8. ICE (Internet Commerce Enabled)

ICE is Ingres' proprietary gateway to the Web. Basically, it is a CGI program that can talk to an Ingres server through the native Ingres API. ICE supports a couple of macro commands which you can embed in HTML documents. When rendering such a document, ICE first executes the macros then outputs the resulting web page.

On other platforms you can configure ICE as a server extension to the Spyglass web server which is bundled with Ingres. The Linux version of Ingres does not include Spyglass. Therefore, in this section I will show you how to setup ICE as a standalone CGI program under Apache, the world's most popular web server.

You need the ingvalidpw program for ICE to work. See subsection ingvalidpw on how to install it.

8.1. Configuring Apache

Building, installing and configuring Apache is beyond the scope of this HOWTO. (You had better learn Apache if you are putting your databases on the Web, with ICE or otherwise.)

I suggest to download the newest stable version of Apache in source and build it yourself for maximum flexibility. I also suggest you keep a separate Apache installation just for ICE.

In this subsection I will only cover those parameters of Apache that are important from ICE's point of view.

Things to watch out for:

  • The installed software should be owned by the ingres user. This is not strictly necessary but will make things easier.

  • Compile the mod_env module into the server, preferably statically (do not use DSOs unless you have to: they make Apache slower).

After you have compiled and installed Apache, set the following parameters in httpd.conf:

Port 8000 -- must be greater than 1023
User ingres -- all server processes run as ingres
Group ingres -- the ingres user's group

The last two lines must be added to httpd.conf. These variables will be passed from the environment of the ingres user to the environment of CGI programs started by Apache (specifically iceinst and ice, the two executables of ICE).

8.2. ICE Setup

Now you can configure ICE and its Tutorials. You can do this with a browser and the iceinst program. Let us suppose that your CGI directory is /opt/ingres/apache/cgi-bin and Apache is listening on port 8000. Let the name of your machine be ingserv1. Then you can start iceinst in the following manner:

$ iceinst -d/opt/ingres/apache/cgi-bin -u/cgi-bin -shttp://ingserv1:8000

Option -d is the full path to the CGI directory, -u is this directory's address within the site, -s is the Internet address of the server, while -b is the full path to the browser. If you omit option -b and write -remote instead, then iceinst will not try to start the browser. You can configure ICE from another machine then, directing your browser to http://ingserv1/cgi-bin/iceinst.

First the program asks for the value of II_SYSTEM. Then you should visit every screen and set all parameters presented on them. Have iceinst install the Dynamic SQL Tutorial and the Macro Processor Tutorial as well. These show the usage of ICE via applications and a database (icedb by default).

It is important to create a directory under Apache's DocumentRoot where ICE can store the output it creates for clients' requests. ICE will not start until you create this directory and specify its name in iceinst.

After you have completed every form, choose the Install option. If you have set everything properly, the configuration of ICE and the installation of the tutorials take place. ICE is ready to use.

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