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Oracle® Web Conferencing Administrator's Guide
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Part Number B10877-03
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1 Introduction to Oracle Web Conferencing

The Oracle Real-Time Collaboration system is a state-of-the-art, distributed system that offers real time collaboration services, including Web Conferencing. While this guide focuses on the administration and management of the Web Conferencing service, most of the components and administration tools that are involved in the providing this service are generic and will be used for other services in the future.

This chapter provides an overview of the Oracle Web Conferencing product, including its end-user collaboration features and administration features.

1.1 What is Oracle Web Conferencing?

Oracle Web Conferencing brings real-time online collaboration to any enterprise, letting customers, employees, teams, and partners meet online within the context provided by the content, commerce, and comprehensive business flows of e-business.

Oracle Web Conferencing consists of client and server applications that let you create and participate in online conferences. From a user's perspective, there are two main parts to the Web Conferencing system:

The following sections describe the features of the Web Conferencing Application and the Web Conferencing Console in more detail.

1.2 Web Conferencing Application Features

The Oracle Web Conferencing Application (Figure 1-1) lets users start and manage their conferences. Users may:

System administrators also use the Web Conferencing application to monitor system performance, create custom sites, and display reports about the system performance. See "Web Conferencing Management Features" for an overview of administration and management features.

1.3 Web Conferencing Console Features

The Web Conferencing console (Figure 1-2) is where online conferences take place. Each conference participant runs the console on his or her desktop. The console features include:


Document Presentation


Desktop Sharing

Voice Streaming



Shared Control

Recording and Playback

1.4 Oracle Web Conferencing Components

Oracle Web Conferencing is an option of Oracle Real-Time Collaboration. A Web Conferencing system is made up of the following:

Oracle Web Conferencing Console

Conferences take place in the Web Conferencing Console (shown in Figure 1-2. When a user joins a conference, the Web Conferencing Console is downloaded if it is not already present on the user's computer or if the installed version is not current. Users access the Web Conferencing Console through Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher or Netscape 4.75 or higher. (Not all features of Web Conferencing are available when using Netscape; users can only attend conferences, not schedule them, and some console features such as Chat are disabled.)

Oracle Real-Time Collaboration Core Components

The Real-Time Collaboration core components include the Web Conferencing Server, the Web Conferencing Application (shown inFigure 1-1, and the Oracle Real-Time Collaboration process monitor and the Real-Time Collaboration multiplexer. These components work together to provide the core real-time collaboration functionality of Oracle Web Conferencing.

As a prerequisite, the Oracle Real-Time Collaboration Core Components need an Oracle9iAS mid-tier that is configured to work with Oracle9iAS Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory. See "Web Conferencing Prerequisites" for details.

Document Conversion Server

A group of Oracle Web Conferencing processes that converts MS Office documents into HTML for viewing in Document Presentation mode. The Document Conversion Server component must be installed on a computer with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.

Voice Conversion Server

A group of Oracle Web Conferencing processes that dials into a voice conferencing system, converts the analog voice to digital format, and streams it. The Voice Conversion Server component must be installed on a computer with Microsoft Windows and requires specialized telephony hardware and software.

Real-Time Collaboration Repository

The set of Oracle Real-Time Collaboration database schemas residing in an Oracle9i Database .

The schemas contain:

1.4.1 Web Conferencing Prerequisites

The following prerequisites are necessary for any deployment of Oracle Web Conferencing.


Oracle9i Application Server is an integrated J2EE application server that provides the Oracle HTTP Server, Oracle9iAS Containers for J2EE, and other Oracle Web Conferencing prerequisites.

Oracle9iAS Infrastructure

This includes Oracle Internet Directory and Oracle9iAS Single Sign-On. Among its services, Oracle9iAS Infrastructure provides user provisioning and authentication services.

Oracle9i Database

The Oracle9i Database, release 2, is a prerequisite for Oracle Web Conferencing. The Oracle Real-Time Collaboration Repository for Oracle Web Conferencing resides in this database.

1.5 Web Conferencing Management Features

Oracle Web Conferencing management consists of system management, business management, and user management.

1.5.1 System Management Features and Tools

Web Conferencing offers the following features for managing the overall system:

Support for management of different topologies—Lets you manage Web Conferencing in a geographically-distributed enterprise and provides support for various deployments, taking into account all enterprise considerations like firewall issues and load balancers (LBR).

High availability—Provides process monitoring and automatic restart of processes when component failure is detected.

Oracle Enterprise Manager—Integrated with Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Figure 1-3, "Real-Time Collaboration System Management Tasks" illustrates Real-Time Collaboration system management:

Figure 1-3 Real-Time Collaboration System Management Tasks

The Real-Time Collaboration management tasks.
Description of the illustration sysmgmt.gif

The imtctl utility provides a command-line interface for administering and configuring the Real-Time Collaboration system. The utility supports a variety of commands:

  • Configuring system attributes, such as features available in conferences.

  • Running diagnostics of the system.

  • Starting, stopping, or restarting Real-Time Collaboration instances.

  • Troubleshooting system issues.

  • Monitoring the system.

Oracle Enterprise Manager is used to manage the external components on which Oracle Real-Time Collaboration depends, such as the Oracle9iAS mid-tier, Oracle9iAS Infrastructure, Oracle9i Database. Real-Time Collaboration interfaces are used for monitoring Web Conferencing and generating alerts.

The Oracle Enterprise Manager standalone console also provides basic instance management operations, like starting and shutting down an instance and viewing the state of the instance. Refer to the Oracle Enterprise Manager Administrator's Guide for more information.

Real-Time Collaboration Interfaces are available to plug into any external management framework. With the interfaces, you can run service availability tests and get real-time monitoring data that can be collected periodically and used for historical analysis to tune the system. See Chapter 7, "Monitoring" for more details about these interfaces.

1.5.2 Business Management

Oracle Real-Time Collaboration business management provides a rich set of features that business managers and support staff can use to monitor usage and manage business-related activities.

Conference Monitoring—You can monitor conferences that are currently running on the system. This is useful both in support situations and business administration. See Chapter 7, "Monitoring" for more details.

Reporting—Oracle Real-Time Collaboration provides comprehensive usage and feedback reports. See Chapter 8, "Reports" for more details.

Site Management—You can customize a single Oracle Web Conferencing deployment in an enterprise for different lines of business or site usage. Each line of business can have its own look-and-feel and customized integration with the Real-Time Collaboration system. See Chapter 9, "Web Conferencing Sites" for details.

Monitoring and reporting features are available in the Web Conferencing Application interface to users with appropriate Web Conferencing administration privileges. Administrators can also use the imtctl command-line interface to perform various business management tasks. Using the ReportManager infrastructure, you can generate reports that can be automatically e-mailed to recipients.

1.5.3 User Management

The Real-Time Collaboration system uses Oracle Internet Directory to manage user data. The Oracle Internet Directory host used by Real-Time Collaboration is specified at installation. All users of this Oracle Internet Directory are automatically provisioned to use Real-Time Collaboration with the enduser role.

By default, users are managed using the oiddas interface of Oracle Internet Directory. This is typically available at http://<ldaphostname>:7777/oiddas. A user with the Oracle Internet Directory administrator account, typically orcladmin, can create, update, and delete users.

1.6 Administration Road Map

To successfully deploy Oracle Web Conferencing and manage the system, Oracle Corporation recommends following the steps.

Step 1 Understand Oracle Web Conferencing.

Understand the basic concepts of the Oracle Web Conferencing product, including its architecture, components, end-user connections, load balancing, and network and port considerations for deployment. See this chapter and Chapter 2, "Understanding Oracle Web Conferencing" to familiarize yourself with Web Conferencing architecture and components.

Step 2 Plan for deployment.

Follow the sizing guidelines in the Oracle Web Conferencing Sizing Guideto estimate the hardware requirements for your deployment. Take into account the existing deployment of other Web-based applications, including firewall considerations and load balancers by reading

Step 3 Install Oracle Web Conferencing.

Install the Oracle Real-Time Collaboration system, following the instructions in the Oracle Collaboration Suite Installation and Configuration Guide for Solaris.


The Installation Guide contains information for installing all Oracle Collaboration Suite tools. If you are only installing Web Conferencing, read the first sections about general installation, and the Web Conferencing installation section.

Then follow the post-installation steps in Chapter 4, "Post-Installation". When you are finished, run the post-installation verification tests described in the chapter. Out of the box, some tests might fail. The most common reason is incomplete configuration. Fix the configuration for each of the failures.

Step 4 Monitor Oracle Web Conferencing.

Monitor the health of the Real-Time Collaboration system by running service availability tests periodically. Have the results of the tests tied to an alert management system. See Chapter 7, "Monitoring" for details.

Step 5 Troubleshoot Oracle Web Conferencing.

Troubleshoot the system as required to address user complaints and failures detected by diagnostic tests run manually or through alerts. Use the information available from the Monitor, Reports, and System tabs to assist you.

Step 6 Tune the Web Conferencing system.

Tune the Web Conferencing (the Real-Time Collaboration) system, as required. You might need to change the existing configuration or add more machines.