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How to use the Oracle Forms 188.8.131.52 Marketplace Image
As you may have read in our last blog post on Oracle Forms 184.108.40.206, Oracle provides the latest release of Oracle Forms & Reports 220.127.116.11 as Oracle Cloud enabled Image on their Marketplace. Michael Ferrante, Oracle Principal Product Manager for Forms and Reports, mentioned in numerous tweets, that it takes less than 15 minutes to setup a running Forms environment in the Cloud.
Our last 5 customer installations of the PITSS Forms & Reports Manager are based on that image and provide the full scope of features and benefits of the PITSS Forms & Reports Manager, which is architectured by the coexisting of Oracle Forms, APEX, Database and integration with SVN, Git, Jira and numerous scripting in the backend.
In this post we would like to share some experiences we had by setting up Forms 18.104.22.168 from the Oracle Marketplace.
Before you start
… please keep in mind that you must have access to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Service (OCI). Inside your specific OCI you can logically organize your machines into different compartments. We as PITSS for an example, divide on the highest level between a compartment for our internal systems (e.g. for Presales, Demo or Testing purpose) and a compartment for our customers, with one compartment for each customer. Compartments help to restrict access to the machines and ease the customer interaction.
Inside the compartment you could setup the network (that is the ip-range of the machines), and additional firewall and security rules. Once you have setup a compartment you can start using the Marketplace Image.
Choosing a domain
While creating the instance based on the image, you can choose one of the available domains. In our case, this is one of the three domains located in Frankfurt.
If you like to setup a farm of different instances and don’t like to rely on the availability of the Oracle Domains, you could spread the instances over different domains. In this case, you should take care of synchronization on your own. For each instance you could choose a FaultDomain, which is used in case of a switch over. Best practise is not to use the same FaultDomain for each of your Compute Instances.
Choosing an instant type
After that step you could decide which kind of instant type you like to use.
If you like to ensure that there is no other processes running on the same hardware other than yours, you can choose “Bare-Metal-Machine”, but it is more costly than the “virtual machine” instance type. We have experienced good performance with the virtual instance type, so we rely on this.
In the BYOL (bring your own licence) software licence model you should be aware that the OCPU configuration will influence the licence costs for the environment.
If you would like to access the machine later, through the Internet (like we do with our customers who use the PITSS Forms & Reports Manager with the Forms Standalone Launcher), Oracle provides public IP-Addresses for the machine.
You proceed through four more wizard steps to:
- Define the size of the boot volume size (we typically increase from 75 to 150 GB)
- Create SSH Keys for secure network communication to clients
- Define the FaultDomain (see above)
- Optional, create a start Script which is used in case of booting the machine.
- Decide to use Monitoring, which we advise as well
- Decide to use Oracle Cloud Agent to administer (which is very helpful)
- Decide to use tagging, which we actually don’t use.
And that’s it. Taking a look at our Installation documentation, I saw
a time span of 1:31 minutes after running through all steps until the machine is ready to use.
With the first start of the instance, the installer in the machine will setup the database, Weblogic-Server, RCU, and the managed servers. The only thing you should provide are the passwords for the different schemas. Please take care of the password-complexity. Unfortunately not all kinds of extra characters are supported. This may increase the time in setup as you test the limitations on passwords.
The initial provision of the server takes another 10 minutes.
What to be careful with
After all is up and running, you have to take care about your individual forms. As we have an installation kit for the PITSS Forms & Reports Manager, which creates our own database schemas, distributes the forms and configures additional settings in the .env, .conf, and .cfg-files, you also may have such scripts or think about using the FADS to deploy your application.
The Marketplace Image does not include a WLS_REPORTS, so if your application needs this, in addition Oracle Reports, you have to install this afterwards on your own. If you still use Oracle Reports, this may be a good time to consider a replacement with Oracle BI Publisher or another reporting solution.
Finally, if you want to use the Admin-Server Console and the WLS-Forms over the usually used Ports 7001, 7777 and 9001, you have to configure the firewall on the machine, to allow access to these ports.
We confirm Oracle’s promise – it’s all under 15 minutes and you have a Database, WLS and Forms up and running!
>> For more information: Oracle Forms Statement of Direction