Planning and Preparing the Oracle Siebel CRM Installation

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by Alexander Hansal | August 2010 | Enterprise Articles Oracle

When tackling the complex task of installing and configuring Oracle's Siebel CRM, we should keep in mind that a well-considered approach and proper documentation are key factors for a successful completion.

In this article by Alexander Hansal, author of Oracle Siebel CRM 8 Installation and Management, we will discuss the following steps of the Siebel installation process:

  1. Planning the Siebel CRM Installation
  2. Understanding hardware and software prerequisites
  3. Hardware sizing
  4. Preparing the Siebel database
  5. Preparing the Siebel file system
  6. Creating service owner accounts
  7. Downloading the Siebel installation archives
  8. Running the Siebel Image Creator
  9. Obtaining the license key

(For more resources on Oracle, see here.)

The overall process of planning and preparation can be described as follows. The following flowchart describes the major steps of the process of planning and preparing a Siebel CRM installation. In this article, we will describe each step in detail.

Oracle Siebel CRM 8 Installation and Management

Planning the Siebel CRM installation

Implementing Siebel CRM for thousands of users in corporations that do business across the globe is not something a single person would do on a single day. Sometimes, hundreds of technicians, IT architects and business analysts are involved to fulfil the company's requirements. Siebel CRM projects can be costly, lengthy, and sometimes risky expeditions into rough terrain.

In a typical Siebel CRM project, people from various companies—integrators and IT staff of the customer—work together to install and set up the different Siebel environments from first prototyping areas over the development, test, and training environments, to the final production environment.

Siebel and third-party software for these environments are typically installed on multiple server machines and it is not unusual to find a mix of operating systems.

What is expected from us—being the reliable and trustworthy expert that the customer hired to install Siebel CRM on their systems—is a planning document. The key to a useful planning document is knowledge about the customer's IT infrastructure, as well as the Siebel installation and configuration processes.

The following is an example of a typical planning document that provides all the information that is needed to successfully install the Siebel CRM infrastructure on Microsoft Windows machines. The official Siebel Installation Guide includes a Deployment Planning Worksheet, which can serve as a starting point. In a real life project, we can use any spreadsheet application to create and collaborate on this information.

Sample planning document

The following table is a sample planning document for information regarding the relational database management system (RDBMS) to host the Siebel database. We record information about the RDBMS vendor and version as well as the machine hostname and administrative user account. For a typical Siebel CRM installation, we also plan the creation of two tablespaces. Details on how to create tablespaces and undertake other prerequisite installation steps are described later in this article.

Component/Parameter

Name/Value Examples

Description

Database Server Vendor

Oracle

 

Database Server Version

11gR1

 

DB Server System Account/Password

sys/T67PBhtr as SYSDBA

Needed to connect directly to the database to run the grantusr.sql script.

Database Server hostname

dbsrvr1

 

DB host admin user

Administrator

 

DB host admin user password

XBXfi8F9

See the note on password examples.

Database Server port

1521

 

Database Server SID

ORCL

 

Siebel DB index tablespace

SIEBELDB_IDX

This tablespace will hold the indexes of the Siebel CRM schema.

Siebel DB data tablespace

SIEBELDB_DATA

This tablespace will hold the data tables of the Siebel CRM schema.

More planning information

Of course, a decent planning document contains more than just a series of tables. Sometimes, we might need to bring specialists on board to define the necessary amount of servers, the hardware configuration, and so forth.

Security-related information such as user accounts, remote access settings, or simply the phone numbers of the firewall administrators, can help the project team to finish a Siebel CRM infrastructure provisioning on time.

Certainly, the project plan will include a timeline. We will not go into details of project management, but we should ensure that our project plan provides enough time and money for training—for both technicians and the end user community.

Understanding hardware and software prerequisites

Many problems in Siebel CRM projects arise from improper planning. As we learned, delivering a decent planning document is a key milestone of our Siebel CRM implementation project.

Therefore, it is very important that any person involved in planning and conducting a Siebel CRM installation has access to the Siebel System Requirements and Supported Platforms document that can be downloaded from the Oracle Technology Network website: http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E11886_01/srsphomepage.html.

This document is available for each individual Siebel CRM version and outlines in detail the minimum hardware requirements and software prerequisites.

For example, if we plan to provide a prototype environment for evaluation and testing of Siebel CRM 8.1 and would like to use Microsoft Windows Server 2003 as the operating system, we would have to provision hardware and software as follows:

Siebel Component

Minimum Processor Requirements

Minimum Memory Requirements

Siebel Server

2 PIII XEON 500 MHz

1 GB

Siebel Gateway Name Server

PIII XEON 500 MHz

256 MB

Web Server

PIII XEON 500 MHz

512 MB

If we were to install these components on a single piece of hardware, we would have to provision a 4 CPU unit (2 for the Siebel Server, 1 for the Siebel Gateway Name Server, and 1 for the Web Server) with at least 1.7 GB (1 GB plus 256 MB + 512 MB) of free memory for the Siebel components, which would be a physical minimum of 2 GB of memory as the operating system will also be hungry for memory.

Sizing the Siebel deployment

Installing Siebel CRM for personal evaluation or prototyping is one thing, providing a stable and high performing enterprise application to hundreds or thousands of end users is quite another challenge.

In certain phases of the Siebel CRM implementation project, consultants and IT staff will have to deliver a sizing document that provides insight into the expected number of end users and their concurrent sessions.

The necessary amount of hardware units and software components is dependent on these main factors:

  • Maximum number of concurrent user sessions
  • Expected volume of data and indexes
  • Hardware vendor
  • Operating system type
  • Database vendor
  • Network bandwidth
  • High-availability and failover requirements

Each of these has to be considered and evaluated. Customers typically rely on the services of experienced staff from either Oracle or consulting corporations to accomplish this.

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(For more resources on Oracle, see here.)

Preparing the Siebel database

At a typical customer site, the IT department will already have multiple relational databases in place for their existing enterprise systems. To prepare the installation of Siebel CRM, we have to ensure that sufficient tablespace is provisioned on the RDBMS.

The following is an example for the Oracle database and assumes that the Oracle RDBMS has already been installed and a database instance has been created following the instructions in the Siebel Installation Guide.

We can use an SQL script similar to the sample code below via the command line or any suitable software tool to create two tablespaces, one for the Siebel tables and the other for the indexes. This is a recommended practice as the Siebel installation wizard will prompt us for the names of two tablespaces.

rem ================================================
rem create initial tablespace for Siebel data tables
rem ================================================
CREATE SMALLFILE TABLESPACE "SIEBELDB_DATA" DATAFILE
'C:\ORACLE\PRODUCT\10.2.0\ORADATA\ORCL\SIEBELDB_DATA.DBF'
SIZE 500M AUTOEXTEND ON NEXT 10M MAXSIZE UNLIMITED
LOGGING EXTENT MANAGEMENT LOCAL SEGMENT
SPACE MANAGEMENT AUTO;
rem ============================================
rem create initial tablespace for Siebel indexes
rem ============================================
CREATE SMALLFILE TABLESPACE "SIEBELDB_IDX" DATAFILE
'C:\ORACLE\PRODUCT\10.2.0\ORADATA\ORCL\SIEBELDB_IDX.DBF'
SIZE 500M AUTOEXTEND ON NEXT 10M MAXSIZE UNLIMITED
LOGGING EXTENT MANAGEMENT LOCAL SEGMENT
SPACE MANAGEMENT AUTO;

When we run this script, one tablespace named SIEBELDB_DATA and a second one named SIEBELDB_IDX with an initial size of 500 MB will be created. Both tablespaces will be automatically extended by intervals of 10 MB with no limit.

Other tasks for the process of preparing the Oracle database for an initial Siebel CRM installation include:

  • Setting global parameters for the database
  • Sizing the redo logs
  • Creating additional tablespaces
  • Setting user roles and privileges

We can use the management tools provided by the database vendor to inspect the Siebel database and verify the settings. The following screenshot shows information about the two tablespaces for the Siebel database in Oracle Enterprise Manager:

Oracle Siebel CRM 8 Installation and Management

As we have discussed the database settings, you can start with installing and setting up an Oracle 10g or 11g enterprise database on a machine that suits the hardware requirements for a simple test instance. The author's recommendation is to use a virtual machine with a fully licensed Microsoft Windows Server operating system.
You should run this virtual machine on a physical host machine with at least 2 GB (4 GB is better) of physical memory and sufficient disk space (20 GB of free disk space is a minimum to store the installation, database, and Siebel software installation files). Any modern laptop or desktop model should have sufficient CPU power to support your first Siebel CRM installation. However, you should take care and invest some time to limit the memory footprint of the virtual machine to an absolute minimum. You can do so for example by setting unnecessary services to manual start.
If you need to download the Oracle database installers, visit otn.oracle.com and navigate to the download section for the Oracle database software. In the OTN License agreement available at http://www.oracle.com/technology/software/popup-license/standard-license.html, Oracle grants us a "…nonexclusive, nontransferable limited license to use the programs only for the purpose of developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating…" Follow the instructions in the Oracle documentation to install the Oracle database server. You might want to check the sample database option, which has the benefit that when the installer finishes, a database instance (ORCL) is already present.
Once you have installed and started the Oracle database, you can modify and run the scripts explained in this article or use your tool of choice to create the tablespaces for the Siebel database.

Creating the service owner account

Because the Siebel Gateway Name Server and Siebel Server are implemented as services (on Microsoft Windows-based operating systems) or daemon processes (on UNIX-based operating systems), the processes must run on behalf of an account with certain administrative rights.

On Microsoft Windows-based operating systems, we must ensure that a system user account with the following characteristics is provisioned on each machine that will host the Siebel services and the Siebel File System before the Siebel installation process is started:

  • The service owner account must either be part of a Windows domain or identical local accounts will have to be created locally
  • Usernames and passwords must not contain any spaces
  • The password policy must not be set to "User must change password at next logon" (uncheck this value) and must be set to "Password never expires" (check this value)
  • The service owner account must be a member of the Administrators group.
  • The service owner account must have the following user rights assigned in the Windows security policies:
    • Log on as a service
    • Act as part of the operating system

The following screenshot shows the local security policy setting "Act as part of the operating system" for the local user account "SIEBELSVC" on Microsoft Windows:

Oracle Siebel CRM 8 Installation and Management

Navigate to the user management on your demonstration machine and create a local user account with the settings discussed in the previous section.
Ensure that you add the user account to the Administrators group.
Then, navigate to the local security policy management in the Microsoft Windows Administrative Tools and assign the policies mentioned in the previous section to the newly created user account.

Creating the Siebel File System root folder

The Siebel File System is a set of directories to store non-relational data. Luckily, the generation of these directories is managed by the Siebel installers; we only have to provide a shared directory.

Using the tools provided by the operating system, we create a directory, share it and set user privileges. Granting access only for selected accounts and groups ensures that the Siebel File System is secure and only visible to Siebel system services and administrators.

On your demonstration machine, create a new directory, share it and set the permissions to "Full Control" for the Administrators group and the service owner account.

Downloading the Siebel installation archives

We have discussed the preliminary steps for the installation of a Siebel CRM demonstration system. Now, it is time to download the Siebel installation files from the Oracle E-Delivery website (http://edelivery.oracle.com).

When we first use Oracle E-Delivery, we must register with our full name, company name, E-mail address, and country information. A new registration is processed by Oracle in typically a day.

 

Also, we must ensure that we read and agree to the licensing information. Software downloaded from Oracle E-Delivery must either be licensed or is made available for a limited 30 day trial period.

Once we have successfully filled in the Export Validation Form, we enter the search screen of Oracle E-Delivery. The following screenshot shows the search results for the Siebel CRM product pack on the Microsoft Windows (32-bit) platform:

Oracle Siebel CRM 8 Installation and Management

We can also use the License List link in the instructions section to conduct a search for the correct product and the associated product pack.

To download the base Siebel CRM software needed for a demonstration system, click on the link for Siebel Business Applications (with Translations) Media Pack. There are several links for different versions of Siebel.

Siebel CRM is made available in two flavors. The Siebel Enterprise Applications (SEA) is a smaller subset of the Siebel Industry Applications (SIA). The Siebel Enterprise Applications are also widely known as "horizontal" applications that provide functionality across different industries, whereas the Siebel Industry Applications provide industry-specific applications such as Siebel Automotive.
The download link including the acronym SEA takes you to the installers for the horizontal Siebel applications.
Oracle has announced it will discontinue the delivery of two separate flavors in favor of the Siebel Industry Applications.

When we reach the download page for the selected media pack, we should ensure that we download only the bits and pieces that we need. This might prove a little difficult for people who have never done this before and the risk of downloading unneeded language packs or software and therefore clogging our disk drives is high. Oracle provides a Readme file that lists the contents of each download archive file.

We can follow this "shopping list" to download what we need for our first Siebel CRM demonstration installation:

  • All parts of the Siebel Business Applications English language pack
  • All parts of the Siebel Business Applications Base Applications
  • All parts of the Siebel Business Applications Siebel Client
  • All parts of the Siebel Business Applications Siebel Tools
  • The Siebel Business Applications ImageCreator Files
  • Using a download management tool

    Given the fact that the download files are huge (from several hundreds of megabytes to more than 1.5 gigabytes), the probability of losing our Internet connectivity during the download and therefore having to restart the download is relatively high. In order to avoid this kind of trouble, we should use a download management tool of our choice.

    The author (who is not related to the authors of the following software) has used the open-source tool named Free Download Manager (FDM) available at http://freedownloadmanager.org. An especially nice feature of FDM is its ability to read the file listing of .zip archives and to allow selecting or unselecting certain files within the archive, resulting in a smaller download size. The following screenshot shows the ZIP Preview feature of Free Download Manager:

    Oracle Siebel CRM 8 Installation and Management

    We can see the content of the zip archive for the Siebel Business Applications 8.1.1.0 Base Applications (Part 1 of 2) with the Visual Mining Netcharts installer unselected.

    However, if we are in doubt we should download the entire zip archive and store all downloaded archives in a single directory on our hard drive.

    Once all zip archives are downloaded, we need to unzip them using our utility of choice. Oracle recommends using the unzip utility on UNIX-based operating systems and warns of using the built-in unzip feature of Microsoft Windows or the commercial WinZip software.

    The author has successfully unzipped all downloaded files with 7zip, an open-source utility available at http://www.7-zip.org.

    We can simply unzip all downloaded zip archives into a single directory. The following screenshot shows the result of unzipping the downloaded zip files, a set of jar archives and the files for the Siebel Image Creator:

    Oracle Siebel CRM 8 Installation and Management

    If you wish to continue following along with the installation of a Siebel CRM demonstration system, your task is now to download and unzip the Siebel installation archives as described in the above section.

    Running the Siebel Image Creator

    The Siebel Image Creator is a utility provided for each operating system platform. It is responsible for extracting the installation files from the jar archives and storing them in a directory tree—the image—suitable for the installation. Installing Siebel CRM directly from the zip or jar archives is impossible.

    The Siebel Image Creator can be run in graphical mode (GUI) or in command line mode. On operating systems that support graphical user interfaces, we typically use GUI mode.

    We can start the Siebel Image Creator on Microsoft Windows by double-clicking the Windows_ImageCreator.exe file.

    The following table provides step-by-step instructions for how to create a Siebel Installation Image using the Siebel Image Creator.

    Step

    Description

    Tasks and Example Values

    1

    Start the Siebel Image Creator.

    Double-click the Windows_ ImageCreator.exe file.

    2

    The Welcome dialog is displayed.

    Click Next.

    3

    Display of options.

    Choose Create a new image...

    Click Next

    4

    Specify the directory to which the installer images should be copied.

    Example: C:\Siebel_Install_Image

    Click Next

    5

    Application type selection.

    Select Siebel Industry Applications

    Click Next

    6

    Select operating system platform.

    Select Windows

    Click Next

    7

    Select products.

    Select the following:

    Siebel Tools

    Siebel Web Client

    Siebel Sample Database

    Siebel Enterprise Server

    Siebel Web Server Extension

    Click Next

    8

    Specify languages.

    Select ENU - English (American)

    Click Next

    9                    

    Progress of the file extraction process is displayed.

    Wait for completion

    10

    Success message is displayed.

    Click Finish

    Now, we can navigate to the directory we specified in step 4 and verify that the Siebel installer files have been created for the selected products and languages. The following screenshot shows the directory tree for a Siebel installation image for various products such as Siebel Tools and Siebel Web Client:

    Oracle Siebel CRM 8 Installation and Management

    If we consider a large project setting then it is definitely a recommended practice to copy the Siebel installation image directory to a network location that is accessible by anyone who needs to install Siebel CRM software.

    If you have finished downloading and unzipping the Siebel installation archives from the Oracle E-Delivery website, you can now follow the steps outlined in the above section and create the Siebel installation image on your hard drive.
    Ensure that you follow the steps in the table above correctly to extract the installation images for all Siebel CRM products needed for a demonstration environment.

    Obtaining the license key

    Siebel CRM application functionality is licensed by Oracle on a per-module basis. If a customer does not need, for example, the Siebel Marketing functionality, then he does not have to pay for it.

    The interesting part, however, is that when we install Siebel CRM, we install the so-called Siebel Repository, the metadata store holding all pre-built application configurations. This repository is the same for all customers. What customers get when they purchase a Siebel CRM license for the modules they have chosen is the Siebel license key.

    Plainly, the license key is a set of numbers that control the availability of the Siebel CRM functionality to the end users. Siebel functionality is accessed by means of Siebel Views, which are simply filtered away if the respective license key is not present in the Siebel database.

    For an initial demonstration installation of Siebel CRM, it is therefore important to download the correct license key from the Oracle website. For evaluation purposes, we can download a set of license keys that expire after a certain period.

    The URL where Oracle makes the license keys for all applications available is http://licensecodes.oracle.com.

    On that website, we navigate to the Siebel section and locate the link for the allinclusive license keys. We find the correct "flavor" of Siebel CRM and copy all lines of the respective license code to our clipboard. It is a good practice to paste the license code in a text file and store it in a safe place.

    The license key will be needed during installation of the Siebel database.

    You can use the checklist below to verify whether you have completed all steps.

    • Provisioned a Microsoft Windows based operating system (including Internet Information Services) on appropriate hardware
    • Installed an Oracle 10g or 11g database server
    • Created two tablespaces
    • Created a system owner account with correct privileges
    • Created and shared a file system root folder
    • Downloaded the Siebel installation archives
    • Created the Siebel installation images
    • Downloaded and stored the correct Siebel license key

    Summary

    Creating a planning document is one of the first tasks for Siebel professionals who have to install Siebel CRM. This article provided information on how to plan the several phases of a Siebel installation using a sample planning document.

    In addition, we learned how to execute the prerequisite steps for a Siebel CRM server installation on Microsoft Windows. These steps included the creation of tablespaces on an Oracle database and managing user accounts and file shares.

    Finally, the article covered the steps to download the installation files, license keys, and to create the installation images using the Siebel Image Creator.


    Further resources on this subject:

  • Managing User Accounts in Oracle Siebel CRM 8 [Article]
  • Oracle Universal Content Management: How to Set Up and Change Workflows [Article]
  • More Things you can do with Oracle Content Server workflows [Article]

  • Oracle Siebel CRM 8 Installation and Management Install, configure, and manage a robust Customer Relationship Management system using Siebel CRM with this book and eBook
    Published: August 2010
    eBook Price: ₨1,290.00
    Book Price: ₨2,156.00
    See more
    Select your format and quantity:

    About the Author :


    Alexander Hansal

    Alexander Hansal has worked as an IT professional in small, medium, and global corporations. Since 2001, Alexander works as a technical instructor and consultant for Siebel CRM and Oracle Business Intelligence in Europe. He enjoys teaching, and shares his knowledge and expertise in his classes at Oracle University and in his weblog, http://siebel-essentials.blogspot.com/

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