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Posted Mar 11, 2004

Installation Cookbook: Installing Oracle Application Server 10g (9.0.4)Forms and Reports Services

By Steve Callan

In this continuing series of installation cookbooks, we will look at a new and improved version of Oracle's Application Server. This standalone release of Application Server, identified by "10g (9.0.4)," enables you to deploy forms (and reports) over the web without the overhead of installing the complete Application Server (iAS) environment. This standalone slice of iAS is a huge improvement over its predecessors with respect to ease of installation, required resources, and complexity. Forms users who slogged through Oracle's confusing, inaccurate and conflicting installation procedure for earlier versions of iAS will certainly appreciate the improvements made with this release.

Oracle's official installation guide for Forms and Reports Services is a much better written document than what was found in earlier versions. Despite some minor errors (Note to Oracle: does anyone there validate what is written in your installation guides? Hello?), you can take what is written and successfully install Forms and Reports Services in one sitting. On one machine. In one afternoon. Using less than 1GB of disk space. It almost sounds too good to be true, but it is.

If you are familiar with iAS Release 2, the GUI interface presented by the management console will make you feel right at home - including the sometimes non-working "Restart All" and "Start All" buttons. During the installation phase, you may see one or more components fail to start. Before exiting the installation, you can attempt a restart of the failed component(s) - just do them one at a time. That leads into some advice about starting the services via the Enterprise Manager console - if Restart All fails, try starting components one at a time. Take a moment to read the note at the bottom of the system components table about what a grayed-out check box means. There is no sense in trying to start something you have no control over.

If you are starting with a relatively clean Solaris machine, you will find the installation to be very straightforward. If you let Oracle do what it wants to do with reserving and assigning ports, and if you already have your forms in a 9i state, after about one minute of configuring two files, you will see your forms on the web. No host renaming, no disabling of NIS, no inordinate waste of disk space, and no confusion about who starts first and how with respect to the infrastructure and application server. What you get out of this installation is, for the most part, exactly what you got out of installing Oracle9i Developer Suite: a small, easy to manage, self-contained forms services environment - which is exactly what Oracle should have done in the first place with 9iAS forms on the web.

The next article in this series will cover the installation of the 10g (9.0.4) version of the forms developer tool. See the next page for the start of the Forms and Reports Services 10g installation guide.

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