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Posted Jun 21, 2005

Oracle on the Web, Part 4 - Upgrading HTML DB - Page 2

By Steve Callan

Accessing HTML DB (again)

In a browser session, entering http://server:port/pls/htmldb should take you to the login page we have seen before.

Note the version number in the lower right hand corner: (at least the 1.6 part should be the same).

Login as a user and note the differences. The user interface has a different look and feel, and the upgrade process, true to form, did migrate existing applications.

How to Implement a Web Service

This example consumes only six pages in the 2 Day Developer guide, so let's run through this small example and see just how easy (and accurate) the steps are. The individual sections (starting on page 6-2) are discussed below.

Section Title: Creating a New Application

The very first step, "From the Application Builder home page, click Create Application" is incorrect. The "Create Application" button is at the home page (the page you see immediately after logging in).

Progress check: On Step 7 (select a theme), there are 12 themes to choose from (the sample says to pick Theme 2). The workflow process is (as before) shown in the left margin area. The red border of Theme 1 should look familiar if you have been to the AskTom Web site.

Section Title: Specifying an Application Proxy Server Address

More than likely, this section does not apply to you. If you are doing this at home and use Comcast High-Speed Internet service (as an example), you are not using a proxy server.

Section Title: Searching a UDDI Registry for a Business Name

This section involves providing input for the UDDI registry used to find a WSDL. UDDI? WSDL? The explanation of these items in the 2 Day Developer guide is fairly dry. A better description of what a Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration registry and a Web Services Description Language document are can be found at W3Schools (http://www.w3schools.com/wsdl/wsdl_uddi.asp). This is getting pretty far away from Oracle, but do realize that Oracle Corporation is a participant in this cross-industry effort to use UDDI. The example mentioned at the W3Schools site is based on an airline reservation system, so the applicability of a database (i.e., Oracle) providing the data should be fairly obvious.

If you follow the steps exactly as written in the guide (Step 6 - select "IBM UDDI" followed by "%xMethods%" followed by clicking Search), the end result is:

ORA-20001: The webservice was unreachable because either the URL you supplied was invalid, or your environment requires a valid proxy server address for HTTP requests.

A missing bit of information: what is meant by "select IBM UDDI" is use the oddly designed drop down menu button to the right of the text field. Click that button and a popup window with a list of choices appears. That's where/how you select IBM UDDI v2.

After clicking the menu button, select IBM UDDI v2:

The location field is then filled in for you:

At the next step, entering %xMethods% (note the lowercase "x" after the leading per cent symbol, it kind of blends in if you don't read that too closely), toggle the xMethods Delayed Stock Quotes radio button.

The Web Service Summary gives you an overview of what you just selected.

Your confirmation of success:

Section Title: Create a Form to Display a Stock Quote

Run through the first six steps as written. The end result is:

Click Run Page and login (use the same user you are already logged in as, but why do you have to login at all at this point?). I used ORCL for Oracle and ran the query.

This completes the first example shown in the developer guide.

In Closing

Overall, the upgrade process is fairly straightforward. The use of a script to perform the upgrade is somewhat of a departure for Oracle as many products use the Universal Installer or some other GUI interface. As you watch the output or feedback statements scroll by when htmldbins is running, note that there are over 1000 different pages being created, which is pretty impressive. It is obvious a significant amount of work went into the development of HTML DB.

The process shown for creating a Web service is almost exact with respect to the steps required in each section. The omission in how to select IBM UDDI is a show stopper, and you would think that Oracle would follow conventional Web or application design standards for indicating a drop down menu list, or use a button with a label saying Select, View, or Browse.

Just for fun, you can navigate to the icons folder, open the view_small.gif file, rotate it 180 degrees and save it. The icons folder is located under the virtual path ("/i/" from before) at HTML DB HOME\marvel\images\htmldb\icons. The end result is:

Finally, the odd (and new) part of the database setup or structure is the "flow" naming, and getting to a point where most of the Oracle community understands the HTML DB architecture as well as it understands standard database or application architecture will take some time which will happen as HTML DB gains more acceptance and use. In the next article of this series, I will cover another example from the 2 Day Developer guide and point out some additional resources for HTML DB.

» See All Articles by Columnist Steve Callan

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