Thursday, November 25, 2010

How we made a complete working test copy of a 465 Gb production UCM environment in under 30 min... Really?

If you want to make a copy of your UCM environment - for testing, staging, upgrade or similar purposes - according to System Migration Guide, you've got to go through these steps:

  • Build and configure a new Content Server instance
  • Install all of your custom components
  • Migrate your existing configuration over (using the Configuration Migration Utility)
  • Migrate your folder structure
  • Export, transfer and import all of your content using Archiver
If you tried to follow these, you must remember the pain of litreally finghting your way through the jungle of almost ever one of these steps. Few of these (if any) do go smoothly from the first attempt. You always find yourself stuck troubleshooting things - be it confuguration differences, archiver errors, settings you forgot to apply... 

So I think it’s fair to say, that if you're tasked with making a working copy of your large production environment - 

You're talking several days of work if you go "traditional" way!

A client has recently approached us asking if they can skip all of these steps and still make it work. Long story short - here's the approach that I've recommend (the one that we used multiple time successfully in the past. And yes, it really took us less then 30 min to make a fully functional standalone copy of our 465 Gb production environment - with dozens of compoenents and custom features)

Here are the instructions that let you make a copy of your environment without having to reinstall Content Server and migrate settings and content.

The only caveat is this - the instance name will have to stay the same, so you won't be able to setup replication from your original to your newly created copy. But that's the only issue.
... and that's not a problem neither for staging nor migration or testing. There're no other drawbacks ... And yes, you should be aslo be able to pull htis off in 11g.

Here's how to do it:


  1. Make a copy of your database into a new instance.
  2. Copy your Content Server installation directory to a new location. (All we had to do is spend 5 min to start rSync the day before.)
  3. Change configuration on your new Content Server - to match its new URL and the new database server/schema
    • Follow instructions below for changing the Content Server URL
    • Use bin/SystemProperties (or Weblogic Console in 11g)  to change your database connection info
  4.  Configure your web server (Instructions for Apache and IIS are below) to talk to your new Content Server - or you can use Content Server Installation Guide for instructions for configuring your web server
  5.  Configure your Content Server and Admin Server on the new machine to start automatically

And here's....

How to Change the Content Server URL by Changing the HttpServerAddress and HttpRelativeWebRoot

These instructions apply to versions 6.2 to 10gR3, any platform.

Change the HttpServerAddress

1. Edit the /config/config.cfg file

2. Change:

HttpServerAddress=

    To:

HttpServerAddress=

3. Save and exit the file

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 in the /admin/config.cfg file

5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 in the /admin/data/servers//server.hda file

6. Edit the /admin/data/servers/servers.hda file

7. In the ResultSet AdminServers section look for the entry and change it to

8. Save and exit the file

NOTE: If this is a clustered Content Server instance, each cluster node's /admin/data/servers//server.hda file will need to be changed.

9. Restart the Content Server

10. Restart the Admin Server


Change the HttpRelativeWebRoot:

1. Edit the /config/config.cfg file 

2. Change:

HttpRelativeWebRoot=//

    To:

HttpRelativeWebRoot=//

3. Save and exit the file

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 in the /admin/config.cfg file 

5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 in the /admin/data/servers//server.hda file

NOTE: If this is a clustered Content Server instance, each cluster node's /admin/data/servers//server.hda file will need to be changed.

 6. Restart the Content Server

7. Restart the Admin Server

NOTE: In addition to the HttpServerAddress and HttpRelativeWebRoot, there are other parameters that can be used by the Content Server to set the URL string. These parameters are added in the /config/config.cfg file 

Some of these include:

HttpAbsoluteCgiPath

HttpAbsoluteWebRoot

HttpBrowserFullCgiPath

If any of these parameters are present in the config.cfg file, make the changes to them also.

For a full list of these types of parameters, see the Idoc Script Reference Guide

Web Server changes

If the HttpRelativeWebRoot is changed the web server will need to be modified to reflect that change.

If you run on Apache


1. Edit the /conf/httpd.conf file

Or if it is a specific include file, edit that include file

2. Change:

Alias / "/weblayout"

/

To:

Alias / "/weblayout"

/


3. Save and exit the file



If you run on IIS

In IIS a new Virtual Dirtectory will need to be created

1. In the same Web Site or Default Web Site as the original Content Server Virtual Directory, create a new Virtual Directory.

2. As the Alias enter in the new HttpRelativeWebRoot.

3. Configure the rest of the parameters to match that of the original Virtual Directory.

4. Within the new Virtual Directory and another Virtual Directory, idcplg, needs to be created for the Content Server ISAPI filter.

5. As the Alias enter: idcplg

6. Configure the rest of the parameters to match that of the original Virtual Directory.

7. Restart IIS.

8. The original Virtual Directory can now be deleted.

So there you have it. Now you can make copies of your environment - for staging, data migration, upgrade or testing - the smart way!

And remember, if you ever need a hand with Oracle UCM - just email us. There's no charge for the first day of consulting. Talk to us at contact _at_ stellentExperts _dot_ com

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tap the wealth of killer queries, reports and custom pages...

If your business users might benefit from some killer reports,
custom pages and queries - this exclusive guide might save
you days of trial and error.

It will instantly show you how to do all these and more - with the
tool that many administrators ignore (or at least, under-utilize) -
the WebLayout Editor

The steps described in this guide will work in both - the latest
Content Server 11g R1 and still more common version 10gR3.

Grab your copy here:

http://stellentexperts.com/se/Training/Web%20Layout%20Editor.pdf

Best,
Dmitri

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Complete Lazy Man's Guide to UCM Content Server Workflows - yours FREE!

Yes, its true! If you don't yet consider yourself a world-class expert of Content Server workflows - this exclusive guide will almost certainly save you days (if not weeks) of trial and error, while going through hundreds of pages of online documentation.

There're no gimmicks, just the street-tough, time-saving tips - hot from the trenches - where we fight our customer's UCM battles - day in and day out.

http://stellentexperts.com/se/Training/0387-chapter-5-understanding-workflows.pdf


This guide will work with both - the new Content Server 11g and still more common v. 10gR3

Workflows are one of the most used and useful features of UCM. They give you the power to quickly set up reviews and approvals for documents, web pages, product documentation, "stage gates" for project management artifacts, "virtual voting" on government legislation, gathering digital signatures, and SOX compliance reviews.

This (complete) chapter from my latest book (The OracleUCM Handbook, Packt Publishing, 2010) covers things you'd be doing most of the time as well as other important things you ought to know about workfl ows. More specifically you will learn:

  • How to set up and change Content Server workfl ows—allowing you to get up to speed really fast, walking you step by step through an automation of a real-world approval process.
  • Hidden (and frequently overlooked) facts about content life cycle that will help you locate and reclaim your disappeared content items. 
  • Tools you need for advanced workfl ow design such as workfl ow templates, jumps, sub-workfl ows, and scripting—that let you harness the true power of Content Server workflows.
  • How to group approvers and even select them dynamically based on the business rules—maybe the last bit of advice you will need to automate that complex business process you were looking at. 
  • Different types of workfl ows you have to choose from and how to pick the best one for your task at hand.


Grab your copy here:
http://stellentexperts.com/se/Training/0387-chapter-5-understanding-workflows.pdf

Best,
D

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hundreds are loving the new Site Studio now... even though they first found its new site design messy and annoying!

If you're in any way, shape or form are involved with Oracle Web Content Management... and not yet in love with the new Site Studio 10gR4 (11g) - this may well be the biggest time-saver article you read in your entire week. Here's what its all about.

When the new Site Studio 10gR4 was released back in Dec 2008 - I used to hate it from my first sight. One of my clients at the time called the older Site Studio "a kludge". To him - primary and secondary page templates, replaceable regions and static lists were simply the many pieces of one monster-sized tangled messy nightmare. Imagine adding another 3 (!) levels of indirection and 5 new types of site assets on top of all these! Wasn't that messy enough as it is? Who would ever use it? Are they losing it after Oracle bought them?

But time has passed by and I soon realized that - nope. They haven't lost their marbles. In fact, the new design does save a ton of time in the long run.... And - no - it doesn't take that much longer to design a site in R4.

Let me give you an example. Let's say, you have a web site that you need to manage with WCM and most of your pages look like this: 


The all-familiar header, left menu and footer. The simple content area with header and the body. Sometimes it may need a flash video player or image gallery. Sometimes it will need right hand links....

Let's now say, your home page and your section landing pages are slightly different. They look like this:


We've added the right hand links and the news story layout for your content area - with multiple sections of content.

What site structure elements wall you need to implement this in 10gR3? Let's see...
  • You'll need fragments for header, footer and your left menu
  • A layout template for layout B as shown
  • Another template for layout B with the right hand links
  • One more template for layout B with flash video player
  • Another six variations of Layout B template - with and without these elements
  • A few more layout templates to cover the variations of Layout A

    So far, we've got 18 variations of layout templates... and we haven't even got a complex site! What if you need to change your options on the rich edit control or your HTML doc type declaration? What if you change your security model and need to update the path to your css file? That's right - 18 templates to change each and every time! ... and that's still a fairly simple site.... Try making that site multi-lingual!

    Now let's "re-design" this in Site Studio 11g (10gR4)

    • Yep, you'll still need your fragments for header, footer and your left menu... but....
    • Now all you need is just ONE layout template!

      One instead of 18! Isn't that neat?

      How? Let me explain.

      You simply make one layout page, but instead of contribution regions, you put new placeholder tags in it. They will contain region templates, user- switchable mini-templates for your contribution regions. You will have 2 placeholders in the template - one for main content and one for your right-hand links.

      For Layout B your contributors will pick a "simple page" region template or "simple page with flash video" one. If the page needs right-hand links - they'll assign content there. If not - they'll leave it blank - so there's no html being generated. No empty region garbage. No html layout problems.

      Or they may simply pick the "multi-section page" region template - and you've got your Layout A covered.

      And if that's not enough - you'll only have ONE Rich Edit element definition instead of 18! Just one plain text element. One place to update your CSS file if security group was updated!

      And if these savings aren't enough - consider the fact that Site Studio 10gR4 is being used in new Oracle UCM 11g. It will be there for years to come - and you owe it to yourself to master it.

      But what if days of painful trail and error, sifting through 486 pages of the new Site Studio Designer Guide and bugging Oracle Support is just not your idea of fun?

      There's always a better option!

      In fact, there're multiple... But the one many of my clients found the most helpful is this: you spend an hour or two with a pro. Live dialog. He gets you the scoop and answers your questions. You take your time... learn at your own pace...

      And we only focus on important stuff. No filler. No "repeat of the basics" time-wasters. Just the new features in 10gR4 - that you need to drive home. Just the battle-hardened tips and time-saving insider info.

      And if that's not enough - you get ...

      Full 3 months of unlimited email support

      You have a question - just shoot an email and get an answer. Its that easy! No support tickets to open. No formalities, no favours to ask. Direct access to a practicing Site Studio 11g/10gR4 pro - all yours for 3 full months!

      But isn't getting an expert on the phone for 2 hours very expensive? You'll be pleasantly surprised! Remember, its ECM Solutions, the best value in Oracle UCM! There's no outrageous charges - just one flat, low hourly rate.

      And if you choose to get the unlimited support option - just add another 2 hours of the same, low hourly rate. That's it!

      Just schedule an online meeting at the time that works for you and get your own, personalized Site Studio rocket boost. ... And yes, you can put as many people on the call as you feel will benefit from participating. No per-person charges.

      But isn't there a catch? There must be! Yes, I must admit, there's one. Resources are limited, so you must act now. When we get our hands full - we put our current customers first, not the new ones. So we may ask you to wait - if you don't act now. Drop us a line at contact at stellentExperts dot com and claim your time spot - while they're still available. 

      Friday, August 13, 2010

      How to install new Oracle UCM 11gR1 faster then everyone else thought possible

      If you, like the most of Stellent folks I know, are feeling pressure to try the new UCM 11g, but don't have a week to spend on trial and error - this will be the most important email you've received in this entire summer.

      I've just published a complete set of videos that shows you exactly how to install and configure new Oracle UCM ... faster than everyone else thought possible. Set up your own complete portable environment on your laptop or desktop - in a short afternoon - and watch your buddies' jaws drop!

      This really is the lazy man' guide to building your own Oracle UCM 11gR1 environment (in just a few short hours).

      I show you how to avoid all the pitfalls and get it done right the first time. Let those know-it-alls struggle for a couple of days. Why not get it over with in an hour or two... and go play golf?

      Just go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1zAzaXCJwQ and see how easy it can really be.

      Additional videos are available at http://www.youtube.com/stellentexperts

      For more killer tips and hot insider information .. or to get a helping hand (without breaking a bank) - check out ECM Solution - www.stellentExperts.com

      Cheers

      Saturday, April 17, 2010

      Discover Oracle UCM over a lunch break...without skipping a meal

      If you need to learn Oracle UCM as fast as it humanly possible, this may be the best article you ever read. My recent UCM review, published by CMS Wire, walks you through the major features in just a few short minutes. So you can literally learn it on your lunch break, and still have enough time left to grab a meal.

      Check out the article here

      P.S. if you're a seasoned UCM professional, I'll give you another reason to still check it out - just look at these comments... Ouch! You gotta see them!