APEX installation via the Oracle Protocol Server (listener)

From time to time, people on the OTN XMLDB forum, ask if it is possible to connect via the Oracle Protocol Server (aka the Oracle Listener), for instance in combination with APEX and DBMS_EPG. I am not sure if it is an already official supported environment, but the following works as demonstrated in this step-by-step manual

Ingredients

Ingredients needed:

  • Oracle RDBMS 10.2.0.3.0 (Enterprise Edition) and/of higher version
  • APEX 2.2.1
  • Windows 2003 / XP

Shortlist

The following list is the shortlist regarding installing APEX via the Oracle Protocol Server ….

1. Install the Oracle database software and apply the 10.2.0.3 patch
2. Create a database with (among others) XML DB installed
3. Download the APEX software
(http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database/application_express/download.html)
4. Copy the APEX directory into the %ORACLE_HOME% software path
5. Enable the HTTP (or HTTPS and/or FTP) Oracle Protocol Server (aka the Oracle Listener)
6. Install the APEX packages in the database
7. Install/enable the DBMS_EPG and DAD procedures
8. Allow anonymous access on the database HTTP port
9. Create extra shared server processes

Be-aware that if you enable access via port numbers beneath port 1024; that the user under which the process is started, needs superuser privileges. In my case the software is installed under a Oracle Windows OS user, that also has Windows local administrator privileges. If this is not the case (or you don’t want this because of security reasons) then you will have to connect on a port higher then 1024 (for instance the default 8080 HTTP XML DB port).

Step-by-step example

Create your database instance (mine has been called “LAB”) and start database and the listener service. As said, download the APEX 2.2.1 software via http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database/application_express/download.html and unzip the file to a temporary directory. This temporary directory now holds a “core” directory which contains the APEX software.

Copy this software to the ORACLE_HOME directory (in my case %ORACLE_HOME%=F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1).

Go to the created F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1\core directory and set your ORACLE_HOME and ORACLE_SID (in my case this ORACLE_SID=LAB) in a command window (start=>run=>CMD)

F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1>cd apex
 
F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1\apex>set ORACLE_HOME=F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1
 
F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1\apex>set ORACLE_SID=LAB

Open a SQL*Plus session and set the HTTP (and/or FTP) port you want for the APEX software (for instance default port 80 for HTTP data traffic and default port 21 for FTP data traffic).

F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1\apex>sqlplus /nolog
 
SQL*Plus: Release 10.2.0.3.0 - Production ON Mon DEC 18 14:31:36 2006
 
Copyright (c) 1982, 2006, Oracle.  ALL rights reserved.
 
SQL> conn / AS sysdba
Connected.
 
SQL> CALL dbms_xdb.setHttpPort(80);
 
CALL completed.
 
SQL> CALL dbms_xdb.setFtpPort(21);
 
CALL completed.
 
SQL> ALTER system register;
 
System altered.

You can check if the listener has picked up the HTTP and FTP settings by executing the following in a windows command box.

C:\Documents and Settings\oracle>lsnrctl status
 
LSNRCTL for 32-bit Windows: Version 10.2.0.3.0 - Production on 18-DEC-2006 14:28:05
 
Copyright (c) 1991, 2006, Oracle.  All rights reserved.
 
Connecting to (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=TCP)(HOST=loopback.amis.nl)(PORT=1521)))
STATUS of the LISTENER
 
Alias                     LISTENER
Version                   TNSLSNR for 32-bit Windows: Version 10.2.0.3.0 - Produ
ction
Start Date                18-DEC-2006 13:24:27
Uptime                    0 days 1 hr. 3 min. 38 sec
Trace Level               off
Security                  ON: Password or Local OS Authentication
SNMP                      OFF
Listener Parameter File   F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1\NETWORK\ADMIN\listener.o
ra
Listener Log File         F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1\network\log\listener.log
 
Listening Endpoints Summary
  (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=tcp)(HOST=VAMISNT02)(PORT=1521)))
  (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=tcp)(HOST=VAMISNT02)(PORT=80))(Presentation=HT
TP)(Session=RAW))
  (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=tcp)(HOST=VAMISNT02)(PORT=21))(Presentation=FT
P)(Session=RAW))
Services Summary
Service "LAB" has 2 instance(s).
  Instance "LAB", status UNKNOWN, has 1 handler(s) for this service
  Instance "lab", status READY, has 1 handler(s) for this service
Service "labXDB" has 1 instance(s).
  Instance "lab", status READY, has 1 handler(s) for this service
Service "lab_XPT" has 1 instance(s).
  Instance "lab", status READY, has 1 handler(s) for this service
The command completed successfully

Install the APEX software by (while starting from the APEX directory) executing the following statements in SQL*Plus and executing the APEX installation script apexins.sql.

The apexins.sql has to be executed via the SYS database account and it has the following parameters:

Rem  Copyright (c) Oracle Corporation 1999 - 2006. ALL Rights Reserved.
Rem
Rem    NAME
Rem      apexins.SQL
Rem
Rem    DESCRIPTION
Rem
Rem    NOTES
Rem      Assumes the SYS USER IS connected.
Rem
Rem    REQUIRENTS
Rem      - Oracle 10g
Rem
Rem    Arguments:
Rem     POSITION 1: Password FOR APEX Admin account, application DB USER, AND files DB USER
Rem     POSITION 2: Name OF tablespace FOR HTMLD DB application USER
Rem     POSITION 3: Name OF tablespace FOR HTMLD DB files USER
Rem     POSITION 4: Name OF TEMPORARY tablespace
Rem     POSITION 5: Virtual directory FOR APEX images
Rem     POSITION 6: The TNS CONNECT string TO the DATABASE, IF LOCAL install, USE NONE OR NONE
Rem
Rem    Example:
Rem
Rem    1)LOCAL
Rem      sqlplus "sys/syspass as sysdba" @apexins password SYSAUX SYSAUX TEMP /i/ NONE
Rem
Rem    2)WITH CONNECT string
Rem      sqlplus "sys/syspass@10g as sysdba" @apexins password SYSAUX SYSAUX TEMP /i/ 10g
Rem

Now login and execute the install script:

F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1\apex>sqlplus /nolog
 
SQL*Plus: Release 10.2.0.3.0 - Production ON Mon DEC 18 14:31:36 2006
 
Copyright (c) 1982, 2006, Oracle.  ALL rights reserved.
 
SQL> conn / AS sysdba
Connected.
SQL>
 
SQL> @apexins.SQL admin SYSAUX SYSAUX TEMP /i/ NONE
..
. Application Express Installation.
...
PL/SQL PROCEDURE successfully completed.
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
VII.   L O A D    E N G L I S H   D I C T I O N A R Y
 
TRIGGER altered.
 
10000 ROWS
20000 ROWS
30000 ROWS
40000 ROWS
50000 ROWS
60000 ROWS
70000 ROWS
timing FOR: English Dictionary
Elapsed: 00:06:06.25
 
Thank you FOR installing Oracle Application Express.
 
Oracle Application Express IS installed IN the FLOWS_020200 schema.
 
The STRUCTURE OF the link TO the Application Express administration services IS
AS follows:
http://host:port/pls/apex/apex_admin
 
The STRUCTURE OF the link TO the Application Express development interface IS AS
 follows:
http://host:port/pls/apex
 
timing FOR: Upgrade
Elapsed: 00:00:00.10
JOB_QUEUE_PROCESSES: 10
Completing registration process.
Validating installation.
timing FOR: Validate Installation
Elapsed: 00:01:38.23
timing FOR: Complete Installation
Elapsed: 00:20:29.32
Disconnected FROM Oracle DATABASE 10g Enterprise Edition Release 10.2.0.3.0 - Pr
oduction
WITH the Partitioning, OLAP AND DATA Mining options

Configure the DAD and virtual path to the installed database images via configuring DBMS_EPG (by calling script apex_epg_config.sql). The apex_epg_config.sql script has to be executed via the SYS database account and it needs your ORACLE_HOME setting as variable.

Rem
Rem
Rem htmldb_epg_config.SQL
Rem
Rem Copyright (c) 2004,2006, Oracle Corporation.  ALL rights reserved.
Rem
Rem    NAME
Rem      apex_epg_config.SQL - Application Express Embedded PL/SQL Gateway Configuration
Rem
Rem    DESCRIPTION
Rem      This script should be run AS SYS AND takes one argument, the path
Rem      TO the Oracle Home. The script will LOAD the images INTO XDB AND THEN configure
Rem      a DAD FOR USE BY Application Express IN the Embedded PL/SQL Gateway.

Login and execute the apex_epg_config.sql script

F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1\apex>sqlplus /nolog
 
SQL*Plus: Release 10.2.0.3.0 - Production ON Mon DEC 18 14:55:48 2006
 
Copyright (c) 1982, 2006, Oracle.  ALL rights reserved.
 
SQL> conn / AS sysdba
Connected.
SQL> @apex_epg_config.SQL F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1
 
PL/SQL PROCEDURE successfully completed.
 
PL/SQL PROCEDURE successfully completed.
 
OLD   1: CREATE directory APEX_IMAGES AS '/apex/images'
NEW   1: CREATE directory APEX_IMAGES AS 'F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1/apex/images'
 
Directory created.
 
PL/SQL PROCEDURE successfully completed.
 
Commit complete.
 
timing FOR: LOAD Images
Elapsed: 00:01:29.32
 
SESSION altered.
 
PL/SQL PROCEDURE successfully completed.
 
PL/SQL PROCEDURE successfully completed.
 
PL/SQL PROCEDURE successfully completed.
 
Commit complete.
 
SESSION altered.
 
Directory dropped.

Grant anonymous access on the database / HTTP port by unlocking the anonymous account and (regarding performance reasons) increase the amount of share servers.

F:\oracle\product\10.2.0\db_1\apex>sqlplus /nolog
 
SQL*Plus: Release 10.2.0.3.0 - Production ON Mon DEC 18 14:55:48 2006
 
Copyright (c) 1982, 2006, Oracle.  ALL rights reserved.
 
SQL> conn / AS sysdba
Connected.
 
SQL> ALTER USER anonymous account UNLOCK;
 
USER altered.
 
SQL> ALTER system SET shared_servers = 5;
 
System altered.
 
SQL> ALTER system register;
 
System altered.

Now you can connect to APEX via http://yourserver:port/apex and http://yourserver:port/apex/apex_admin.

In my case this will be http://vamisnt02/apex/ and http://vamisnt02/apex/apex_admin.

Because I used “admin” as a password during the apexins.sql script you can now login into the http://vamisnt02/apex/apex_admin page with the username/password combination: admin/admin

I hope I have been of help.

:-)

Marco.

PS.

Extra info on the XML DB Protocol Server can be found in the Oracle XML DB Developers Guide, among others here: http://download-east.oracle.com/docs/cd/B19306_01/appdev.102/b14259/xdb22pro.htm#sthref2258

In certain cases, it may be useful to log the requests received and responses sent by a protocol server. This can be achieved by setting event number 31098 to level 2. To set this event, add the following line to your init.ora file and restart the database:

event="31098 trace name context forever, level 2"

To use HTTP(S) on the standard port, such as 80, your DBA must chown (on linux, unix) the TNS listener to setuid ROOT rather than setuid ORACLE, and configure the port number in the Oracle XML DB configuration file /xdbconfig.xml.

Extra very useful information and examples about DBMS_EPG can be found here:
http://www.oracle-base.com/articles/10g/dbms_epg_10gR2.php