Excel Document Management with Oracle iFS (Internet File System) - Page 3

July 31, 2003

Oracle iFS Installation and Administration

There is a no single document to help a DBA to easily install and manage the iFS infrastructure. Working with iFS showed that the best iFS configuration is similar to the following one:

  • Sun Solaris server with 8.1.7.4 Oracle Enterprise Edition database ( installed Java (Jserver/JVM) and UTF8 character set to enable full multi
  • language functionality ) holding iFS repository.
  • NT/2000 Server as iFS server
  • Windows client as iFS client

Since we wanted to test the basic functionality of iFS as an Excel filesystem, we did not install any database extensions such as interMedia options. iFS working alone does not have any search capability. It is some kind of basic filesystem. To enhance iFS with a search capability, the interMedia option has to be installed in the database. InterMedia will bring context search capability to iFS.
Testing with the different iFS versions, I have found that the installation procedure has several limitations:

  1. the database has to be at least version 8.1.7.2
  2. iFS 1.1.9 version has limited functionality where the HTTP server has to be run on database node
  3. iFS 9.0.1 needs the HTTP server to be installed in the same Oracle home
    directory, and not in the Oracle database directory.
  4. iFS 9.0.2 need the 9iAS to be installed first, since iFS is part of 9iAS and no longer a separate product.

If the installation is successful, you can manage iFS services using following commands:

  • ifsconfig - Manually configuration or reconfiguration iFS
  • ifsstart - start iFS
  • ifsstop - stop iFS
  • ifssvrmgr - start and stop iFS
  • ifsjservctl - start and stop 9iFS Jserv process ( ifsjservctl -start )
  • ifslaunchdc - start the Domain Controller
  • ifslaunchnode - start node process
  • ifsstartdomain - opens the "Start Domain Controller" dialog and after activates node processes on each host machine.
  • ifsstopdomain -stops the domain

    The URL location for Web access or name of SMS shared resource has to be provided to the end users and they can start using it.

    Practical Use for Managers

    Once the 9iFS system is up and running, users can connect and upload their Excel files there. End users can use MS Internet Explorer or the Windows File Explorer to browse or manage content from the iFS Server. Here is an example of the Web and the Explorer view.

    The iFS start web login page is defined on iFS installation and it is usually located at URL:

    http://<hostname>/ifs/files/ifs.

    The Standard set of the users for connecting to the iFS repository is:

    • scott/tiger
    • guest/welcome
    • system/manager

    The system is very simple to use and handle. Managers just need to remember the starting URL for iFS access or the Windows SMB network name for mapping over the "Map Network Drive" from Windows Explorer. No additional software need be installed and there is no additional special configuration.

    Conclusion

    IFS promises to save lots of money, after data consolidation and system automatization, using the new file system type. The data can be moved from the separate systems to the Oracle iFS, using
    database technology for security, backup and recovery.
    Is it likely that companies will replace all of those fileserver sitting under people's desks over-night, or that they will convince end users and managers to use the new technology? Probably not.

    » See All Articles by Columnist Marin Komadina








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