WebCenter Development Environment – Minimum and Recommended Requirements

The other day a question was posted on the Oracle WebCenter Suite Group on LinkedIn about the minimum and recommended requirements for the WebCenter development environment.

Before considering what the actual hardware requirements are, it makes sense to quickly glance through what we mean by the development environment, what needs to be installed, and what are the things you can do. In addition, you should also consider what back-end servers are needed and whether those are required or optional.

To make it easier, here is a slide that gives a high-level overview of the WebCenter development environment (click on it to enlarge it).

First, you have to install JDeveloper with the WebCenter Extension (through Help > Check for Updates). This will allow you to do a lot of things, including:

  • build customizable applications with Composer
  • build, deploy, and test JSR 168 portlets
  • consume WSRP 1.0 and WSRP 2.0 portlets
  • integrate content from your file system (for development and testing purposes)
  • test search

In addition, most enterprises have an IMAP or MS Exchange Email server hosted, that you can connect to and integrate into your applications.

If you need social computing services, such as discussions, wikis, blogs, you need to install the back-end servers for these services. If you would like to leverage people connection, tagging, linking, you will need a DB.

Now, to get to the original question: what is the minimum/ideal requirement to run all this: if all you need to run is JDeveloper with the WebCenter extension, 2GB RAM should be sufficient. If you want to fire up an XE database on your laptop, and want to run multiple browsers with email and MS Office on it, you should have 4GB RAM (and ideally an O/S that can see all of it). As for hard disk: JDeveloper requires somewhat more than 1GB, and the WebCenter Extension is in the 200MB range. So you can count with 2GB as the absolute minimum.

Last but not least, a monitor with good resolution, possibly an external monitor (or two) doesn’t hurt either.

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11 Responses

  1. Peter, thanks for the answer. I want to use almost all the web2.0 services that comes with WebCenter. To install Web2.0 services, you must install WebCenter suite that will install WebCenter Framework, WebCenter Spaces, WebCenter Portlets, WebCenter Discussions, WebCenter Wiki and Blog Server, and optionally UCM by default. Do i need to install these services as well on Developer machine? and Developer machine with 4GB RAM will be capable enough to run these services?

    • Imran,

      You’re right: if you want to consume the Social Computing (Web 2.0) services in your WebCenter Portal (framework) application, you’ll need to install these server-side components. As the slide was trying to depict, you should install these services on a separate box. Now, how powerful this box is, really depends on what you’re trying to do with the services. For a development environment a vm image works really well, ideally with 4GB RAM.

      Hope this helps.

  2. Pete,

    I bought your Webcenter book and the Fusion book. I was all fired up with the thought of moving on from Liferay to a proper MODERN standards based portal.

    I have spent an awful amount of time doing numerous installs of XE, Weblogic 10g and JDeveloper on my Mac mini (2Gb RAM), my fast PC (2.5Gb RAM), and my Sun Fire (8Gb RAM).

    with Oracle’s lousy support of Mac OSX and OpenSolaris, I concluded that the best way to be able to move forward would be to create an XP install in a VirtualBox VM, since then I could run it on, and move it between, any of my computers.

    Even in a bog standard XP environment (with cygwin shell), I couldn’t get past a fatal method in one of the first install scripts for the RCU. I’m not satisfied with being able to just launch webcenter from within Jdeveloper.

    There are just too many separate pieces to install. It’s all just too hard, too resource hungry, and in the end, too frustrating.

    If Oracle decide to bundle a complete working install of Webcenter into a single install, or into a VirtualBox VM, and when I buy a supercomputer, II might blow the cobwebs of those 2 books and start again, but until then my focus will be on Seam and the new JBoss GateIn Portal.

    I gave it my best shot. Anyone want to buy a Sun Fire with 4 64-bit CPUs CHEAP ? It runs OpenSolaris – don’t think Oracle LinuX would work on it !

    • Ian,

      Sorry to hear about your disappointment.

      Given that WebCenter is the queen of the Fusion Middleware in the sense that it sits on top of most of the components, installation and configuration of the entire stack can be involved. The composite nature of WebCenter with the loosely coupled components doesn’t make things simpler either.
      I agree, that making pre-installed and configured VM images available would be a good way to rectify the problem. Unfortunately we can’t do this for legal reasons. My goal is that now that we’re after the legal merger of Sun and and Oracle, we should be able to publish VirtualBox VM images with pre-installed and pre-configured environments.

      As for the hardware you were trying to install Oracle software on: remember, that this is large scale enterprise software. The MacMini wasn’t designed for that, neither was your PC with 2.5GB RAM. For machines of this category I’d recommend installing JDeveloper, that comes with a LOT of functionality out of the box (see above post). Not to mention, that the installation is very straight-forward, pretty much a Next-Next-Next experience. As you see the capabilities in the development environment, you can move on and deploy to the server environment.

      I’d be more than happy to discuss this further with you – feel free to contact me directly, or let me know how I can reach you.

  3. I would also suggest to tweak the startup memory, heap limits. I tried to give more but jdev wouldn’t come up.

    Changed these config files (4 GB XP SP3 pc ):

    C:\Oracle\Middleware1\jdeveloper\ide\bin\ide.conf

    AddVMOption -Xmx768M
    AddVMOption -Xms512M

    C:\Oracle\Middleware1\jdeveloper\jdev\bin\jdev.conf

    AddVMOption -XX:MaxPermSize=256M

    As for webcenter spaces. 4 GB is a minimum for response. Logging into Spaces usually takes 2 minutes but after that it’s OK. WebLogic and Fusion middleware console work is slow. Our processors may be slow as the dev environment is VM’d. As always, multiple cores, more memory is good.

  4. Hi Peter, Is there any way that users can search in OWCS PS1 a value based on the ‘expertise’ attribute in People’s Connection Profile and get People results for the same? e.g. If the users search Retail Banking in search text box, will the results show people having retail banking as an expertise set in their People Connections Profile?

  5. Hi Peter,

    May I know what will be the best hardware requirement for a particular server to run all of the features of the oracle webcenter?

    We are going to use it first on the development stage. Then once everything is good, we will deploy it on the production. But for now I’m more concerned on the requirements for development server.

    Thanks in advance for any response.

    Mabel

  6. Hey Peter,
    Are there any official Oracle documentation on WebCenter hardware requirements?

    I’ve looked high and low on the Oracle site and haven’t found anything.

    Your blog is a great start, but I’d like more detail to help understand hardware for a production environment.

    • Geoff, I found this guide – http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/systems-hardware-architecture/oo-soln-webcenter-11g-170243.pdf – it gives a SPARC based example but it gives you an idea –

      Its a little conservative if you ask me, you could probably run with 1/2 the cores and double the memory – but I guess it depends on your specific deployment and what your apps are doing. I’ve just scoped a small WebCenter system on 4 P series cores across 2 servers with 16G mem per machine – thats running a few BPEL processes and all the ADF code delployed to the same container, but no UCM or spaces at this point. I think it’ll just be ok, we’ll see I guess ;)

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