Oracle on the Web Part 1 - Exploring Oracle's HTTP Server

April 13, 2005

Hidden away in the depths of your Oracle installation is a valuable resource you can use to get a jump-start on learning how to combine Oracle's strength as a relational database management system and the power of the Internet. This resource is extremely easy to visit and requires virtually little in the way of installation and configuration. Even better, what you see and learn in the comfort of your home at your PC (or wherever you are reading this) is immediately extensible to the Internet. This resource is known as the Oracle HTTP Server (OHS).

What does it take to get OHS? Using Oracle9i as a model, it takes nothing more than installing Oracle itself. What does it take to start the server? On Windows, simply start the HTTP Server service, and then viewing Web pages is as simple as entering a URL in your browser. Like many other features within Oracle, the simple starts off fairly simple and the difficult quickly becomes difficult. What I will cover in this article is how to start using what is immediately available based on your Oracle installation, and then make what seems impossible more like it's, well, only next to impossible, but that is still a big difference.

Oracle's Web services are based on the Apache server. In your ORACLE_HOME location, you will see a folder named Apache, and under Apache is another folder (among others) named Apache. It is under this second Apache folder where everything ticks. We need to make a quick stop here before starting the service and viewing the default page in a browser. Open the ports file and note the port number for s_apachePort.

If you are at all familiar with Application Server, that 7778 (and 443 for SSL) should ring a bell, and why not? Application Server's Web services are based on Apache. To start the HTTP Server on your PC, open the Services control panel and look for <the name of your Oracle home>HTTPServer. Start the service.

You can use http://localhost:port_number or http://<host_name>:port_number to see the following page:

It should be readily apparent, if you didn't already realize this, that there are many, many tools and technologies used to present content on the Web, and by no means will you be an expert after reading this article. However, if you have more than a passing interest in using what you know about Oracle and combining it with Web development, reading on will be illuminating. Oracle provides several examples, and we will look at the JSP ones later on.