on next causes it to create the schema and default data. After this you are presented with the completion summary.

WebLogic Server installation

The database is now ready and the next step is to install the application server. Oracle IRM 11g is a JEE application and currently only supported in Oracle WebLogic Server. So the next step is get WebLogic Server installed, which is pretty easy. Depending on the version you download, you either run the binary or for a 64 bit platform (like mine) run the following command.

java -d64 -jar wls1033_generic.jar

And in the resulting dialog hit next to start walking through the install.

Next choose a directory into which you will install WebLogic Server. I like to change from the default and install into /oracle/. Then all my software goes into this one folder, all owned by the "oracle" user.

The next dialog asks for your Oracle support information to ensure you are kept up to date. If you have an Oracle support account, enter your details but for most evaluation systems I leave these fields blank.

Again, for evaluation or development systems, I usually stick with the "Typical" install type which you are next asked for.

Next you are asked for the JDK which will be used for the server. When installing from the generic jar on a 64bit platform like in this guide, no JDK is bundled with the installer. But as you can see in the image on the right, that it does a good job of detecting the one you've got installed.

Defaults for the install directories are usually taken, no changes here, just click next.

And finally we are ready to install, hit next, sit back and relax. Typically this takes about 10 minutes.

After the install, do not run the quick start, we need to deploy the IRM install itself from which we will create a new WebLogic domain. For now just hit done and lets move to the final step of the installation process.

Installing Oracle IRM

The last piece of the puzzle to getting your environment ready is to deploy the IRM files themselves. Unzip the Oracle Enterprise Content Management 11g zip file and it will create a Disk1 directory. Switch to this folder and in the console run ./runInstaller. This will launch the installer which will also ask for the location of the JDK. Look at the image on the right for the detail.

You should now see the first stage of the IRM installation. The dialog warns you need to have a WebLogic server installed and have created the schema's, but you've just done all that above (I hope) so we are ready to go.

The installer now checks that you have all the required libraries installed and other system parameters are correct. Because nearly all of my development and evaluation installations have the database server on the same system, the installer passes these checks without issue... Next...

Now chose where to install the IRM files, you must install into the same Middleware Home as the WebLogic Server installation you just performed. Usually the installer already defaults to this location anyway. I also tend to change the Oracle Home Directory to Oracle_IRM so it's clear this is just an IRM install.

The summary page tells you about space needed to deploy the files. Unfortunately the IRM install comes with all of the other Oracle ECM software, you can't just select the IRM files, everything gets deployed to disk and uses 1.6GB of space! Not fun, but Oracle has to package up similar technologies otherwise we would have a very large number of installers to QA and manage, again, not fun. Hit Install, time for another drink, maybe a piece of cake or a donut... on a half decent system this part of the install took under 10 minutes.

Finally the installation of your IRM server is complete, click on finish and the next phase is to create the WebLogic domain and start configuring your server.

 Now move onto the next article in this guide... configuring your IRM server ready to seal your first document.


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Oracle IRM protects and tracks your sensitive information no matter where it goes. It combines business friendly encryption with role based usage rights and auditing.

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