8.55 – Build PeopleSoft Images with DPKs (Part 3)

As we have discussed in part 1 and part 2 of this discussion, Oracle is now shipping PeopleSoft Images with 8.55 and Deployment Kits(DPKs). Dan and I have talked quite a bit about our experiences using these DPKs with VirtualBox and NativeOS installments on Windows, so naturally Linux is up next. This is the OS that I spend most of my time in, so I have been excited to give it a try.

To get started, I took another read through the PeopleSoft Deployment Packages for Update Images Installation guide. Again, this can be found under Installation Documentation on the PUM Home Page. In this document it clearly states that Oracle Linux is supported for this installation. I normally don’t run Oracle Linux, so I was curious if it would work on other flavors. I gave it a try on both SuSE and Ubuntu without success. The bootstrap script basically fails right away, and I didn’t dig any further. So, I spun up a fresh lab install of Oracle Linux 7.2 and used that instead.

As with the other styles of DPK, the first step after you download the Linux .zip files is to extract the first file. Once extracted, you will find a setup directory which contains the bootstrap script psft-dpk-setup.sh. Before running this script, you will need to enable execution by running sudo chmod +x psft-dpk-setup.sh. After that, execute the bootstrap script and you are off and running.

I ran into a few issues with the installation, all related to dependencies(Update: More info here.). I ended up having to install all these packages to get past the issues:

sudo yum install libc.so.6 libgcc_s.so.1 libselinux.so.1 libxml2.so.2 libcrypto.so.10 libdb-5.3.so libffi.so.6 libgdbm.so.4 libncurses.so.5 libncursesw.so.5 libreadline.so.6 libssl.so.10 libtinfo.so.5 ruby rubygem oracle-rdbms-server-11gR2-preinstall

After getting these installed, it was time to give it another try. Running the bootstrap script again was not needed for this. Instead, I simply ran puppet apply site.pp which needed to be executed from the /etc/puppet/manifests directory. This time everything ran to success.

I chose the default initialization process, but you may want to make a few changes in your deployment. The changes you are most likely to make are related to security. By default the DPK will create 4 local user accounts: psadm1, psadm2, psadm3 and oracle2. This may not fit in with your security polices, so changing this could be crucial. In the installation guide, search for Task 6-1, which will walk you through the changes needed in your psft_customization.yaml file. If you do choose the defaults, then take a look at Task 7-1. This will cover all the default installation directories, as well as the default users and how they are used.

As always, if you ran into any other issues or have other observations related to the Linux NativeOS install, please let us know about it in the comments below!

Update: If you want to learn more about the DPK, check out our new PeopleSoft DPK QuickStart course. This free course will introduce you to the DPK, show you how to use the DPK with PeopleSoft Images, and show you how to customize the DPK for your servers.

 

Fix NativeOS DPK Issues on Windows (Part 2)

In Part 1, Fix NativeOS DPK Issues on Windows, we covered the service changes and TNS Listener change to resolve issues with the NativeOS DPK. But, I realized today that I approached the TNS Listener issue the “old way”. We are working with DPK’s now and there is a different method to manage configuration changes: Puppet and Hiera.

In the new 8.55/DPK setup, configuration changes are handled in the psft_customizations.yaml Hiera file. psft_customizations.yaml overrides the default configuration provided by the DPKs. So, if we want to change the Oracle Listener port, let’s add it the YAML file.

psft_customizations.yaml

---

db_port:               1521

Don’t forget the --- at the top of the file. The --- is a file delimiter; you can include more than one YAML “file” inside a physical .YAML. file.

Copy the file to C:\ProgramData\PuppetLabs\Puppet\etc\data or /etc/puppet/data.

Fresh Install v. Existing Install

The theory behind Puppet (and the DPK’s) is that you describe your configuration and Puppet does the implementation. In our case above we have changed the configuration of db_port. If this was an existing installation of the DPK (e.g, you’ve already build HR 9.2 Image 16 using the DPK), we should be able to change that value. Unfortunately, the Puppet providers for PeopleSoft aren’t that robust. (I hope that is a feature that will be released). If you have already installed your PeopleSoft Image, you can make the change above, but when you run puppet apply site.pp the listener port is not updated.

But, if you are installing a NativeOS-based PeopleSoft you can include this change. When you run the bootstrap script, you are presented with the question “Do you want to continue the default initialization process?”. Answer No. (This [poorly worded] question means: Do you want to change any configuration?)

At this point, the bootstrap script will stop and you can copy your psft_customizations.yaml file into the data folder. Once your change is in place, we just start the Puppet process using puppet apply site.pp

You need to run the puppet apply site.pp command from C:\ProgramData\PuppetLabs\Puppet\etc\manifests or /etc/puppet/manifests.

Fix NativeOS DPK Issues on Windows

The NativeOS DPK’s for PeopleSoft Images are a welcome change. With the NativeOS DPK, you can deploy the PeopleSoft Images on Windows. This is great news for PeopleSoft customers who run Windows; the PeopleSoft Image can be on the same platform as the rest of your systems. The DPK process is great. There are so many advantages with DPK over the previous methods, but there are a few rough edges in the DPK process. Here are some changes I made to our HR 9.2 Image 16 virtual machine. We ran the NativeOS DPK on this Windows 2012 R2 server, with no changes to the configuration.

Services

The DPK installation will create a Windows service for the PIA, but no service is created for the Tuxedo domains. And, the services are set to “Manual”. So, when you reboot the VM, the web, app and batch server’s won’t start. This is an easy fix, but an annoying change to make when the DPK’s are supposed to automate everything. In psadmin,

  1. Select “Services Setup” option (6).
  2. Select “Configure Windows Service” (1).
  3. Enter “Y” to change the values.
  4. Enter “Y” to change the values (yes, you have to do this twice…)
  5. I changed the service delay to 10.
  6. Add APPDOM for the Application Server Domain.
  7. Add PRCSDOM for the Process Scheduler Domain.
  8. Leave the Search Server Domain blank
  9. Enter “N” – we are done with our chagnes.
  10. On the Services Administraton menu, select “Install Windows Service” (2).

Now we have a service for the Tuxedo domains, but the service is configured to start manually. Let’s go change that.

  1. From the Start menu, select Run and enter services.msc.
  2. Find the new service “PeopleSoft …” and double-click it.
  3. Change the Startup Type to “Automatic” and close the window.

We also want to change the PIA service to start automatically.

  1. Find the service “PIA Domain peoplesoft Service” and double-click it.
  2. Change the Startup Type to “Automatic” and close the window. The same is true for the Oracle services.

Let’s set those to start automatically.

  1. Find the service “OracleServiceCDBxxx” and double-click it.
  2. Change the Startup Type to “Automatic” and close the window.
  3. Find the service “OracleOraDB12cHomeTNSListener” and double-click it.
  4. Change the Startup Type to “Automatic” and close the window. The next time you reboot the server, your PeopleSoft and Oracle services will start automatically. But, you’ll probably run into this next error on the reboot.

Oracle Listener

After rebooting the NativeOS DPK installed server, the Oracle listener cannot find the database, which also prevents the app and batch server from starting. If you try to connect to the database you’ll get a

ORA-12514: TNS:listner does not currently know of service requested in connect descriptor error. This is a pretty easy fix (although I spent a few hours testing many different “fixes”). Change the port number for the Listener.

UPDATE: There is a different/better way to make this change if you haven’t run the DPK for your PeopleSoft Image yet

  1. In the tnsnames.ora file, change the port to 1521. The DPK default path is [base folder]dbtnsnames.ora
  2. In the listner.ora file, change the port to 1521. The DPK default path is [base folder]dboracle-server12.1.0.2networkadminlistener.ora. Restart the Oracle services and test your listener configuration. From the command prompt, try to connect to the database with SQL*Plus:

sqlplus sysadm/sysadm@hr92u016

Once you can connect to the database, you can boot the app and batch servers. Or, reboot the entire server and make sure all the services start automatically.

Final Thoughts

While there are some issues with the DPK process right now, it’s easy to get frustrated. The effort to build the DPK’s was incredible and a huge task. So, it’s not surprising that there are some rough edges with the DPK’s and the new PeopleSoft Image process. But, I’m trying to keep an eye on where these changes are taking us. The DPK’s are a very large undertaking from the PeopleTools group and will substantially improve the way we manage PeopleSoft installations.

8.55 – Build PeopleSoft Images with DPKs

Oracle released the first PeopleTools 8.55-based image, HR 9.2 Image 16. You can now use the Deployment Kits (DPKs) to install a PeopleSoft Image on your own platform and you can have a PeopleSoft Image on Windows.

Virtual Box or Native OS

When you visit the PUM Homepage, you have two options to download the PeopleSoft Image:

  • The VirtualBox image
  • The Native OS DPKs

The VirtualBox option is the same as similar to past PeopleSoft Images. Download the .zip files, extract and combine them to create an the bootstrap script, DPK zips and shell .ova file, and import into VirtualBox. This option might be appealing to organizations who aren’t ready to adopt the DPK’s Native OS method yet. See our Part 2 post for more infomation.

The Native OS DPK’s will build a full PeopleSoft environment on your servers without the need for VirtualBox. The PeopleSoft Image environment can be normal server in your architecture. You have the option of Linux or Windows DPK’s too. For Windows shops, you can run PeopleSoft Images on the same OS your production systems use. But be aware, the DPK’s only support Oracle. If you run SQL Server, your PeopleSoft Images will still run Oracle.

Demo

Here is a demo installing the HR 9.2 Image 16 on Windows.

 

The sequences were shortened for the demo, but the PeopleSoft Image build took me less than 20 minutes on a brand new Windows server. That includes all software installation, building an entire database, and deploying the domains.

Update Feb 2, 2016:Kyle – We dug a little deeper with the VirtualBox option. See Part 2 for more detail.