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Running WSAD and WAS with Oracle

Running WSAD and WAS with Oracle

During a recent EAI project, it came to my attention that it is difficult to find documentation on the topic of installing Oracle into WebSphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD) and WebSphere Application Server (WAS) 5.0. This article will attempt to expedite the search for this information by discussing both installation processes.

Step 1: Install Oracle

The first step is to install the Oracle drivers and the tnsnames.ora file into our system. To do this, install the Oracle client onto the machine that contains WSAD by following the instructions provided by Oracle. For simplicity's sake, this article assumes use of the defaults provided by the Oracle installation wizard.

Step 2: Set Up the Default User Password
This is part of the new J2C security configuration and it is located on the Security tab. In this section, we will create a user ID and password and assign it to an alias ID. This alias is required in Step 5.

  • Select the Security tab. It is located three tabs to the right of the Data Source tab.
  • Next, add a JAAS Authentication Entry by selecting the Add button next to JAAS Authentication Entries.
  • Fill in the following information and select the OK button:
    -Alias: OracleUser
    -User ID: The Oracle-defined user ID
    -Password: The password for the Oracle user
    -Description: Default Oracle user

    Step 3: Create a Server and Configuration
    WSAD uses an embedded server to test development code. To use this server we must first create a new server and configuration. Create a new server by selecting New -> Other -> Server/Configuration from the menu.

    On the first screen enter Test Server as the server name and select Test Environment as the server type. Use the default port of 9080 and click on the Finish button. This will create a new server and configuration in the Server Configuration screen located in the lower panel of WSAD.

    Step 4: Add the JDBC Driver
    This step will link the Oracle driver we installed in Step 1 to the newly created server/configuration.

  • First, select the server and select the Data Source tab. This tab sets the configuration on the server.
  • From the Data Source tab of the server configuration, select the Add button. This will display a list of databases.
  • From this list, select the Oracle database; this will populate the provider types.
  • From the provider types list, select JDBC:Thin:Driver.
  • Select the Next button and assign the name OracleThinDriver to this driver.
  • Finally, select the Finish button.

    Step 5: Add the Data Source
    The data source is where we assign the JNDI name and alias users.

  • First, highlight the JDBC provider that we created in Step 3 and select the Add button.
  • A popup window will appear that requires the selection of a type of driver; here again, select JDBC:Thin: Driver.
  • We have two options available on this screen, enabling us to select a version 5.0 data source or a version 4.0 data source. In this article, we are concerned only with new functionality and therefore will not be discussing the 4.0 setup. Select the 5.0 data source and then click the Next button.
  • Leave the name and JNDI at their default values.
  • Select the Alias list box and choose the alias created in Step 2, OracleUser. Add this alias to both types of authentication.
  • Finally, select the Finish button.

    Step 6: Edit the Resource
    The only required field in the Resources screen is the URL. This field is used by the server to look up the tnsnames.ora file and find the port to the database. Select the URL and make the following modification.

    The URL format is jdbc:oracle:thin: @xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:1521:dbalias. This URL is broken into four sections delimited by colons. The URL is defined as follows:

    • Provider type
    • Oracle host IP address
    • Oracle listener port
    • Oracle database name
    This URL needs to match the Oracle configuration for your installation. It is essential that these fields match the corresponding tnsnames.ora file. If any of the information is incorrect, you'll receive errors.

    Figure 1 is an example of the completed data source.

    Now that we've configured our WSAD environment, we can proceed to testing. This can be completed in six steps:
    1.  Create a new Web project.
    2.  Copy the servlet code from Listing 1 into your new Web project. Modify the table name and column name in the servlet code to match the table and columns in your database.
    3.  Modify the user ID and password to match your database.
    4.  Modify your web.xml to initialize the servlet on startup.
    5.  Publish the project to the server/ configuration we created earlier.
    6.  Start the server.

    If successful, the server console will now display the output of our table.

    The Admin Console is now run through the Deployment Manager. We will not go into detail on this process, as that is out of scope for this article. However, it is important to understand that all configuration management is handled via the Deployment Manager. If you would like more information on this topic, refer to the IBM Redbook (SG24-6195-00), titled "IBM WebSphere Version 5.0 System Management and Configuration."

    Step 1: Install Oracle
    We must install the Oracle drivers on each application server. The Oracle driver is a server resource and the Deployment Manager does not manage it. To do this, install the Oracle client onto the machine that contains WAS by following the instructions provided by Oracle. As before, use the defaults provided by the Oracle installation wizard.

    Step 2: Create the J2C Default User ID and Password
    Now we need to set up our alias, which will be required in Step 5.

  • Start the application server and deployment manager, and log in to the Admin Console.
  • Select the Security link.
  • Next, select the JAAS Configuration link. A list of menu options should be displayed.
  • Select the J2C Authentication Data link, which will pop up a screen that displays the J2C authentication data entries.
  • Select the New button and a window will display that enables the input of the alias information. Fill in the following information and select the OK button:
    -Alias: OracleUser
    -User ID: The user ID that you have set up in Oracle
    -Password: The password that you have set up in Oracle for the user ID above
    -Description: Default Oracle user

    Step 3: Add the JDBC Driver

  • Expand the Resources tree and select the JDBC providers. This brings up the screen that requires the selection of a scope. You must select a scope and then the Apply button. If you do not select the Apply button, none of the modifications made in the next few steps will be propagated to the correct scope.
  • In this exercise, we will propagate the changes at the cell level, which implies that the changes propagate to all nodes and servers within the given cluster. Select the Apply button and then the New button.
  • A screen will appear that displays a list of JDBC providers. Select the Oracle JDBC Thin Driver and then the OK button.
  • On the next screen, we will accept the defaults values; notice that the classpath has a path variable for Oracle. We will set up this variable in Step 5.
  • Finally, select the OK button.

    Step 4: Add the Data Source

  • Select the JDBC driver from the list of installed drivers.
  • Select the Data Source link at the bottom of the page. Select the version 5.0 data source. This is marked as "Data Source" on the screen, while the version 4 data source is marked as "Data Source (version 4.0)."
  • Next, assign the JNDI name to the data source. Click the New button and a screen will appear that requires the input of the name and JNDI name. The application server does not put any default values into these fields. We will enter the same values that were the defaults in the WSAD example. For name enter data source 1, and for JNDI name enter jdbc/ds1.
  • Select the list box on Container Managed and select the alias created in Step 2.
  • Press the OK button

    Step 5: Add the Resource

  • Select the Data Source link. This will display the data source panel.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select the Custom properties link.
  • The only required field is the URL; therefore, select the URL from the Name column.
  • The URL format is: jdbc:oracle: thin:@xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:1521:dbalias. This URL should be defined in the same manner as in WSAD Step 6.
  • Input the correct data into the URL value field and select the OK button.
  • Select the Save option in the upper right-hand corner to save the configuration to the master configuration file. This will propagate the configuration to the nodes within the cluster

    Step 6: Create the JDBC Driver Environment Variable
    The final step is to create an environment variable that enables WAS to access the JDBC driver.

  • First, select the Environment link on the left toolbar.
  • Next, select the Manage WebSphere Variables link. This will display a list of variables managed by WebSphere. We must remember to select the scope of the change as we did for setting up the data source.
  • Select cell level and press the Apply button.
  • Modify the value to correspond to the location of your Oracle driver. The default is "c:\oracle\ora81\jdbc\lib".
  • Select the Save button in the upper right-hand corner.

    Now that we have configured our WAS environment, we need to test our configuration. This can be completed in six easy steps:
    1.  Create a new Web project.
    2.  Copy the servlet code as before into your new Web project. Modify the table name and column name in the servlet code to match the table and columns in your database.
    3.  Modify your web.xml to initialize the servlet on startup.
    4.  Create a WAR file wrapping the servlet code for deployment.
    5.  Install the WAR file into WAS as a new enterprise application.
    6.  Start the application.

    If we were successful, the log files of your server console should display our table information.

  • More Stories By Troy Holmes

    My name is Troy Holmes, I live in Northern Virginia. I have been working in the IT industry for 14 years currently working as a J2EE architect using Websphere 5.0. I have completed several large scale J2EE applications using both BEA and WebSphere. I am a certified Java Programmer, currently preparing for SCWCD and SCJA. I have been working in the java environment for 5 years. I am proficient in Java, C++, Power builder, VB, Unix Shell. I have more then 5 years experience in Oracle and 2 years experience in Informix. My professional background ranges from System Administrator to System Architect.

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    Most Recent Comments
    Pallavi 09/15/04 02:04:49 PM EDT

    Very good article. I had lots of problems with Oracle and WSAD connectivity. This article helped me to solve all the problems!

    Jesse Aalberg 07/31/03 08:47:00 PM EDT

    You think this is an obscure topic, try finding some info on using Oracle 9i JDBC OCI driver! FWIW, the KEY difference when using this driver is the DataSource URL. It must be jdbc:oracle:oci:@ , where is the entry in your tnsnames.ora file.

    I've spent so much time trying to get this to work, and have only recently accomplished it. Just thought I'd share.

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