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ofm_pfrd_win_126.96.36.199.0 64-bit on Windows 2008 R2 64-bit.
<li>Production - In main Data Center. End Users use this server</li>
<li>Standby - At DR DC. Developers and Testers use this server</li>
<li>Extra Copy - Outside the 2 DCs. Not an installation. Explained later.</li>
Production and Standby setup manually.
Found it very simple to install. Followed the documentation and everything worked fine in the first attempt. Same for Developer PC installs.
Developers and Testers use config= in their URL. End Users on default. FORMS_PATH in ENV files determine the folders for each config section in the formsweb.cfg, one each for End Users, Develoeprs and Testers. This has been done to ensure Standby is in use and healthy.
The default section leads to nothing on Standby, and thus fails if End Users try to access it in normal course.
Similarly, Developers and Testers cannot work on Prod as their folders (FORMS_PATH) do not exist on Prod.
Source code is also in SVN which is again replicated, but that is another area.
Switch over from Production to Standby is manual.
All cloning done through Windows Task Scheduler using Robocopy. Robocopy because it transfers only updated files, hence faster and low on WAN bandwidth.
The Extra Copy referred to above has no installation. Only copies of OFM folder hierachries from Prod and Standby, and executables and souce folders (and sub folders). Again using Robocopy and Scheduler Tasks.
Offline backup of Extra Copy taken once a day. Offline media stored at a fourth location.
Took a few days to setup the replication schedules but working smooth for more than a year now.
I am just in the process of migrating a load-balanced OAS 10g Forms+Reports environment with many applications to 11g, and I think that the cloning facility of 10g is really missing now. Until now I have not missed it much because I have mainly upgraded customers with at most 2 nodes, but now I have to do a 4 node installation, and that is much more work without good cloning facilities.
What I plan to do to make the cloning as easy as possible is the following:
- I first install all software (JDK, WebLogic and Forms-Reports 11.1.2) in the middleware home
- Then I configure a domain+instance: I create the domain and instance files all outside the middleware home (only possible with 11.1.2 installer) on one node
- I configure all applications on it
- Then I just copy the middleware home (+ inventory) to the other nodes (using shared storage for it is also an option)
- Then I configure a new domain on each node. Although this seems overhead (compared to expanding an existing domain/cluster) it is easier to make identical nodes
- For Forms configuration I have to create all custom .env files on each node using EM (I have not found out how to register these to the MBean without EM)
- Then I shutdown the WLS_FORMS and copy formsweb.cfg and all .env files from the first node
- Other files that may need to be copied: webutil.cfg, base html files (if modified), jvmcontroller.cfg, custom jar-files and dll-files (for webutil)
- For Reports we do a similar thing: we only use stand-alone reportsservers, so copying the rwserver.conf, rwservlet.properties, rwnetwork.conf and custom font (ttf) files does it
Although this does not seem too much work, it has the disadvantage that you really need a multi-step description of the cloning process, while in previous releases a single step cloning could be performed by anybody. And it is easier to make mistakes and and up with differences in the nodes.
I worked on a large project with multiple OAS 10.1.3 nodes, and the cluster facility in that version was great. Any config changes were propagated to all nodes.
I think it would be a great idea to have the following functionality in Forms 12:
- Expand a Forms cluster should also clone all configuration (also of copies of formsapp for those who deploy a formsapp per Forms application).
A nice-to-have would be to give the option to create more than 1 Forms cluster in a domain.
- Give EM FMW Control the ability (as in 10.1.3) to change a configuration property of all members of a cluster in one go (but allow differences)
Hope this helps you for the strategy for the next geneartion of Forms.
Oracle Linux, FMW 188.8.131.52 - 11.1.2
I use cloning mechanism for development an testing environments (internal use). What I do is to copy whole stack (Linux + FWM). With the help of a procedure to boot copied Linux OS with changed host name and ip I run the scripts/procedures mentioned in oracle documentation and that's it. Sure there are steps to be done manually to reconfigure the environment (formsweb.cfg, forms.conf, reports.conf...) to fit the environment. But with one remark when not using infrastructure (oid, sso...) beneath. I know cloning of infrastructure was not possible in 10g but right now I am struggling to get it done in 11g although I am not sure this is even possible (supported) by Oracle.
For production environments I always go with new installation mainly because this was always a request from my customers.