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Information about Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) evidence gathered by the FlexNet inventory agent

Information about Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) evidence gathered by the FlexNet inventory agent

Synopsis

This article discusses how the FlexNet inventory agent gathers inventory data from Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) files.

Occasionally one encounters a false recognition on Oracle applications due to Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) evidence that is reported by the FlexNet inventory agent, but it is not readily apparent where the source of the evidence is on the endpoint. The information here may help to troubleshoot and diagnose this kind of scenario.

Discussion

OUI tracks details of installed Oracle software components using files named oraInst.loc, inventory.xml and comps.xml.

The /etc/oraInst.loc file contains an inventory_loc entry. For example:

 

inventory_loc=/u/oracle/app/oraInventory
inst_group=oinstall

 

Under the inventory_loc path will be a ContentsXML/inventory.xml file (in this example, "/u/oracle/app/oraInventory/ContentsXML/inventory.xml"). The inventory.xml file provides HOME elements that contain a LOC attribute. For example:

 

...
<HOME_LIST>
  <HOME NAME="OraDb11g_home1" LOC="/u/oracle/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1" TYPE="O" IDX="1"/>
</HOME_LIST>
...

 

Each home directory includes an inventory/ContentsXML/comps.xml file (in this example, "/u/oracle/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/inventory/ContentsXML/comps.xml"). The comps.xml file contains the installer evidence extracted by the inventory agent. An example of the type of data that can be found in these files is:

 

...
<COMP NAME="oracle.server" VER="11.2.0.1.0" BUILD_NUMBER="0" REP_VER="0.0.0.0.0" RELEASE="Production" INV_LOC="Components/oracle.server/11.2.0.1.0/1/" LANGS="en" XML_INV_LOC="Components21/oracle.server/11.2.0.1.0/" ACT_INST_VER="11.2.0.1.0" DEINST_VER="11.2.0.0.0" INSTALL_TIME="2011.Jun.02 20:39:31 EST" INST_LOC="/u/oracle/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/oracle.server">
  <EXT_NAME>Oracle Database 11g</EXT_NAME>
  <DESC>Installs an optional preconfigured starter database, product options, management tools, networking services, utilities, and basic client software for an Oracle Database server. This option also supports Automatic Storage Management database configuration.</DESC>
  <DESCID>COMPONENT_DESC</DESCID>
  <STG_INFO OSP_VER="10.2.0.0.0"/>
</COMP>
...

 

For each COMP element, the following properties are used:

  • EXT_NAME element - installer evidence "Name"
  • VER attribute - installer evidence "Version"
  • INST_LOC attribute - installer evidence "InstallLocation"
  • INSTALL_TIME attribute - installer evidence "InstallDate"
  • A hard coded "Oracle Corporation" - installer evidence "Publisher"

Package details in a inventory .ndi file generated from the above example would look like:

 

<Package Name="Oracle Database 11g" Evidence="OUI" Version="11.2.0.1.0" InstallDate="20110602T203931">
  <Property Name="InstallLocation" Value="/u/oracle/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/oracle.server"/>
  <Property Name="Publisher" Value="Oracle Corporation"/>
</Package>

 

Installation directories that no longer exist

Anecdotally, it is not uncommon to find comps.xml files are not reliably updated by Oracle Universal Installer to indicate Oracle applications are no longer installed when an uninstalled is performed. This can result in FlexNet Manager Suite recognizing installations of Oracle applications based on the evidence, despite other files associated with the installation no longer being on the computer.

The FlexNet inventory agent versions 2021 R1 (17.0) and later contain and improvement that will only return evidence from comps.xml files where the directory specified in the INST_LOC attribute actually exists. Earlier agent versions return all evidence as specified in the comps.xml file, regardless of whether referenced installation directories actually exist.

Logging

If the agent is configured to scan the file system, it will discover the oraInst.loc, inventory.xml and comps.xml files as part of that scan. The inventory agent's tracker.log will give details on which packages have been found on the device. You will see messages similar to the following appearing in the tracker.log:

 

[2018/04/15 01:24:20 AM (G, 0)] {2940} The file 'C:\oracle\inventory\ContentsXML\comps.xml' has been detected as a possible package registry

 

You should review each .xml file to make sure it contains the correct information that accurately reflects which applications are currently installed on the device.

Additional diagnostic tracing information about the scanning performed by the inventory agent may be able to be obtained by enabling the +Inventory/Packaging/OracleUniversalInstaller agent trace flag in the etcp.trace file.

Use of application recognition library (ARL) rules recognizing OUI evidence

OUI evidence often identifies that Oracle Database is installed, but does not identify the edition. Precedence rules are configured in the ARL to avoid recognizing installations of Oracle Database "unspecified edition" applications (for example, based on OUI evidence) when more specific evidence that enables recognition of the specific Oracle Database edition is available (for example, based on Oracle Database inventory that has been gathered).

Recognition rules for Oracle Database options are generally not configured to match OUI evidence.

These principles are applied as OUI evidence has been found to often be an unreliable indicator of what is currently installed on computers: as installations change, OUI files on computers are often not updated accordingly. Avoiding the use of OUI evidence for recognition helps to minimize the amount of false positives that arise from using OUI evidence to recognize installations.

See the following post for some more information about this: Content Change Notification: Changes in the use of Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) evidences for recognition.

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What if we are still unable to locate the file proving the installation is in fact on the device?  is it just written off as a false positive or is there a workaround?  Should we unlink that evidence to the application?

@joshua_neadow - You should look at the TRACKER.LOG file on the server in question.  This will indicate where each xml file is found that contains OUI install evidence.

You will see entries in the log file such as the following:

[2018/04/15 01:24:20 AM (G, 0)] {2940} The file 'C:\oracle\inventory\ContentsXML\comps.xml' has been detected as a possible package registry

Just a small update on this post: from December 2021 on, in addition to the enhanced OUI data collection, precedence rules have been created in the ARL to remove Oracle OUI when more recent versions of Oracle Standard or Enterprise have been recognized on the server.

In such situations, the “unspecified edition” installations will be removed.

While the database can still be recognized through OUI in the case no more recent versions has been correctly inventoried, the Options are no longer recognized by OUI evidences (this will actually be the case in the coming weeks). Ignored OUI evidences have been created and other installer evidences linked to the applications are going to be deleted as a second step.

Is the installer evidence that the Flexera agent gathers from the comps.xml file only related to Oracle Database or would it also include evidence for middleware products like WebLogic if such apps are installed?

@clyntonh - Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) technology is used with a wide range of Oracle software applications, including WebLogic. Use of OUI is not limited to Oracle Database.

Are there plans to remove OUI evidence from being used to detect installations of Oracle DB? I understand that OUI evidence is no longer used for Oracle DB Options (https://community.flexera.com/t5/FlexNet-Manager-Content-Blog/Content-Change-Notification-Changes-in-the-use-of-Oracle/ba-p/216818) but what about the core DB product itself? I have seen MANY false positives where Flexera reports Oracle DB is installed but after checking with the DBA teams they can confirm that Oracle DB is not installed. Given that if the server is running in VMWare, Flexera will license the entire VMWare cluster, these false positives can create HUGE apparent non-compliance and financial risk values. 

These situations typically present themselves as: only OUI evidence detected but no actual Oracle DB instance detected.

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‎Jan 23, 2022 11:52 PM
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