As Published In
Oracle Magazine
May/June 2006


Managing Oracle Portal

By Aradhana Puri

Questions and answers on configuring and administering Oracle Portal

Oracle Portal, part of Oracle Fusion Middleware, is a Web-based tool for building, deploying, and maintaining self-service and integrated enterprise portals. It also provides services that enable you to perform configuration and administrative tasks. To perform most configuration and administrative tasks in the Oracle Portal instance, you must log on to Oracle Portal as a portal administrator and use administrative portlets. In addition, there are a few administrative tasks you should perform only by using the Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Application Server Control or Oracle Portal utilities or by running provided configuration scripts.

This column focuses on aspects of user management, export/import, and provider registration in an Oracle Portal instance. It presents sample questions from the Oracle Application Server 10g: Administration I exam (Exam#1Z1-311). By successfully completing this exam, you can earn the Oracle Certified Associate level of certification. Note that the sample question format has been adjusted for presentation in this column.

Oracle Portal User Management

To create a new Oracle Portal user, you use Oracle Portal's User portlet. The user account information is stored in Oracle Internet Directory (OID). Oracle Portal also provides predefined sets of privileges for easy setup of user and group access to different types of Oracle Portal objects.

ORCLADMIN, PORTAL, PORTAL_ADMIN, and PUBLIC are the default usernames that are created when Oracle Portal is installed.

Which Oracle Portal schema contains database objects of the portal repository and PL/SQL code?


The correct answer is B. The PORTAL schema is the Oracle Portal product schema, which contains database objects of the portal repository and PL/SQL code. It is a highly privileged database schema and acts as a proxy user for the interaction of the middle tier with the database.

When you create a new Oracle Portal user, the user maps to the PORTAL_PUBLIC schema by default. The PORTAL_APP schema contains the Oracle Portal applications. The PORTAL_DEMO schema contains the Oracle Portal demonstration code.

How should you change the password for the PORTAL schema?

A. Use the ALTER USER SQL command to change the PORTAL schema password in the database.
B. Use the Portal User Profile portlet to modify the portal user's profile.
C. Use Application Server Control.
D. Use the Portlet Repository page group.

The correct answer is C. You must use Application Server Control (shown in Figure 1) to change the password for the PORTAL schema. When you change the password by using Application Server Control, the password is automatically updated in the middle tier, OID, and schema level, keeping the password in sync. Answer A is incorrect because if you change the PORTAL schema password in the database, the password is changed at the schema level only but remains unchanged in OID and the middle tier. Answer B is incorrect because you can use the Portal User Profile portlet to manage the Oracle Portal users but not database schemas. Answer D is incorrect because the Portlet Repository page group does not provide the options for changing the PORTAL schema password.


figure 1
Figure 1: Oracle Enterprise Portal 10g Application Server Control

Oracle Portal Export/Import Utilities

Oracle Portal provides a set of export/import utilities that enable you to migrate portal content between portal instances. You can use export/import utilities to copy or update portal objects between a development instance and a production instance of Oracle Portal, consolidate multiple Oracle Portal instances, merge your multiple Oracle Portal instances to a single instance, or deploy identical content across multiple Oracle Portal instances.

The following are the steps required for exporting and importing objects from an Oracle Application Server instance to another instance. Identify the correct sequence of steps you need to follow to export and import portal objects. 

1. Create a transport set.
2. Export the contents of the transport set to transport tables.
3. Generate the transport set dump file.
4. Transfer the dump file to the target system.
5. Use the command-line script to import the dump file to the target system.
6. Import the objects from the transport tables to the target instance.
A. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
B. 1, 3, 2, 4, 6, 5
C. 3, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6
D. 1, 2, 3, 6, 4, 5

The correct answer is A. The steps for exporting/importing are as follows: (1) Create a transport set by opening Portal Navigator, selecting the portal object you want to export, and clicking the Export action for this object. (2) Export the transport set by clicking Export Now in the Edit Transport Set Wizard. (3) Run the export/import script in EXPORT mode to generate a dump file that contains the transport set. (4) Transfer the dump file to the target system. (5) Run the script in IMPORT mode to load the dump file into the target instance. (6) Use the Import Transport Set Wizard in the target instance to import the objects.

You need to export and import portal objects from a development instance to the production instance of Oracle Portal. You need to export the object-level privileges associated with every object. What would you do?

A. Export the PORTAL_PUBLIC schema after exporting the portal objects.
B. Select the Validate System Tables option while creating the transport set.
C. Use the opeasst.csh script to export the object-level privileges.
D. Select the Export Access Control Lists option while creating the transport set.

The correct answer is D. You select the Export Access Control Lists option to export the object-level privileges associated with every object in the transport set. This exports the associated users and groups. Answer A is incorrect because exporting the PUBLIC_PORTAL schema does not export the object-level privileges. Answer B is incorrect because this option validates system tables before export. For container objects such as Page Group or Portal DB Provider, system tables are always validated before export. Answer C is incorrect because the opeasst.csh script does not export the object privileges.

Registering Oracle Portal Providers

A provider is an entity that is used as a container of portlets. The provider serves as the communication link between Oracle Portal and the provider's portlets. Oracle Portal communicates with the provider, and, in turn, the provider communicates with its portlets.

You can register two types of providers with Oracle Portal: Web and database. In either case, you need to provide the Oracle Portal instance with the name and location of the provider code.

You registered a new database provider with the Oracle Portal instance. The provider registration information is stored in        .

A. The portlet repository
B. The dads.conf file
C. The Oracle Internet Directory
D. The iasconfig.xml file 

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The correct answer is A. When you register a new provider, Oracle Portal saves the provider registration information in the portlet repository, creates a new page in the Portlet Repository page group, and adds portlet items for each of the provider portlets to that page. Answers B, C, and D are incorrect because provider registration information is not stored in the dads.conf file, the OID, or the iasconfig.xml file.

Smith registered the Sales Data provider and added a new portlet to the Sales Data provider. Smith cannot add the same portlet to the CUSTOMERS portal page, because the portlet is not available in the Available Portlets list in the portlet repository. What could be the reason that the portlet isn't available in the portlet repository? (Choose all that apply.)

A. The portlet repository is not refreshed.
B. The user Smith does not have the Manage privilege on the Sales Data provider.
C. The CUSTOMERS portal page is not refreshed.
D. The Web cache is not cleared.

The correct answer is A. When you refresh the portlet repository, registration information about providers and their portlets in the portlet repository is updated. Answer B is incorrect because Oracle Portal grants the Manage privilege on the provider to the user who registers the provider and sets the provider status to online. Answers C and D are incorrect because a portal page that is not refreshed and a Web cache that is not cleared do not prevent the portlet from being available in the portlet repository.


This column has focused on aspects of Oracle Portal management. Oracle Portal administrative services enable you to manage users and groups, migrate content between Oracle Portal instances, and manage provider registration. 

Aradhana Puri ( is a principal Oracle Certification exam developer at Oracle. She has been with the company since 2000.

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