Oracle Cloud : Getting Started

Having worked with Oracle Database, APEX, ADF, and Amazon Cloud (AWS) for some time now, like many others I was waiting for arrival of Oracle Cloud. Finally in 2012, Oracle has started delivering its Cloud Offerings. As a not-so-early-adapters, I started a trial account to explore the Oracle Public Cloud (OPC). My expectation was that Oracle Cloud would be something similar to AWS… Boy I was wrong!
Oracle has included some good introductory video’s (on YouTube) and OBE documentation to get started and get feet wet. They can be found here.
In this series of posts, I’ll describe some of my experiences in Oracle Cloud.
Covered in this post:
1. Basic OPC specific terminology
2. Creating an Oracle Cloud account
3. Accessing the Database Service
4. Explore APEX on OPC
1. Basic OPC Terminology
Account – An account corresponds to an individual, organization, or company that is an Oracle customer. An account has one or more Account Administrators who are responsible for creating and nominating the other administrator types, creating identity domains, and managing the customer account information. If you already have an account on Oracle.com, this is the account that is used. This is in alignment with Oracle single sign-on (SSO) strategy.
Data center – Oracle provides data centers in various geographical regions. An identity domain and the services associated with it must belong to a specific data center. For optimal performance when purchasing a service subscription, select a data center closest to the majority of your user population. Normal OPC service users, application developers, administrators and end users will not be directly concerned (or even aware) of Data Centers. However, Cloud administrator and architects need to be aware of and use data center selection taking factors such a network latency, failovers, high-availabilities etc.
Identity domain – Identity domains control authentication and authorization who can log in and what they can access once they log in. Multiple services can be associated with a single identity domain to share user definitions and authentication. Users in an identity domain can be granted different levels of access to each service associated with the domain. An Oracle Cloud Service has to belong to an Identity Domain. Identity Domains control service user authentication and authorization. Service users in an identity domain can have different levels of access.
A self-service administration tool, Oracle Identity Console is used in the provisioning and management of services for end user and administrator accounts for all Oracle Cloud services in the Account. Note these end users and administrators are for OPC services and not that of applications developed and deployed in OPC.
Service – A software offering in the Oracle Cloud. Oracle offers social, application, and platform services. Oracle applications (like HCM, ERP, Financials) are also being offered as services. From developers perspective Java and Developer platforms are offered as service. In this post we’ll explore Database service with APEX. You can request one or more service offerings. They are priced independently, however they are interoperable. For each Service that you request you can assign a unique name within the identity domain.
2. Creating an Oracle Cloud Account
The procedure to procure a free trial account (or a paid services account) is described in Oracle Cloud Tutorials here.
After you activate your account, the confirmation email you receive could be a bit confusing. IT was for me. The review of OPC terminology will help. I’ll briefly review the sections here after activation of one Database Service. OPC account was activated at the same time, as this was the first services I requested. Note that any additional service I request will use the same OPC account.
The email has following 5 sections. Each section contains URL for access, userid/password for access
Service Details
This section contains URL for accessing the Service, userid/password for access, data center name and an FTP account. This FTP account is specific for the service. More on this later. Also included in this section is account administration URL. This account administration is Oracle account with Single Sign On (SSO) and can be used for administer ALL services under this account.
Identity Domain Details
An Identity Domain is created in association with the Service request for the first time. Users accounts of the Services (not your applications deployed in services) can be administered under this Identity Domain.
This section includes URL for Identity Domain access and Identity Management Console. Every OPC service is associated with a unique Identity Domain.
Account Details
This section contains Oracle SSO account details. IF this is the first time your Oracle account has been created then you are required to change the password.
Domain FTP Account Details
There is also an FTP account created for the Identity Domain. This FTP account is different from Service FTP account. This is used to upload/download data to Identity domain.
3. Accessing OPC Database Service
You can access the Database Service using the URL provided under Service Detail section. Following login screen is available.
When you login to the OPC database service APEX user interface (dashboard) which is already configured with a workspace is available. Note the workspace name at right top corner.
If you have worked with APEX before, you’ll recognize the this user interface. This platform provides complete environment for complete application development in a team environment using Oracle database capabilities. We’ll explore the sample application that is already installed in the next section.
2. Explore APEX in OPC
Home screen, by default provides access to Application Builder, SQL Workshop, Team Development, and Administration area. We’ll explore these in later posts. Each of these areas provide functionality for Rapid application development.
There a sample database application available. Click on Application Builder to access the Sample Application. Note that we can right away Run the application or Edit the application to customize it.
In addition there are several prepackaged application that can be installed/deployed to your workspace and customized (if the application is NOT LOCKED.
More in building and customizing APEX applications in future posts.
Till then BYE!
References:

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