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Reload this page Oracle 9i AS Portal

Here are my notes developed during my Regis MSCIT class on the Oracle Portal, a part of the Oracle 9i Application Server, Oracle's integrated J2EE Middleware infrastructure.

Regis class project managed through Oracle Portal on server accessed through Citrix Metaframe and Yahoo Group

A website external to this site Oracle's 9i AS home page
A website external to this site Oracle Technology Network - Web Services
webpage article Internet Lessons [requires registration]

A website external to this site From the Oracle9i Release 2 (9.2) Documentation Library


Topics this page:

  • Login
  • Page Elements
  • Renderings
  • Server Architecture
  • Product Architecture Diagram
  • Installation
  • Capabilities
  • Installation
  • Configuration
  • Navigator
  • Portlets
  • Database Objects
  • Default Objects
  • Dev. Tools
  • Privileges
  • Navigator
  • Pages
  • Page Layout
  • App. Components
  • Privileges
  • Content Areas
  • Portal Admin.
  • Dynamic Pages
  • Monitoring Views
  • Alerts
  • Debugging
  • Resources
  • Your comments???

    Site Map List all pages on this site 
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    Related Topics:

  • Portals
  • Oracle Architecture
  • Oracle Performance Tuning
  • SQL Coding
  • Data Management
  • Data Warehousing
  • Data Types
  • Set this at top of window. Login

      User initiate a Portal session by invoking a URL in the form:

      http:// server /pls/ portal_schema DAD / application_schema .component_name .show
      Link to resources within the portal using a URL Link with this format (extra spaces added for emphasis):

    A user's default home page is a Top-Level page set as the default.

    Oracle Portal is part of 9i Application Serverm, which provides a Login server and Web Cache server for several application servers.

    The Login Server handling Single Sign On (SSO) authentication for Partner applications (on the same OS platform and metadirectory in the Oracle Internet Directory (OID), which supports LDAP-based user, password, and group membership management plus integration with Netegrity authentication servers. The single sign-on capability in Oracle Portal allows users to access applications across a corporations entire infrastructure.


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    Set this at top of window. Portal Page Elements

      On user (Internet browser) clients (using default port 80 on Windows NT). Oracle automatically reformats pages for presentation by Wireless clients.

      The canvas that the portal displays to users is divided into regions that each run portlet applications. Region properties control the style, attribute display, and behavior of the items and portlets displayed in the region, such as the number of rows and columns of content, and order by and group by criteria, etc.

        Release 1 (Version 3.0) allowed a maximum of 5 fixed regions, but
        Release 2 handles an unlimited number of regions.

      Each individual piece of content that resides on a page is called an item, the lowest level building block.

      At the top of the canvas, Release 1 (Version 3.0) displays the page banners and Navigation bars which Release 2 replaces with reusable Navigation Pages.

      Navigational items include buttons, links, and tabs. Tabs are frequently used to break up a task into groups of related steps. Navigation buttons include buttons for Navigator, Home, Help, Refresh, Edit Page, Customize, Account Info, Logout.

      Perspectives describe the type of person who might be interested in the content. For example, managers, supervisors, and non-exempt employees. Perspective are displayed in a content area.


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    Set this at top of window. Renderings

      Release 1 (Version 3.0) has content areas -- collections of folders managed separately from Portal pages. Release 2 merges folders and pages into a single Page entity managed in Page Group providers in the Portlet Repository.

      Release 2 adds item classes Smart Links and Smart Text that can be placed anywhere on a page to generate content.

      A portlet is a specialized content area (such as weather info, news flashes, stock tickers, etc.) that occupies a small window of a portal page. Portlets from different sources (Portlet Providers) can be integrated into the portal framework.

      A Portlet typically use a hieararchal display for check-in, check-out, and auditing of documents and files.

      Each region presents images (as tabs), or data from a portlet, such as the predefined portlets for Login, Favorite, and Saved Searches. A portlet is a reusable building block for publishing information. Portlets display web pages, Oracle forms, reports, charts, news feeds, calendars, or other components that interact with underlying data sources.

      The Oracle Portal uses Oracle 9iAS Framework Services that provide access to the security system, which stores what privileges a user has.


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    Set this at top of window. Server Hardware Architecture

      Oracle Portal runtime environment exists in three tiers (each usually on different physical server machines):

      1. in the “middle tier” the Portal server holding Portal objects that call on providers such as the OHS Web Provider.

      2. the database server (Database provider) from schemas

      To provide flexibility when referencing files outside of Portal Content Areas, <directory> mappings define a virtual name which points to the actual physical location (file system drive, folders, and file name, each separated by \ back slash instead of Windows forward / slashes). The Apache Listener uses the virtual directory /pls/ to map request for the modPLSQL interface from the Apache Server to the PL/SQL engine.

      Include files lists virtual directories for each application.

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    Set this at top of window. Full Product Architecture Diagram

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    Set this at top of window. Product Architecture

      Blue lines Net8 protocol.

      To improve its speed, Oracle uses caching of data in memory to minimize slower disk I/O time.

      The 9iAS Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) houses the mod_plsql Apache web listener service that allows for execution of PL/SQL and parallel filter of Java components. It performs load balancing of web server functions:

      • Runtime (User, Session Management)
      • Page Assembly Engine
      • Personalization Portal
      • Portlet Engine

      The Oracle 9iAS Proxy Plug-In to Sun iPlanet and Microsoft IIS web servers redirects requests to the Oracle HTTP Server for Single Sign On.

      OHS houses Oracle9iAS Containers for J2EE 1.3 compliant (OC4J) Business Components for J2EE (BC4J).

      Portlets include Business Intelligence features such as Oracle's 9iAS Report Services, and Discoverer.

      The JDK AppletViewer on client machines enables users to interact with database objects via a TCP/IP connection using HTTP connections to portlet providers.


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    Set this at top of window. Server Installation

      9iAS comes in multi-platform UNIX and Windows editions.

      The OAS (Oracle Application Server) product has been at Release 2, OAS 4.0.8, since May 2002.

      Release 1 version 3.0.6 and below installs on folder webdb30/admin/plsql. Version 3.0.6 and after Portal ( installs on folder portal30/admin/plsql. This is because 9iAS is a reincarnation of Oracle's WebDB 3.0 product released in 1999 at version Before that, the product was called “WebView”.

      The Oracle Portal configuration assistant creates a database with several schemas (placeholder for objects):

      1. PORTAL30 contains the Portal database objects.
      2. PORTAL30_PUBLIC maped to by portal users to execute procedures
      3. PORTAL30_SSO for the Login Server.
      4. PORTAL30_SSO_PS for passwords to external apps
      5. PORTAL30_SSO_PUBLIC maped to by portal users
      6. PORTL_30_DEMO

      These are described in Database Access Descriptor (DAD) information.

      These are also users. The "ssodatan" installation script associates the Oracle Portal installation node with the Login Server and populating enabler tables.

      Each object in a database schema can be edited, dropped, renamed, exported, and granted access.

      To use the diagnostics tool, the Oracle Portal schema and the Login Server schema must exist in the same database instance/machine.

      To install 9iAS 1.0.2 (Portal 3.0), look for "ServerName" in httpd.conf (2 entries in $ORACLE_HOME/Apache/Apache/conf) and change it to the full qualified name. Then run ssodatan ($ORACLE_HOME/portal30/amdin/plsql) with the full qualified URLs to Portal and Login Server. If you have set up multiple partner applications you need to register them again after running ssodatan.

      J2EE and Web Cache require a separate installation step.

      The Oracle XML Parser (version 2) and OracleJSP (Java Server Pages) are normally configured automatically during the installation of Oracle9i Application Server. The results are these environment variables:


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      Set screen Oracle's init.ora Configuration File

      These are changes in the init.ora file for Portal version 3:

      open_cursors = 75
      max_enabled_roles = 30
      compatible = 8.1.0
      shared_pool_size = 80000000
      large_pool_size = 1228800
      java_pool_size = 30000000


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      Set screen Apache's httpd.conf Configuration File

      The Apache configuration file httpd.conf contains global environment directives, main server directives that fine tune them later in the file, and Virtual host (SSL) setups. The KeepAliveTimeout and MaxClients.

      Integrated Oracle extensions to the Apache server are configured in the oracle_apache.conf file.

      Apache is installed to automatically start the OraclesuitesHTTPServer Service.

      The location of image files are specified in the plsql.conf configuration file.


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    Set this at top of window. Configuration

      The standard URL to the Oracle9iAS Portal environment is:

      Configure and manage the Oracle HTTP Server using Oracle Enterprise Manager using command line utility dcmctl

      The main configuration file is httpd.conf located at ...

      Use directives to:

      • Specify server and administrator functions
      • Specify file location
      • Limit the number of processes and connections
      • Manage the network connection
      • Configure and use server log files

      Use Oracle HTTP Server - Advanced Features container directives such as: <Directory>, <Files> and <Location>, <Virtual Host>. Directives have a configuration context, with allowed locations. Contexts can be merged.

      virtual hosts

      The Users portlet displays Single Sign-On user accounts, not Oracle Portal user accounts, which are automatically created when a new Single Sign-On user account is used to log on to Oracle Portal. This is why to completely disable a user, the SSO account must be deleted.


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    Set screen Portal Customization - Navigator & WebDAV

      Users with an appropriate privilege level can add items to a page through the browser-based “Navigator” editing interface, or through Oracle's WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) interface, which allows file content to be saved or loaded directly from desktop applications like Windows Explorer, Microsoft Office, many HTML editors, and other applications.

      The Oracle Portal Navigator tabs: on this page Pages, on this page Content Areas, on this page Applications, on this page Database Objects.

      Changes made after clicking Edit Edit are public — visible to everyone.
      Changes made after clicking customize Customize are private to the user.

      The Oracle Portal menu:

      • Build new pages pages
      • Administer Users, Groups, Provider, Login Server
      • Administer Database Schemas, Roles, Memory, Transactions, and Locks
      • Monitor Charts, Search


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    Set screen Portlets

      Portlets are containers for application logic.

      Sub-folder Portlet
      Example XML Portlet
      Oracle Portal Personal Content: Favorites, Recent Objects Building Tools: HTML Portlet, Applications, Pages Navigators: Application, Content Area, Database, Page
      Login Server Login, User, Login Server Administration,
      External Applications
      Community Product News, Developer News, Documentation News, Oracle9iAS Portal Community
      Portal Content Area Personal Content: Saved Searches, Use Owned Folders
      Portal Content: Category, Folder, Navigation Bar, Content Areas, Perspctive, General, Personal Folder,
      Utilities: Search, Search Results Page
      Sample Content Area Sample Content Area
      Monitor Charts, Monitor by Event, Monitor by Object, Monitor Search, Questions Answered (frequently run monitoring reports)
      PEOPLE_APP People
      Oracle Reports Security

      The Web Clipping OmniPortlet displays content from existing web sites:

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    Set screen Database Objects

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    Set screen Default Objects

      Application Components Display - Create - Update Database objects, such as dynamic Dynamic pages, Menu Menus, Hierarchty Hierarchies, Form Forms, Report Reports, Chart Charts, Calendar Calendars, Link Links, URL URLs, Frame Frame Drivers, LOV LOVs (List of Values).

      shared component Shared Components extend functionality of any application component, such as colors Colors, fonts Fonts, images Images, JavaScript JavaScript, TemplatesTemplates.

        Templates are special pages from which other pages can inherit properties that define, among other things, the size, location, and number of regions on a page. Unstructured UI Templates use special ## tags within HTML coding.

        Replacement Code
        <TITLE> #TITLE#
        <HEAD> #PAGE.STYLE#
        <HEAD> #PAGE.BASE#
        Component Heading #HEADING#
        Help Link #HELPLINK#
        Page Banner #BANNER#
        Page Sublinks #PAGE.SUBPAGELINKS#
        Frame Link #FRAMELINK# (For use with menus)
        Component Body #BODY#
        /images/ #IMAGE_PREFIX#

      Styles control the colors, fonts, and backgrounds of pages and their content are applied to regions within pages or entire pages.

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    Set screen Development Tools

      Oracle Portal application components are created using wizards.

      Oracle Portal is not a full IDE (Integrated Development Environment).

      Unlike Oracle Developer, Oracle Portal does not generate high-thruput OLTP systems, but can use forms developed in Oracle Developer.

    • Oracle Portal creates forms based on talbe or view, but commits are immediate, with no rollback option.
    • Master-Detail forms such as orders and line items,
    • forms based on procedures such as data validation edits

      Applications use JDBC calls to persistantly store data in database-backed or File-based stores.

      When users click on the "Customize" link, they are using the Services portlet of a page to change values in the Preferences store. Default preference values can be scoped at system-wide (across the portlets of the provider), group, and user levels. Persistent preferences are stored in sets of name-value pairs on a hierachical path of up to 255 characters each, such as ORACLE.TOOLS.PORTAL.STYLE.

      To modify the Portal Preference Store, use the GUI to “Edit Defaults” PL/SQL Portlets can use methods in packages wwpre_api_name to create and delete preference paths and preference names. wwpre_api_value to set, get, and delete preference values, and wwpre_api_util to resolve the preference path, retrieve the path ID and retrieve the preference name record. This package is like the other preference store packages in that it is granted to the providers in the provsyns.sql script.

      Stateful applications perform work in the context of individual sessions. A session is an uninterrupted connection between a browser and Oracle Portal, from initial access to log off or disconnect. The wwsto_api_session API package provide access to a server-side session-based storage mechanism used to cache small amounts of information for short durations of time, such as

      • current items on the user's shopping cart.
      • data that is expensive to load or calculate (e.g. search results)
      • the current state of a portlet (e.g. current range (or "page") of search results being displayed in portlet, or sequence of events performed by user)


      Oracle Developer Services

      Oracle9i Web Development, Brad Brown, TUSC (Osborne ORACLE Press Series)

      Thomas J. Mitchell's

      Primer on End-User Personalization WWC-46000
      Primer on Session Storage
      Guidelines for Parameter Passing in portlets

      webpage article How to Build a Java Portlet

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    Set screen Pages

      The Oracle Portal Navigator Pages:
      • Top-Level Pages
      • My Pages
      • User Pages
      • Page Layouts
      • Page Styles

      Page names can be a maximum of 40 characters with no spaces or special characters except underlines. It can't contain any of the Oracle reserved words


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    Set screen Page Layout & Style

      Applications can also run in full page mode that populates the entire browser window.

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    Set screen Components in Applications

      Application components include: Form, Report, Chart, Calendar, Dynamic Page, XML Component, Hierarchy, Menu, URL, Frame Driver, Link, List of Values

      Reports can be created three ways:

      1. Query By Example (QBE) Reports to Build a QBE Report that allows end users to query, insert, update and delete data in table and views.
      2. Reports From Query Wizard to Let the wizard build the SQL query for you.
      3. Reports From SQL Query to Write your own SQL Query.


      1. Form based on table or view to Build a form based on a database table or view.
      2. Master-detail form to Build a master-detail form based on two tables or views.
      3. Form based on procedure to Build a form based on a database stored procedure.


      Oracle built the Complex MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) application using Oracle 9iAS.

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    Set screen Components

      The Manage Components screen is the last page presented when creating user interface components. Its 3 tabs:

      Develop: Add to Favorites, About, Delete




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    Set screen Items in Content Areas content areas

      A Content Area is a collection of folders arranged in a hierarchy. The only way to access Personal folders (arranged in A-Z) is from the content area interface is from the Content Area Map.

      Content in a Content Area is classified two ways (types of items):

        category Categoriesanother page on this site Global categories are created as Shared Objects at the bottom of every Content Area list.
        Perspectivesanother page on this site for roles

      Other Content Area items:

        navigation bar Navigation bars
        styles Styles
        Custom Types (File, Text, URL, Folder Link, PL/SQL, Application Component, Image, Java Application, Zip File).

      When a Content Area is created, a Page is automatically created to display it using the default arrangement.. To add an item in a Content Area, click "Edit Folder" when viewing the Content Area page.

      Reminder Content Area items (Folders, Categories, Navigation Bars, Perspectives, Styles, and Custom Types) can only be created by clicking Contents from the list of Content Areas, not in the Navigator.

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    Set screen Portal Administration

      To manage Oracle9iAS Using Oracle Enterprise Manager, use the Oracle9iAS Web-based management tools and explain and use symbols and icons to start, stop, restart instances or components To start and stop an Oracle9iAS instance or a component

      The structure of the Farm page

      Use the navigation bar to access different component homepages and get back to your starting point.


      • DBA

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    Set screen Privileges

      Security was the biggest block to implementation.

    • CREATE ALL APPLICATIONS global privilege

      Application Level PrivilegeManageEditView SourceCustomizeExecute
      Grant application privileges to other usersY N N N N
      Drop the application and all of its components from the database. Y N N N N
      Rename and export the application Y Y N N N
      Create components in the application Y Y N N N
      Edit components owned by the application Y Y N N N
      Drop individual components owned by the application Y Y N N N
      Copy, rename, and export components owned by the application Y Y N N N
      View the call interface, package spec and body of components owned by the application Y Y Y N N
      Customize the application or any component within it Y Y Y Y N
      Run the application or any component within it Y Y Y Y Y

      A summary of page and user level privileges:
      Portal Administrator
    • The Manage privilege -- the highest level -- allows grantees to change in any way both public and private versions.
    • Content Developer
    • The Create privilege is given to create a page.
    • Content Manager
    • The Publish privilege allows one to make something public for other's use. The Publish All Portlets privilege allows one to register portlet providers through the Local Provider and Node portlets.
    • Internal Users
    • The Customization privilege only applies to versions private to the user, not public versions seen by other users.
      • The (Full) Customization privilege allows a user to add, move or delete portlets to a page and hide, or show any portlet on the page.
      • The (Add-only) Customization privilege allows a user to privately add portlets. This has no impact on portlets placed on the page by the page's creator.
      • The (Hide-Show) Customization privilege allows a user to hide or show any portlet.
      • The (Style) Customization privilege allows a user to select any style that applies colors and fonts.
    • External Users
    • The View Only privilege does not allow a user to select style nor add, remove, show, or hide content.

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    Set this at top of window. Dynamic Pages

      PL/SQL dynamic page Oracle Portal component creates HTML based on specification between <ORACLE> and </ORACLE> tags between HTML and BODY tags. This example:

        FOR x IN (SELECT * FROM table1.emp) LOOP
        END LOOP;

      bind variables are prefixed with a colon (:).

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    Set this at top of window. Monitoring Views

      Oracle's 9i Clickstream Intelligence capabilities, like its competitor product Webtrends and other web analytics software, store web server logs in a data warehouse and offer analysis of website usage patterns.

      The Oracle Enterprise Manager, like IBM Tivoli and HP Openview, detect and present the operational status of servers.


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    Set screen Debugging, Testing, and Troubleshooting

      The Oracle9iAS Portal Studio Test Suite, in the pdk testsuite folder, has a Test Harness program which sends HTTP requests to a given target and records the speed and content of responses into an XML format performance statistics file.
        runTest options Test Definition file

      HTTP requests sent by the Test Harness is defined in a Request instance within Request Group stored in a Test Definition XML file. The requests can optionally reference Request Definitions stored in a Request Library file in the pdkTest\rLib directory.

      Sample files are created by extracting the file which creates a pdktest folder. Create environment variable PDKTEST_HOME to point to this location. The sample ptl309.xml file is used with PDK Java 3.0.9.x or lower. ptl902.xml is used with PDK version 9.0.2.x or higher.

      Application-specific logic are defined pre-processors

      The Test suite also includes a ProviderTest tool that simulates calls from an Oracle9iAS Portal to a web service.


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    Set screen Other Resources

    • Tata Consultancy Services in India has developed assets such as design and unit-testing frameworks, reusable component libraries, and prototypes using them.

      Oracle certified Advantage Partners


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