ODC Appreciation Day : Silent Installation and Configuration (Automation) : #ThanksODC

Here is my entry for the Oracle Developer Community ODC Appreciation Day (#ThanksODC).

I’ve been mentioning automation a lot recently, both in relation to the cloud and on-prem. The OpenWorld announcements about the Autonomous Database service are not the first thing Oracle has done to ease automation of repetitive tasks. In fact, Oracle has quite a long history of making automation of installation and configuration easy.

I’m not sure what version introduced silent installations of the database, but I first wrote about them when using Oracle 9i (here), with the article changing a lot over the years. In addition to making installations faster, more repeatable and less error prone, they are also important these days if you are using a cloud provider for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), since using X emulation to perform tasks can be super-slow. Over the years I’ve also written about silent installations of WebLogic, Oracle Forms, ODI and OBIEE to name but a few.

In addition to installations, Oracle has made silent configuration possible too. Running the Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA) in silent mode is pretty simple (here). WebLogic Scripting Tool (WLST) is a not always easy, but it is a really powerful way to script build processes for WebLogic servers (here). If you are using Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, you will find an API for pretty much everything, allowing you to script using EMCLI (here).

You can find a number of articles I’ve written related to silent installation and configuration using the links above, or grouped under this section of my website.

A good knowledge of this subject is important if you want to start checking out Docker, because you will be doing silent builds and configuration for everything.

When you are learning something new it is nice to use GUI screens, as they often feel a little simpler at first and sometimes give you a little more context about what you are doing. Once you’ve covered the basics you should really switch to scripting, as it will make you more efficient. When I first started to manage WebLogic servers I resisted the switch to using WLST for quite some time. It seemed a little complicated and I was in denial until Lonneke Dikmans persuaded me to try it. Once I got into it I never looked back! 🙂

To summarise the advantages of scripting your installations and configuration, they are:

  • Faster.
  • More reliable.
  • More repeatable.
  • Work fine on the cloud and in Docker.
  • Easily maintainable and can be version controlled.

If you’re not using this stuff already, do yourself a favour and give it a go. You will thank yourself!



OBIEE, ODI, OBIA Semi-Silent Installations

I’ve written recently about doing OBIEE, ODI and OBIA installations here. A couple of days ago I tweeted about doing some more in a semi-silent manner, which saved loads of time. It took 1 day for the semi-silent approach compared to 3 days doing it the GUI way. I can’t talk about the process in detail, as I explained here, but I thought I would post an overview of the steps for those whose curiosity was peaked by my tweet.

  • DB Installation : Silent software-only installation of, as described here.
  • Database Creation : DBCA in silent mode to create a non-CDB instance, as described here.
  • WebLogic Installation : Silent installation of WebLogic 11g (10.3.6), including Java 7, as described here.
  • RCU : The first of two RCU install and runs. This one is similar to the silent install and run described in the OBIEE silent installation here.
  • OBIEE Installation : Silent installation of OBIEE 11g, as described here, but without the configuration stage, which is done later by OBIA.
  • ODI Installation : Silent installation of ODI 11g, as described here, but without the configuration stage, which is done later by OBIA.
  • OBIA RCU : We did this using the GUI because I’ve not had time to figure out the parameters to do it silently. It’s probably quite simple.
  • OBIA Installation : Silent installation of OBIA 11g using a response file we saved from the previous GUI installation.
  • OBIA Tech Patch : The command line instructions are with the patch, so we scripted it.
  • Patch Set Assistant : Three separate runs of this. We did it in GUI mode.
  • OBIA Configuration : Silent configuration of OBIA using a response file saved from a previous configuration.
  • BI Application Configuration : Silent configuration of OBIA using a response file saved from a previous configuration.
  • ODI Studio Configuration : We did this using the GUI.
  • Bundle Patch plus Extra Patches : On our version “opatch napply” wouldn’t work because of some version issues and conflicts, but we were able to apply the 8 patches in the bundle, plus an extra 3-4 patches. This was all scripted.
  • Additional Config : There were a bunch of manual fixes to files and admin console config, related known bugs.
  • That’s the end of the infrastructure part of the installation. At this point we handed it over to the functional folks to do their bit, which I know nothing about. 🙂

As you can see, we used a mix of scripted and manual steps. We are only doing 4 of these installations, so that approach seemed a reasonable compromise, rather than spending hours making it 100% silent. It’s a return on investment thing. 🙂

I’ve linked to examples on my website for the database, OBIEE and ODI stuff. I can’t say too much about the OBIA stuff, as I explained here, but most of that stuff is pretty straight forward if you use response files.

This stuff is all to support the link between Oracle Cloud Apps and our internal data warehouse. I’ll also be doing some OBIEE 12c and ODI 12c silent installations for our internal development, but these are simple and they are already on the website. 🙂



PS. Don’t ask me for help with this stuff. I’m a noob and I just know enough to get my bit done. If what I’ve put on my website helps that’s great. If not, ask someone who knows more about this than me! 🙂