Skip to main content

Running APEX on 11gR2 using Sun's (Oracle's?) VirtualBox

Today I decided that I needed an environment to play with the latest and greatest Oracle RDBMS : 11gR2. This version is only available for Unix platforms, so I needed a virtual environment to get that working on my laptop - running on XP.
You can pick any kind of virtualization software, but, due to the recent take-over of Sun by Oracle, I decided to go for what's currently known as Sun's VirtualBox. I guess this product will re-branded to Oracle's VirtualBox somewhere soon.
So what are the steps:

1. Download VirtualBox from http://www.virtualbox.org/ and run the installer.

2. Start VirtualBox, click 'New' and enter a Name, Operating and Version for the Virtual machine. This is gonna be a 100% Oracle thing, so I installed Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL).

3. Oracle 11gR2 needs 1Gb of RAM, so set the memory size to 1024 - you can change this afterwards.

4. Create a new boot harddisk with dynamically expanding storage.









5. On the next page you have to set the 'size of the virtual hard disk'. This is not the initial size, but the maximum to which the harddisk can be expanded. So don't take it too small, because adding or expanding a hard disk to a current installation is not so easy...(as I have experienced).














6. Next start the VM and install OEL from a DVD or ISO download. I installed it with all defaults, with support for Software Development and Webserver. Honestly I have no idea what is added by checking these features, but I checked it just because that's what I want to use it for.

7. Now take a break - or do something else - while OEL is being installed... it takes a while.










8. After installation you have to configure OEL. You can accept all defaults, I just changed the settings for the Firewall to accept HTTP request on port 8080 - the one we're going to use for running APEX.













9. Next add a Shared Folder in VirtualBox - a folder that can be used by both the host and the guest OS. To use it within the Linux environment: login as root, mount the VBoxGuestAdditons.iso (by pressing the Host-D key, whereby Host is the right Ctrl key by default), copy VBoxLinuxAddtions-x86.run to the Desktop and run it. Restart the VM when that's finished.

10. Mount the added shared drive: sudo mount -t vboxsf Shared /media/shared






11. In the Host OS: Download the two 11gR2 disks, copy them to c:\shared, unzip them - of course you can do that in the Guest system also, but not while you're installing it ;-). Install 11gR2 on the Guest OS following the steps in the documentation. Again some time for a good cup of coffee....









12. 11gR2 is shipped with APEX, so it just takes two steps to get it running:
Open up the EPG using port 8080 : Start SQLPlus, login as SYS, exec dbms_xdb.sethttpport(8080) and set a password for the APEX Admin user by executing the apxchpwd script (located in /home/oracle/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/apex for a default installation). Now you can open up the browser, navigate to http://localhost:8080/apex/apex_admin and off you go.

13. Now where almost there...because now we want to use the database in the VM from the browser in the Host OS. Therefore we need to set up Port Forwarding in VirtualBox. Shutdown the Guest VM and VirtualBox. Run these three commands:
vboxmanage setextradata OEL "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/Apex/HostPort" 8080
vboxmanage setextradata OEL "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/Apex/GuestPort" 8080
vboxmanage setextradata OEL "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/Apex/Protocol" TCP
Startup VirtualBox and the VM. If the database doesn't start, login as the oracle user, set the environment (. /usr/local/bin/oraenv), start the listener (lsnrctl start) and start the database (sqlplus sys as sysdba and enter 'startup').
Now we can use the APEX on Oracle 11gR2 in a Oracle Enterprise Linux VirtualBox from an XP Host OS. And it runs very fast....!!

One final remark: If you've got an Oracle instance running on your Host OS, http://localhost:8080/apex will open up the login page from your Host. So you either have to shut that down, or forward another HostPort (like 8081).
6 comments

Popular posts from this blog

Showing a success message after closing a modal dialog

APEX 5 comes with Modal Dialogs out of the box. Very neat. Especially for adding and changing data. And to minimise the number of time a user has to click, it could be useful to add a "Close Dialog" process after the actual data processing. When the data processing fails, the Dialog stays on top showing the error. When data processing runs fine, the Dialog is closed ... without any confirmation. And this might be scary for a shaky user.

So how can we provide the user some feedback? On Page 4 of the Sample Dialog Application you can see one solution: up on a Dialog Closed Event on the parent page it does a redirect to refresh the parent page appending the success message of the "Close Dialog" process. This has two drawbacks. First, it probably refreshes more than necessary. And second, if you're using multiple layers of dialogs (dialogs that open other dialogs) the message appears in the "parent dialog".
As an alternative you could follow these steps: 1…

It's happening again ... running for the ODTUG Board of Directors 😉

For the third time in a row I'll be running for ODTUG's Board of Directors. But after ending as a runner up twice, I am sure I'm going to make it this time! But not without your help!

My campaign statement this year is:
I have been attending and presenting at Kscope conferences since 2007. This not only resulted in a vast amount of knowledge, but also - and even more important - a huge number of friends from all over the globe.  I want to see ODTUG grow and spread this community feeling even more! 
My experience as an attendee, presenter and content lead has provided the basic foundation to be a director. Next to that, my personality and (global) network will be beneficial to the whole board and organization. 
Since March I have served on the Board of Directors in a limited term for a Director who stepped down due to a career change. This has allowed me to have unique insight of all the things that are going on in and around the ODTUG organization. As the train was already ro…

Consuming a REST Web Service returning JSON in APEX

In APEX you can define a web service that returns XML as below - all declarative, just a few steps through a wizard.


Then generate a report on top of that web service - again just a few clicks through a wizard. The generated query looks like this:
select xtab."customerName"      , xtab."customerId"   from apex_collections c,            XMLTable('/Response/S_getCustomerListTableArray/S_getCustomerListArrayItem' passing xmltype001             COLUMNS "customerName" PATH 'customerName'                   , "customerId"   PATH 'customerId'           ) xtab  where c.collection_name = 'CUSTOMERLIST'
So the result of the web service is stored in an XMLTYPE column. And it's easy to spot where you're definitions for the Response XPath and Output Parameters are used.
But what if your web service returns JSON - as more and more web services will do so? If you switch the Output Format of the web service definition to JSON, th…