Siebel Client Installation Tip

Moving around from client to client, I have one recurring job – installing Siebel Tools and the Siebel Web Client. I’ve done this dozens of times, with dozens of different Windows builds, and it always takes way longer than it should.

Siebel 6 Client and Tools were delivered using InstallShield, which just worked – and why wouldn’t it, those components have always been Windows only. OUI does try hard, bless it, but it always seems to be on the lookout for ways to make things difficult.

Elusive

Elusive

If the Siebel installation software is on a network drive, and you don’t have access to your local “Administrator” user, you may be used to the OUI “setup.bat” running for 30 seconds, unpacking a load of crap to your hidden AppData\Temp folder and then falling silent. I certainly am. It would seem that OUI likes to run elevated and hates running from a UNC path. Mapping a drive then running a CMD prompt as administrator doesn’t help, as Windows will not give Administrator access to your personally mapped drives.

Thanks to Winability.com, there’s a way around this. Add a simple DWORD registry key:

Reboot, map a drive to your Siebel installation folder. Run CMD as administrator, CD to your required installation folder and run setup.bat

Simples!

Siebel 8.2.2 – First Impressions

Well, I’ve downloaded 8.2.2 Public Sector from eDelivery and unzipped all I need. Here’s a quick summary of what I’ve found so far!

ImageCreator – no more!

Unzipping all the JAR files into a single location left me a bit confused. Where’s ImageCreator.exe? No more, from what I can see! There’s a wee batch file called ‘snic.bat’ that does the job instead. Simply open a command prompt, set JAVA_HOME and run snic.bat. Behold, the new face of ImageCreator:

ImageCreator – but not as you know it

First thing to note – it works great in Windows 7 64-bit! WOO HOO! Thank you Oracle! ­čÖé

All the familiar options are there, so I opt to create installers for the Siebel Enterprise, Tools, Web Client and SWE. English language picked, it creates the installers. Simple, awesome, it works. Hurrah!

Installation

That done, I have two freshly created Windows 2008 R2 VMs ready to roll – one for the App Server / SWE and one for the database. I’ve taken the liberty of installing Oracle 11g in preparation – I hope you don’t mind! I’ve also set aside a Windows 7 64-bit VM for Siebel Client and Tools installations, with the 11g client already installed.

So, the installations. Are they now supported on Windows Server 2008? Well… Yes! The installation process for Server components now follows the OUI method of the Client and Tools installers for 8.1:

Familiar installer

Cool! Much better than the old 8.1 installers. Working great in 64-bit 2008 R2 too – no complaints about incompatibility!

Configuration

Launching the config shortcuts reveals a make over of the configuration wizards, in keeping with the installer look and feel. Everything works as before but it’s much cleaner and much more compatible.

Clean and compatible configuration

Initial Gateway Configuration failed and I don’t know why. You’ll notice that the file system structure of the installation looks very ‘Oracle’ like and far less ‘Siebel’ like – the configuration log files reside in a ‘cfgtools’ folder though I could find no error to speak of in any of the files. I was unable to uninstall the Gateway too – again, no trace of an error in the log files but the configuration wizard refused to complete successfully. Enterprise configuration ran without a hitch.

It’s at this point I will mention that the ODBC datasource for the Enterprise was created in the 32-bit subsystem. That is, checking in the registry (or through the SysWOW version of odbcad32.exe), you’ll see the ODBC entries in the WOW (Windows in Windows – the 32-bit subsystem supporting 32-bit apps in 64-bit Windows) area. This is a disappointment and certainly suggests no native 64-bit support. Checking the binaries in starting the Siebel Server and Gateway, I can see quite clearly that they are running in the 32-bit subsystem so are most certainly not native 64-bit. ­čÖü

GRANTUSR.SQL has received a well deserved make over – a far larger script prompts for more detailed information, performs more checks and is generally easier and safer to use. Excellent stuff.

SWE installation still does not support IIS 7.5 natively and requires the IIS 6 metabase compatibility to be enabled.

The rest of the configuration of the Database Server, Siebel Server and SWE are much the same as before.

Tools and Web Client

Familiar installation dialogs for Tools and Web Client. The only addition is the ability to sign up for Oracle updates, in line with newer Oracle product installations. Windows 7 is now seen as a supported OS, so no compatibility problems this time around. Nice!

Finally, support for Windows 7

┬áNo problems with regsrvr hanging on the Client installation but the installer has crashed at 100% – ‘Updating registry key … AutoStartOnDisconnect’. I’ve had to kill it. ­čÖü Running again ‘As Administator’ seemed to get around this – still not great, thought. I want to be able to install client software without faffing around with UAC.

I’ve had to stop here – the ‘All Inclusive’ keys on the the Oracle License Key page are yet to include 8.2.2 keys, so I can’t go any further.

I’ll post again when I get chance to investigate some of the functional and technical changes present in 8.2.2.

Siebel and Windows 7 – UPDATED

I’ve recently rebuilt my laptop and a number of VMs, all running Siebel 7.8 and 8.1 on Windows 7. Once again, I was faced with the horror of getting ImageCreator, Universal Installer and Siebel running in a Windows 7 environment. I threw in Windows 7 64-bit as well, just to make things interesting.

As a result, I’ve discovered a few shortcuts to getting everything installed and working with minimal fuss – I’d like to share this with you. By the way, the photo in the screenshot below is of our beautiful daughter Emily – I couldn’t resist including it! ­čÖé

Don’t forget to check out MOS Article ID┬á796015.1 and make sure you’re using the version that Oracle has certified on Internet Explorer 8 – Windows 7 comes with IE8 hotwired in and no support for IE7.

ImageCreator

ImageCreator STILL does not work properly in Windows 7, even with the latest Siebel builds (8.1.1.5). To work around this in Windows 7, follow this excellent post from @lex in his Siebel Essentials Blog:

  1. Run: Windows_ImageCreator.exe -is:javaconsole -console
  2. Follow the prompts to build your installers

Install Siebel

The Siebel installers, surprisingly, STILL don’t support Windows 7. Who would have thought.

  1. First up, enable the Administrator account in Windows 7 by clicking Start, type CMD and right click CMD.EXE and ‘Run As Administrator’
  2. Run the following command: net user administrator /active:yes
  3. Restart your machine
  4. Login as user ‘Administrator’
  5. Run the installation via setup.bat as this user and you’ll get none and the grief that you had before. You’ll have to ‘ignore’ the checks on OS version that OUI tells you about
  6. This should work for both Tools and Web Client

Running Siebel Tools

Bless my barnacles, Siebel Tools almost kind of works out of the box with Windows 7! ODBC specific stuff below applies, though.

Tools will run just fine as long as you:

  1. Right click the Tools Shortcut and ‘Run As Administrator’ first time you use it. This lets it write some junk to the registry. After that, you’re good

Running Siebel Web Client

The Web Client – would you Adam and Eve it – doesn’t really support Windows 7. At least, you’ll have trouble with IE8 and I’d suggest putting off installing IE9 for now (and ever):

  1. Edit the Web Client .cfg file for the application you’re working with and edit as follows:

    EnableFQDN = FALSE

  2. In Internet Settings, add ‘http://localhost’ as an ‘Intranet’ site. Make sure the security settings for this zone let you do pretty much whatever with Active X controls – this lets the HIFO get in there. Refer to Article┬áID 1066053.1 on My Oracle Support
  3. If you’re using 64-bit Windows, add the following to your Web Client shortcut (or in the Debug properties in Tools). This ensures that the 32-bit version of IE is in use:

    /d Local /b “C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”

  4. Finally, if you need to amend ODBC settings on 64-bit Windows, don’t forget to use the 32-bit ODBC administrator. The 32-bit Siebel executable will look here, not what you see in the 64-bit ODBC settings:

    C:\Windows\SysWoW64\odbcad32.exe

That’s it! Try it, post and let’s discuss.

Siebel 8.1 on Windows 7

UPDATE: I’ve created a new post with some new discoveries around installing Siebel on Windows 7!

I’ve noticed a lot of interest around using Siebel Tools and the Siebel Web Client with Windows 7:

Having been a Windows 7 user since the early betas, I have to say it’s the best Windows operating system yet. Where Vista piled in with clunky processes, UAC, compatibility problems and a host of other issues, Windows 7 feels light and user friendly. I use it on all my desktops and laptops and I have to say, I love it.

However, since version 7, the Siebel Client and Tools Client seem to have veered away from being happy, Win32 applications. I remember the good old days of Siebel 99 and Siebel 2000 (6.x) with their nice, friendly InstallShield installers and I don’t remember having any problems running them, from NT through XP to Vista. However, things have changed!

Your first hurdle is the download. Long gone are install CD / DVD images: now we have┬ácolossal ZIP file downloads and ImageCreator. Don’t let this put you off visiting Oracle eDelivery and downloading yourself a copy though. Download the 3 or 4 ZIP files associated with the media pack of the version you’re interested in, unzip into a single directory and run ImageCreator. From here, you can create familar installation folders for your target platform and products. This is your first hurdle – ImageCreator HATES Windows 7! The only way I’ve been able to extract an installation is by running the installer in XP mode in Windows 7 Ultimate. Here’s a better alternative for you:

  1. Burn the extracted files to a dual layer DVD
  2. Find an XP machine and run ImageCreator
  3. Create DVDs of the Client and Server installation folders

I know this sounds silly, but it’s by far the best way to get working installers, with language packs, and you only have to do it once.

Your next hurdle in the dreaded OUI – Oracle Universal Installer. Now, in my opinion, OUI is one of the nastiest pieces of software I’ve ever come across. It’s a nightmare and quirky as hell! Don’t let this put you off: there are a few key things to note when running OUI under Windows 7:

  1. Always run the install from a physical drive or mapped drive. It will not run correctly if run from a UNC path
  2. Run the install from a path without spaces. It’s┬ámedieval, but it will save you hassle!
  3. Right click the installer and select ‘Run As Administrator’ and run in the ‘Windows XP SP3’ compatibility mode

If you follow those steps, you should be able to install both the Web Client and Siebel Tools without any problems.

When it comes ┬áto running the applications, follow the same steps as above: for each of the executables (siebel.exe and siebdev.exe), set the ‘Run As┬áAdministrator’ and ‘Windows XP SP 3’ compatibility options in the same way as before.

Configure your CFG file as normal, double click, login in and enjoy! ­čÖé