Friday, August 19, 2005

A first look at installing Discoverer using the Oracle Application Server - (Phase 2)

Now that phase 2 of the Oracle Application Server 10g R2 is nearing release, it would be useful to take a look at the installation procedure. For the most part the installation is the same as previous releases. However, those who have installed the release, aka 'Drake', would have noticed that the BI & Forms installation option was no longer available when installing the Enterprise Edition of the Oracle Application Server. To install Discoverer one had to install it in a standalone mode, using Oracle Business Intelligence. This was the good thing - as it meant that Discoverer Plus and Viewer could be installed without the additional (and substantial) overhead of an infrastructure. Of course, it also meant that such functionality as public and private connections, SSO, OID, Portlets, etc... would not be available as these rely on an infrastructure (Identitiy Management and Metadata Repository). To get these benefits one had to associate the middle tier with an infrastructure. And if you wanted Discoverer portlets, you would have to install Oracle Application Server in another Oracle home; which meant that you could end up with three different Oracle homes. In the phase 2 release, one of the biggest changes in the installation over 10.1.2 phase 1 is that the familiar BI & Forms install type makes a reappearance, so that you do not have to install Discoverer in a separate Oracle Home and then associate it with an infrastructure. One single Oracle home will give you Discoverer as well as Portal. Note that the option to install Discoverer in a standalone mode still remains: you can always download Oracle Business Intelligence and install it.

Instead of having a separate home for the rest of the app server components like Portal, and another home for Discoverer, you can now install both these components in a single Oracle Home (as in previous versions like 9.0.2 and 9.0.4).

Selecting the Oracle Home to install the mid tier in

Assuming that you have already installed your infrastructure, you can straightaway select the first option - Oracle Application Server 10g - as the product to be installed.

Selecting the product to install

The Business Intelligence and Forms install type is back in phase 2!

With phase 2 - - the BI & Forms install type makes its reappearance

Since I need to use Discoverer portlets I have checked Portal. I don't plan on using Wireless or Reports or Forms functionality on this instance, hence I have kept them unchecked. Note that I can always go back and install these components after installation. I don't need to do an uninstall and re-install.

At a minimum select Portal and Discoverer. The Portal component is needed to allow you to publish Discoverer portlets

Since this installation will require to be associated with an infrastructure, I have to specify the host name where the infrastructure is installed.

I can now specify the OID login (my infrastructure orcladmin password) to allow the middle tier to be associated with the infrastructure's IM.

OID login information.

Nothing new in this screen: you specify a unique instance name and a password.

Instance name and password

Before the installation begins you are shown a list of all products and components that would be installed.

List of components that would be installed

Notice the Discoverer version - it is not as one may expect, but
Ready for some version soup? Here goes: the Discoverer Plus / Viewer version itself is different! At the time I took these screenshots we were testing the shiphome.
So the Oracle Application Server version is The Discoverer version is And the actual Plus / Viewer version is (or 17 0r 18 etc...)!
Here is how it works: basically any component that was present in but has been change because of bug fixes or UI changes, etc... is renamed to Any components that are new to phase 2 are named Unchanged components still carry the version number. Trust me, I have to refer to my emails and notes to get this right! Who says the tough part of software is writing it?!

Notice the high level version number for Discoverer -

If your standard web port 80 is free, then the middle tier will use this port. Makes life much simpler as you do not have to type in the port number after the host name. Asking users to type in a port number like 7777 or 7779 is simply asking too much from end users.

The mid tier port and OEM port numbers

Note: these screenshots are based on pre-production software, so all the usual caveats about this being subject to change, etc... apply.

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