Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Experiences with Vista and Oracle software

This is a quick overview of my attempts to install and run (Oracle) software on Microsoft Vista. A few months ago I got this new Dell laptop pre-installed with Vista Business. Last couple of years I mostly worked with 2000, XP and Unix/Linux so Vista was getting used to in the beginning; especially the enormous amounts of “Are you sure”, “Do you really want this?”, “You’re not allowed to do this”, etc. pop-ups (even more than XP had). Although I must admit that some of the new UI-stuff is real eye-candy.

Some general (and sometimes really frustrating) issues I ran into when trying to get Vista up and running was the new IPv6 network protocol and updated WPA stuff (my existing router and wifi configuration really had a hard time connecting to my laptop or vice versa – I’m not a network guru, maybe that’s the problem after all :-), the new user account control (UAC) policy in Vista (I couldn’t stop some Windows services in the beginning even when logged on as admin) and the pre-installed firewall, virus scanner, etc. which made my (finally up-and-running) Internet connection and network adapter crash. So after some reboots and resetting my laptop to factory settings I thought I had the new Vista “under control”.

Time to install some real business software.

Up to now I have the following software up and running (didn’t really test all software extensively yet):

  • Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect
  • JDK 5 and 6
  • Eclipse SDK
  • Eclipse WTP
  • Oracle BPA Suite
  • JDeveloper 10g
  • JDeveloper 11g – Technology Preview including SOA Suite and WebCenter
  • Oracle XE 10g
  • Oracle SQL Developer
  • Oracle OC4J 10g

Some tips:

  • Don’t use the standard Vista (un)zipper when unzipping software with long directory- and filenames. For example, I couldn’t run Eclipse WTP since the Vista unzipper didn’t extract all the extension files. This can be tricky since some installers won’t even indicate that all files are not properly unzipped. You can start Eclipse WTP, develop some code, but when trying to add a server, there’s nothing there to add?! Use another tool such as 7-Zip.
  • Run all installations and configurations as administrator; right-click and choose “Run as administrator”.
  • I ran into an error when installing a standalone OC4J. This was caused by compatibility issues between Sun’s JDK and the new IPv6 protocol. Trying to shut down OC4J returns an error indicating “Error: Missing ormi[s]://:”. See this forum post for a solution. I simply added the
    parameter to the OC4J startup command in oc4j.cmd.
  • Read the installation manual. Ok, I know this sounds a bit daft, but there are numerous forum questions in which it turns out people didn’t configure a loopback adapter, didn’t have the right JDK installed, etc. So after all, it’s really worth reading the manual.
  • Make sure the directory structure for your Java and Oracle installations don’t contain whitespaces or symbols such as # or @. I only use letters, digits, dots and underscores. Not all software can handle other characters.
Ok, in the next couple of days/weeks I’m going to (or at least try to :-) install SOA Suite 10g (lot of forum posts on installing this on Vista), Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition and playing around with Coherence.