Sunday Aug 08, 2010

EBS Sysadmin Primer: Oracle BI Discoverer 11gR1

[Editor: This is the fourth in a multi-part series from Nirzari Raichura, a senior member of our ATG Certification team, on essential Fusion Middleware concepts and tools for the EBS sysadmin]

Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer is an ad-hoc query, reporting, analysis, and Web-publishing tool that allows end-users to work directly with Oracle E-Business Suite OLTP data.  We certified Discoverer 11g version 11.1.1.3 (a.k.a. Patchset 2) with the E-Business Suite a few weeks ago.

discoverer-screenshot-graphs.png
With that recent certification, I think it's time to cover the installation and configuration of Discoverer 11g with E-Business Suite.  Discoverer 11g's integration with the E-Business Suite works identically to Discoverer 10g, and all of the business intelligence functionality continues to work as in previous Discoverer releases.  The major changes in this release come from Discoverer's installation dependencies on Oracle Application Server components.

As with other Fusion Middleware components, Oracle Weblogic Server is the required application server for Discoverer 11g.  Like Oracle Identity Management 11g, Discoverer is loosely-coupled with Fusion Middleware's database and application server components. 

Discoverer 11g Install comes bundled with Oracle Portal, Oracle Forms, and Oracle Reports, as in previous releases like Discoverer 10g.  Since it is loosely coupled with other Fusion Middleware components, you need to install a number of prerequisites prior to discoverer 11g install.

All of these middleware components have to be at the same version level to work together.  I have summarized these dependencies in the following table:

Table summarizing Discoverer 11g prerequisites
References
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Thursday Jul 22, 2010

EBS Sysadmin Primer: Oracle Identity Management 11gR1

[Editor: This is the third in a multi-part series from Nirzari Raichura, a senior member of our ATG Certification team, on essential Fusion Middleware concepts and tools for the EBS sysadmin]

Oracle Identity Management (OIM) 11gR1 is part of Fusion Middleware 11gR1.   Oracle Identity Management 11gR1 provides the following components as part of its default installation:
Oracle Directory Services Components
  • OID - Oracle Internet Directory
  • DIP -  Oracle Directory Integration Platform
  • OVD - Oracle Virtual Directory
Oracle Identity Federation Components
  • OIF - Oracle Identity Federation
Management Components
  • EM - Enterprise Manager
  • ODSM - Oracle Directory Service Manager

oim_architecture.png
In order to use Oracle Identity Management 11gR1 with E-Business suite, you need OID and DIP products at a minimum.  Oracle Identity Management 11gR1 doesn't contain Oracle Single Sign-on.  You have the choice of either of the following two tools for for authentication: 
  • Oracle Single Sign-On 10gR3
  • Oracle Access Manager 10gR3

Oracle Access Manager 10gR3 is the preferred authentication solution going forward.  However, if you have plans to integrate any other products like Oracle Portal, Forms, Reports or Discoverer with E-Business Suite, you must select the Oracle Single Sign-On 10gR3 option. These products have hard dependencies on Oracle Single Sign-On 10gR3 and cannot be authenticated directly by Oracle Access Manager (you can do so indirectly, but that's a topic for a future article).

If you have already integrated your E-Business Suite environment with Oracle Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Director 10gR3, you can upgrade Oracle Internet Directory 10gR3 to Oracle Internet Directory 11gR1 (which is part of Oracle Identity Management 11gR1). Your existing integration remains intact after the upgrade.


Oracle Identity Management 11gR1 Integration with E-Business Suite using OSSO 10gR3

Unlike Oracle Internet Directory 10g, which is tightly integrated with with Oracle Application Server 10g and and the Oracle database (to store its metadata repository), Oracle Identity Management 11gR1 provides various integration options. 

There is an option to manage it through the Oracle Fusion Middleware management framework by registering it with a local or a remote WebLogic Server administration domain.  You can do this during installation or via the command-line after installation. As I mentioned in my previous blog article, you can also install and configure it without WebLogic Server. In that case, you can manage Oracle Internet Directory using command-line tools and ODSM.

This table describes the components required for Oracle Identity management 11gR1 installation:

fmw_table.png
Useful Tools to administer and manage OIM 11gR1

OIM11gR1

Tool

Default Value

Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control

http://host:port/em

Oracle Directory Services Manager (ODSM)

http://host:port/odsm

Oracle WebLogic Server Administrative Console

http://host:port/console/

Command-Line Utilities

OPMN

$ORACLE_INSTANCE/bin/opmnctl

Standard LDAP utilities

ORACLE_HOME/ldap

OIDPASSWD

WebLogic Scripting Tool (wlst)

ORACLE_HOME/common/bin/wlst.sh

OIDCTL For backward compatibility

References

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Tuesday Jun 29, 2010

An Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g Primer for EBS Sysadmins

Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i runs Oracle9i Application Server 1.0.2.2.2 as its internal application tier.  Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 runs Oracle Application Server 10g.  Both EBS 11i and 12 can optionally be integrated with externally-deployed Fusion Middleware 11g components such as Oracle Internet Directory, Discoverer, Portal, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, and others.

Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g is Oracle's latest suite of related and interoperable application tier server products.  Some Fusion Middleware products have dependencies on other Fusion Middleware products.  As an E-Business Suite DBA or systems administrator, it is essential that you have a good conceptual understanding of Fusion Middleware 11g concepts before jumping into administration or installation tasks. 


Fusion Middleware 11g overview diagram showing development tools identity management oem bi and other components

This information is covered in the Fusion Middleware 11g guides themselves, of course, but it's spread across many different documents.  This is the first in a series of articles in which I'll cover the essential concepts that E-Business Suite sysadmins need to know about Oracle WebLogic Server, Webcenter, Oracle Internet Directory, Portal, and Discoverer.  These concepts are important for Fusion Middleware architectural design, installation, administration, integration, configuration and troubleshooting.

Key Fusion Middleware 11g Concepts

Oracle WebLogic server (WLS) is the application server for Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g.  Most Fusion Middleware components require WLS, with notable exceptions being Oracle Internet Directory (OID) and Oracle Virtual Directory (OVD). Oracle Internet Directory and Oracle Virtual Directory can be configured with or without a WebLogic domain.

Fusion Middleware components are divided into two types:

  • Java Components:  Deployed as one or more Java applications and a set of resources.  Examples: Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle WebCenter. 
  • System Components:  A manageable process that is not deployed as a Java application.  System components are managed by Oracle Process Manager and Notification (OPMN).  Examples: Oracle Internet Directory, Oracle Virtual Directory, Oracle HTTP Server, Discoverer, Forms & Reports.

What's in a typical Fusion Middleware environment?

A typical Fusion Middleware environment includes the following:

  1. Fusion Middleware Home (MW_HOME)
  2. Oracle WebLogic Server Home (WLS_HOME)
  3. ORACLE_HOME 
  4. ORACLE_INSTANCE

1.  Fusion Middleware Home (MW_HOME)

  • A top level directory for all Fusion Middleware products installed on same machine, including WebLogic Server..
  • Created at time of WebLogic Server installation.
  • Serves as a repository for common files used by multiple Fusion Middleware products installed on the same machine.

TIP:  Do not include spaces in the name of your Middleware home directory. If the name of this directory contains spaces, the CLASSPATH may not be resolved properly. 

2.  WebLogic Server Home (WLS_HOME)

  • A WebLogic Server home containing binary files necessary to host a WebLogic Server.
  • Created under Fusion Middleware Home at time of WebLogic Server installation.
  • Contains mostly 'read only' files until either patched or upgraded

TIP:  You can install only one instance of each version of a WebLogic Server product in a single Middleware Home directory.

3.  ORACLE_HOME

  • Contains installed files necessary to host a specific product. For example, the WebCenter Oracle home contains a directory that contains binary and library
    files for Oracle WebCenter.
  • Can be created before product install, but if not, will be automatically created by the installer. It must reside under Middleware Home directory.
  • Contains mostly 'read only' files until either patched or upgraded
  • Each ORACLE_HOME can be associated with multiple Oracle instances or Oracle WebLogic Server domains 

4.  ORACLE_INSTANCE

  • Contains modifiable files such as configuration files, log files, and temporary files for one or more system components.
  • System components in an Oracle instance must reside on the same server.
TIP:  You can install this anywhere on the same server; it need not be within the Middleware home directory.

Key Oracle WebLogic Server Concepts

To manage an Oracle WebLogic Server instance, you need to understand the following concepts:

  1. WLS Domains
  2. Administration Server
  3. Managed Server
  4. Default Domain Directory
  5. Farm

WLS Domain

  • A group of logically related Oracle WebLogic Server resources and services.
  • You can use a single Oracle WebLogic Server installation to create and run multiple domains, or you can use multiple installations to run a single domain.

Administration Server

  • A special Oracle WebLogic Server instance which is the central point from which configuration and management of all resources in the domain occur.
  • Each Oracle WebLogic Server domain must have one server instance that acts as the Administration Server.
  • Can be used to deploy other components, but it is not recommended 

Managed Server

  • To deploy additional Fusion Middleware products such as SOA Suite, WebCenter, or Oracle Internet Directory, you usually should configure an additional domain instance: a Managed Server
  • You can configure this domain either during or after product install.
  • You can configure separate domains for different Fusion Middleware components.  Example: one domain for SOA Suite, one for WebCenter, and one for Oracle Internet Directory.  Alternately, you can have a single domain for multiple components; depending on your requirements
  • You can configure managed servers as clustered and non-clustered
  • In a cluster, most resources and services are deployed identically on each Managed Server instance and are running simultaneously and working together
  • All Managed Servers in a cluster must reside in the same domain; you cannot split a cluster over multiple domains
  • The key difference between clustered and non-clustered Managed Servers is support for failover and load balancing

Default Domain Directory

  • By default, Oracle WebLogic Server creates domain directories under the MW_HOME/WLS_HOME/user_projects/domains directory
  • It can reside anywhere; it need not be within the Middleware home directory.
  • A domain is a peer of an Oracle instance. Both contain specific configurations outside of their Oracle homes 

Farm

  • A collection of components managed by Fusion Middleware Control.
  • Can contain Oracle WebLogic Server domains, one Administration Server, one or more Managed Servers, and the Oracle Fusion Middleware components that are installed, configured, and running in the domain.

Coming up next in this series:  EBS Sysadmin Primer: Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g Management Tools.

References

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