Thursday, July 16, 2009

How to build your own personal and portable testing and learning environment

This article applies to Oracle UCM 10gR3. For new UCM 11gR1 follow the link below:

I promised to walk you through the process of creating your own personal and portable testing and learning environment - the one you can load on your laptop so you won't be dependent on your sysadmin to give you permissions. You won't be afraid to break something and will feel free to experiment.

Having your own environment may also let you work from home - but don't mention my name when you talk to your boss :)

Let's get started.

In my courses I'm making an assumption that you're familiar with virtualization. In case you aren't - here is a 1 min introduction.

Virtual machine or VM is an instance of a real OS such as Windows or Linux (Guest OS) running on a special software you install on your machine. Now that hardly any computer has less then 1 Gb or RAM and most OS (except Vista, of course) take less then 512 Mb - you can run a second OS in your own virtual environment.

The benefits are multiple:

  • Guest OS has absolutely no affect and may have no access to your host OS so even if you're running a virus in your guest OS - you are safe
  • Moving VM on another machine is a simple file copy operation so if you have your VM on a portable drive - you can work on the same OS at home and at work.
  • You don't need to pollute your software configuration when you can install and test one-offs on your virtual environment that can be reset to its original configuration in a matter of seconds
"OK, Show me how to build a virtual environment"

Here's how:

If you running Windows, begin by downloading and installing MS Virtual PC 2007. This is free download. On Linux - check out VMware products such as VMware Player or Server (currently free) or Workstation.

Here's a link to get MS VPC 2007

Download and unzip a sample VM. The one I'm recommending comes with Windows Server and SQL Server 2005.

The link is here

In VPC 2007 go File - New VM Wizard -> Use Default Settings to Create a VM.

Once VM settings are open, under hard drive select the location of your newly download SQL Server 2005 machine VHD file.

Give it about a 512 Mb or RAM and hit Start.

Voila! You're now ready to begin Oracle Content Server installation.

Please follow the instructions in my YouTube Video to install your Content Server

Since you are going to be using MS SQL Server, check out my article for JDBC Driver instructions

In the next 15 min you should have your new portable installation of Oracle Content Server up and running. You can put your (updated) VHD file on a portable drive and take with you wherever you go!