Altium NEXUS Documentation

Installing Altium NEXUS Server with an Oracle Backend

Created: June 3, 2021 | Updated: June 3, 2021

Parent page: Altium NEXUS Server with Oracle Backend

Switching over from your existing Altium Vault (2.x, 3.x), to the Altium NEXUS Server is simply a case of upgrading, by running the Altium NEXUS Server installer – just as you would have updated your Vault in the past. One important requirement to be able to update to the Altium NEXUS Server when using ORACLE as your database backend, is that the ORACLE_HOME environment variable must be set. This is mentioned in the installation procedure for the Altium NEXUS Server below, but is a necessity when upgrading from a previous Altium Vault to the Altium NEXUS Server.

This document is intended for an IT administrator who is configuring the Altium NEXUS Server to use an Oracle Database backend. It contains details about the Altium NEXUS Server, its installation procedure, important information on system requirements, as well as an example.

To follow this guide, you should have a general understanding of Oracle database concepts and the operating system environment.

Installation Process Overview

Configuring the Altium NEXUS Server to use an Oracle backend depends on how your company manages its Oracle Databases. Some companies run Oracle Databases on top of Windows Server Operating Systems, while others have entire Oracle datacenters. The process of installation typically involves three steps, as illustrated in the following image.

High level overview of the Altium NEXUS Server and Oracle database installation procedure.High level overview of the Altium NEXUS Server and Oracle database installation procedure.

Assumptions made throughout this document

While Oracle configurations can vary from site to site, a few assumptions are made throughout this document:

  1. An IT admin performs the installation. At a very minimum, the user performing NEXUS Server installation should have administrative rights to the host machine.
  2. The Altium NEXUS Server is installed and running on a full MS Windows OS.
  3. The Oracle Client Connector is installed and running on the same machine hosting the Altium NEXUS Server Application.
  4. .NET Framework 4.8 and .NET Core 3.1.2 (or higher) are installed and running on the same machine hosting the Altium NEXUS Server Application.
  5. The Oracle Server should be running on a physically different host machine than the Altium NEXUS Server application.
  6. The Oracle Schema and Oracle application credentials used on the source and destination Oracle servers must be the same, if this installation is being performed as part of a data migration process.

High-level Overview of the Altium NEXUS Server Architecture

Similar to other software designed to run on Microsoft Windows, the Altium NEXUS Server is a multi-threaded, multi-service server application. Since this document solely focuses on parts of the Altium NEXUS Server that may interact with an Oracle Database, the following image is simplified to represent the overall Altium NEXUS Server Backend Architecture.

High level overview of the Altium NEXUS Server architecture. The Backend Storages of Altium NEXUS Server contains most of the customer binary data, while the Windows Services is a collection of supporting services.High level overview of the Altium NEXUS Server architecture. The Backend Storages of Altium NEXUS Server contains most of the customer binary data, while the Windows Services is a collection of supporting services.

This document focuses on the Backend Storages since the data within this block is what gets backed up, potentially migrated to another machine, then restored either on the same or different machine. Within the Backend Storages, the following items can be found:

  • Databases – contains metadata such as component footprint and schematic symbol association, parameters, file paths, links to component supply chain data sources and more. This information could reside inside a Firebird or Oracle database.
  • File Storage – this File Storage area holds binary data inside the NEXUS Server’s VCS repository. This binary data includes information such as PCB and Schematic Project documents, footprints, symbols, Draftsman and other native or non-native NEXUS Server documents.

Example Setup of NEXUS Server with Oracle backend on the Windows Platform

In this example, the instructions also cater to smaller businesses who may not have a dedicated Oracle DBA, but still have the need to implement a NEXUS Server-Oracle configuration on their network. The following steps show how a basic installation of Altium NEXUS Server and Oracle 11G Express can be deployed.

When using Altium NEXUS with Oracle as the backend database, the server that is integral to the deployed NEXUS solution supports the following versions of Oracle: 11G Express, 12.1c, and 19c. Note that version 18c is not currently supported.

It is assumed the installation is done using the internal Oracle SYSTEM account, and that no custom SCHEMA is created. However, it is recommended that more experienced users, or DBAs, create an appropriate user account, with associated SCHEMA that is granted proper permissions.

Required Items

  • Oracle Database Server Host machine, running Windows 7 Professional or newer.
Recommended: Windows Server 2012 R2.
  • Altium NEXUS Server Host machine, running Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition (64-bit) or newer.
Recommended: Windows Server 2019 Standard Edition (64-bit) .
  • Oracle 11G flavor (the publicly available Express edition is used for this example).
  • Oracle Client Connector, specifically ODTwithODAC112030.
  • .NET 4.5.2.
  • Altium NEXUS Server.
Installation of the Altium NEXUS Server is performed through the Altium NEXUS Server Setup wizard. To access this wizard, you need to first acquire and run an executable – Altium NEXUS Server <VersionNumber>.exe. This executable is provided as part of your Altium-scheduled deployment of Altium NEXUS and can be saved anywhere on your hard disk.

Installation Procedure

  1. On the Oracle DB server Host machine:
    1. Install Oracle 11G Express (x86 or x64). Write down the password you choose here.
    2. Optional: Setup a workspace for use with the Altium NEXUS Server. Write down the User name and login info you choose here.
  2. On the Altium NEXUS Server Host machine:
    1. First, install ODTwithODAC112030.
    2. Copy the TNSname.ora file from Oracle DB Server Host Machine in C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\11.2.0\server\network\ADMIN to C:\app\yourusername\product\11.2.0\client_1\Network\Admin on the Altium NEXUS Server Host machine.
Alternatively, DBAs can configure the OracleHome environmental variable in this step.
  1. Install .NET Framework 4.8 and .NET Core 3.1.2 (or newer).
  2. Install Altium NEXUS Server.
  3. During NEXUS Server installation, enter the following:
    1. TNS Name: default is XE. If you performed step 1-a, enter the appropriate TNS Name that you defined here.
    2. User Name: default is SYSTEM. If you performed step 1-b, enter the appropriate TNS Name that you defined here.
    3. Password: the same that was defined in step 1-a, or 1-b.
  4. Disable the Install sample data option.
  5. Proceed with NEXUS Server installation and configuration as described in the document Installing the Altium NEXUS Server.

Conclusion

Although the aforementioned example includes additional details pertaining to the handling of an Oracle Database, there are only three key steps to configuring your Altium NEXUS Server to work with an Oracle backend:

  1. Step 1 is to create an Oracle account and SCHEMA.
  2. Step 2 is to configure the TNS.ORA parameters.
  3. Step 3 is to install the Altium NEXUS Server.
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