Tuesday 8 March 2011

Apex in the Amazon Cloud

Hello Oracle Community,

I'm currently researching Oracle Apex on an Amazon EC2 instance, and at the moment good content out there seems a little thin - or quickly dated.

Either that or my google kung fu has weakened :-)

The basics I have covered -
  • Justin Lokitz has a comprehensive article on setting up Oracle on the cloud;
  • There is also a good Oracle white paper explaining the setup process;
  • Bill Hodak from Oracle has defined a perfect machine image;
  • This is probably the best dialogue I've seen on sending e-mails. I have seen others, but exact solution is  unclear and possibly out-of-date;
  • And Kris has mentioned SEO considerations in regard to Apex generated URLs. There are other decent discussions, but one pertains to EPG setups, and I'm sure things have come along a little more since 3.1.2
My particular interests are -
  1. Sending e-mails from EC2 using UTL_MAIL, preferably with a designated domain (not Amazon)
  2. Prettying up the Apex URLs, and/or other issues to consider with page ranking
No doubt once I start getting my hands dirty, some of theses answers may become more apparent, or I'll have a better idea of how/where to look - but for now if anyone has any notes, tips, experiences, URL suggestions, answer to the life, universe and everything - I would appreciate it!


ps - if you just wanted pictures of pretty clouds, try these - simply stunning.

Update: I've also created an OTN post on this, stay tuned


Tim... said...


Pretty URLs:

You can pretty up some of the URLs using the PATH_ALIAS and PATH_ALIAS_PROCEDURE parameters of the EPG.


I wouldn't advise trying to do this for every page, but certainly key landing pages can be sorted this way.

As for the email situation, it may have changed since I looked into this, but at the time you had to use an SMTP relay service to do this. I'll check with one of my mates that runs APEX on EC2, see if he is sending any mails from it.



Tim... said...

Just noticed, Amazon now offer Simple Email Service (SES), which allows you to send mails, but you have to pay for the mail you send.

From the FAQ page:

"Q: Can my existing SMTP applications deliver email via Amazon SES?
Yes. The Amazon SES Developer Guide provides instructions for configuring common mail transfer agents (MTAs) to use Amazon SES as their email transport. By following these instructions, you can create a private SMTP relay for use with any existing SMTP client software."

If you can't find a free way to do it, it's worth checking out the pricing for this.



Dimitri Gielis said...

1. Sending e-mails from EC2 using UTL_MAIL, preferably with a designated domain (not Amazon)

You can do anything you like really. Just setup an email server e.g. postfix

2. Prettying up the Apex URLs, and/or other issues to consider with page ranking

Some "easy" things you can do are using Application and Page aliases and use Session 0. That will make your urls always the same.

Hope that helps,

Christian Rokitta ♠ said...

Hi Scott,

I´m considering to host APEX on Amazon´s EC2 too. Thought the 10XE AIM would be perfect. Do you have any idea if a Micro Instances is sufficient to run the image? I definitely will follow the comments on this post.


Scott Wesley said...

Thanks Tim - I also found Morten's website suggesting the use of DBMS_EPG, but I haven't been able to determine yet whether that is suitable for the XE AMI.

I also saw some mention of Amazon providing a service for e-mails, according to the wiki it's really loose change if you're sending only a trickle - less than 2000/day - which seems more than a trickle to me.

I think Dimitri's comment regarding postfix will also be fine - I'll just need to brush up on my *nix skills - and how to integrate that with our existing domain.

Once I have the instance defined, I will look into the pros/cons of each.

Dimitri, have you had a play with googling your own site to see how it responds? I noticed yesterday that besides returning some results from presumably your old app_id, it seems to respond fairly well.

Christian - I'm not sure about the micro instance, but from what I've read it seems that you can be very fluid in the selection of instance type. I'll certainly keep blogging about any useful experiences.

SydOracle said...

I could get the supplied XE AMI to start on the micro instance. I did get XE onto a fresh micro instance. I checked the database started up etc, but ran out of time before upgrading APEX.
I'm sort of half-waiting for the 11g XE to come out.

Scott Wesley said...

I have been thinking the same thing about 11g XE, Gary. There is no dire rush with this particular project.