Oracle iFS (Internet File System) is a file system that allows one to store files in an Oracle database ("the so-called O-drive"). Access is allowed from the Windows File Explorer (SMB protocol), FTP, HTTP, POP3 and other Internet protocols.
History and support status
Oracle iFS first shipped free of charge with Oracle 8i release 8.1.7, and was also available for downloaded from the Oracle Technology Network (OTN). iFS was later renamed to Oracle Content Management SDK.
Oracle iFS supports the following features:
- File versioning - Create a new file version each time a document is edited
- Check in, check out (CICO) - lock documents that have been checked out until they are checked back in
- Change notification - Warn users via E-Mail when documents are modified
- Automatic expiration - Auto purge/delete old files
- Parsers and renderers - Documents can be decomposed and reassembled using different file formats
- Advanced searches - If Oracle InterMedia is installed, one can do advanced searches on document contents
- Symbolic links - files can be stored in multiple folders
- Multi-level security - with integrated anti-virus software
- XML and XSL Support
- Developers kit/ Java API/ etc.
Oracle iFS supports the following standard Internet protocols:
- SMB (Server Message Block) -
- Use this protocol to access the iFS through Microsoft Windows and Linux clients as a remote filesystem.
- HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) -
- Use this protocol to access the iFS with Web browsers and network computers.
- FTP (File Transfer Protocol) -
- Use this protocol to see contents of the iFS with (command-line) FTP clients. The contents of the iFS are displayed as standard FTP directories. Use the GET and PUT commands to move files.
- SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), IMAP4 Internet Message Access Protocol, POP3 (Post Office Protocol) -
- Use these E-mail protocols to access the iFS through clients like Pegasus, Eudora, Microsoft Outlook, and others.
Extended features are not accessible for standard protocols. For example, there is no way to check in or check out a file using the standard features of SMB or FTP as they do not support check in or out of files. Additional features are only available via Oracle's iFS admin tools.
Use the following high-level steps to get up to speed with Oracle iFS:
- Install the Oracle Server with the Java (JServer/ JVM) and InterMedia options. Oracle iFS runs within a JavaVM and cannot function without the Java Option being installed. Without interMedia, iFS will not be able to do context searches.
- Create a database and run $ORACLE_HOME/javavm/install/initjvm.sql as user SYS.
- Install the Oracle iFS software
- Run the "ifsconfig" utility to configure iFS
Stop and start
Use iFS Server Manager (ifssvrmgr) command to start and stop iFS. Unix and Windows users can also use the "ifsstart" command in the $ORACLE_HOME/ifs/bin directory to start Oracle iFS. The "ifsstop" command can be used to stop iFS.
Backup and recovery
All filesystem objects are stored within an Oracle database. Normal database backup and recovery procedures apply. See the Oracle database Backup and Recovery FAQ for details. Later versions may also store files outside of Oracle.
Configuration data in the $ORACLE_HOME/ifs<version> directory can be backed up using standard filesystem copy commands.
Please note that individual files cannot be restored from a standard database backup. One would need to restore the complete iFS repository.
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