Shay Shmeltzer's Oracle Development Tools Tips

Running Visual Builder Apps On Other Servers (and On-Premises)

Shay Shmeltzer
Director of Product Management - Oracle
This is a syndicated post, view the original post here

Ever since we released Oracle Visual Builder a frequent request has been "can I take the app and run it anywhere I want?". With the latest version of Visual Builder the answer is Yes! This means that you can take apps you built in the Oracle Cloud and host it in other web servers. (Development is still cloud based only).

Note that if you decide to take the visual builder server out of the picture, you are going to lose some of the functionality that runs on the Visual Builder Cloud Server, specifically:

  • Business Objects - these run on the VB backend - so if you are not going to use our backend - you won't have a place to run them. (You could still run that part on the VB backend, and have your app UI served from another server).
  • Identity Cloud - Visual Builder leverages Oracle's Identity Cloud to manage users and roles as well as authentication and authorization. If you are not using the VB Cloud hosting platform, it is up to you to manage these aspects of your app.
  • Visual Builder proxy - On the Visual Builder server we have a piece of software (called the authentication proxy) that manages connections to REST services. The proxy handles things like passing in credentials and eliminating CORS (you can read more about the roles of the proxy and when to use it in this blog entry). If you don't want to use this piece of software you need to switch the connection of the services you define in VB to "Direct (bypass proxy)" and then the calls are being done directly from the browser to the remote REST service.

If you are fine with these limitations, or if you have other solutions for these requirements, you can host your Oracle Visual Builder app on another web server without needing to access the VB server.

(Remember that you can still choose to host your VB app somewhere else, but use the VB server for the above functionality - although if this is what you are doing, you are probably better off just hosting directly on VB).

Here is a quick demo showing how to take an app and move it to run completely on your own machine (including accessing REST services and a database that is running on that machine).

As you can see there are a couple of adjustments we did to our app to remove the dependency on the services that the Visual Builder server provides. We switch to use the direct access to the REST services, and we allowed anonymous access to our app (since we don't have IDCS to manage authentication).

Then we used the grunt vb_build step (more on this in the blog entry about app optimization and CI/CD) to create the zip file that contains the app ready to be deployed - leveraging the archive artifact step in Developer cloud to save those files.

We took the optimized version of the app and hosted it as a regular collection of HTML/JavaScript resources on a web server (Apache in the video).

Then we showed how you can switch the set of services that the app is accessing by doing a "global search and replace" to replace the address of the server hosting the REST services that provides our app the data we use - this will allow you to also move your backend to be on-premise. (In the video we are using WebLogic to host ADF based REST services, accessing an Oracle XE database running in a docker image).

With these simple steps you can easily host your VB applications anywhere.

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