Friday, May 25, 2012

The birth of a WebCenter based Intranet - 2

My apologies for the time between the previous post and this one.
One would think the Bunny Inc. Intranet would be fully implemented by now :)
Lucky for us, it's an imaginary implementation (is it ?!?)

Any way. In the previous article in the series we could read what Bunny Inc. has on their wishlist.
So let's continue...

We first did a product review to select the product to best fit the needs Bunny Inc. has.
In our opinion, Oracle WebCenter Suite Plus fits best.
Oracle WebCenter is the user engagement platform for social business, delivering connectivity between people and information.
With this selection made, we presented the selected software in a demo session with Bunny Inc stakeholders such as the CEO, CFO, CIO, department management and a delegation of employees. The stakes they hold differ between them, but they will all be end users of the end product, the new Intranet.

As Bunny Inc. does not want to have a major project to start with, we picked the requirements that are quick wins. Things that come out of the box or require some configuration only. These were the main focus points during the demo and impressed all the stakeholders.
With the previous meeting in mind, where we introduced the Think Big, Start Small phrase, some managers actually thought even bigger and came up with the possibility to include communication to and from partners, suppliers and customers as well.
The employee delegates welcomed this idea and shared the ideas they have around improving communication with these parties.

Bunny Inc. wanted to do an inventory session after they had some time to workout these new ideas. In this session, we noticed that the main goals were to:

  • Share information (content)
  • Allow partners, suppliers and customers to provide feedback on this information
  • Being able to share experience and knowledge with and between partners, suppliers, customers and Bunny Inc. employees
  • Provide 'personal' information such as:
    • Order status
    • Payment status
    • Etc

After analysis of these functional area's we concluded that they had a 90+% match with the previous defined requirements and where they did not match, the requirements were in the same spirit.

This gave us a good idea on how to start implementing the new Intranet.

How we did this can be read in the third episode.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

WebCenter PS5 Installation - Quick guide - WebCenter Spaces setup

We started all the Managed Servers and all applications are running.
To use all the different components in WebCenter Portal Spaces, wee need to add the services to the configuration. I hoped that the configuration was done automatically, since a large number of components / services are installed in the same domain.

No problem, we know what to do...

Navigate to the Enterprise Manager at http://localhost:7001/em and login as administrator.
After the login, open the WebCenter folders to check it out.

One thing that worries me a bit is the fact that the version number of WebCenter Portal Spaces states, while I just installed (PS5)... We'll see...

Let's continue.
First, we need to set the Intradoc Serverport in WebCenter Content.
Click on Oracle WebCenter Content - Content Server

We see some statistics and a menu in the top left corner of the right panel.
In the menu, select Configuration

For Intradoc ServerPort select 4444 which was the default in previous releases.
Then click Apply

In the Admin Server, we need to enable some components.
Navigate to http://localhost:16200/cs
Login as weblogic user.

from the menu (apologies for the Dutch menu, did not install English yet) select manage(?) and the admin server

In the list of components, DO NOT check FrameworkFolders This is the new folders component shipped with 11g. WebCenter Portal however still uses the old folders_g component.
Do check the WebCenterConfigure component.
Click Submit (or Apply, or what ever the button at the bottom says :)

After this setting, the managed server has to be restarted.
In the menu select Control, Shut Down...
And yes, we are sure...

After the shutdown, in the menu select Control, Start

Click webcenter

We see some statistics and a menu in the top left corner of the right panel.
In the menu, select Settings, Service Configuration

Let's configure WebCenter Content first.
From the list of services, click Content Repository and then the Add button

In the Add Content Repository Connection page enter the required information.
Let's name the connection OCS, short for Oracle Content Server (the Repository Type)
The connection is active
sysadmin is always a good Content Administrator :)
We're configuring the connection for WebCenter Portal Spaces, so we use the root folder /spaces and name the application Spaces.
The RIDC Socket Type is Socket. The port has the number we just entered in the WebCenter Content configuration.
The Server Host can be localhost (unless you configured something else)
The Authentication Method remains Identity Propagation, which is default.
The Web Service Context Root is /cs, the last part of the URL we entered in the previous blog post.
Again, enter sysadmin as Administrator User Name.
Click Test if everything is entered.
The test should be successful. If not, please check all the parameters.

If the test succeeded, click OK.
The server should be restarted, but first let's configure the rest as well.
In the list of services, select Discussions and Announcements and click the Add button.

Enter the connection details for the discussions and announcements.
The Connection Name will be Discussions (or anything else :)
Again, check Active Connection
The URL will be http://localhost:8890/owc_discussions unless you consolidated the WebCenter components  to a single Managed Server.
The Administrator User Name is weblogic (or the admin user you created during the domain configuration)
Leave the rest of the settings default and click Test
If the test is successful, the configuration can be stored by clicking OK

Finally, lets configure Analytics as well. Always an interesting feature for management.
Click the Analytics & Activity Graph service and click the Add button

Let's set the Connection Name to Analytics
Again, check Active Connection.
We want to enable WebCenter Portal Spaces events, so check Enable WebCenter Portal Event Collection
We do not have a cluster, so set the Messaging Mode to unicast
The Collector Host Name is localhost, since the collector is running locally.
The Collector Port is 8891, the port of the managed server the collector runs in.

Test this connection as well. If the test is successful, click OK

Now we have configured all the connections, restart the application.
From the menu, select Control, Shutdown...
After the application has stopped, select Control, Start Up

Right. That's it.
Ready for testing...
The WebCenter Portal Spaces application should be accessible at http://localhost:8888/webcenter

WebCenter PS5 Installation - Quick guide - Domain creation

Almost there... Now we're going to create the domain.
From the WebCenter Portal Oracle Home, we start the configuration wizard.
In Explorer, navigate to the \common\bin folder and start config.bat

As I said, we are going to create a domain, so we select Create e new WebLogic Domain and click Next on the welcome page.

We want to configure the domain for the use of WebCenter Portal and Webcenter Content.
For Content, we only want to use the content server.
Please check the screen shots for the product I selected fr the domain.

I keep the name of the domain 'in sync' with the name of the Middleware Home directory and the Repository schemas prefix, dev6
Note: I moved the domain location and application location one level up.
It's always wise to keep the domain folders separate from the binaries folder.
I wonder if Oracle will implement this best practice in future releases.
Click Next

Next, enter the admin username and password.
I always use the default password from the integrated WebLogic Server from JDeveloper. It's easier to remember if all are the same... Click Next

I had only one JDK available. Select the JDK or browse to another JDK if available / required.
Click Next.

We now need to enter the database connection details.
The wizard defaults the prefix to DEV and since I selected something else, I need to change all the usernames. If you did select DEV and kept all the passwords the same, you can set the details for all schemas at once.
Select the schemas you want to set properties for, and enter the details in the top part of the screen.
In short, if all passwords are equal, select all schemas and enter the password, service name, hostname and port for all of them at once.
After setting the all, click Next.

Are you sure you entered all details correctly???
The wizard will check them.
If all tests are passed, click Next. Otherwise correct any errors and try again.

I often want to see what is being set up and maybe change something, so I select the Admin Server, Managed Servers and deployments to investigate / change.
Then click Next.

I already have an admin server listening on the default port of 7001. However, I do not want to run both instances at the same time, so I keep the settings for the admin server at default.

Normally for a local installation, with a minimum of resources, I group the WebCenter components and the UCM components into two separate Managed Servers.
For now, just keep the defaults and click Next.

No clustering today, so click Next.

We install everything locally, so we create a machine within the domain with the same name as the physical machine and let the nodemanager listen on localhost port 5556

We link all the managed servers to this machine. In a production environment you'ld create more machines and divide the managed servers between these physical (or virtual) machines.
Select all Managed Servers, click the arrow pointing to the right and click Next

If you decide to minimize the number of managed servers, this is a good place to target the applications and libraries to these servers.
To make the process easy: Create the domain with the default servers and the new consolidated servers.
On this page, target all the libraries and applications targetted to the original server to the consoliated one as well. After the domain is created and the admin server is started, delete the original servers (or don't start them)
For now leave the defaults and click Next.

Same goes for the services. For now click Next.

At the summary page, you can check everything and then click Create.

Wait for the progress bar to reach 100% and click Done.
I prefer to start the admin server directly since we need to do one additional step.

When the admin server is started, navigate to the console at http://localhost:7001/console and login.
On the page select Servers, then go to the tab Control and check the box for UCM_server1. Click the start button

When the server is started, navigate to http://localhost:16200/cs to access the WebCenter Content content server. Login with the weblogic account (with the password supplied earlier)

At the first time the content server is being accessed, some additional configuration must be performed.
See my screen  shot for some pointer.
Click the I icon to see what each setting is for.
Click Send to submit the values.

Now go back to the admin server and start all required managed servers (WC_Spaces and WC_Utilities)
UCM_server1 has to be restarted.
You ready to develop you WebCenter Portal application.
We need to do some setup for the use of WebCenter Portal Spaces.

WebCenter PS5 Installation - Quick guide - Database Repository

Before we can create the domain and run the software, we need to create the required tables in the database.
To do that, we run the Repository Creation Utility, aka RCU

Download the software from Oracle and unzip the file.
In the rcuHome\bin folder, start the rcu.bat
The installer starts and shows a welcome page.
Click Next to proceed to the next step.

We want to create the repository so we select Create and click Next.

Now it gets interesting...
We need to specify the Database details so that the utility can connect to the database, create the tablespaces and the schema's (including tables etc)
You can use my settings as example.
Make sure you use a database user that has SYSDBA privileges. The installation might need these privileges (I know it is required for installing the Portal repository)

As always, a number of prerequisites are checked.
If the check fails, correct the problem and continue. Click OK after the check is completed.

I already have schema's in the database for other releases and therefore created a new prefix, DEV6.
If this is your first install, you can use the default prefix DEV.
If installing for another environment (Production for example) you can create a new one as well (something like PRD)
Also, select the components you'ld like to install.
For this install, select

  • Metadata Services
  • Oracle WebCenter Content Server - Complete
  • Oracle WebCenter Content Server - Search Only (would this be included in the Complete as well???)
  • WebCenter Portal
    • Spaces and Services
    • Portlet Producers
    • Activity Graph and Analytics
    • Discussions

For the components, additional settings might be required, so another prerequisite check is performed.
Click OK if it went without errors, otherwise correct any issues.

For development environments, it's always easy to have the same password for all schema's. In this step you can specify the password for all different database schema's
I select Use same password for all schemas and click Next (after entering the password as well :)

As I selected the Activities and Analytics, the installer wants to know if we want to use Partitioning.
As we will not be entering huge amounts of data, I select N (for No) and click Next.

I'm a huge fan of defaults.
therefore I let the utility determine the tablespaces that need to be created to store the data.
You might change these settings are needed. For production environments for example, you might want to create larger tablespaces.

Yes, we want to create the tablespaces we just defined... Click OK

And the tablespaces get created...

At the summary page, you can see where the different schemas will be created.
If you want, you can still go back, but I click Create.

Again, keep you eye on the progress... It won't take long...

In the completion summary, click Close.

Done!. Another step closer....
With all the software in place and all the schemas in place, we can create the domain.
Before doing that, you might want to consider making a backup. This was the most time consuming part and you don't want to waste all this time installing again....

WebCenter PS5 Installation - Quick guide - WebCenter Content

In the previous step, we installed the WebCenter Portal
To use WebCenter Portal, we could be done.
However, I like to place my content in WebCenter Content and publish my WebContent from there.

Now we're going to install the WebCenter Content software.

Download the software and unzip the file.
Start a command prompt and navigate to the Disk1 folder.
Start the installer by typing setup.exe -jreLoc (see screenshot)

Please read the information on the welcome screen and click Next.

Just as with the WebCenter Portal installation, I assume there are no updates as this Patch Set is just released, so select Skip Software Updates and click Next.

After the prerequisites check, click Next, assuming you had no issues or have fixed any issues.

Just like the WebCenter Portal installation, select the same Oracle Middleware Home where you just installed the WebLogic Server.
Leave or change the Oracle Home Directory to the location you want.

WebLogic Server is installed in the Oracle Middleware Home, so we can not change the Application Server. Click Next.

Check if the summary is correct and click Install.

Watch the progress bar go to 100% to see that the entire process succeeds in almost 12 minutes.
Click Next

At the conclusion page, click Done.

And another component installed.

Before we create the domain, we need to create the schema's in the Database.
So that is our next step.