Blackboard Learn requires a supporting backend database for data storage (files are stored on the file system). Microsoft Windows Server-based application servers should use Microsoft SQL Server as the supporting Learn database. UNIX-based application servers should use Oracle.
Please read the Release Notes for the supported database versions for this release of Learn.
The Blackboard Learn Installer will not install the Oracle media and initial database for the Blackboard schema by default. Administrators should follow the instructions provided by Oracle for installing the Oracle media and database.
Learn 9.1 April 2014 is supported only on Oracle 11g R2 and later. Check the Release Notes for specific supported versions.
After the Oracle media and database are installed, configuration changes will need to be made to the Oracle instance before installing Blackboard Learn. These changes apply to Oracle 10g (Release 2) and later.
To learn more about configuring Oracle in a Blackboard Learn environment to achieve the best performance possible, see Pre-Installation Recommendations in an Oracle Environment.
Prior to Oracle 10gR2, the CONNECT role was granted eight privileges: create session, create table, create view, create synonym, create database link, create cluster, create sequence, and alter session. With the current release of Oracle, only the create session privilege is granted to the CONNECT role. Oracle removed the additional privileges granted to the CONNECT role to provide additional security by enforcing a principle of least privileges.
Standard installations and upgrades require the CONNECT role to have the create session, create table, create view, create synonym, create sequence, and alter session privileges. Clustered installations and upgrades additionally require the CONNECT role to have the create cluster privilege. The following script will grant all eight privileges for installations and upgrades of Blackboard Learn on Oracle 10g (Release 2). The privileges are only required during the installation or upgrade, and may be revoked at the time of completion.
sqlplus "/as sysdba"
SQL> GRANT create session, create table TO CONNECT;
The parameter DB_BLOCK_SIZE specifies (in bytes) the size of the Oracle database blocks. This parameter must be set to 8192. Prior installations may have been set to 4096, and must be changed to 8192. Failure to set the Oracle database block size 8192 can cause an incorrect installation of Blackboard Learn.
Confirm WE8ISO8859P1 and AL16UTF16 Character Set
The character and national alternate character set values for Oracle are WE8ISO8859P1 and AL16UTF16 (also referred to as UTF16). Administrators using Oracle should confirm that the character and national alternate character set are WE8ISO8859P1 and AL16UTF16 before installing Blackboard Learn. Both the character and National Character Set values can be determined by querying the v$ table using the following SQL commands:
$ sqlplus ‘/ as sysdba’
SQL> select parameter, value from v$nls_parameters where parameter = 'NLS_CHARACTERSET';
SQL> select parameter, value from v$nls_parameters where parameter = ‘NLS_NCHAR_CHARACTERSET’;
If the NLS_CHARACTERSET and NLS_NCHAR_CHARACTERSET are not set to WE8ISO8859P1 and AL16UTF16, use the following SQL statements to set them properly:
SQL> STARTUP MOUNT;
SQL> ALTER SYSTEM ENABLE RESTRICTED SESSION;
SQL> ALTER SYSTEM SET JOB_QUEUE_PROCESSES=0;
SQL> ALTER DATABASE OPEN;
SQL> ALTER DATABASE CHARACTER SET INTERNAL_USE WE8ISO8859P1;
SQL> ALTER DATABASE NATIONAL CHARACTER SET INTERNAL_USE AL16UTF16;
SQL> SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE;
Keep in mind the following when installing and configuring Microsoft SQL Server:
- Install SQL Server at the drive level, for example, C:\SQL Server.
- Use Mixed Mode Security Authentication.
- Make sure SQL Server is installed using a local account.
- Blackboard recommends using the default instance name. If the default instance name is not used, the instance name must not include any underscores, spaces, or punctuation. Use only alphanumeric characters.
- If an instance other than the default is used, make sure that the instance is not case sensitive.
- The default password for the 'sa' account is a blank value.
- The SQL Server Client Tools must be installed on each application server.
- Blackboard Learn supports SQL Server failover. To learn more, see Set Up Database Clustering and Storage for Windows.