Geeky Project Part 10: Create a WebCenter VM

fail-owned-playground-failI really, really, really wanted to bring this whole project home with a triumphant ending today, erm late last night.

It started out as a lark and has been a great learning experience, but it’s been hanging over my head since before Thanksgiving. I’ve got other, more important work to do, and I’m sure you’re sick of reading my episodic opus on WebCenter.

Alas, it was not to be. My original finish line was to open WebCenter Spaces, the reference implementation of WebCenter, to show that the installation was successful.

With that in mind, I struck out around 4 PM yesterday afternoon to finish the last steps. You’ll recall I had finished the WebCenter install and was pondering why I needed Web Tier and WebLogic.

At about 12 AM, I threw in the towel, but I got agonizingly close, only to run out of gas right before the finish.

Bounce to the end if you’re curious where I got hung up, or read on for the scary details.

I decided to install Web Tier for a couple reasons. First, Web Tier is part of the 11g Fusion Middleware stack, listed under “Required Additional Software”, and second, George Maggessy mentions it in his post on installing WebCenter, which is a great resource (in a single part) for this process.

So, I probably need to install it, since I don’t have a web server. I must be dense to assume that WebLogic came with a web server. I guess I expected Tuxedo to be part of the install.

Oh well, this is why I embarked on this quest, to learn stuff and junk.

So, I downloaded and installed Web Tier. Here’s another set of wizard screens.













As John predicted, I have another $ORACLE_HOME, making that three now, i.e. one for 11g, one for Fusion Middleware and one for Web Tier. Next I created e a new .env file with a few of these new environment variables.

George mentions a final step in his post for UCM:

After installation, go to $WEBTIER_HOME/instances/instance1/config/OHS/ohs1/httpd.conf and add the line below at the end of the file.

# added for ucm
include "$FMW_HOME/Oracle_WC1/ucm/data/users/apache22/apache.conf"

One thing to note, if you copy-paste, make sure to remove any carriage returns in the path. More on that in a minute.

Next, I returned to WebLogic to extend the webcenter domain I created previously to host the WebCenter services. The WLS configuration utility is here:


I followed George’s steps, which includes a tip on creating a Managed Server for custom apps. The official install guide works too. I used them in tandem.

More wizardry:















Nice, feeling pretty good at this point. Now on the the Web Tier post-installation tasks, where I hit an interesting note:


By default, routing between Oracle HTTP Server and Oracle WebLogic Server is not configured. In order to allow requests to be proxied from Oracle HTTP Server to Oracle WebLogic Server, you must configure a plug-in.

For instructions on how to do this, see “mod_wl_ohs” in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Administrator’s Guide for Oracle HTTP Server.

Looking a mod_wl_ohs, I begin to wonder where is the Oracle HTTP Server Home Page?

With a clearer head today, this may be where I came off the tracks a bit. I didn’t recall seeing any URLs for any configuration pages, but the pictures showed an Enterprise Manager screen.

So, I decided to start up EM to see if that would light the way.

Fired off:

emctl start dbconsole

And it worked! Check out what https://theappslab-oel-vm:1158/em looks like:


Firefox was not happy about the unsigned cert here, but we made it work. I’m stoked, but still wondering how to find the Fusion Middleware Control page, which has the place where I need to set up mod_wl_ohs for Oracle HTTP Server.

Hmm, so I discover that page lives here: http://theappslab-oel-vm:7001

But there’s nothing at that address because WebLogic isn’t started. I should start it. From George’s post:

cd $FMW_HOME/user_projects/domains/wc_domain/bin
xterm -e ./ &

It started humming along and stalled out around the “Starting” point. Maybe I really do need 1 GB of RAM.

So, I shutdown the VM, bumped the RAM to 1 GB, and quit all the applications running on the host.

Back in the VM, started the listener, started the database, and the web server won’t start; opmnctl claimed there were no services, when clearly there were services.

I was pretty tired at this point.

Checked the log and oh, I had an extra carriage return in $WEBTIER_HOME/instances/instance1/config/OHS/ohs1/httpd.conf

I guess I owe opmnctl an apology.

Back to starting WebLogic, and it hummed along much faster this time.


Yes! Running status is good, right? I’m not sure because I don’t see any of the statuses documented, not that I looked. Anyway, this is good.

Even better, I can get to the Fusion Middleware Control page now.


Things are looking up right now. I can see the finish line. All I need to do is start the Spaces managed server and go to Spaces. I fire off:

xterm -e ./ WLS_Spaces &

And it hums along for a while, finally getting stuck here:


So close. The VM is crawling along at this point, so I decided to restart and try from the WebLogic admin console.


That failed with this message.

For server WLS_Spaces, the Node Manager associated with machine theappslab is not reachable.

All of the servers selected are currently in a state which is incompatible with this operation or are not associated with a running Node Manager or you are not authorized to perform the action requested. No action will be performed.

Digging a bit I guess I need to setup and configure Node Manager to use the GUI console.


Even though I’m reporting this as a couple steps, I ran through about five restarts. Each time giving WLS_Spaces more time to get past that final step.

So, I’m right on the doorstep. I plan to investigate the mod_wl_ohs step, which got lost in the shuffle last night. I also plan to check out the logs for WebLogic and WLS_Spaces.

However, I need a break, and I’m sure you all are busy with other things anyway.

Let’s reconvene in a week or so.

Until then, there will either be silence or non-WebCenter VM posts.


Update: Hmm, I’m not seeing a Web Tier entry in my farm on the Fusion Middleware Control page. That’s going to make it tough to configure mod_wl_ohs. That might be an issue. I guess I’ll start there when I get the energy to continue.




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