Bex Huff

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Articles specific to Oracle software products, including the former Stellent product line
Updated: 14 hours 34 min ago

Deep Dive: Oracle WebCenter Tips and Traps!

Tue, 2014-04-08 18:26

I'm currently at IOUG Collaborate 2014 in Las Vegas, and I recently finished my 2-hour deep dive into WebCenter. I collected a bunch of tips & tricks in 5 different areas: metadata, contribution, consumption, security, and integrations:

As usual, a lot of good presentations this year, but the Collaborate Mobile App makes it a bit tough to find them...

Bezzotech will be at booth 1350, right by Oracle, be sure to swing by and register for a free iPad, or even a free consulting engagement!

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Categories: Fusion Middleware

WebCenter LDAP Filters Explained!

Fri, 2014-01-24 18:42

We recently has a client with some LDAP performance issues, and had a need to tune how WebLogic was querying their LDAP repository. In WebLogic, the simplest way to do this is with their LDAP Filters. While trying to explain how to do this, I was struck by the lack of clear documentation on what exactly these filters are and why on earth you would need them... The best documentation was in the WebCenter guide, but it was still a bit light on the details.

Firstly, all these filters use LDAP query syntax. For those familiar with SQL, LDAP query syntax looks pretty dang weird... mainly because it uses Prefix, or Polish notation to construct the queries. So if you wanted all Contact objects in the LDAP repository with a Common Name that began with "Joe", your query would look like this:


Notice how the ampersand AND operator is in the front, and the conditionals are in their own parenthesis. Also note the * wildcard. If you wanted to grab all Group objects that had either Marketing or Sales in the name, the query would look like this:


Notice that the pipe OR operator prefixes the conditionals checking for Marketing or Sales in the group. Of course, this would not be a great query to run frequently... substring searches are slow, and multiple substring searches are even worse!

Below are what these filters do, and why I think you'd need to change them...

All Users Filter: This is basically the initial filter to grab all "user" objects in the entire repository. LDAP stores all kinds of objects (groups, contacts, computers, domains), and this is a simple query to narrow the list of user objects from the collection of all objects. A common setting is simply:


Users From Name Filter: This is a query to find a user object based on the name of the user. This is a sub-filter based on the previous All Users Filter to grab one specific person based on the user name. You would sometimes change this based on what single sign on system you are using, some use the common name as the official user ID, whereas other systems use the sAMAccountName. The %u token is the name being looked up. One of these two usually works:


All Groups Filter: Similar to the all names filter, this filter narrows the list of all objects in the LDAP repository to just the list of groups. By default, most applications just grab all group objects with this filter:


However, if you have a particularly large LDAP repository, this can be a performance problem. We usually don't need all the groups defined in the repository, we just need the ones with a specific name:


Or the ones under a specific organizational unit:


Then the list of group objects to query based on name is much smaller and faster.

Group From Name Filter: Similar to the User From Name Filter, this filter looks up a specific group by the name (the %g token). Again, thie value here usually depends on what single sing on solution you are using, but one of these two usually works:


Hopefully that clears things up a bit! If you have performance problems, your best bet is to modify the All Groups Filter and the All Users Filter to only grab the groups and users relevant to your specific app.

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Categories: Fusion Middleware

Oracle Open World

Tue, 2013-09-17 12:09

UPDATE: Oracle Open World is almost upon us! I will be giving 3 talks this year... there was some confusion about Sunday, but this schedule is now final:

UGF9799 Displaying Enterprise Content in Oracle WebCenter Sites
Sunday, 9/22, 8:00 - 9:00 @ Moscone West - 3018

With the latest version of Oracle WebCenter, you can easily surface documents and Web content stored in Oracle WebCenter Content in Oracle WebCenter Sites. There are many integration options, from single images and rendered HTML to an entire Website. Attend this session to learn how to use them and which option is right for you.

UGF9900 - The Top 10 Web App Vulnerabilities and Securing Them with Oracle ADF
Sunday 9/22, 11:45 - 12:45 @ Moscone West room 2003

Cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and request forgery are just some of the major vulnerabilities every Web application developer needs to know about. Attend this session to learn about the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Top 10 security vulnerabilities and how to avoid them by using Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF) and other Oracle technologies.

CON6876 - Displaying Enterprise Content in Oracle WebCenter Sites
Tuesday 9/24, 15:45 - 16:45 @ Moscone West room 2012

An encore performance of my Sunday talk of the same name...

The first and third ones I will be presenting with Tony Field from Function1, and giving a demo of the new WebCenter Sites/Content integration that was recently released with WebCenter I'm very excited about the release, and will be blogging my overview of it after Open World... when all the dust settles!

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Categories: Fusion Middleware

99 Bottles of ADF

Mon, 2013-07-15 17:09

Three years ago I blogged about the site 99 Bottles of Beer, which is a site dedicated to generating the lyrics of that oh so annoying song in every programming language known... currently over 1500 languages have been submitted. It's a surprisingly useful exercise when learning a new language... loops, text output, conditionals, etc.

Three years ago I submitted IdocScript to their library. I recently came across it again, and was shocked to find that nobody has submitted ADf yet! Geek rules state that ADF cant be an "official" language until it's on that site, so I had to do my part. Below is my humble submission:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<jsp:root xmlns:jsp="" version="2.1"
  < contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8"/>
    <af:document id="d1">    
      <af:form id="f1">
        <af:panelGroupLayout id="pgl" layout="vertical">
          <af:forEach begin="1" end="98" varStatus="bottle">
            <af:outputText value="#{100 - bottle.index} bottles of beer on the wall, #{100 - bottle.index} bottles of beer!" id="ot1"/>
            <af:outputText value="take one down, pass it around," id="ot2"/>
            <af:outputText value="#{99 - bottle.index} bottles of beer on the wall!" id="ot3"/>
            <af:spacer width="10" height="10" id="s1"/>
          <af:outputText value="1 bottle of beer on the wall, 1 bottle of beer!" id="ot4"/>
          <af:outputText value="take one down, pass it around," id="ot5"/>
          <af:outputText value="no more bottles of beer on the wall!" id="ot6"/>

I'm using a pretty basic program here... I'm using a vertical af:panelGroupLayout, an af:forEach tag to loop, and an af:outputText tag with expression language to print out the index. The af:spacer is there just to make it easier to read. Unfortunately, the af:ForEach tag does not iterate backwards (setting the 'step' attribute to '-1' makes it bark at me), so I have to subtract the index from 100 to get the number of bottles of beer on the wall.

This mainly demonstrates how expression language, loops, and conditionals can be used on an ADF Faces page. Another option would be to generate an array in a backing bean and bind that to the af:forEach tag, but I wanted to keep it all in one file.

Not sure if this will ever be officially accepted... because there are over 1117 languages are in their approval queue! I guess after IdocScript was admitted, the site got so popular they just couldn't keep up with demand...

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Categories: Fusion Middleware

Free Course on ADF Mobile

Mon, 2013-06-03 15:30

Oracle came out with a clever new online course on Developing Applications with ADF Mobile. I really like the format: it's kind of like a presentation, but with with video of the key points and code samples. There's also an easy-to-navigate table of contents on the side so you can jump to the topic of interest.

I like it... I hope the ADF team continues in this format. Its a lot better than a jumble of YouTube videos ;-)

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Categories: Fusion Middleware

Integrating ADF Mobile with Oracle WebCenter

Wed, 2013-05-01 16:52

Another talk I gave at Collaborate 2013 is this one on ADF Mobile and WebCenter. It builds off my talk from last year about general techniques, and gets into specific about the new ADF Mobile technology, and how to integrate it with WebCenter content and WebCenter Portal.

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Categories: Fusion Middleware

Seamless Integrations between WebCenter Content, Site Studio, and WebCenter Sites

Wed, 2013-05-01 16:48

At Collaborate 2013 this year, Tony Field and I put together a talk about a topic that has been been floating around the WebCenter community as of late...How do I integrate WebCenter Sites (Fatwire) with WebCenter Content or Site Studio? We put together a handful of integration techniques, but the main focus was on upcoming features in the next version of WebCenter... specifically the official Sites/Content connector, and support for External Repositories. Cool by themselves, but when combined with Site Studio for External Applications, it's a compelling set of integration options:

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Categories: Fusion Middleware

Pick Bex's Deep Dive Talk for Collaborate 2013

Tue, 2012-12-11 21:54

How would you like to leave Collaborate knowing exactly what you wanted to learn? Here's your chance...

Like last year, the WebCenter SIG at IOUG Collaborate 2013 (April 7-11 in Denver) will have a deep dive session for Sunday. Bezzotech was asked to deliver 2-hours of a deep dive... and were batting around ideas for what to talk about... Security? Performance? Integrations?

Then it hit us, why not let the attendees pick our talk?

If you always wanted to know something crazy about how WebCenter works, please take our survey so we know what to present. You can also leave a comment, email us at, or send it to me directly. We'll tally up the requests and let the WebCenter faithful decide what our talk will be!

I'm genuinely curious about what you are curious about ;-)

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Categories: Fusion Middleware

JDeveloper Memory And Performance

Fri, 2012-09-07 17:02

I was recently doing some training on ADF, and the students were complaining how slow JDeveloper was... Dragging and dropping Data Controls onto a JSF page? It's the pause of death if you will. Not to mention the "Out Of Memory" errors that crop up in the middle of debugging a large app. Very frustrating for developers, so I decided to once and for all get figure out what magic JVM tuning parameters would speed it up.

As a general rule, Java is optimized for throughput, not latency. Once the garbage collector kicks in, performance drops like a rock. A 2 second pause every once in a while is OK for a server, but for an IDE it's misery. So here's the fix:

  1. Go to your JDeveloper root directory, is should be something like C:\Oracle\jdev\Middleware\jdeveloper
  2. Open the file ide\bin\ide.conf, scroll down to the default memory settings:
  3.         AddVMOption  -Xms128M
            AddVMOption  -Xmx768M
  4. Boost the memory to something larger, like so:
  5.         AddVMOption  -Xms1024M
            AddVMOption  -Xmx1024M
  6. Open the file jdev\bin\jdev.conf
  7. Add the following config settings:
  8.         # optimize the JVM for strings / text editing
            AddVMOption -XX:+UseStringCache
            AddVMOption -XX:+OptimizeStringConcat
            AddVMOption -XX:+UseCompressedStrings
            # if on a 64-bit system, but using less than 32 GB RAM, this reduces object pointer memory size
            AddVMOption -XX:+UseCompressedOops
            # use an aggressive garbage collector (constant small collections)
            AddVMOption -XX:+AggressiveOpts
            # for multi-core machines, use multiple threads to create objects and reduce pause times
            AddVMOption -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC
  9. Then restart JDeveloper... If it doesn't start, you'll need to reduce the amount of memory allocate in the ide.conf file from step 3.

And that's it! Your mileage may vary, of course... And you may need additional parameters, depending on what version of JDeveloper you're running. Just keep in mind that you are tuning Java for shorter pauses, and not greater throughput.

UPDATE 1: some students still had issues, so in addition to the JVM settings, I've found these tips also help out:

Go to Tools / Preferences / Environment, and switch to the "Windows" look and feel. The Oracle look and feel is prettier, but slower.

Disable all extensions that you don't need. This is usually a huge savings... Go to Tools / Preferences / Extensions, and turn off thnigs you know you don't need. One thing I do is disable all extensions by default, then enable only the ones I know I need for my current project. For example, disable everything, then enable only those extensions that start with ADF. This will automatically enable dependent extensions. Enable others (Portal, SOA, RIDC) only if needed.

Open all documents in "Source" mode by default. Go to Tools / Preferences / File Types, and click the Default Editor tab. For all web pages (HTML, JSF, JSP) set the default editor to "Source". You can always click the "Design" tab to see the design. For best results, select items in the "Structure" window (by default on lower left) and edit them in the "Property Inspector" window (by default on the lower right).

If you really want to get extreme... you can install a solid-state hard drive for your workstation. Barring that, if you have enough RAM you can allocate 4 GB and create a RAM driver for your system. This looks like a normal hard drive, but it's all in RAM. Then install JDeveloper on that, and it will be almost as good as a solid state drive.
Other developers have had success using

UPDATE 2: A reader has informed me that this line:

        #AddVMOption -XX:+AggressiveOpts

Breaks offline database support in JDeveloper... so that one will have to be avoided in some cases.

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Categories: Fusion Middleware

Oracle Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

Thu, 2007-10-04 19:49

This section of the blog contains articles about the Oracle suite of Enterprise Content Management applications. This includes Universal Content Management (UCM), Web Content Management (WCM), Universal Records Management (URM), and a little bit of Information Rights Management (IRM). I helped create several of these products, and thus am very opinionated about how they should be used... I also cover technologies and topics relevant to content management in general, such as enterprise search, and identity management.

Besides the articles in this section, you may also benefit from the following sources:

Primary Oracle ECM Sources Oracle ECM Blogs
  • Fusion ECM: the official Oracle blog on content management, starring Billy Cripe, and occasionally Raoul Miller.
  • Oracle IRM: the official Oracle blog for Information Rights Management, starring Simon Thorpe.
  • Kyle's Blog On UCM: another Oracle "Best Practices" blog, staring Kyle Hatlestad
  • ECM Alerts: Oracle ECM product marketing blog, for official news about events and new product launches
  • Content On Content Management: David Roe's blog on Oracle Content Management.
  • webmonkeymagic: mikeyc7m's tips and rants on web content management, Site Studio, SSPU, and the like.
  • John Sim's blog: web content management, and web design blog. Lots of Site Studio tips.
  • Jason Stortz's blog: IdocScript, Components, Site Studio, and general tips and tricks.
  • Ryan Sullivan's blog: the usual ECM stuff!
Additional Oracle ECM Resources

If you know of another notable Oracle ECM site, send me an email! I'd define "notable" as any "official" site, or a site that posts useful information at least once per month...

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Categories: Fusion Middleware