Of the many things Oracle Corporation needs to fix, one big one is their installers and the accompanying documentation. They are, simply, negligent.
The definition of negligence is “failure to act with the prudence that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances”
I’ve been spending the last few days setting up infrastructure for Oracle UCM (Universal Content Manager). Due to the “new-ness” of UCM 11g, we’re going with UCM 10gR3 which has been out for a few years and has been thru many updates. Yes, Oracle acquired this software when it bought Stellent. That was in 2006 and Oracle has released their own versions since then. So no excuses there.
Nowhere in those updates did Oracle think to improve their installation.
Here’s just some of the issues I’ve had to deal with on this software. Please understand this isn’t some cheap piece of software – licensing for our environment was somewhere north of $1M. We’re also using the latest version of Oracle’s flagship database (11gR2 Enterprise Edition) and used the dbca (Database Creation Assistant) to create the database.
1) When creating a database using DBCA, which is Oracle’s recommended method, it doesn’t even follow Oracle’s standards for controlfiles or redologs – things that are critical to having a database setup for maximum resistance to disk corruption issues.
a) DBCA by default will create 2 controlfiles – Oracle’s standard is 3 controlfiles.
b) DBCA by default will create 3 redo log file groups each with one member and names each member redo0X.log (X is 1, 2 or 3) and makes them each 50Meg in size. Oracle’s standard is actually 3 groups each with 2 members. Although not Oracle’s standards, I cannot fathom why they would make the file extension .log – you’re just begging for someone to accidentally forget those are critical to database operation and just delete what could easily be construed as unnecessary logging files.
1) Nowhere in the installation guide does it tell you the characterset HAS to be AL32UTF8 for the automatic installation to succeed.
2) The scripts to automatically create the user for UCM don’t appear to work, but in Oracle’s defense that may somehow be my fault. I can’t get them to work.
3) In the UCM guide Oracle gives sample code for creating a tablespace for the UCM data – yet those create scripts are built for a database that doesn’t use locally managed tablespaces. Locally managed tablespaces was released with Oracle 9i database and UCM requires 9i or higher, so there’s just no reason for this.
4) If you’re doing the install on Linux and using Apache (which I suspect would be the majority of installs), Oracle doesn’t automatically make the necessary changes to Apache needed to get the product working. The pre-installation tasks and considerations (Chapter 3) don’t mention this. The step by step installation instructions (Chapter 4) don’t mention anything about manual setup. The installer itself asks you what web server you wish to use and gives you the following options
2. Sun ONE
3. Configure manually
Doesn’t that imply that if you choose Apache it will be setup automatically?
In Chapter 5 (Post-Installation Tasks and Considerations), the section on Web Servers says
“If, during the installation of the Content Server software, you chose to configure the web server manually, you need to perform a number of tasks to set up and configure the web server for use with Content Server. For further details refer to Appendix A”
Again, doesn’t that imply that since I chose Apache it was setup automatically?
It isn’t until you end up at Appendix A do you find this “Since Apache cannot be configured automatically by the Content Server installer, you need to do it manually” Once you do try those steps, you’ll notice they use non-default filename paths and inconsistent server instance names in their examples.
Seriously Oracle, this is negligent. I could write out similar blog posts about most Oracle products I’ve had to install over the years.
Oracle, before you publish your documentation, take it to someone not on the development team, give them the documentation and have them try and follow the steps. I think you’ll be surprised by the results.