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28 April 2006

Oracle Application Server

One month ago, I attended an Oracle Application Server course in Geneva, Switzerland. We were a group of 3 students and the 5-days lesson has been extremly interesting and intense. Starting at 9am, we used to finish at 5:30pm or later.

At LC Systems, we have a few customers using OAS, that is why I did jump into this non-database product cursus.

As I experienced in the course, it is quite different from Oracle Database. Technically speaking, you do not need much database know-how to administer an application server.

There are basically two parts. One is the Infrastructure. It contains a Directory Server (LDAP) which is stored physically on a database. As for the Grid Control, you can just click Next->Next->Next->Install to have it up and running (if you are lucky). You do not specify the size of the memory, the location of the files, the logging mode, nothing. Just the database passwords.

The second part is called the Middle Tier. It contains a J2EE engine. There you can "hotplug" your application : portal, forms, reports, discoverer...

The consistency, availability, backup strategy are not as clearly defined as in the db world I know. In the "online backup" mode, you should just hope that nothing is going to modify the xml configuration files at the time you edit them. If your file system is getting full of logs, it can well happen that your config file get truncated. If you think you are not modifying anything during the backup, it could well be Oracle itself that updates the xml files. What did also sound dubious to me is the point in time recovery. It sounds like : "Well, I will try to recover until time your repository with rman, and if I found your backup sets on the disk, it may work. If the config changed since that time, well, this is probably not the best thing to try..."

The security concept made me hurl more than one time. For example Portal. There is a superuser called PORTAL in the Oracle Internet Directory (OID). To my surprise, you can see his database password in clear text in the OID. This user has, no joke, DBA role in the database. You can "revoke" the DBA role from PORTAL in the Application Server Console, but, believe me, it does not revoke the DBA at the db level. The mod_plsql enables you to encrypt passwords in files. This is a 2-ways encryption, I doubt the algorythm is very strong. The concept rather rely on "No one should ever log-in neither on the application server (with telnet) nor on the repository database (with sqlplus).

This morning I passed my 1Z0-311 exam with success (0 error).

13 Comments:

Anonymous Francois said...

Congratulations ;o)

28/4/06 14:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! 0 error, wow! =)
...Emily

28/4/06 15:34  
Anonymous Ralph said...

Wow - 0 errors!
Must have been a great course ;-)

28/4/06 15:53  
Blogger Aman Sharma said...

Congrats!!

28/4/06 17:24  
Blogger Aman Sharma said...

hi sir
Accept my congrats.You have cleared your OCM credential.Will you like to share that how should a person proceed to get successful with it like the training process,practise,resources you used?
Once again,congrats and best wishes!
regards
Aman

30/4/06 18:00  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Congrats!
I start my class may 1st. Looks like it will be interesting.

30/4/06 19:52  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Forgot to ask, did they go over
any thing for App. Server Release 3?

30/4/06 19:54  
Blogger Laurent Schneider said...

Thanks all for your wishes!

10gR3 is not really out yet, they cannot use it in course, because there is no infrastructure, no BI, nothing else than the OC4J.

About OCM, I am not allowed to reveal the content but I will try to put something helpful and neutral soon.

30/4/06 22:07  
Blogger Aman Sharma said...

Hi sir
Yes not the content but the preparation method
you chose,how did you prepare for it.Yes a neutral to guide aspirants how to prepare so that they can be successful with it?
Once again thanx a bunch.
Aman

1/5/06 05:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Laurent,
How did you review for this exam? I know you attended the course and did lots of practice... but did you use any other exam guides? I can't find any exam guide on this but just the Oracle documentation manuals.

Thanks a lot and Congratulations !!

9/5/06 21:24  
Blogger Laurent Schneider said...

well, I did not practice much, but I read the course manual with care, every single line. you can also try google to find some discussion on the internet about the exam

http://www.google.com/search?q=1z0-311

10/5/06 10:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Laurent !!

10/5/06 16:59  
Blogger Joel Garry said...

Yeah, that password thing has been cracking me up for a long time.

Congratulations!

word verification: sendoj

10/5/06 20:10  

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