Oracle XE / APEX: Release 0.3.0

We're pleased to announce that we've released 0.3.0 of the Oracle XE / APEX build scripts a few weeks ago. The release information is available here.

The following major changes were done to the build scripts:

  • Lots of script changes
    • Though not visible to the someone using the script, this will make things a lot easier for future releases of the script.
  • Suppress standard output
  • Support for APEX 5.0
  • Configuration file changed
    • Previously the configuration file was config.sh and all changes were made in there. The issue was that this file also contained some additional system configurations that made the file a bit messsy and complicated to read. To make things easier we've added a new config.properties which is the only thing that needs to be modified.
  • Node4ORDS Update
    • There was a bug which caused the webserver to keep crashing. This has been fixed. If you already have an existing installation using the build script read this article to update Node4ORDS.
  • Additional Documentaiton
    • One common question we get is "How do I connect to Oracle". To help out we've created a /docs folder with detailed information about various topics (including how to connect to Oracle). We'll be looking to add more documents in the future.

You can view the full list of changes here and you can download the current 0.3.0 release here. Thanks to Trent Schafer and Adrian Png for all their help with this release!

We're actively working on the 0.4.0 release. You can keep track of those changes on the issues page.

Node4ORDS Update

We recently found a bug in Node4ORDS that causes it to keep crashing. This is relevant if you have an existing Oracle XE / APEX VM since Node4ORDS is used as the webserver.

To apply the patch run the following script on your VM:

#Make sure you're root
if [ "$(whoami)" != "root" ]; then
  sudo -i
fi

#Stop node4ords
/etc/init.d/node4ords stop

#Backup/move public images to new location
cd /var/www
cp -r node4ords/public/ .

#Reinstall
rm -rf node4ords/
git clone https://github.com/OraOpenSource/node4ords.git
cd ./node4ords
npm install --unsafe-perm

#Restart
/etc/init.d/node4ords restart

As part of the fixed we've moved the public folder to /var/www/public. This way we can apply future updates without worrying about custom web files that you've added.

After applying this manual update, you can upgrade/update Node4ORDS automatically by running update.sh in the installation folder.

APEX 5.0 Now Supported

First off, congrats to the Oracle APEX team for releasing APEX 5.0 yesterda! It will truly revolutionize how Oracle developers develop applications from now on. 

Last night we tweaked the Oracle XE / APEX build scripts to support APEX 5.0. A few minor things changed with the installation process and it took us a while to go through those changes and upgrade the scripts. The good news is that the build scripts will also support APEX 4.x installations. We're not sure how long we'll support APEX 4.x builds and when that time comes that we must deprecate support you can use the 0.2.0 build scripts.

To get Oracle XE with APEX 5.0 up and running on a VM or on a cloud machine go to https://github.com/OraOpenSource/oraclexe-apex and follow the instructions. If you're new to this project we've have a video with a step-by-step guide on how to use it here

As always if you find any issues or want enhancements please create an issue on the project's Github page.

Oracle XE / APEX Build Script 0.2.0 Released

We're pleased to announce that today we released the 2nd minor release (0.2.0) for the Oracle XE / APEX build project: https://github.com/OraOpenSource/oraclexe-apex. Though this was a minor release they're a lot of great new features added to the build scripts.

Vagrant: Vagrant is a tool for building development environments. The build script now supports it and additional documentation is found on main page Github page.

Demo Data: By default if the user is created (managed by OOS_ORACLE_CREATE_USER_YN in config.sh) the demo EMP and DEPT tables will be created. To disable the creation of demo data modify the OOS_ORACLE_CREATE_USER_DEMO_DATA_YN configuration option.

If you want to install the demo tables at a later time you can manually run oracle/emp_dept.sql.

Firewall: To help secure the server, we only open ports 22 (SSH) and 80 (APEX/Web Server). Some people asked for the ability to open port 1521 to connect to Oracle using SQL*Plus. You can now enable this as part of the coniguration with the OOS_FIREWALL_ORACLE_YN option. Note: if you do open this port and connect to it, your communications are not secure as it is not an encrypted connection. If you access over a public network this is a huge security vulnerability so you should connect using SSH tunnelling. We'll blog about this soon.

rlwrap: rlwrap is now installed on the server. This will help if you need to use SQL*Plus on the server. The following blog post covers how to use it: http://www.talkapex.com/2013/03/oracle-instant-client-on-mac-os-x.html.

Create User Script: By default the build script creates a user called OOS_USER. If you want to create new users you can now reuse the same script we do: oracle/oracle_create_user.sql. It currently takes in 3 parameters: Username, Password, and Y/N create demo data. More help can be found in the file.

 

Besides the new features, this release is significant in that it will be the last release to support pre-APEX 5 installations as APEX 5.0 was released today. Sign up for our email list to be notified when we have it integrated APEX 5.

Some people have also asked us about SSL support as it's a major requirement to run the server with public content. We are aware of this request and already have an issue logged. We're waiting for Let's Encrypt to be released so that it's easy to add a SSL certificate.