Oracle9i Application Server Overview Guide
Release 1.0.2

Part Number A87353-01

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This chapter describes Oracle9i Application Server, how you can use it, and what technologies it supports.

This chapter contains the following topics.

Oracle Internet Suite

Oracle9i Application Server is part of the Oracle Internet Suite, which is a complete and integrated e-business platform solution. It consists of

  • Oracle8i:

Manages all of your content

  • Oracle Internet Developer Suite:

Builds all of your applications

  • Oracle9i Application Server:

Runs all of your applications

To successfully deliver scalable and high performance e-business solutions, you must be able to leverage an integrated, comprehensive, flexible, and open platform. Oracle Internet Suite provides integrated development, deployment, and management tools that simplify creating and deploying applications that you need to run your business on the Internet.

See Also:

The product pages at Oracle Technology Network at for more information about Oracle8i and Oracle Internet Developer Suite. 

Oracle9i Application Server Overview

Oracle9i Application Server is a reliable, scalable, secure, middle-tier application server that is designed to support your evolution into an e-business. It provides a set of services so the technological complexity of assembling a complete middle-tier Internet infrastructure is managed for you. Oracle9i Application Server provides an infrastructure that can grow with your business--one that can start small and support growing numbers of users and sophisticated functionality on your Web sites. Figure 1-1 shows these services.

Figure 1-1 Oracle9i Application Server Services

Oracle9i Application Server provides the tools and infrastructure to start your e-business and support its growth. The following sections explain how Oracle9i Application Server services support each step in building your e-business.

  1. Launch your content on the Web

    Oracle HTTP Server powered by Apache provides fast, reliable Web listening services so you can launch your content on the Web and make it accessible to your users.

  2. Manage your content

    Once you have your content launched on the Web, you need integrated, flexible access to it and a powerful tool to manage it. Oracle Internet File System provides file system services that store multiple file types together in one file system hierarchy on Oracle8i. This heterogeneous file system hierarchy is accessible through Web browsers, Microsoft Windows networking, FTP, or e-mail clients.

  3. Build transactional Web applications

    After you launch your content to the Web and manage it, you need to build applications that can access and manipulate your content. Using Business Logic Services, you can build and run transactional Web applications in:

    • Java

    • PL/SQL

    • Oracle Forms

  4. Build a presentation layer

    To make your transactional Web applications more re-usable and to provide a dynamic interface to users, you must separate your business logic from the presentation layer of your applications. Oracle9i Application Server Presentation Services provide the tools to build a presentation layer in:

    • JavaServer Pages or servlets

    • PL/SQL Server Pages

    • Perl

    • XML with XSL (Extensible Markup Language with Extensible Stylesheet Language)

  5. Access data in your database

    Because a database-driven Web site requires database-driven Web applications, Oracle9i Application Server includes Developer's Kit services that you can use to access your database using:

    • OCI (Oracle Call Interface)

    • JDBC (Oracle JDBC Drivers)

    • SQLJ (Oracle SQLJ Translator)

  6. Build portal sites

    When you have many different components to offer users, you can integrate them all into portal sites. Portal sites provide one consistent user interface so your users have fast access to relevant and current information without having to navigate dissimilar user interfaces and enter multiple passwords. Use these Portal Services:

    • Oracle Portal for traditional desktop clients, or

    • Oracle Portal-to-Go in Oracle9i Application Server Wireless Edition for mobile clients.

  7. Scale and deploy your content

    When your e-business Web site generates an increasing number of hits, you need to scale it so your users have fast, reliable access to applications and data. Then you can use these Caching Services provided in Oracle9i Application Server:

    • Oracle Database Cache to cache frequently requested data from your database, or

    • Oracle Web Cache to cache and load balance HTTP requests across a Web farm or cluster of Oracle9i Application Server machines.

  8. Manage your deployment environment

    Now that you have built a complex deployment environment, you need centralized tools to manage your systems and your security. Oracle9i Application Server System Services include:

    • Oracle Enterprise Manager for systems management, and

    • Oracle Advanced Security for security management.

  9. Understand your business and your Web site activity

    You can analyze your Web site activity and your business by using these Business Intelligence Services:

    • Oracle Reports Service to define and publish reports to the Web that pull data directly from Oracle8i, or

    • Oracle Discoverer 3i Viewer to view Discoverer workbooks, which provide ad hoc querying, what-if analysis, and advanced analysis capabilities.

Oracle9i Application Server Architecture

Oracle9i Application Server consists of a set of services that can be implemented in a distributed environment for scalability and reliability. The following sections provide an architectural overview of Oracle9i Application Server.

Two-Tier and Three-Tier Computing Models

Client/server computing architectures are commonly described as having two or more tiers according to how application logic is distributed between client and server. Minimally, a client/server architecture must have a client tier and a server tier. Oracle's internet computing model is based on a multitiered computing model in which Oracle9i Application Server functions as a middle tier, or application server tier.

Two-Tier Computing Model

Traditional database client/server architecture is based on a two-tier computing model. This model consists of a client tier and a database server tier (see Figure 1-2). Processing tasks and application logic are shared between the database server and the client.

Figure 1-2 Two-tier Computing Model

Several disadvantages exist for this model. The clients in a two-tier computing model are fat clients, where much of the processing power and application logic reside. This makes the clients costly to maintain. Furthermore, clients can be operating on different platforms, necessitating the deployment of platform-specific versions of applications.

Three-Tier Computing Model

The three-tier computing model evolved to address the problems of the two-tier model. In a three-tier model, a middle tier exists between clients and the database server. This middle tier consists of an application server that contains the bulk of the application logic. Clients in the model are thin clients. With this architecture, application logic resides in a single tier and can be maintained easily at one location. The architectural design of the middle tier is optimized for server functions including access to a database.

Oracle9i Application Server serves as the middle tier of the three-tier model as shown in Figure 1-3.

Figure 1-3 Three-tier Oracle9i Application Server Architecture

In this three-tier architecture, the client software (the client tier) is lightweight enough to be downloaded on demand, and does little but present the user interface for a server-side application. The bulk of the application logic is implemented either in the application server or in the database.

Oracle9i Application Server

Oracle9i Application Server enables users to deploy applications within its multitiered architecture. The middle-tier server centrally manages application logic sending request responses back to thin clients, typically Web browsers. A third tier houses your database, so transaction processing on the database may be optimized. This multitiered model offers great savings in administration and maintenance costs when deploying applications.

Oracle9i Application Server components reside on the middle-tier in a three-tier architecture as shown in Figure 1-4.

Figure 1-4 Oracle9i Application Server Architecture

Alternatively, you may also run the Oracle9i Application Server in a multitiered architecture of four or more tiers, depending on your application needs. For example, it is possible to divide the Report Services across multiple machines. In a four-tier configuration, you should run the Reports Web CGI or the Reports Servlets on the same machine as the HTTP Server and run the Report Server on a separate machine. In this example, the client browser resides in the first tier and your database resides on a fourth-tier.

See Also:

Publishing Reports to the Web with Oracle9i Application Server in the Oracle9i Application Server Documentation Library for more information on this example. 

Available Versions

Currently, Oracle9i Application Server is available in three versions:

Table 1-1 lists what services each edition contains.

Table 1-1 Available Versions of Oracle9i Application Server  
  Standard Edition  Enterprise Edition  Wireless Edition 
Communication Services 




        Oracle HTTP Server 






        Oracle Plug-in for Microsoft IIS 

Content Management Services 




        Oracle Internet File System 

Business Logic Services 




        Oracle Business Components for Java 

        Oracle8i JVM (Java Virtual Machine) 

        Oracle8i PLSQL 


        Oracle Forms Services 


Presentation Services 




        Apache JServ 

        OracleJSP (JavaServer Pages) 

        Oracle PL/SQL Server Pages 

        Perl Interpreter 

Developer's Kits 




        Oracle Database Client Developer's Kit 

        Oracle XML Developer's Kit 

        Oracle LDAP Developer's Kit 

Portal Services 




        Oracle Portal 

        Oracle Portal-to-Go 



Caching Services 




        Oracle Database Cache 


        Oracle Web Cache 


System Services 




        Oracle Enterprise ManagerFoot 1 

        Oracle Advanced Security 

Business Intelligence Services 




        Oracle Reports Services 


        Oracle Discoverer 3i Viewer 


1 Standard edition contains the Enterprise Manager console only; Enterprise edition contains both Enterprise Manager console and Management Server. For more information, see "Oracle Enterprise Manager".

Supported Technologies and Programming Languages

For publishing content, transaction processing, and program development and deployment, Oracle9i Application Server supports these technologies and programming languages:

  • Oracle Business Components for Java Runtime

  • OCI (Oracle Call Interface)

  • EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans)

  • ODBC (Open Database Connectivity)

  • Java 2

  • OLE (Object Linking and Embedding)

  • Java Stored Procedures

  • IIOP (Internet Inter-ORB Protocol)

  • JDBC (Java Database Connectivity)

  • RMI (Remote Method Invocation)/IIOP

  • JMS (Java Messaging Service)

  • LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol)

  • JNDI (Java Naming and Directory Interface)

  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

  • Servlets

  • IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

  • JSP (JavaServer Pages)

  • HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

  • SQLJ

  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

  • CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture)

  • SMB (Server Message Block)

  • PL/SQL

  • SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

  • SQL

  • WML (Wireless Markup Language)

  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

  • Tiny HTML (HTML for handheld devices)

  • XML (Extensible Markup Language)

  • VoxML (Voice Markup Language)

  • Perl

  • VoiceXML (Voice Extensible Markup Language)

  • Web DAV (Distributed Authoring and Versioning)

  • HDML (Handheld Devices Markup Language)

See Also: