Oracle Instant Portal - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

An Oracle Portal FAQ
Last update: August 2006

| Introduction | Questions & Answers |

Introduction

Oracle Instant Portal, a feature of OracleAS Portal that offers a point-and-click solution for building a portal, is designed to help small businesses and departments communicate and share information. No up-front development is needed to create a simple portal with preconfigured pages for publishing and organizing content by department or function. Each portal also includes a simple home page for displaying company news and announcements as well as for highlighting newly added content and user favorites. Navigation and Search facilities are also built right in. Your first Oracle Instant Portal is created automatically when Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One is installed. With a single click, you can invoke a wizard to create additional Oracle Instant Portals.

This FAQ contains answers to many of the most commonly asked questions on Oracle Instant Portal, which is a feature of Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One. This FAQ applies to Oracle Instant Portal in Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One; it is not applicable to Oracle Instant Portal in Oracle Application Server 10g Release 2 (10.1.2.0.2).  

For more information on Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One and Oracle Instant Portal:

You can find additional technical and product information on Oracle Instant Portal on the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) Oracle Instant Portal Information page. You can also find valuable information in the Oracle Instant Portal Discussion Forum on OTN.

FAQ contents

1.0 Overview

2.0 Installation and Configuration

3.0 Content Layout

4.0 Globalization

6.0 Search

7.0 Administration

8.0 Performance Considerations

9.0 Troubleshooting

Questions/Answers

1.0 Overview

What is Oracle Instant Portal?

Oracle Instant Portal is an out-of-the-box portal solution to share and communicate information. No upfront development is needed to create a simple portal with preconfigured pages for publishing and organizing content by department or function. Your first instant portal is generated automatically when Oracle Application Server 10 g Standard Edition One is installed. With a single click, you can invoke a wizard to create additional portals instantly. Each portal includes a set of preconfigured pages for publishing and organizing content by department or function. By default these pages map to Sales, HR, Marketing and Finance departments but they are easy to customize to suit the needs of any organization. Each portal also includes a simple home page for displaying company news and announcements as well as for highlighting newly added content and user favorites. Navigation and search facilities are also built right in.

To simplify the process of customizing and managing a portal, Oracle Instant Portal features an innovative in-place editing experience. It really is as simple as point and click to control all aspects of Oracle Instant Portal. A toggle switches users from view to edit mode. Users never leave the page, the editing experience comes to them in the form of a layered UI with in-context toolbars and menus to manipulate the page and its content. Editing features include point-and-click portal branding and styling, page management, content management, user management and access control.

In summary, Oracle Instant Portal:

What is OracleAS Portal and how is it different from Oracle Instant Portal?

OracleAS Portal offers a complete and integrated framework for developing, deploying, and managing world-class enterprise portals. Oracle Instant Portal, a feature of OracleAS Portal, is an application that was built using a subset of OracleAS Portal technology. While Oracle Instant Portal provides a preconfigured portal that enables users to publish and share information with no development expertise required, OracleAS Portal includes Oracle Instant Portal and also provides an extensible portal framework for developing your company's Web presence.

What types of content does Oracle Instant Portal support?

Oracle Instant Portal supports rich text content, uploaded images and files, and links to Web sites and email addresses. The rich text editing toolbar provides a WYSIWYG experience for basic font formatting, adding and manipulating tables and lists,and embedding images and links. Capabilities such as undo, redo, cut/copy/paste are also provided. Users have the option of cutting and pasting HTML directly from other sources or manipulating the HTML in place for even greater control.The Home page features precreated portlets for displaying news and announcements, recently added content, and a personalized list of the user's favorite content.

How many engineers and administrators do I need to build my Oracle Instant Portal site?

None! Oracle Application Server 10 g Standard Edition One and Oracle Instant Portal are both designed so that business users can manage and maintain their own portals, freeing limited technical resources for other tasks.

Exactly how easy is user management and access control?

Users can be created, deleted, and granted privileges directly inside Oracle Instant Portal. A simplified security model organizes users into viewers, contributors or managers for each of the main portal pages. A bulk upload capability for users is available in Oracle Application Server 10 g Standard Edition One.

What are the key benefits?

Oracle Instant Portal: 

What kinds of portals can I build with an Oracle Instant Portal?

Here are some examples:

Employee Intranet

Use to publish documents, news, and other Web content securely inside your organization

Customer Portal

Secure area for your customers to publish support information and other communiques

Partner Portal

Secure area your business partners to share proposals, business information, and collateral

How do I get started?

  1. Download Oracle Application Server 10 g Standard Edition One from the Oracle Technology Network ( link ).
  2. Unzip the file and run the Oracle Installer. In a couple of hours, you'll be up and running.
  3. Click the link to Oracle Instant Portal from the Welcome page or open a browser, enter the URL for your Oracle Portal instance, and press [Enter]. Use the following format for the URL: http://<host name> :<port number>:/pls/portal.
  4. Enter your username and password and click Login.

    The default portal, Instant Portal, opens, ready for you to customize.

When will the features in Oracle Instant Portal be available in Oracle Application Server Portal?

They will be available in Oracle Application Server Portal 10.1.2.0.2.

How many languages does Oracle Instant Portal support? 

Oracle Instant Portal supports all 28 languages supported by OracleAS Portal. 

Is Oracle Instant Portal accessibility compliant? 

Yes. Oracle Application Server 10 g Standard Edition One and Oracle Instant Portal are coded to meet ADA Section 508 and WCAG 1.0, subject to the comments in the VPATs (Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates) accessible from http://www.oracle.com/accessibility

What's the difference between Oracle Instant Portal and Oracle HTML DB?

Oracle HTML DB is a rapid Web application development tool for the Oracle database. Oracle Instant Portal is an out-of-the-box portal application to share and communicate information.

Where can I learn more about Oracle Instant Portal?

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2.0 Installation and Configuration

How do I install Oracle Instant Portal?

Oracle Instant Portal is installed with Oracle Application Server 10 g Standard Edition One. Detailed installation and configuration instructions are provided in the Oracle Application Server 10 g Standard Edition One installation zip file.  

What do my end users need before they can access my Oracle Instant Portal?

End users must have access to a browser. They also need a username and a password.

Which browsers are certified with Oracle Instant Portal?

Oracle Application Server 10 g Standard Edition One and, therefore, Oracle Instant Portal, are certified with the following browsers:

For the most current list of supported browsers, check the Oracle MetaLink site.

Is there any difference between the Oracle Instant Portal user experience between browser types?

Because of differences between browsers, users will experience some different behavior between the browser types. The main differences are:

  • In Netscape and Mozilla browsers, the Forward button appears blank and does not work if you go back from the history page.
  • In Edit mode, table editing is different: In Netscape/Mozilla you can use the arrow keys displayed within the table to add rows and columns.
  • In IE, a table editing menu is displayed from which you can perform table operations.

Will Oracle Instant Portal work through my proxy server?

Oracle Instant Portal is able to request content through any standard proxy server.  It does make HTTP and HTTPS connections, so the proxy must support both HTTP and HTTPS protocols.   

How will I obtain updates on Oracle Instant Portal?

Updates for Oracle Instant Portal are included with updates for Oracle Application Server 10 g Standard Edition One and are available from Oracle MetaLink and the Oracle Technology Network (OTN).

Can I move my Oracle Instant Portal from Oracle Application Server 10 g Standard Edition One to Oracle Application Server 10 g 10.1.2.0.2?

Customers who want to scale up can migrate from Standard Edition One to Oracle Application Server 10.1.2.0.2. The migration process requires you to export your Oracle Instant Portal page groups and then import them into OracleAS Portal 10.1.2.0.2. See the tech note Migrating Oracle Instant Portal from Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One (10.1.2.0.1) to the Standard and Enterprise Editions (10.1.2.0.2) on OTN for complete instructions.

If I've already implemented an Oracle Application Server Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition Portal, can I plug in the Oracle Instant Portal features in that instance?

Yes. You should upgrade to Oracle Application Server (Standard or Enterprise Edition) 10.1.2.0.2 (or later).

Can I convert an existing non-Oracle Portal page group into an Oracle Instant Portal page?

No. You can only create new portals using Oracle Instant Portal.

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3.0 Content Layout

What is the default taxonomy of the default My Company instant portal?

The default My Company portal includes the following tabbed pages and child pages:

Sales tab

 

Sales Reports
Presentations
Customers

 

Information
References
Services

 

Training
Proposals
Collateral
Pricing

Marketing tab

 

Press Library

 

Press Releases
Press Coverage
Press Kits

 

Events
Corporate Graphics Library
Market Intelligence

 

Analysts
Competitors

 

Advertising
Marketing Campaigns

Finance tab

 

Accounting
Financial Reports
Budgeting
Asset Management
Payables
Receivables
Order Management
Policies and Procedures
Contracts
Expenses

Human Resources tab

 

Benefit

 

Health
401k
Vacation and Holidays

 

Recruitment
Employee Handbook
Human Resources Policies
Career Development
Compensation

How do I build an Oracle Instant Portal application?

Use the Oracle Instant Portal Wizard/Portlet which is located on the Build tab of the Oracle Portal Builder. The wizard can generate a site with the default My Company structure described above or from a structure that you provide in an XML file.

What is the format of the XML file that the Oracle Instant Portal generator can use?

Here's an example that implements the default My Company page structure described above. Note: The indenting is for readability
and has no impact on the generated portal.

<taxonomy>
<page title="Company" />
<page title="Sales">

 

<page title="Sales Reports" />
<page title="Presentations" />
<page title="Customers">

 

<page title="Information" />
<page title="References" />
<page title="Services" />

 

</page>
<page title="Training" />
<page title="Proposals" />
<page title="Collateral" />
<page title="Pricing" />

</page>
<page title="Marketing">

 

<page title="Press Library">

 

<page title="Press Releases" />
<page title="Press Coverage" />
<page title="Press Kits" />

 

</page>
<page title="Events" />
<page title="Corporate Graphics Library" />
<page title="Market Intelligence">

 

<page title="Analysts" />
<page title="Competitors" />

 

</page>
<page title="Advertising" />
<page title="Marketing Campaigns" />

</page>
<page title="Finance">

 

<page title="Accounting" />
<page title="Financial Reports" />
<page title="Budgeting" />
<page title="Asset Management" />
<page title="Payables" />
<page title="Receivables" />
<page title="Order Management" />
<page title="Policies and Procedures" />
<page title="Contracts" />
<page title="Expenses" />

</page>
<page title="Human Resources">

 

<page title="Benefits">

 

<page title="Health" />
<page title="401k" />
<page title="Vacation and Holidays" />

 

</page>
<page title="Recruitment" />
<page title="Employee Handbook" />
<page title="Human Resources Policies" />
<page title="Career Development" />
<page title="Compensation" />

</page>
</taxonomy>

Does Oracle Instant Portal include predefined styles?

Yes. Oracle Instant Portal includes 10 predefined color schemes from which you can choose.

Can I customize the Oracle Instant Portal styles (change color schemes, font setting, and so on)?

No, not as a native portal user. The styles and color schemes come from a cascading style sheet (CSS) that is on the Oracle Application Server mid-tier.

Can I place portlets on the same page as other content on my Instant Portal site?

No, not at this time.

What types of items can I add to an Oracle Instant Portal Page?

The following types of items can be added to an Oracle Instant Portal page:

How do I add content to an Oracle Instant Portal Page?

You need to have Contribute privilege on the page. Use the New Item pull-down to select one of the item types described above. You can also use the Edit Mode Toolbar to add tables and images, and to format your text items.

Does Oracle Instant Portal support WebDAV?

Yes, Oracle Instant Portal supports WebDAV. See the Oracle Instant Portal Online Help for more details.

Oracle Instant Portal users with Contribute privileges can use WebDAV support to create and delete items, while those with only View privilege can access and copy content from Oracle Instant Portal. An Oracle Instant Portal user with Manage rights should create pages within Oracle Instant Portal instead of using WebDAV.

Will Oracle Instant Portal content be visible on my mobile devices?

No, not at this time.

Can I personalize my Oracle Instant Portal??

Absolutely. You can easily add pages, text items, and file items to the Favorite Content portlet on the home page.

Can I build Oracle Application Server Portal page groups and pages within Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One?

Yes. Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One includes all the capabilities within Oracle Application Server Portal 10.1.2. However, you cannot use the rich page editing features with pages and page groups created outside of the Oracle Instant Portal Generator.

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4.0 Globalization

How do I install multiple languages into my Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One installation?

The Oracle Application Server 10 g Standard Edition One Oracle Universal Installer offers a custom installation option that allows you to install the additional required languages. It is also possible to install additional languages after Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One is installed. Refer to the configuration guide of each component for instructions.

I have installed multiple languages with my Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One installation. How do I switch between the languages when working with Oracle Instant Portal?

The way to switch between languages when working with Oracle Instant Portal is to set the preferred language in your Internet browser. When switching between languages, you'll need to log out and log back in to see content in the new language.

How do I create a new Oracle Instant Portal in a different language?

First you need to install the other language into your Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One installation, if you haven't already done so. After the other language is installed, switch to that language by configuring your browser's language setting. Log in to your Oracle Instant Portal and navigate to the Build tab. Use the Oracle Instant Portal portlet to create a new Oracle Instant Portal. If you don't supply an XML file with your custom taxonomy, the portlet will create a new Oracle Instant Portal with the default taxonomy in your new language.

Can a single Oracle Instant Portal support multiple languages?

No, this release of Oracle Instant Portal does not support multiple translations for one site, which means each instance of Oracle Instant Portal can support only one language. However, within a single Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One installation, you could create multiple Oracle Instant Portals, where each Oracle Instant Portal is of a different language.

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5.0 Search

Does Oracle Instant Portal include a search engine?

Yes. Content published within Oracle Instant Portal is searched by the embedded Oracle Text search engine. Oracle Text will search the content of the items as well as the name and description attributes.

After I add content to Oracle Instant Portal, how long will it take to see the information in the search results?

Depending upon when the Oracle Text search engine last crawled your Oracle Instant Portal site, you may have to wait up to one hour.

Can I configure Oracle Instant Portal to use the included Oracle Ultra Search engine?

Yes and No. Although you can configure Oracle Ultra Search to crawl the secured Oracle Instant Portal content, the use of the Oracle Ultra Search engine is not supported.

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6.0 Administration

Is there a self-service means for my users to reset their password if they forget it?

Yes, users can reset their password via the Reset My Single Sign-On Password Wizard that is accessible from the Reset Your Single Sign-On Password link on the Single Sign-On page.

To use the password reset facility, you first need to configure a password hint via the Change Profile link in the Oracle Instant Portal banner.  

What administration operations does an Oracle Instant Portal administrator need to do?

The Oracle Instant Portal administrator needs to perform only minimal administration.  Many of the values are set by default. Administrators can create users, assign privileges, perform backups, and apply critical security update patches.  

What privileges does Oracle Instant Portal include?

Oracle Instant Portal supports the following types of user:

This type of user

Can perform these tasks

Oracle Instant Portal Administrator

Create and delete users as well as control overall privileges for any user for any page in any Oracle Instant Portal. For example, the Oracle Instant Portal administrator is the only user who can create a top-level page, or re-order top-level pages (tabs), or change the style for the portal. Note: An Oracle Instant Portal Administrator is either the user who created the portal or a user who has been granted Manage rights on the Home page.

Manager

Set privileges for the pages on which he or she has manage privileges. For example, if you have Manage privileges on a page, you can control which users can access the page and to what level. The manager can also create, delete, and edit sub-pages.

Contributor

Add, edit, move, and delete items on the page, even if the items were contributed by a different user.

Page Viewer

See the page and its content.
Note:Every user can log in/log out of the portal, edit his or her own profile, and search for content. All users see the Home page, but only users with View privilege on the Company page can see the content in the News and Announcements portlets. A user who does not have at least View rights on a page other than the Home page cannot see the page.

Note: A Manager automatically has Contribute and View rights. A Contributor automatically has View rights. A user who has only View privileges on all pages can see the Oracle Instant Portal Edit icon, but cannot access the Edit toolbar.

Can an administrator add additional access/edit privileges?

No. Only the rights available in the Oracle Instant Portal Edit Rights dialog (that is, View, Contribute, and Manage) can be assigned.

How can an Oracle Instant Portal administrator control who has access to an Oracle Instant Portal?

Oracle Instant Portal administrators can manage users and access rights via the Manage Users dialog. Administrators can set View, Contribute and Manage privilege rights for a user from this dialog, and also add and delete users from this dialog.

Can I take Oracle Instant Portal offline to perform some site administration?

Yes.  Oracle Instant Portal can be taken offline from Oracle Enterprise Manager. Refer to the Oracle Application Server 10g Standard Edition One Administrator's Guide for more information.

How do I back up or restore my Oracle Instant Portal?

Use Oracle Enterprise Manager to perform a backup or a restore. Refer to the Oracle Application Server 10g Standard Edition One Administrator's Guide for more information.

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7.0 Performance Considerations

How many users can Oracle Instant Portal support?

We performed load testing on a single 2 CPU Intel Pentium III 1.26 GHz machine with 4GB RAM, running the Linux Operating System version 2.4.9-e.57smp.  Our testing included a mix of interactions among our different user types, and our system was able to accommodate well over 1,000 users without performance degradation.

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8.0 Troubleshooting

What security settings do I have to change on my firewall?

None. Refer to the Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One Administrator's Guide.

What should I check if I can't get the Oracle Instant Portal page to show?

In Oracle Enterprise Manager, verify that your Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One instance is running.

My Oracle Instant Portal is no longer working, what should I do? 

Please see the the Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One Administrator's Guide for what to do.

Occasionally I see a Security dialog that states, "You are about to be redirected to a connection that is not secure." What does this mean?

The Security dialog may be displayed when crossing from an https to an http zone.  This is perfectly normal and there is no security risk.

What should I do before contacting Oracle support?

Before contacting Oracle, please check to see whether your organization's support department are aware of the issue.  

You should follow these steps - in this order - before contacting either Oracle support:

  1. Check whether your issue is answered by any of the following: this FAQ, the Business FAQ, the install instructions (scroll down to Oracle Application Server 10g Release 2 (10.1.2) Standard Edition One and then follow link to view or download documentation for your platform), or the demonstration viewlets.

    • For example, install issues may be covered in the install document or within this FAQ.

  2. Check the Oracle Technology Network Download page to see whether there is a newer version of Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One which could resolve your problem.

  3. Check on Oracle Instant Portal page on Oracle Portal Center and check the Oracle Instant Portal forum on OTN to see if your issue is a 'Known issue'.  If it is, then follow the given advice. You can also post a message on the forum.

  4. If you have access to Oracle Metalink (http://metalink.oracle.com), then check to see if the issue has already been reported.  If it has then please follow the given advice.

  5. If you are still experiencing the issue, then contact Oracle Support.

What should I provide if I need to file an Oracle Metalink Support request?

Provide the Oracle Instant Portal application.log. In a default Oracle Instant Portal instance, the provider log can be found in:

$ORACLE_HOME\j2ee\OC4J_Portal\log\OC4J_Portal_default_island_1

where $OC4J_HOME is the fully qualified path to your home OC4J instance.

In addition you may have to provide the HTTP/Apache logs: $ORACLE_HOME/Apache/Apache/logs and OracleAS Web Cache Logs: $ORACLE_HOME/webcache/logs. Please see the section Using the OracleAS Portal Diagnostics Assistant in the Oracle Application Server Portal Configuration Guide on how to gather information if you are troubleshooting issues after Oracle Instant Portal installation.

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Trademarks

Oracle and the Oracle logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation in the United States and other countries. All occurrences of 'Oracle Instant Portal' in this document - unless otherwise stated - refer to the 'Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One - Oracle Instant Portal'. 

All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

 


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