Kevin Kempf's Blog

June 2, 2010

Oracle E-Business Suite 11i on Chrome in Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) and Windows 7

Filed under: 11i, Oracle — kkempf @ 8:18 am

Disclaimer

I’m certain this isn’t supported by Oracle at this point (but it should be!).  I should also note that I’ve still never successfully looked up a certification on the new My Oracle Support.

Background

Internet Explorer 8 has to be the slowest, clumsiest version of their browser yet.  I couldn’t stand it.  It was as if they had a competition at Microsoft to if they could increase the memory footprint while slowing the program launch time.  As noted earlier I relegated Windows 7 to a virtual machine as Ubuntu more closely matches the way I work.

I love Chrome. It’s free, fast, lightweight and has more screen real estate than any browser I’ve tried.  I like the homepage, where the 8 most popular website destinations of yours are available to click on and go to.  It’s a great browsing experience.

As soon as I install Ubuntu, I’m officially unsupported for 11i, but I’ve been running 11i for years under Linux without incident.  Realistically, in 8 years as an 11i DBA I can’t remember ever needing support for a desktop issue.  This isn’t to say there weren’t bugs with the desktop client, but they were cleared either by upgrading the 8.0.6 server or using a newer jinitiator/java version. Now that Oracle has given jinitator the boot, I feel there’s even less reason for concern.

Setup

My understanding is that Chrome for Linux (Windows as well?) inherits its plugins (flash, java at least) from the operating system.  Therefore, my setup was pretty minimal as I already had JRE installed.  Install the JRE client (it must be the same version as the one your application server expects to find or apply patch 7567782 so that it works on the “equal or greater”  principal of Java versioning)  via Ubuntu software center (it’s called Sun Java 6.0 Plugin) and it just “works”.  Despite the potential for known issues with Java 6 update 20 (Steven Chan has warned about this many times) I have used it without incident in the (admittedly limited) forms I got into in 11i.  Incidentally, does anyone find it ironic that ever since Oracle bought Sun, none of the new Java versions have worked right with 11i?  When I type about:plugins in the URL bar, here’s what I get:

about:plugins

I’d say my launch time from choosing a menu item to a usable java forms session is about 5 seconds.

The proof

Officially, I don't exist

Windows 11i & Chrome

Just as a test, I tried to launch 11i via Chrome on my Windows 7 virtual box; it gives a scary error and fails to work.  This appears to be a conscious decision on the part of Google; glad they didn’t have such lame reservations on Linux!  Oops.  This error pops because Chrome doesn’t want you to dynamically install Java (or Jinitiator, I presume).  After I manually installed Java on Windows 7, Chrome works fine with Windows 7.

Error before JRE is installed on the OS

11i using Chrome on Windows

Up on my soapbox

I don’t understand why Oracle doesn’t support 11i  or R12 on a Linux desktop.  It’s clearly functional, fast, and overdue.  Sure, there’s a zillion flavors of Linux out there and they’d all be impossible to support.  But Oracle has their own version of Linux, why not start there?  That would mean Oracle Unbreakable Linux, RedHat Linux and CentOS could all be covered under the same certification (unless Oracle wanted to claim their knock-off OS is somehow superior to RedHat).  Ubuntu seems like a rather logical choice, as it has the highest desktop adoption rate of any flavor of Linux I know.  I won’t be naive and pretend that just because I’ve proven 11i to work fine on 2 flavors of Linux means all Oracle has to do is stamp a cert.  I realize there’s much more to supporting an OS than whether it works, but at some point Oracle needs to blaze a trail on this issue and just commit to doing it.

A Word of Caution

I’m sure open JDK is a fine product, with good intentions.  However, merely by being installed on my machine, it caused 11i professional forms not to launch right.  My suggestion is to proof this concept with Sun JDK, and don’t install Open JDK (or figure out how to get it off of the default JDK if you do)

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10 Comments

  1. Hi, thanks for the tutorial. It might sound a bit dumb, but I cannot get around installing jre6 1.6.0_07 that my application server needs.

    Through the apt-get it gets the 1.6.0_20, that doesnt’ start the oracle forms.

    Any hint?

    thanks!

    Comment by paolo — August 27, 2010 @ 7:07 am

    • Can you describe the nature of the failure? What screens come up, where does it fail?

      There’s a few things which jump to mind. First is whether you’ve installed patch which allows “greater than or equal to” java versions to run (7567782). The other possibility is that you’ve got open jdk installed on your machine (it keeps trying to install itself) as I noted in the post; if it’s defaulting to this, it simply won’t work (it has to be Sun Java). You’d need to go to the software center and uninstall it.

      Comment by kkempf — August 29, 2010 @ 7:48 pm

      • Hi Kevin,

        thanks for your reply. Googling here and there I have sorted it out. The base problem was that I wasn not aware of the change in the structure of the JRE post u10 to “next generation”. So basically I was trying to run JRE 1.6.0_07 in Firefox 3.6 wich is not compatible.

        Then, once I have sorted it out, I relized I didn’t have the 7567782 patch on my application server…

        So what I am going to do now is to update the JRE on the server from 6u07 to 6u17 (the latest one that seems to have no compatibility issues) then I’ll pass that patch, and then I’ll try again to run the forms through Firefox on Ubuntu.

        I have about 200 client workstations that could run perfectly on Ubuntu… I’d really love to get rid of Microsoft on the client side too.

        I’ll report the about the outcome.

        cheers

        Comment by paolo — August 30, 2010 @ 2:55 am

      • Glad you got it cleared up. I feel obligated to restate that any client configuration on Ubuntu isn’t going to be supported by Oracle. My personal opinion is that not only is Oracle missing the boat, but it’s perfectly safe and usable (I’ve run 11i on linux personally for 5 years now). In my case, I still can’t feel comfortable rolling that configuration company-wide because of support.

        Be very careful about automatic updates to Ubuntu; it will keep trying to install openJDK or Ice Tea and this defaults to be used in lieu of Sun JDK. I’m sure there’s some way to tell linux not to go grab it, but it’s fouled me up at least twice when I wasn’t paying attention to the updater.

        Comment by kkempf — August 30, 2010 @ 5:35 am

  2. The lack of will to certify any deb or rpm based distro is really frustrating.

    I have posted today a comment (under moderation) on Steven’s blog about Oracle’s take on this.

    The mess they have caused with JREu18 through all the flavours of u21 is definately unacceptable from a company of the rack of Oracle. I can expect something like that from the “shop down the read” developer, but from Oracle.

    The my main concern is that Oralce and MS are bond in a sort of convenience-marriage in capping progress.

    You see… I can’t honestly see ANY innovation that MS has brought to life in the past 10 years or so that is worth mentioning.

    I know that any linux based client deployment is not and isn’t going to be support, yet… my relatively small company pays about ??k a year on Oracle’s support and about ??k/y on MS licenses of any sort.

    And I also perfectly know that Ubuntu clients work a charme with JRE+FF3+JREu7 as I have used some development worstation for over 2 years without a glitch.

    Then my take is: once a company grows so big (like MS and Oracle) that needs to keep progress on hold in order to profit, it means it’s time to switch not to be left behind with dead technologies. So if eBS won’t work on Ubuntu+FF3.6+JREu17, well… it’s high time to rid of it.

    Comment by paolo — August 30, 2010 @ 6:00 am

    • I edited your comment to remove exact $ costs and replaced them with ??. There’s a stipulation in our Oracle support contract prohibiting us from sharing cost information and I thought there may be in yours as well.

      I hear you on the certification frustration. It’s a shame because 11i actually runs better on Ubuntu than on Windows. Somehow Mac gets certified, and it’s really not well adopted as a business platform. Adding to the frustration is that Oracle owns an operating system: Oracle Unbreakable Linux (the RedHat ripoff) and it’s not certified.

      Comment by kkempf — August 30, 2010 @ 9:36 am

      • Thanks for editing my post to hide the actual costs.

        The general idea was that saving on those two things, for example, I can afford asking the consulting for help. My experience with the Oracle support (at least sinch when it was moved to India I guess, from Europe for the EU clients) has been pretty much shocking, meaning that if I had applyed, let’s say, 1 out of 10 the remedies that they suggested, my company would have gone toes up ages ago.

        I have the exec board demanding for a mandatory 30% overall cost reduction by the end of 2011(just like many other companies at least accross EU) then I am proceeding in this way:

        1. I have built a client platform that is based on ubuntu-netbook-remix. It lacks some of the clutter the full ubuntu has, and it has a very user-friendly gui which my many lower-than-average users will appreciate. I have removed all the unnecessary packages and all the apt repositories and built my own where I deploy solely the packages we really need and that were previously tested. So the platform is locked, extremely fast and free. It boots in about 10 secs from a 4gb SSD on a core-due-2 slimcase device and the entire client workstation costs in one-shot about 200 usd.

        2. I have been testing, and on the way updating, this client platform for two years now, and I cannot report even one single issue with any of the 24 eBS modules we use.

        3. I had a talk with Oracle EU and they claim there might be a way to enroll in the early-adopters’ program, although it might be more of commercial-propaganda to sweeten the bill of a forthcoming r12 migration.

        What can actually happen deploying an unsupported client-base company wide?

        Comment by paolo — August 30, 2010 @ 11:19 am

      • I hear your pain on support. I often blog about how dismal it is. If there were a separate, reduced fee structure to just have access to Metalink without the ability to open an SR I would seriously consider it. Figuring out the issue myself 9 out of 10 times seems about right.

        My major reluctance with putting the whole enterprise on an unsupported client has to do with the unknown of the Java JRE. Since Oracle bought Sun, they’ve somehow managed to make it work less reliably with the E-Business suite. I fear that Oracle could, for example, decide to do something inane like check the OS version of the client and deny access if it’s not in the approved list.

        Comment by kkempf — August 31, 2010 @ 8:56 am

  3. I got a reply by Sreven Chan on his blog, but it feels a bit like a “copy&paste”.

    http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2007/07/linux_clients_for_the_ebusines.html

    At the end of the discussion.

    Looks like a hopeless cause.

    Comment by paolo — August 31, 2010 @ 10:42 am

  4. good list. thanks.

    Comment by Max — October 7, 2010 @ 4:30 am


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