Aug 31: An Oracle XE user speaks
Oh, look ... here comes Peter Robson again. This is a follow-up on a pub chat that I simply insisted he supply, rather than just moaning to me and his pint glass. I don't have enough experience of XE to comment on the veracity of his claims, but here's an unhappy userI've been ranting on XE with Doug Burns over the past weeks, and was finally persuaded to waste yet more time on the product with a comment here.
So briefly - I downloaded and installed XE because I wanted a simple platform to do some SQL stuff on my laptop. Leave EE on my desktop. So downloaded, installed, Yes very smooth. Then tried (according to documentation) to go to the home page. No way. Tried. And tried (changing http address etc etc). Went to OTN forum. And surprised to discover no small number of other people having exactly the same problem. What was significant was that nobody replying to these problems could offer either a definitive explanation for what was going on, or a categoric solution. Lots of empirical advice (the opposite of the scientific method, viz: 'try this, it worked for me')I tried some of the suggested solutions, but all without success. So I got a life, stopped wasting time, junked XE, and installed SE onto my feeble laptop. Its running just fine, meets requirements, end of story. Much better SQL interface than the version on XE, incidentally.
Now don't anyone tell me that Oracle XE developers never encountered the problems that several other people and myself ran into. If they didn't - they didn't test properly. If they did - the situation should have been both documented and posted on OTN. Damn it - there was a pretty consistent error message flying up every time. In the immortal words of the cricket enthusiast in the film 'The Lady Vanishes' - 'wasting my time'...
I disagree with you on wasting the time. Alone the fact, that you can run it productively for free (one get almost all the functionality of 10g) is worth to spent time with Oracle XE. The comparison with SE in my opinion is not quite fair - SE is solely database software, installed in traditional (read - well tested not only by oracle, but also by wide number of end users) way. If one speaks about XE, implied is mostly database software with prepackaged application (ApEx), which is an additional component (compared to SE) and so brings more complexity ( and more points of failure). If you try to install ApEx on top of SE and don't have experience in this area - you will face most likely some problerms which are new for you. Enable XML DB listener - yet some additional culprits (which may or may not occur). XE is designed to be installable by unexpirienced user , but he still has to read installation instructions. The installer was changed to meet the former requirement - and this adds some new problems as well. From reading the forum posts however, i think 95% of installation problems could be categrorized by following:
1) Unsupported ( read untested by Oracle) plattform - end user penalty.
2) Security problems ( SELinux on RH, not local admin on Windows etc) - penalty to end user not reading the manuals
3) Network problems ( using dhcp, not properly configured /etc/hosts ) - penalty goes 50/50 to end user not reading the manuals and to Oracle not well enough documented some aspects.
4) Conflicts with existing Oracle software - clearly is Oracle problem while not well tested.
Regarding the forum - i think, in last time the Oracle presence wishes to be better, especially, since Tom Kyte and Mark Townsend are not more active in the forum, it lives mostly from community, but there are still questins which should be answered from Oracle employees...
Well, there are tons of questions regarding Net 8 configuration, but look on comp.databases.oracle.server - what is the most asked question there for EE/SE. Finally, it was intended - to make wider(unexpirienced) number of people familiar with oracle technology.
From my personal expirience - i've done dozens of XE installation on both supported and unsupported plattform - and never had a showstopper.
At the bottom - (imho) - XE rocks!
Hey out there.
I have a little to add to this
After installing XE successfully, and downloading and unzipping Apex 3.1 into the XE directory, I opened a command prompt in the apex directory.
I ran these 3 statements:
@apexins SYSAUX SYSAUX TEMP /i/
As you can see, I did not add the to the first statement.
The second statment is not a full address, just relative (its the directory that XE is installed in, and its the directory that I have the apex directory in.
The third statment has the admin in it.
After all this, put together from this and several sites, my XE now has Apex 3.1 up and running
I hope this helps.
I have installed successfuly XE on my old DELL PowerEdge 1500 machine. It was fast and without any error.
What do you mean by "much better SQL interface that the version on XE"? Did you try firing up SQL*Plus, like you would with EE? Just because there were home page problems, that doesn't mean the SQL interface didn't work. Also, I humbly suggest this blog post to troubleshoot common install issues with XE.
And by "this blog post" I mean:
Thanks very much for that link, it looks like it will prove very useful for others who might run into problems getting started with XE.
I too had this issue. I put the fix up on OTN too. I had a few emails saying thanks, so I assume it works. This was for windows.
The problem was the default for the homepage uses http://localhost
Our security/network people in their effort to help squash MS vulnerabilities, bugs etc have set a policy/rule or something and I freely admit to NOT knowing the proper terminology , on each PC to not allow the PC to connect to localhost. I simply edited the link and made it go to my PC's IP address and that worked well until I was detached from the network. I then edited the link to go to 127.0.0.1 which works very well as well. localhost and 127.0.0.1 are apparently the same in the network world, but I decided not to mention to my network folks that small nugget of information they overlooked.
I have moved to EE myself, but not because I found issues with XE, I simply very quickly used up 4 gig of storage just in testing/playing.
I find it a blessing that XE doesn't use OEM.
Thanks for the comments folks, but because of this ...
I don't have enough experience of XE to comment on the veracity of his claims
... I simply can't respond in detail.
However, I find it a little disconcerting that a product that's designed to get people going with minimal effort and documentation seems to be difficult for some people to install in some environments. I was having a chat about this with a couple of the DBAs at work who claimed that they'd found it would install fine on some PCs they owned, but they'd had nightmares trying to get it to install on other PCs. Remember, they're DBAs who have significant experience of installing standard Oracle, so they're hardly newbies.
I know Peter also spent significant time looking round the otn forum and found lots of similar issues, so there's something going on here and just because some people can get it to install every time doesn't mean it's faultless.
I happen to know Peter's in London this weekend so probably won't have seen your comments but I'm sure he'll be very appreciative of the assistance posted here. I was hoping that the posting would at the very least elicit such helpful comments and perhaps some debate.
As for me, I'm on record elsewhere as saying XE doesn't really interest me - I just wanted to let Peter let his frustration off his chest (he'll probably kill me for saying that!!)
Thanks to all who took the trouble to both read and reply to my original comments. And thanks for the link, Sergio - I was unaware of yours. Neat summary of what I had already collated from trawling the OTN forum postings.
Basically, your collective replies add little and confirm much. Namely that some people are fortunate, others run into trouble, and there can (not always) be a significant gulf between the two experiences. I was unlucky, and used up as much time as I was prepared to spend, given a rather tight schedule. Oh yes, and the reference to 'wasting my time' is a humorous one, as anyone who knows the film I mentioned would quickly appreciate (Recommended as a classic example of British humour, by the way!).
As for the SQL interface, I paid scant attention here, but once XE installed (which, I repeat, it did quickly, smoothly, and without error), and after failing to attach to the home page, I quickly checked the SQL application, and found myself in a primitive DOS window, by default. This lacks the functionality of the more familiar SQL*Plus window - so why didn't that one greet me? Did I miss something? A further exasperation factor, I'm afraid.
As for the localhost, 127.0.0.1, apex etc - yes yes yes - been there, got the teashirt, but to no avail.
I think Doug has it exactly as I am reporting - the installation can be unpredicably flawed, and when it fails, resolving the solution can be a major problem ('nightmare'), even for experienced DBAs like his colleagures.
I therefore stand by my original assertions. Which causes me some discomfort, because strategically I think XE is one of the best things Oracle have done for some time, and indeed I have recommended the product (nearly wrote 'problem' there!) to others. But these basic installation difficulties MUST be resolved to a standard whereby the inexperienced user is not confounded and confused.
> ...and found myself in a primitive DOS window, by default. This lacks the functionality of the more familiar SQL*Plus window - so why didn't that one greet me? Did I miss something?
Possibly you missed the fact that the Windows version doesn't exist any more.
It is the other way around anyway - it is the obsolete Windows version that lacked the functionality of the more familiar CMD version. Can I recommend my handy setup guide:
So much for "HTML-Tags will be converted to Entities"
I guess that didn't mean what I hoped it would.
How about this:
Yeah, I apologise for that - next on my list of things to sort out!
Well I've disabled the plugin to convert markup in comments, so it no longer displays that unhelpful message. I'm not 100% sure whether it will screw something else though, we'll see.
Here's a test of a couple of way of embedding a link
First with HTML tags
Then with BBCode tags