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Oracle® Application Express Installation Guide
Release 4.2 for Oracle Database 12c

E17958-12
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1 Oracle Application Express Installation Overview

This chapter provides an overview of installing Oracle Application Express and describes issues to consider before installing.

1.1 Overview of the Installation Process

The installation process involves the following:

  1. Plan your installation: This chapter offers an overview of the steps required to install Oracle Application Express. During the planning phase, you should also determine whether to install a full development environment or runtime environment.

    A full development environment provides complete access to the Application Builder environment to develop applications. A runtime environment is an appropriate choice for production implementations in which you want to run applications that cannot be modified. To learn more, see "About the Oracle Application Express Runtime Environment".

  2. Verify installation requirements: "Oracle Application Express Installation Requirements" describes the minimum requirements that your system must meet before you install the software.

  3. Install the software: The required installation steps depend upon which Web listener you decide to use. Available options include the Oracle REST Data Services, the embedded PL/SQL gateway, or Oracle HTTP Server and mod_plsql.

    • How you install Oracle Application Express. Available options include using the release of Oracle Application Express that installs with Oracle Database 12c and later.

    • Which Web Listener you decide to use. Available options include the Oracle REST Data Services, the embedded PL/SQL gateway, or Oracle HTTP Server and mod_plsql.

1.2 Upgrading from a Previous Release of Oracle Application Express

If you have release 1.5.x, 1.6.x, 2.0.x, 2.2.x, 3.0.x, 3.1.x, 3.2.x, 4.0x or 4.1x of Oracle Application Express, following any of the installation scenarios in this guide upgrades your Oracle Application Express instance to release 4.2 and creates Oracle Application Express release 4.2 database objects in a new schema and migrates the application metadata to the new release.

1.3 Upgrading to Application Express Release 4.2.1 or Later

Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) includes Oracle Application Express Release 4.2.0.00.08. However, the latest version available for download from the Oracle Technology Network is Oracle Application Express Release 4.2.2.00.11. If deploying a non-container database, it is recommended that you upgrade to the latest available release. A future patch or major release of Application Express will contain the appropriate scripts to upgrade or patch a container database.

1.4 About the Oracle Application Express Runtime Environment

For testing and production instances, Oracle Application Express supports the ability to install just a runtime version of Oracle Application Express. This runtime environment minimizes the installed footprint and privileges and improves application security since in a runtime instance developers cannot inadvertently update a production application.

An Oracle Application Express runtime environment enables you to run production applications, but it does not provide a Web interface for administration. A runtime environment only includes the packages necessary to run your application, making it a more hardened environment. You administer the Oracle Application Express runtime environment using SQL*Plus or SQL Developer and the APEX_INSTANCE_ADMIN API. To learn more see, "Managing a Runtime Environment" in Oracle Application Express Application Builder User's Guide.

Scripts are provided to remove or add the developer interface from an existing instance. To learn more, see "Configuration Tasks When Installing from the Database".

1.5 About Choosing a Web Listener

In order to run, Oracle Application Express must have access to Oracle REST Data Services, Oracle HTTP Server and mod_plsql, or the embedded PL/SQL gateway.

For further information on selecting the best Web listener, please the review the Oracle Application Express Deployment page on Oracle Technology Network (OTN):

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/developer-tools/apex/application-express/apex-deploy-installation-1878444.html#listener

1.5.1 About Oracle REST Data Services and Oracle HTTP Server with mod_plsql

Oracle REST Data Services communicates directly with the Oracle Application Express engine. Oracle HTTP Server uses the mod_plsql plug-in to communicate with the Oracle Application Express engine within the Oracle database. Oracle REST Data Services and the Oracle HTTP Server function as communication brokers between the Web server and the Oracle Application Express objects in the Oracle database. More specifically, they map browser requests into database stored procedure calls over a SQL*Net connection. The following graphic illustrates the Oracle Application Express architecture using the Oracle REST Data Services.

Description of arch.gif follows
Description of the illustration arch.gif

Note this three tier architecture consists of the following components:

The major advantage of Oracle REST Data Services or Oracle HTTP Server (Apache) with mod_plsql is the separation of the mid-tier and the database tier. Note that this architecture is appropriate for Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) environments.

1.5.1.1 Where Images Are Stored When Using Oracle HTTP Server

In an Oracle HTTP Server or Oracle Application Server configuration, images are stored on the file system in the location referenced by the alias /i/. If you are upgrading Oracle Application Express from a prior release, you can locate the images directory on the file system, by reviewing the following files and searching for the text alias /i/:

Specific examples for locating the text alias /i/ can be found in "Configuration Tasks When Installing from the Database".

1.5.2 About the Embedded PL/SQL Gateway

Oracle XML DB Protocol Server with the embedded PL/SQL gateway installs with Oracle Database. It provides the Oracle database with a Web server and also the necessary infrastructure to create dynamic applications. The embedded PL/SQL gateway runs in the Oracle XML DB Protocol Server in the Oracle database and includes the core features of mod_plsql. The following graphic illustrates the Oracle Application Express architecture using the embedded PL/SQL gateway.

Description of arch_epg.gif follows
Description of the illustration arch_epg.gif

As shown in the previous graphic, the embedded PL/SQL gateway consists of a simple two tier architecture: a Web browser and an Oracle database containing the embedded PL/SQL gateway and Oracle Application Express.

Advantages of the embedded PL/SQL gateway include:

1.5.2.1 Security Considerations When Using the Embedded PL/SQL Gateway

The embedded PL/SQL gateway runs in the database as part of the XML DB HTTP Protocol Listener. Because the HTTP listener runs in the same database where Oracle Application Express is installed, it is not possible to separate the HTTP listener from the database. For this reason, Oracle does not recommend the use of the embedded PL/SQL gateway for applications that run on the Internet.

1.5.2.2 Where Images Are Stored When Using the Embedded PL/SQL Gateway

When running Oracle Application Express with the embedded PL/SQL gateway, images are stored directly in the database within the Oracle XML DB repository. You can access images by using the WebDAV feature of Oracle XML DB or by using FTP. To learn more, see "Accessing the Repository Using Protocols" in Oracle XML DB Developer's Guide.

1.5.3 Selecting a Web Listener in an Oracle RAC Environment

When running Oracle Application Express in an Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) environment, Oracle recommends that you use Oracle REST Data Services or Oracle HTTP Server with mod_plsql. Oracle REST Data Services or Oracle HTTP Server with mod_plsql permit you to specify a connection in the service name format, so that one HTTP Server can access all nodes.

Oracle recommends that you do not select the embedded PL/SQL gateway option for Oracle RAC installations. The embedded PL/SQL gateway uses an HTTP Server built into the database instance, and because of this, it does not take advantage of the Oracle RAC shared architecture.

1.6 Available Installation Scenarios

How you install Oracle Application Express depends upon which Web listener you decide to use. This section provides an overview of each installation scenario.

1.6.1 Installing from the Database and Configuring Oracle REST Data Services

Follow the steps in this scenario if you are using a release of Oracle Application Express that installs with Oracle Database 12c and later and configuring the Oracle REST Data Services. Required steps in this scenario include:

1.6.2 Installing from the Database and Configuring the Embedded PL/SQL Gateway

Follow the steps in this scenario if you are using a release of Oracle Application Express that installs with Oracle Database 12c or later and configuring the embedded PL/SQL gateway. Required steps in this scenario include:

1.6.3 Installing from the Database and Configuring the Oracle HTTP Server

Follow the steps in this scenario if you are using a release of Oracle Application Express that installs with Oracle Database 12c or later and configuring Oracle HTTP Server with mod_plsql distributed with Oracle Database 12c and later. Required steps in this scenario include: