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Configuring iSQL*Plus

Configuring the Client Tier

This section discusses options for configuring your web browser to use iSQL*Plus. Specific topics discussed are:

Session Integrity

Each iSQL*Plus login is uniquely identified, so you can:

iSQL*Plus supports this stateful behavior by storing session context information in the Oracle HTTP Server. You must ensure that your Oracle HTTP Server always routes HTTP requests to the same server, otherwise the session context will not be found. However, you may find it useful to start more than one Oracle HTTP Server to distribute user load across the multiple servers.

Adding MIME Types

Some web browsers may require you to either remove a MIME type definition or application association for files with a .SQL extension, or to create a MIME type or application association for files with a .SQL extension in order to load scripts into iSQL*Plus.

For example, to set up an application association for files with a SQL extension in Netscape Navigator 4.7 for Windows NT:

  1. Select Preferences from the Edit menu.

  2. Select Applications from the Navigator menu tree.

  3. Click the New Type button. On the displayed form, enter

    Description of type: SQL files
    File extension: SQL
    MIME type: text/plain
    Application to use: notepad.exe
    Uncheck the "use this MIME as the outgoing default for this extension"

    If this is not set up in your web browser, you may get an error when you try to load scripts that iSQL*Plus cannot identify as text files.

Adding Proxy Server Exceptions

Some configurations of proxy servers may affect the ability of the iSQL*Plus user interface to connect with the iSQL*Plus Server. If you cannot connect with the iSQL*Plus Server, a browser alert "Document contains no data" is displayed when you try to load the iSQL*Plus Login screen. If the Oracle HTTP Server has been started and this situation occurs, you should reconfigure your proxy server or create a proxy exception in your browser for the Oracle HTTP Server running iSQL*Plus. There are two examples of setting proxy exceptions following:

To configure the proxy exceptions setting in Netscape Navigator 4.7 for Windows

  1. Select Preferences from the Edit menu.

  2. Select Proxies from the Advanced category.

  3. Select the Manual proxy configuration radio button.

  4. Click View. The Manual proxy configuration dialog is displayed.

  5. Enter the Oracle HTTP Server domain for which you do not want to use a proxy in the Exceptions pane.

To configure the proxy exceptions setting in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0

  1. Select Internet Options from the Tools menu.

  2. Click Lan Settings in the Lan Settings pane on the Connections tab.

  3. Click Advanced in the Proxy Server pane. This is only available if Use a proxy server is selected.

  4. Enter "*." followed by the Oracle HTTP Server domain for which you do not want to use a proxy in the Exceptions pane. For example, to enter an exception for the Oracle HTTP Server domain, machine_name.domain, you must enter *.machine_name.domain.

Retained Session Settings

Certain settings from a session are either retained or automatically filled in the next time you log in to iSQL*Plus from the same workstation:

Your password and your Output preference are not saved.

Configuring the iSQL*Plus Server

The iSQL*Plus Server is installed during Oracle9i Database installation on the middle tier. You can:

Setting the iSQL*Plus Threads Parameter

The iSQLPlusNumberOfThreads parameter sets the number of threads enabled in the iSQL*Plus Server. Because each thread enables an HTTP request to be handled, this value sets the maximum number of simultaneous HTTP requests that can be handled by the iSQL*Plus Server.

When many users are executing long running queries, increasing the iSQLPlusNumberOfThreads value may help performance. You can edit the iSQL*Plus configuration file, isqlplus.conf, to change the number of threads. The syntax of the line to change in the configuration file is:

FastCgiServer ... -initial-env iSQLPlusNumberOfThreads=n

Where n can have a minimum value of 1, and a maximum determined by machine resources. When no value is set, iSQLPlusNumberOfThreads defaults to 20.

Setting the iSQL*Plus Log Level

The iSQLPlusLogLevel parameter determines whether logging in iSQL*Plus is enabled and the level of logging. Logging is useful to help resolve user problems. Logging can be turned off, set to warn level or set to debug level, which provides the richest information.

The default is off, and the default logfile location is %ORACLE_HOME%\sqlplus\log\isqlplus\log.xml in Windows, and $ORACLE_HOME/sqlplus/log/isqlplus/log.xml in UNIX.

When logging is enabled, iSQL*Plus appends log data to an existing log file, or creates a new file if one does not exist. If there is any sort of write error that prevents writing to the logfile, iSQL*Plus starts, but does not create a log file or log any messages.

There are five classes of log messages.

Each log message is prefixed with "iSQL*Plus:", and SP2 messages are prefixed with "iSQL*Plus: SP2-00000:". Each log message also has a timestamp. Debug and fatal messages may additionally have a thread number. You can edit the iSQL*Plus configuration file, isqlplus.conf, to change the log level. The syntax of the line to change in the configuration file is:

FastCgiServer ... -initial-env iSQLPlusLogLevel=[off|warn|debug]

Setting the iSQL*Plus Timeout Parameter

Timing out iSQL*Plus sessions helps to reduce machine load and to maximize resources. The time out interval is set by the iSQLPlusTimeOutInterval initialization parameter. It defines the time a session can be idle before it is expired. You can edit the iSQL*Plus configuration file, isqlplus.conf, to change the timeout interval. The syntax of the line to change in the configuration file is:

FastCgiServer ... -initial-env iSQLPlusTimeOutInterval=n

Where n is the number of whole minutes of idle time before the session times out. iSQLPlusTimeOutInterval has a default of 30 minutes. It can be set to any value from 1 to 1440 minutes.

When a user tries to use a timed out iSQL*Plus session, the Login screen is displayed and the user is prompted to log in again and the following error is displayed:

SP2-0864: Session has expired.  Please log in again.

Changing the Cascading Style Sheet

iSQL*Plus uses a cascading style sheet to control the format of the user interface. You can replace the default style sheet with your own style sheet. It is recommended that you do not delete the default style sheet, but rename it so that you can revert to it if necessary.

For example, to replace the cascading style sheet in Windows

  1. Navigate to the %ORACLE_HOME%\sqlplus\admin\iplus\ directory.

  2. Rename the existing style sheet from iplushlp.css to another name.

  3. Copy your new style sheet to the %ORACLE_HOME%\sqlplus\admin\iplus\ directory.

  4. Rename your new style sheet to iplushlp.css.

  5. You may need to refresh your web browser display to see the effects of your new style sheet.

Configuring the Oracle HTTP Server

The Oracle HTTP Server is installed during Oracle9i Database installation on the middle tier. You can:

Additional iSQL*Plus configuration information must be included in the Oracle HTTP Server configuration file, httpd.conf, for the iSQL*Plus Server.

There are two levels of include:

Changes are usually only made to:

After making changes to .conf files, check them to make sure there are no errors, and then stop and start the Oracle HTTP Server to implement the changes.

Testing the Oracle HTTP Server Configuration File

To check the Oracle HTTP Server configuration file, httpd.conf, and any included configuration files for errors. On Windows do the following steps:

  1. Open a Windows Command Prompt.

  2. Change directory to the Oracle HTTP Server home directory by entering:

    cd %ORACLE_HOME%\Apache\Apache
    
  3. Parse the Oracle HTTP Server httpd.conf configuration file by entering:

    apache -t
    

    Any errors in the configuration file are displayed. If there are any errors, edit the included configuration files, oracle_apache.conf or isqlplus.conf, again to correct them and then test again. If there are no errors, the message "Syntax OK" is displayed.

On UNIX, do the following steps:

  1. Open a terminal.

  2. Change directory to the Oracle HTTP Server home bin directory by entering:

    cd $ORACLE_HOME/Apache/Apache/bin
    
  3. Parse the Oracle HTTP Server httpd.conf configuration file by entering:

    apachectl configtest
    

    Any errors in the configuration file are displayed. If there are any errors, edit the included configuration files, oracle_apache.conf or isqlplus.conf, again to correct them and then test again. If there are no errors, the message "Syntax OK" is displayed.

Starting and Stopping the Oracle HTTP Server

For changes to the Oracle HTTP Server configuration file, httpd.conf, and any included configuration files to take affect, you must stop and restart the Oracle HTTP Server if it is running. There is no convenient way to know how many users are currently accessing the server, so it is important to have the server down for the shortest time. When making changes to configuration files parse the httpd.conf configuration file and report any errors before starting and stopping the Oracle HTTP Server.

To stop and start the Oracle HTTP Server. On Windows do the following steps:

  1. Open a Windows Command Prompt.

  2. Change directory to the Oracle HTTP Server home directory by entering:

    cd %ORACLE_HOME%\Apache\Apache
    
  3. Stop the running Oracle HTTP Server by entering:

    apache -k shutdown
    
  4. Start the Oracle HTTP Server by entering

    apache -k start
    

On UNIX, do the following steps:

  1. Open a terminal.

  2. Change directory to the Oracle HTTP Server home bin directory by entering:

    cd $ORACLE_HOME/Apache/Apache/bin
    
  3. Stop the running Oracle HTTP Server by entering:

    apachectl stop
    
  4. Start the Oracle HTTP Server by entering

    apachectl start
    

Enabling or Disabling iSQL*Plus

You can edit the Oracle HTTP Server configuration file to disable iSQL*Plus.

To disable the Oracle HTTP Server

  1. Stop the Oracle HTTP Server.

  2. Change directory to the Oracle HTTP Server configuration directory by entering:

    On Windows:

    cd %ORACLE_HOME%\Apache\Apache\conf
    

    On UNIX:

    cd $ORACLE_HOME/Apache/Apache/conf 
    
  3. Open the oracle_apache.conf configuration file.

  4. Comment out the isqlplus.conf include line by inserting a # at the beginning of the line as follows:

    On Windows:

    # include "ORACLE_HOME\sqlplus\admin\isqlplus.conf"
    

    On UNIX:

    # include "ORACLE_HOME/sqlplus/admin/isqlplus.conf"
    

    Where ORACLE_HOME is the path of your Oracle home directory.

  5. Save your oracle_apache.conf file.

  6. Check your edits by parsing the edited configuration file. See "Testing the Oracle HTTP Server Configuration File"

  7. When you next start the Oracle HTTP Server, iSQL*Plus is disabled.

To re-enable iSQL*Plus, reverse the edit to uncomment the include line in oracle_apache.conf and restart the Oracle HTTP Server.

Configuring the Database Tier

Oracle9i is installed on the database tier. The database tier may be physically separate from the middle tier and accessed using Oracle Net, or it may be the same physical machine as used by the middle tier. If you are using Oracle Net to access the database, then make sure the database listener is configured and running. For further information about configuring Oracle9i, see the Oracle9i documentation.

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