Oracle Beehive 1.5.1: First impressions

Oracle released version 1.5.1 of their new-ish collaboration product, Beehive, on Friday. I’d been waiting for it ever since returning from the course in the US, and I was eager to try it out this morning. My setup was this:

  • All machines are Dell SC1425 with a single 3GHz Xeon CPU
  • Database server with 4G RAM, 250G disk for the database and some swap, and another disk for the OS
  • Beehive server with 4G RAM and just a system disk
  • Enterprise Manager server with 1G RAM: Don’t do this at home, it needs a lot more than 1G. Slooow.

I had preinstalled Database, as this was the latest recommended release for Beehive 1.4.3. The Enterprise Manager was set up with this. I hadn’t done any patching at all, since I just wanted to try it out from a clean install.

Not surprisingly, looking at the track record for Beehive, the first install with a vanilla database didn’t work. Some of the schema deployment failed, which was the same sort of error I got with 1.4.3 when I first tried installing that. Main problem: Oracle hadn’t released the documentation for 1.5.1 yet. I decided to try patching the database up in the same way required for 1.4.3, ie. with patches 6168363, 6708565, 6750049 and 6526468. At first, it seemed to do the trick – the installation worked way past the schema bits – but during the framework deployment, starting the beemgt service failed, and the installation stopped. Retrying the step didn’t seem to make any difference, and that’s where I left it at work.

Tonight, though, Oracle have released the documentation – linked above – with a few more interesting notes in it. There’s two more patches mentioned for, but those aren’t actually available to us regular users through Metalink. More importantly, Oracle seem to now support version of the database, and from the Oracle Forums I understand that it’s actually the prefered version. You just have to apply a few patches – 12 to be exact, at the time of writing.

I’d better upgrade the database when I get back tomorrow. Check that all the table parameters are set correctly, install that dozen of patches, clear out the old Beehive database and set up a new one – and then see if that makes the install sail through. Somehow, I doubt it. Beehive is a nice product, but the installation and making all the bits fit together seems to hinge on having everything set up in exactly the way they have over in Redwood Shores – and maybe that’s just too much to ask for.

Update – 5 May 2009:

Clearing out the database didn’t make much of a difference. However, after trying that, I tried going over the client side, making sure it was absolutely pristine before I started – and again I checked the database, creating it exactly as was specified in the manual for 1.5.1. Et voila; suddenly I had a Beehive 1.5.1 installation. At least, it got a lot further – so long that I actually had to leave my office before it finished, so I won’t know the details until I get back tomorrow.

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