Technical Configuration Tools


Configuring a new installation of Oracle E-Business Suite includes a number of stages:

AutoConfig is a tool that simplifies and standardizes configuration management tasks in an Oracle E-Business Suite environment. A fresh install of Release 12.2 includes AutoConfig as a standard (and required) configuration management tool. AutoConfig can also be used with earlier releases of Oracle E-Business Suite.

The Applications Context

Where the System Identifier (SID) was traditionally used to identify a file as belonging to a particular Oracle E-Business Suite environment, an Applications context is used in an AutoConfig-managed environment such as Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2. The default context name, also referred to in this chapter as <CONTEXT_NAME>, is <SID>_<hostname>.

Using an Applications context has a number of advantages:

Before AutoConfig and the Applications context were introduced, configuration management tasks could be time-consuming and prone to error, in some cases requiring manual changes to be made to several configuration files. While individual configuration files are still used in an AutoConfig-enabled environment, they play a secondary role to an XML-based repository of Oracle E-Business Suite environment information, called the context file.

By centralizing the configuration information, AutoConfig simplifies procedures for activities that range from upgrading a technology stack component to starting and stopping applications services. Another benefit is that the various files AutoConfig employs can be updated via standard Oracle E-Business Suite patches.

There are separate context files for the application and database tiers of an Oracle E-Business Suite system.

Applications Context File - The Applications context file,$INST_TOP/appl/admin/<CONTEXT_NAME>.xml, is a repository for environment-specific details used by AutoConfig to configure the application tier. Information from this file is used to generate Oracle E-Business Suite configuration files and update relevant database profiles.

Information stored includes:

The values of the context variables that make up the context file are in part determined by the choices you make when you run Rapid Install. For example, when you specify that a particular application tier node is to be used as a concurrent processing server, the relevant variable will be set to execute the scripts that start the service.

The following fragment illustrates the structure, format, and content of the Applications context file:

<!-- Environment on this Node --<
         <adconfig_file oa_var="s_adconfig_file">/u01/R122_EBS/EBSapps/appl/admin/adconfig.txt</adconfig_file>
         <APPL_TOP oa_var="s_at_adconfig>">/u01/R122_EBS/EBSapps/appl</APPL_TOP>
         <APPL_TOP_CSET oa_var="s_at_cset">AL32UTF8</APPL_TOP_CSET>
         <APPS_ENV_NAME oa_var="s_appsEnvName">VISION</APPS_ENV_NAME>
         <TIER_ADADMIN oa_var="s_isAdAdmin">YES</TIER_ADADMIN>
         <TIER_ADWEB oa_var="s_isAdWeb">YES<TIER_ADWEB>
         <TIER_ADFORMS oa_var="s_isAdForms">YES</TIER_ADFORMS>
         <TIER_ADNODE oa_var="s_isAdConc">YES</TIER_ADNODE>
         <APPL_TOP_NAME oa_var="s_atName">testsys100</APPL_TOP_NAME>
         <TIER_ADFORMSDEV oa_var="s_isAdFormsDev">YES</TIER_ADFORMSDEV>
         <TIER_ADNODEDEV oa_var="s_isAdConcDev">YES</TIER_ADNODEDEV>
         <TIER_ADWEBDEV oa_var="s_isAdWebDev">YES</TIER_ADWEBDEV>
         <STAGING_DIRECTORY oa_var="s_staging_directory"</u01/R122_EBS/inst/apps/vision_test100/appltmp/updates</STAGING_DIRECTORY>
      <oa_environment type="generic_service">
         <DISPLAY oa_var="s_display" osd="unix">LOCALHOST:5.0</DISPLAY>
         <java_awt_headless oa_var="s_java_awt_headless">TRUE</java_awt_headless>
      <oa_environment type="rapid_install"<
          <APPS_BASE oa_var="s_base"</u01/R122_EBS</APPS_BASE>
          <PATCH_BASE oa_var="s_patch_base"</u02/R122_EBS</PATCH_BASE>
          <INST_BASE oa_var="s_inst_base"</u01/R122_EBS/inst</INST_BASE>
          <HTML_TOP oa_var="s_html"</u01/R122_EBS/FMW_Home/Oracle_EBS-app1/applications/oacore/html</HTML_TOP>
          <JDK_TOP oa_var="s_jdktop" osd="LINUX_X86-64"</u01/R122_EBS/FMW_Home/jrockit_160_22_D1.1.1-3</JDK_TOP>
          <JRE_TOP oa_var="s_jretop"</u01/R122_EBS/FMW_Home/jrockit_160_22_D1.1.1-3/jre</JRE_TOP>

Note: The s_base and s_inst_base context variables were introduced in Release 12.2 to support Oracle WebLogic Server, and, like other context variables, should not be edited manually.

Database Context File - The database context file, <s_base>/11.2.0/appsutil/<CONTEXT_NAME>.xml, performs an equivalent role on the database tier. Information from this file is used to generate configuration files used on the database tier when AutoConfig is next run.

AutoConfig Scripts and Directories

A number of key configuration and control scripts are employed in an AutoConfig environment. AutoConfig creates several directories for these scripts and their associated files.

AutoConfig Scripts

Key AutoConfig configuration scripts on UNIX (command files on Windows) include:

In addition to these configuration scripts, several additional AutoConfig scripts are used to help manage the Oracle E-Business Suite system. These are described later in this chapter, under Management Tasks.

AutoConfig Directories

Several directories are created by AutoConfig, as shown in the following table.

AutoConfig Directories
Directory Name Directory Contents
$INST_TOP/admin/install Install scripts
$INST_TOP/admin/scripts Control scripts
$INST_TOP/admin/log Log files

AutoConfig Operation

As AutoConfig is used for a wide range of system configuration activities, from installation to maintenance, the following discussion of its operations is divided into several sections.

Context Value Management

Context Value Management (CVM) is an AutoConfig component that is used to manage the values of variables in the context file, and automate required updates to it. CVM supports updates to both the application tier and database tier context files.

CVM actions include:

CVM can execute scripts or other tools to manipulate any required file on the file system, and allow the appropriate settings to be propagated as needed to both the file system and database. For example, it is possible to update values in the context file which will then be propagated to the file system.

AutoConfig does not undertake all aspects of configuration management, such as changes at operating system level that may have implications outside the context of Oracle E-Business Suite. In addition, it does not manage technology components that have their own native management tools: typically, these are components that are not specific to Oracle E-Business Suite, such as Oracle WebLogic Server.

Like the core AutoConfig components, CVM utilizes configuration files on both the application and database tiers, as shown in the following tables.

Application Tier CVM Files
File Location Description
$AD_TOP/bin/ Main CVM script
$AD_TOP/admin/template/adcvmat.xml Stores CVM-related data for the application tier
Database Tier CVM Files
File Location Description
<s_base>/11.2.0/appsutil/bin/ Main CVM script
<s_base>/11.2.0/appsutil/template/adcvmdb.xml Stores CVM-related data for the database tier

AutoConfig Files

As well as the context files and configuration scripts that have already been described, AutoConfig uses several other types of file in its configuration management activities. These may themselves be divided into different categories.

Template Files

AutoConfig template files are used as the starting point for creating site-specific configuration files. AutoConfig evaluates the context variables in a template file, determines the actual values required, and creates a configuration file with these values substituted. This process, described in more detail later in this chapter, is called instantiation. There is one template file for each configuration file. Template files are located in the various $<PRODUCT>_TOP/admin/template directories on the application tier, and in the <s_base>/11.2.0/appsutil/template directory on the database tier.

Template files used by AutoConfig can be divided into the following categories:

Templates for APPL_TOP Configuration Files - These are either files requiring configuration-specific information in the APPL_TOP, or files used to load configuration profiles into the Oracle E-Business Suite database.

Templates for Management Scripts - To run all the standard processes required by Oracle E-Business Suite, Rapid Install creates scripts to start and stop each of these required processes. These scripts need configuration information in order to:

Driver Files

AutoConfig driver files are used to list the corresponding template files and locations, and specify the commands to be executed. For example, the commands might update profile options.

Driver files are located in each $<PRODUCT>_TOP/admin/driver directory on the application tier, and in the <s_base>/11.2.0/appsutil/template directory on the database tier.

Configuration Files

AutoConfig configuration files, with a .conf extension, are created when AutoConfig instantiates the corresponding template files. The values in the configuration files correspond to site-specific settings. AutoConfig creates numerous configuration files in various directories.

Relationship Between AutoConfig Files

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As mentioned, instantiation is the process whereby AutoConfig creates a configuration file with contents tailored for a specific environment. AutoConfig can be used to instantiate files or scripts, and then execute them for installation and configuration.

Examples of instantiation include:

The script updates configuration files and profile options in the following way:

  1. Instantiates template files with instance-specific values derived from the relevant context file

  2. Copies in any customizations

  3. Overwrites existing configuration files with newly instantiated ones

  4. Runs SQL scripts to update database profile options

Role of the template and driver files

AutoConfig uses template files to determine the basic settings needed. There is one template file for each configuration file. The driver files list the names and locations of the files that need to have context variables replaced. They also define the phases into which instantiation is divided, and specify the commands that are to be executed for specific products. When AutoConfig runs, it cycles through the various $<PRODUCT>_TOP/admin/driver directories looking for driver files such as adtmpl.drv, fndtmpl.drv, and icxtmpl.drv.

Additional Information: For further details of AutoConfig operation, refer to Chapter 3, Technical Configuration, of Oracle E-Business Suite Setup Guide.

Execution of Scripts

As well as its instantiation activities, AutoConfig may execute other scripts, depending on the requirements of the specific Oracle E-Business Suite system.

Phases of Operation

As AutoConfig parses the driver files, it carries out a series of actions, grouped into several distinct phases:

AutoConfig carries out these actions in the following order:

  1. All INSTE8 and BINCPY actions - Carries out all file instantiations called for during INSTE8, INSTE8_SETUP, INSTE8_PRF and INSTE8_APPLY, and all copying from source files to target configuration files.

  2. INSTE8_SETUP actions - For the files that were instantiated in Step 1, AutoConfig runs all SETUP scripts.

  3. INSTE8_PRF actions - For the files that were instantiated in Step 1, AutoConfig runs all PRF scripts.

  4. INSTE8_APPLY actions - For the files that were instantiated in Step 1, AutoConfig runs all APPLY scripts.

At the end of this process, the required configuration files and profile options have been created for the Oracle E-Business Suite installation.

Management Tasks

There are several areas in which an administrator can use AutoConfig to update, control, and monitor an Oracle E-Business Suite system. While many tasks will normally be undertaken from Oracle Applications Manager, you may on occasion need to run a script (command file on Windows) from the command line.

Managing the Context

Oracle Applications Manager (see Chapter 7) enables you to edit the Applications context as required. From the Administration tab, choose AutoConfig and click on Edit Parameters for the relevant context file. After making a change to the context, you must run AutoConfig to update the relevant configuration files. Before doing so, you should examine the proposed changes by running the configuration check script (described below under Checking the System).

Warning: Do not edit E-Business Suite configuration files manually. Any changes will be lost when AutoConfig is next run.

An AutoConfig-managed environment such as Release 12.2 will also be updated by applying an Oracle E-Business Suite patch that adds or modifies variables in the Applications context file, AutoConfig template files, or AutoConfig driver files.

On occasion, you may need to undo configuration changes that have been made. The previous configuration can be restored by running the utility, which enables you to roll back the changes made by an AutoConfig run. This is achieved by utilizing the backup copies of the configuration files that are created when AutoConfig is run.

The backup files are located in $INST_TOP/admin/out/<MMDDhhmm> on the application tier, and <s_base>/11.2.0//appsutil/out/<CONTEXT_NAME><MMDDhhmm> on the database tier, where the <MMDDhhmm> directory name indicates the month, day, hour and minute of the AutoConfig run.

You can restore the configuration that existed immediately before the current one by navigating to the appropriate backup directory and running the script. To restore an earlier configuration, you must use the Context File History feature of Oracle Applications Manager.

Build Context Utility

The adblxml utility, which was introduced in Release 12.1, can be used to create a new context file on the database tier. The new file acts as a central repository for database configuration information, and is essential in enabling AutoConfig on the database tier of an Oracle E-Business Suite instance.

A new context file on the database tier can be created using the following commands:

$ cd <s_base>/11.2.0/appsutil/bin
$ perl \
[template=<contextfile_template>] \

Where <contextfile_template> is the location of the context template (default is <s_base>/11.2.0/appsutil/template/adxdbctx.tmp), and <contextfile_name> is the absolute path of the context file to be generated (default is <s_base>/11.2.0/appsutil/<context_name>.xml).

Note: The adbldxml utility is only supported on the database tier, not on the application tier.

Controlling the System

AutoConfig utilizes a number of application tier control scripts, located in $INST_TOP/admin/scripts.

Key Application Tier Control Scripts
Script Name Function Starts all application tier server processes Stops all application tier server processes Runs AutoConfig

The corresponding directory on the database tier is <s_base>/11.2.0/appsutil/scripts/<CONTEXT_NAME>, where control scripts allow the database and database listener processes to be started and stopped, and AutoConfig to be run.

Checking the System

Several other scripts facilitate system management in an AutoConfig-managed environment such as Release 12. For example, you can identify the effects of proposed changes before you make them.

Configuration Check Utility is located in <AD_TOP>/bin on the application tier, and in <s_base>/11.2.0/appsutil/bin on the database tier.

This utility generates a report that highlights differences between existing configuration files and the new ones that AutoConfig will generate. The report is called cfgcheck.html.

Running is useful both in carrying out a test run before a planned environment change is made, and when investigating problems. In Release 12.1, the tool was enhanced to report important database updates, generate a report for database changes, and improve readability of reports.

Additional Information: For further details on managing system configuration parameters, see Oracle E-Business Suite Maintenance Guide.

AutoConfig Profiler

Introduced in Release 12.1, the profiling feature provides a consolidated HTML report of an AutoConfig run. The top level of the report displays a summarized view that lists all the product tops, along with the total instantiation and execution time of the templates within each product top. You can drill down into the report to view additional details, including the source and target location of each template, the time taken to instantiate and execute individual template scripts, and the execution report for each template script.

AutoConfig can be run in profile mode on the application tier using the following command:

$AD_TOP/bin/ contextfile=<CtxFile> \ 
[product=<product-top>] -profile

Where <CtxFile> is the absolute path to the application tier context file, and <product_top> is the short name of the product to configure.

AutoConfig can be run in profile mode on the database tier using the following command:

perl <s_base>/11.2.0/appsutil/bin/ \ 
contextfile=<CtxFile> -profile

Where <CtxFile> is the absolute path to the database tier context file.

Enhanced Service Dependency Management

In addition to the above utilities, AutoConfig's service management infrastructure has been enhanced with dependency information between service groups and services. This dependency information is stored as metadata in the context file.

The following XML attributes were added in Release 12.1:

Running AutoConfig in Parallel

Introduced in Release 12.1, the parallel mode feature enables AutoConfig to be run simultaneously across multiple nodes of an Oracle E-Business Suite system. When running in parallel mode, AutoConfig uses the dbms_locks PL/SQL package to ensure that configuration of one node does not interfere with configuration of other nodes: this is required because certain AutoConfig configurations of one node depend on the configurations of other nodes.

Additional Information: During the instantiation phase, locking is done at script level. During the execution phase, locking is done at product_top level.

AutoConfig can be run in parallel mode on the application tier using the following command:

perl $AD_TOP/bin/ contextfile=<CtxFile> \
[product=<product_top>] -parallel

Where <CtxFile> is the absolute path of the application tier context file and <product_top> is the short name of the product to be configured.

AutoConfig can be run in parallel mode on the database tier using the following command:

perl <s_base>/11.2.0/appsutil/bin/ \
contextfile=<CtxFile> -parallel

Where <CtxFile> is the full path to the database tier context file.

Note: When using parallel mode, AutoConfig must be invoked with the -parallel option on all nodes of the relevant tier.