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Use Oracle Forms and Reports on Amazon RDS Custom for Oracle

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it simple to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in AWS Cloud. Amazon RDS Custom is a new deployment type that provides granular control capabilities that enable you to access and customize the database environment, and provides an operating system that allows you to run third-party software on AWS. Like Amazon RDS, RDS Custom automates the undifferentiated heavy lifting, such as database provisioning, patching, and backups. RDS Custom gives you privileged access to the database and underlying operating system in order to support legacy applications, manually install OS patches and packages, apply custom database patches, and install third-party security and diagnostic software. You can also configure database settings and Network File System (NFS) on RDS Custom.

Oracle Fusion Middleware is a suite of middleware software products and tools designed to develop and manage enterprise applications. Oracle Forms is a part of that suite and is used to develop forms-based software that communicates directly with Oracle Database. The Forms applications provide a user interface to access Oracle Database in an efficient and straightforward way. Oracle Forms accesses Oracle Database and generates a page with data. Oracle Reports is a part of the suite that is used to create customized business reports from various data sources with different output types. It enables businesses to provide instant access to information to all levels within and outside of the organization in a scalable and secure environment

In this post, we discuss installing Oracle Forms and Reports using RDS Custom for Oracle as the backend database. We use the same RDS Custom compute/server to install Oracle Forms and Reports in this example, but you can install it using a separate Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance. We used AWS Systems Manager Session Manager to connect to the underlying EC2 instance of RDS Custom for Oracle by following the instructions from the Amazon RDS User Guide.

Solution overview

The following architecture diagram represents Oracle Form and Reports application running on an EC2 instance of RDS Custom for Oracle in a single Availability Zone on AWS. The application tier is installed and configured on RDS Custom for Oracle EC2 host and accessed through EC2 ports.

The following are the high-level installation steps:

Install the Fusion Middleware infrastructure.
Create a database schema by running the Repository Creation Utility (RCU).
Install Oracle Forms and Reports.
Run the configuration wizard.
Start all servers to complete configuration.

Prerequisites

Before you get started, log in with your Oracle account to download the following software:

Java Development Kit (we used 8u351 jdk-8u355-linux-x64.tar.gz in this setup)
Fusion Middleware Infrastructure Installer
Oracle Forms and Reports 12c (12.2.1.4) (we used fmw_12.2.1.4.0_infrastructure.jar in this setup)
RDS Custom for Oracle

Then complete the following prerequisite steps. Refer to System Requirements and Specifications for additional information regarding the certified versions and setup needed.

Connect to RDS Custom for Oracle EC2 instance as rdsdb user or any other user under which you want to install the Forms application. We used rdsdb user in this example:
Install the required JDK to install WebLogic on the server:

tar -xvzf /rdsdbdata/weblogic/jdk-8u351-linux-x64.tar.gzjava -version
java version “1.8.0_351”
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_351-b10)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.351-b10, mixed mode)

Set up the bash profile for the application user:

export MW_HOME=/rdsdbdata/weblogic/product/12.2.1.4
export WLS_HOME=$MW_HOME/wlserver
export WL_HOME=$WLS_HOME
export ORACLE_HOME=/rdsdbdata/weblogic/product/12.2.1.4

export DOMAIN_HOME=/rdsdbdata/weblogic/product/12.2.1.4/user_projects/d omains/base_domain
export JAVA_HOME=$ORACLE_HOME/jdk1.8.0_351
export PATH=$JAVA_HOME/bin:$PATH

Verify that you’re using a certified OS. We are using Oracle Enterprise Linux 7.9 for this setup:

cat /etc/os-release
NAME=”Oracle Linux Server”
VERSION=”7.9″

Set up a GUI like VNC to invoke the installer:

Install the required RPM:

sudo yum install tigervnc-server gnutls libXdmcp libXfont2 libxkbfile llvm-private mesa-dri-drivers mesa-filesystem nettle tigervnc-license tigervnc-server-minimal trousers xkeyboard-config xorg-x11-xauth xorg-x11-xinit xorg-x11-xkb-utils

When the installation is complete, log in with your application OS user and run the following. Export DISPLAY variable to your desired port number. In the below example, we used port 80.

$ vncserver :80

You will require a password to access your desktops.

Password:
Verify:
Would you like to enter a view-only password (y/n)? n

$ export DISPLAY=:80

SSH into the server with port forwarding to 5980 from your workstation or desktop, and start VNC Viewer from the local workstation to access the GUI.

Install the Fusion Middleware infrastructure

Run the installer located in the extracted software directory and complete the following steps to install the WebLogic server as the application user:

Use the source bash profile for the application user and run the following commands:

unzip fmw_12.2.1.4.0_infrastructure_Disk1_1of1.zip
$JAVA_HOME/bin/java -jar fmw_12.2.1.4.0_infrastructure.jar

On the Installation Inventory Setup page, set Directory to /home/rdsdb/oraInventory, and OS Group to dba, then choose OK.

On the Welcome page, choose Next.

Select Skip Auto Updates and choose Next.

For Oracle Home, enter your desired product installation location (for this post, we used /rdsdbdata/weblogic/product/12.2.1.4), then choose Next.

For more information about different Oracle Forms releases, refer to Oracle Forms and Reports.
Select Fusion Middleware Infrastructure and choose Next.

If the prerequisite checks complete without any errors and warnings, choose Next. If there are failures, choose View Log to get additional details and retry the prerequisite checks after fixing the issue.

Verify the installation summary and choose Install.

When the installation is complete, choose Next.

Choose Finish.

Create a database schema using RCU

RCU is available with the Oracle Fusion Middleware Infrastructure distribution. After you install Oracle Fusion Middleware Infrastructure and create your Oracle Home, you can start RCU from $ORACLE_HOME/oracle_common/bin. The RCU creation log file is typically stored in the tmp directory as /tmp/RCU<Timestamp>/logs/rcu.log. Complete the following steps to create your database schema:

Run the following from your VNC window to invoke the GUI:

$ORACLE_HOME/oracle_common/bin/rcu

Choose Next on the Welcome page.

On the Create Repository page, select Create Repository, select System Load and Production Load, and choose Next.

On the Database Connection Details page, for Database Type, choose Oracle Database and enter the database details like host name, port, service name, and credentials.
After the installer checks the database connectivity and opens a window, choose OK.

Refer to Document ID Invalid Username/Password Error While Running The RCU Utility (Doc ID 2318543.1) if you get errors like ORA 28040 – No matching authentication protocol.
On the Select components page, select Prefix, provide a name (we use DEV) for the database schemas, and select the following components:

Oracle Platform Security Services
Audit Services
Audit Services Append
Common Infrastructure Services
WebLogic Services
Audit Services viewer

Choose Next.

After the installer checks the database prerequisites, choose OK.
On the Schema Passwords page, by default, you can use same passwords for all schemas. Keep a note of the passwords securely.
On the Map Tablespaces page, configure the desired tablespace mapping for the schemas that you want to set up, then choose Next.
Choose OK when the following message appears: “Validating and creating tablespaces.”

Verify the installation summary and choose Create.

Review the summary and choose Close.

Install Oracle Forms and Reports

After the WebLogic server is installed, install Oracle Forms and Reports by running the installer located in the extracted software directory.

Optionally, if you want to install Fusion Middleware 12c with an alternative temporary directory other than /tmp, refer to How to Install FMW 12c With Alternative Temp Directory other than “/tmp” (Doc ID 2245257.1).

Solution: Launch Forms installer with Java Temp Directory other than “/tmp” using the following command:

./fmw_12.2.1.2.0_fr_linux64.bin -J-Djava.io.tmpdir=<Alternative_tmp_Directory_Location>

Ensure Java is set before running the installer:

$ which java
/rdsdbbin/oracle/jdk1.8.0_351/bin/java

Start Forms installer by running the following executable:

./fmw_12.2.1.4.0_fr_linux64.bin

On the Installation Inventory Setup page, enter a location for Inventory Directory (for this post, /home/rdsdb/oraInventory), specify your OS group, then choose OK.

On the Welcome page, choose Next.
Select Skip Auto Updates and choose Next.
Specify the Oracle Home location for Oracle Forms and Reports.
For Installation type, choose Forms and Reports Deployment.
Choose Next.

On the JDK Selection page, enter the Java home path for Input.
On the Prerequisite Checks page, make sure that all checks are complete and choose Next.

Verify the installation messages on the Installation Summary page and choose Install.

On the Installation Progress page, ensure that all steps are complete and choose Next.
When the installation is complete, review the installed components and choose Finish.

Optional troubleshooting

During the prerequisite checks, if Checking Recommended Operating system Packages failed, then you need to download the Oracle Home Patch to proceed with the installation.

Refer to Installation of Fusion Middleware 12.2.1.4.0 Distributions on Red Hat Linux or Oracle Linux Version 8 Fail Checking EL7 Package Requirements (Doc ID 2652061.1) for details.

Solution:

After installing all the required Operating System packages, apply patch 31190532 by running the following command to resolve the issue with Operating System package requirements:

./fmw_12.2.1.4.0_fr_linux64.bin -prereqConfigLoc <patch_top>/31190532/prereq_metadata/oracle.as.install.fr.prerequisite/prereq

Run the configuration wizard

After the installation is complete, you need to configure Oracle Forms and Reports. This involves creating a domain for the WebLogic server and configuring the Oracle Forms and Reports components. This can be done using the configuration wizard located in the <middleware_home>/oracle_common/bin directory. Complete the following steps:

Run the config.sh file located in ORACLE_HOME/oracle_common/common/bin.
Choose Create a new domain and enter the desired domain home path (for this post, we use /rdsdbdata/weblogic/product/12.2.1.4/user_projects/domains/base_domain), then choose Next.

Select Create Domain using Product Templates and select the following templates:

Oracle Enterprise Manager
Oracle Forms
Oracle Reports Application
Oracle HTTP Server
Oracle Reports Tools
Oracle Reports Server
Oracle Reports Bridge

On the Application Location page, enter the file path. For this post, we use /rdsdbdata/weblogic/product/12.2.1.4/user_projects/applications/base_domain.
On the Administrator Account page, enter your WebLogic domain administration user name and password, then choose Next.
You need this information to access the WebLogic Server Control and Fusion Middleware Control.

On the Domain Mode and JDK page, it’s recommended to set Domain Mode to Production because it has the highest level of security. Use the default JDK unless you want a separate location.
On the Database Configuration Type page, provide the RCU DB connection information that was created in the earlier step, then choose Get RCU Configuration.
When the verification is complete, choose Next.

On the JDBC Test page, for Component Schema, enter the corresponding password for each schema. By default, each repository schema uses the same password.
Choose Next.

On the Advanced Configuration page, select Administration Server, Node Manager, Topology, and System Components, then choose Next.

Configure the admin server with your host name and port.
On the Node Manager page, set Node Manager Type to Per Domain Default Location and enter your Node Manager credentials, then choose Next.

On the Managed Server page, add the Oracle Forms and Report servers to WLS_FORMS and WLS_REPORTS in their respective listener ports 9001 and 9002.

Keep the default settings on the Clusters, Server Templates, and Dynamic Servers pages.
On the Assign Servers to Clusters page, assign the servers and choose Next.

On the Coherence Clusters page, keep the defaults and choose Next.
On the Machines page, override the machine name or add additional machine names for extended domain scenarios, then choose Next.

On the Assign Servers to Machines page, move AdminServer to AdminServerMachine by choosing the forward arrow icon, then choose Next.

Skip the Virtual Targets settings because they’re unsupported by Oracle Forms.
On the System Components page, you can keep the default values because they are appropriate for most cases.
Because OHS was selected, it should be added on the OHS Server page.

On the Configuration Summary page, verify the summary and choose Create.

After the domain creation is complete, choose Next.
At the end of the Configuration page, choose Finish.

Start all servers to complete configuration

Ports for this installation:

Admin server – 7001
Forms Managed Server – 9001
Reports Managed Server – 9002

Complete the following steps:

Create and configure the boot.properties file:

export DOMAIN_HOME=/rdsdbdata/weblogic/product/12.2.1.4/user_projects/domains/base_domain

mkdir -p $DOMAIN_HOME/servers/AdminServer/security

echo “username=weblogic” > $DOMAIN_HOME/servers/AdminServer/security/boot.properties

echo “password=########” >> $DOMAIN_HOME/servers/AdminServer/security/boot.properties

mkdir -p $DOMAIN_HOME/servers/WLS_FORMS/security

cp $DOMAIN_HOME/servers/AdminServer/security/boot.properties $DOMAIN_HOME/servers/WLS_FORMS/security/boot.properties

mkdir -p $DOMAIN_HOME/servers/WLS_REPORTS/security

cp $DOMAIN_HOME/servers/AdminServer/security/boot.properties $DOMAIN_HOME/servers/WLS_REPORTS/security/boot.properties

Run the following commands to start Node Manager:

cd /rdsdbdata/weblogic/product/12.2.1.4/user_projects/domains/base_domain/bin

(nohup ./startNodeManager.sh &)&

Validate the Node Manager process is running by checking the nodemanager process at OS level.
Start the WebLogic server from $DOMAIN_HOME/bin:

$ ./startWebLogic.sh &

It usually takes 1–2 minutes for the server to transition to the RUNNING state. Look for the following message in the startup logs:

<Notice> <WebLogicServer> <BEA-000365> <Server state changed to RUNNING.>

Access the WebLogic console using the URL http://<application server hostname>:7001/console.

The Enterprise Manager console URL is http://<application server host name>:7001/em/.

Check the Oracle Forms services launch at http://<application server host name>:<forms managed server port>/forms.

You might encounter the following error while accessing the Enterprise Manager console:

Caused By: java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Malformed IPv6 address at index 8: ldap://[10.1.1.47]:7001
at java.net.URI.create(URI.java:852)
at com.sun.jndi.ldap.LdapURL.validateURI(LdapURL.java:215)
at com.sun.jndi.ldap.LdapURL.fromList(LdapURL.java:192)
at

Based on Internal Error Attempting to Login to WebCenter Portal After Applying Java8 Update 331+: Malformed IPv6 address at index 8 (Doc ID 2865449.1), you need to apply the Oracle Home patch Patch 33903365: OAM CONSOLE LOGIN FAILS AFTER APPLYING 1.80.331 JDK ( APRIL JAVA CPU ).

Start the WLS Forms and WLS Reports managed servers:

nohup $DOMAIN_HOME/bin/startManagedWebLogic.sh WLS_FORMS > /dev/null 2>&1 &

nohup $DOMAIN_HOME/bin/startManagedWebLogic.sh WLS_REPORTS > /dev/null 2>&1 &

Clean up

If you no longer need the environment, don’t forget to delete your RDS instance.

Conclusion

In this post, we provided a comprehensive step-by-step guide for installing Oracle Forms and Reports with RDS Custom for Oracle. By following these instructions, you can successfully set up an environment and take advantage of the power of Oracle Forms and Reports in conjunction with RDS Custom for Oracle. For more information, refer to Working with Amazon RDS Custom and Installing and Configuring Oracle Forms and Reports.

About the Authors

Arnab Saha is a Senior Database Specialist Solutions Architect at AWS. Arnab specializes in Amazon RDS, Amazon Aurora, and Amazon EBS. He provides guidance and technical assistance to customers, enabling them to build scalable, highly available, and secure solutions in the AWS Cloud.

Nitin Saxena is a Software Development Manager in RDS DBS Managed Commercial Engines with Amazon Web Services. He focuses on services like RDS Oracle and RDS Custom for Oracle. He enjoys designing and developing new features on RDS Oracle and RDS Custom to solve customer problems.

Siva Vinnakota is a Specialist Solution Architect at AWS. He works with public sector customers in migrating their ERP workloads to AWS . He has over 16 years of experience in ERP solutions and enjoys working with customers to help scale, secure, optimize and modernize ERP workloads on AWS.

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