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Applet Edit Web Layout in IP 2017

A couple of people have asked me recently about the inactive “Edit Web Layout” menu item in Siebel Tools. Well, that functionality is gone – web templates are no longer stored locally in files, but in the database, and so the ability to access this function in Siebel Tools has simply been deactivated. However, all is not lost – “Edit Web Layout” is still available, but you’ll have to access that function through the new Web Tools.

To make matters even more entertaining, that function is not enabled by default nor is it enabled automatically via any of the Patch Sets currently available (up to 17.6 at the time of writing). However, 17.6 does dump a little gem into your Siebel Server BIN folder for you to stumble across, if you happen to read the entire contents of the “Known Issues” section of the patch release notes. Here’s a quick summary of what you have to do, in a Windows environment, to work around “Bug Id 27113012”:

  1. Install the latest Patch Set (17.6 is what I’ve been using) to your Siebel Enterprise
  2. Open a command line and change directory to the Siebel Server installation BIN folder (e.g. <SIEBEL_HOME>\ses\siebsrvr\bin\)
  3. Execute the batch file named “EditWebLayout.bat”
  4. After executing the batch file, you will be prompted to enter the following information:
  5. Check the output of the command in the log file, EditWebLayout.log, and you’ll see that a bunch of seed data has been loaded
  6. Clear the browser cache and re-login to the Web Tools application
  7. Navigate to your Applet then Applet Web Template
  8. You’ll see an “Edit” icon in the bottom right (cunningly, the tooltip says “Preview” – great job, Oracle!)

    Here’s the “Edit Web Template” button

  9. Click this and you’re back on familiar(ish) ground

    And… edit away!

Some wee observations:

  1. Why do Oracle insist on disabling functionality before they fully implement an alternative?
  2. Why do Oracle still find it so difficult to deliver repository and seed data fixes, outside of horribly written, unintuitive, manually executed batch scripts that I have to hunt in their obscure documentation to find?

Ho hum, I guess this sort of hack-around is what we’ve come to expect and accept from Siebel releases these days.

Siebel 17 – Logical Application Deployment

Now that the Siebel 17 installation is complete, we can start the logical configuration and deployment process. It’s at this point you’ll want to apply any Patch Sets or whatever – just remember to shutdown the containers for the AI and Enterprise (via the applicationcontainer\bin\shutdown.bat script) and stop the Gateway service.

Before starting with the logical deployment, quickly check the regional settings on your host, if you’re running Windows. This must be set to “English (United States)” or the deployment process will fail. Oracle are fixing this under bug 27348563.

The Siebel Management Console is where all the activities take place. Think of this as an abstraction over the old configuration batch files, the shortcuts for which used to be installed in your start menu. There’s an order to the deployment tasks, so let’s go through them one by one.

Deploy the Enterprise

  1. First up, create a Siebel Fileshare folder somewhere on the host. I used “D:\Siebel\siebel_fs”
  2. Start the deployment process by navigating to the Profiles > Enterprise tab on the left side of the Siebel Management Console (hereafter referred to as SMC)
  3. Clone the sample profile and give it a name, for example “siebel_enterprise_profile”. The clone button is the one with two squares overlapping
  4. On the first tab, set the primary file system to the absolute path of the fileshare folder that you created. For example, “D:\Siebel\siebel_fs”. Enter the SADMIN username and password in the authentication section
  5. On the next tab, enter your database platform details. See an example from my Oracle Database Server below:
  6. On the next tab, select the “Gateway” authentication profile that you created when first logging in to the SMC
  7. On the last tab, you can leave the encryption type field unchanged
  8. Now submit the profile
  9. Now click the Deployment tab on the left of the SMC, and click the “+” button to create a new deployment action. Click the “Enterprise” item
  10. Select your Enterprise profile, give it a name, and select the “Deploy” radio button before submitting the activity
  11. After a great deal of whirring and clunking, your new Enterprise will be deployed into the ZooKeeper keystore and made available within the Gateway. You’ll also see a file system structure in place, a Gateway service and an ODBC datasource

Deploy the Siebel Server

Deployment of the Siebel Server is more of the same.

  1. Start the deployment process by navigating to the Profiles > Siebel Server tab on the left side of the SMC
  2. Clone the sample profile and give yours a name. For example, “siebel_server_profile”
  3. Enter the SADMIN username and password and the GUESTCST username and password, as you setup in your database
  4. Pick which Component Groups you want to enable and leave the port numbers as is
  5. On the last tab, leave everything as is. You’re all set to submit the profile
  6. Now click the Deployment tab on the left of the SMC, and click the “+” button to create a new deployment action. Click the “Siebel Server” item
  7. Select your Siebel Server profile, and enter your FQDN and HTTS port number. For example, “SIEB17.siebel-tech.com:9021”
  8. Give your Siebel Server a name, pick your languages and you’re ready to submit your Siebel Server deployment
  9. With a bit of luck, you’ll find a Siebel Server Services awaiting you!

Deploy the Application Interface

There’s a bit more to do to deploy the Application Interface, the replacement for the Siebel Web Engine.

  1. Start the deployment process by navigating to the Profiles > Application Interface tab on the left side of the SMC
  2. Clone the sample profile and give yours a name. For example, “ucm_appinterface_profile”
  3. You don’t need to worry much about what’s here, but you’ll want to specify the GUESTCST password as you defined it during the database setup
  4. Pick your object manager and specify your REST response base URL. For example, “https://SIEB17.siebel-tech.com:9011/siebel/v1.0/”
  5. On the second tab, give the application a name, for example “ucm” and choose the object manager. I’ve gone for “ucmobjmgr_enu”. Update the anonymous GUESTCST user password as before
  6. The third and forth tabs can remain unchanged. Simply submit your profile
  7. Now click the Deployment tab on the left of the SMC, and click the “+” button to create a new deployment action. Click the “Application Interface” item
  8. Specify the FQDN and HTTPS port number again. For example, “SIEB17.siebel-tech.com:9021”
  9. Select your profile and give the new AI a name and description before submitting the deployment
  10. You should see green lights all around!

You can now access your Siebel 17 user interface using your host plus the name of your AI profile. For example, “https://sieb17.siebel-tech.com:9011/siebel/app/ucm/enu”

Good luck!

Self Signed Certificate for Siebel 17

It has been rather quiet of late, I’m afraid. The trials and responsibilities of everyday life continue to thwart my efforts to update the blog and keep you appraised of all things “after Siebel”! However, Siebel 17 is not forgotten and I’ve been working closely with Oracle to iron out a bug or two in the IP 2017 deployment process as well a running a project to deploy IP 2017 as part of a large Enterprise programme. More on all that shortly.

In the meantime, I wanted to put the question of self signed certificates to bed and show you how to produce keystore and truststore files for an IP 2017 installation.

You’ll have to install OpenSSL and a Java SDK somewhere on your machine. The machine itself must have a Fully Qualified Domain Name: “MySiebelHost” will not do, it must be “MySiebelHost.mydomain”. In Windows, you can easily get around this without having to actually create a domain and register your machine on it by setting the “Full computer name” in the System Properties:

Anyway, without further ado, I give you “MakeKeys.bat”:

Simply save to a .BAT file (this is Windows, but should work with small mods on a Linux environment) and set the parameters appropriately. Execute the file and use the resulting “siebelkeystore.jks” file for both the keystore and truststore in your Siebel installations, across all components on that machine.

Siebel 17 – Database Configuration

Having installed the Siebel 17 software, there’s one more step before we can set up the logical Gateway, Enterprise, Siebel Server and Application Interface (what used to be the SWSE): install the Siebel database.

As part of the Siebel Server installation, you’ll have installed the Siebel Database Server components. You can find a traditional shortcut to the configuration tool on your start menu, just like the good old days. Invoke this, enter your database connectivity details and sit back while the installer does its thing:

I noted that the installation process is significantly quicker than it used to be, even though the database installer has a lot more work to do in setting up the repository tables for workspaces. After just over an hour, I have a Siebel database ready to use.

Within the Siebel Server bin folder, you’ll find a shortcut to the license key deployment tool (LicenseKeyModule.bat). Double click this and enter your database connection details:

Select the components you’d like to use in your development environment. Click “Apply” to finish the job:

We’re ready to rock – tune in tomorrow for a detailed guided to the Siebel Management Console and the process to deploy the Gateway, Enterprise, Siebel Server and AI.

Installing Siebel 16 on AWS

Well, it was only a matter of time before I ended up working with Siebel again!

I’ve been introduced recently to Amazon Web Services – AWS to you and me. So this is what Cloud Computing is all about! I’m utterly gob-smacked by the power of this platform, the stuff you can do and the speed at which you can do it.

I was tasked with building a Siebel 16 installation using AWS and it is amazingly straight forward. Not to mention incredibly cost effective, compared to using physical hardware and on-premise virtualisation.

I thought I’d share with you the process of spinning Siebel up “in the Cloud”!

First up, my architecture involves two AWS instances – an RDS instance for the database and an EC2 instance for the Application and Web Servers. Using RDS, I’m able to spin up an Oracle Enterprise Edition 12c database in less than 10 minutes. It’s literally a few clicks and you’re done – no more slaving away with OUI, downloading files and the installation and configuration process. AWS captures parameters from simple web pages and does the rest – lightening fast. AWS will even keep my Oracle installation up to date, automatically applying minor patch updates during a maintenance windows that I can define.

SiebelDBAWS

So, I have a database instance up and running. I then spin up a new Windows 2012 R2 server. Again, the process is ludicrously quick. I choose from a number of types that have varying RAM, CPU and bandwidth allocations, allocate C and D drives with 60 and 120GB respectively and click a button. Less than 10 minutes later, I have an RDP file to download to my laptop that allows me to connect to the new server. I then jump on to Oracle eDelivery and download the Siebel installation media – I’m getting speeds of nearly 70MBs (that’s mega BYTES, not BITS!) and download the full Siebel installation in under 15 minutes. I unzip the media and backup the installation files to Amazon’s storage offering, S3.

SiebelE2App

I download and install a Java SDK, Oracle 12c 32-bit Client and SQL Developer then set up my TNSNAMES. I then run SNIC to extract everything and prepare my Siebel installation media and kick off my Siebel installation. Within another couple of hours I have a fully functioning Siebel environment.

While this is all pretty much “installing Siebel on a remote server”, the real benefit comes of now saving my Siebel Server installed as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI). This will allow me to VERY quickly spin up new Siebel 16 server environments for whatever I need – training, dev environments, the list is endless.

I’ve always been a bit of a cynic when it comes to “Cloud” computing but AWS has got me converted. This stuff is HUGE and it is AWESOME – with this stuff, server rooms are sure to become a thing of the past.

Siebel IP 2016

Siebel Innovation Pack 16 (AKA Siebel IP16 or just Siebel 16) has hit Oracle eDelivery! I kicked off a download of the installation media over the weekend and have been chipping away with the installation over the last couple of days.

download

Nothing exciting to report at the moment, as I’ve successfully patched up my Siebel 15 installation across the Server, SWE, Tools and Web Client. A couple of quick notes, until I get around to testing out the new functionality:

  1. Downloads from Oracle Software Delivery Cloud (AKA Oracle eDelivery) have been greatly improved, thanks to the use of Akamai Download Manager. Akamai lets you queue large downloads (Siebel 16 is 75GB in total!) and resume any that have failed. I left Siebel downloading over-night to be met with a full set of ZIP files in the morning
  2. You are now, very directly, asked to accept Oracle’s ‘Oracle Standard Terms and Restrictions’ agreement. Make careful note of the text here, if you’re setting up and using a ‘trial’ environment such as I am. Oracle have provided guidance on the use of it’s software outside of licensed customer environments.

The installation wizards offer nothing new but, progress bar insanity aside, everything has installed smoothly.

My next challenge is to install Siebel Tools on XE and enable the new Siebel Composer functionality. XE is proving to be an interesting challenge, as my base Siebel Server box already uses Oracle XE as the Siebel Server database. When I attempt to enable XE on the Tools instance installed there, I get an error: presumably because XE is already installed. I guess I’ll have to set up a separate Windows 8/10 WM to get a local Siebel Tools instance installed.

As soon as I have the process of installing Tools with XE and enabled the new funky functionality, I’ll post up a new article.

Watch this space!