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Don Burleson Blog 









Oracle9iAS Component Overview

Oracle Application Server Tips by Burleson Consulting

Let?s begin out tour of Oracle9iAS with a brief review of the component pieces of Oracle9iAS.  It is important to note that not all shops will have all of these components installed, but Oracle9iAS allows for any or all of these components to be created inside the architecture. 

Oracle Portal

The component allows for the fast definition and deployment of web pages.  Like the non-Oracle tools such as DreamWeaver and MS FrontPage, Oracle Portal allows the developer to create and deploy web content.  The important difference is that Oracle Portal allows the developer to include content dynamically created, personalized web pages from multiple data sources using Portlets.  The Oracle Portal product provides the following features:

  • Portal page creation, management and maintenance.

  • The assembly of web content from multiple sources using Portlets.

  • Web page content that contains data retrieved from a database.

  • Portal content publishing facilities using easy wizards.

  • Advanced features such as text searching (via Oracle Text) and wireless support via XML and HTML  interfaces

These components fit-together into an architecture that allows developers to quickly create and deploy web page content (Figure 1.8).

Figure 8: The Oracle9iAS Portal Architecture

In Figure 1.8 we see that Portal administrator defining the Portlet content and the content for the basic web pages.  At run-time, Portal users access these definitions to create dynamic publishing content, using the Portlet definitions, the web page definitions, and data from inside the Oracle database. It is beyond the scope of this book to examine all of the content deliver features of Oracle Portal.  For complete information of using Oracle Portal see the Oracle Press book Oracle9i Application Server Portal Handbook by Vandiver & Cox.

Oracle Discoverer

This component allows for the easy end-user query implementation. In essence, Oracle Discoverer is an ad-hoc query, reporting, analysis, and Web publishing tool. Like Crystal Reports and Business Objects, Oracle Discoverer provides a GUI metaphor for the specification of Oracle database content and display format. 

In addition Oracle Discoverer is a business analysis intelligence tools, with interfaces with Oracle Clickstream and the Oracle database.  When using Oracle Discoverer, the end-user develops workbooks.  At a high level, a workbook is a bundle of metadata that includes the following components:

  • The tables that participate in the query

  • The report formatting for the result set

  • The calculations to perform on the data

Once defined, these workbooks allow inexperienced end-users to easily create ad-hoc reports against the Oracle database using the Discoverer End-User Layer (EUL) GUI interface.  In addition, Oracle Discoverer allows for the end user to view summary data at several levels, and includes components that allow the end-user to drill-down into more detail or roll-up into summary level (Figure 1.9).

Figure 9: Oracle9iAS Discoverer Architecture

As we see in Figure 1.9, there are two main phases in Discoverer usage.  The first step is the Discoverer Administrator creating the workbooks by specifying the tables, formatting and computation rules for any given report.  The second phase is the run-time phase, where the end-user accesses the EUL and created customized reports using the Discoverer Wizards.

The core of administration for Oracle Discoverer is the development and maintenance of the workbooks and metadata objects.  For example, each time and end-user runs a report, Discoverer refers to eul_qpp_statistics metadata table in the infrastructure to produce a time estimate for the report.  For more details on the administration and use of Oracle Discoverer, see the Oracle Press book, Oracle Discoverer Handbook, Armstrong-Smith.

Oracle Form Server

This component is used to format and deploy and render end-user presentation pages.  An evolution of the Oracle SQL*Forms application development tool, the Oracle Forms Server was originally used to render screen display from Oracle content.  Enhanced to provide support for HTML, Oracle Forms Server is now used within Oracle9iAS to render web pages that include Oracle database content.

Because the Oracle Forms Server is the main engine for rendering web pages, the tuning and administration of the Forms Server is a critical aspect of Oracle9iAS administration.  We will be discussing Oracle Forms Server administration and tuning in more details in Chapter 10, Performance Tuning with Oracle9iAS.

This is an excerpt from "Oracle 10g Application Server Administration Handbook" by Don Burleson and John Garmany.


If you like Oracle tuning, you may enjoy the new book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", over 900 pages of BC's favorite tuning tips & scripts. 

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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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