Setting up a Oracle Cloud Account + using a confusing website is not fun

This post will diverge slightly from most of my normal tutorials as quite frankly I got pretty pissed off trying to set up an Oracle Cloud account to the point where I could actually deploy an application. I got so annoyed that I nearly gave up… after writing some tweets displaying my annoyance first of course. If you bare with me past my rant I will get to some instructions that should hopefully allow you to skip over all the holes that I fell into while setting up my account.

First lets start with a little context, I signed up for a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) for setting up microservices to be used with Oracle Cloud. Personally I haven’t tried deploying any code to the cloud before, so when I saw the a tweet for this course I thought why not and signed up. To get this course done I was going to need an Oracle Cloud account so I can actually try out the content in the course for myself… Although this is where everything started to get frustrating…

So I went to to go sign up. I already had a an Oracle account so I assumed that I needed to log in, once that didn’t work I went to create a new account or more precisely upgrade my existing account to allow me to use the cloud features. Luckily there is a nice free trial running at the moment (at the time of writing anyway) so I didn’t need to pay anything just yet, but I did need to wait a while for someone to call me to confirm my account creation and then wait another few hours until it was fully complete. Being I set aside a few hours to try get this all done, the time it took to actually create the account left me with none left to try deploy an application. Although eventually I did get to log in, but I was greeted with this lovely screen…

oracle cloud login error

Now being I was already a bit annoyed by this point, upon seeing this I didn’t know whether to laugh or get more angry. I mean I’ve seen errors like this in my own code, but seriously this is what I saw when I first tried to log in? After seeing this I called it a day and came back to it the next day where it seemed to work! Entered in all the details that were sent to me in my confirmation email and it was all sorted… but it didn’t end there.

After I was finally logged in, I tried to figure out how to get an application deployed but I could not figure out how to get around the site. Its probably worth me adding a disclaimer at this point, it is entirely possible that I was missing something obvious and hopefully you are able to find where your going straight away. Eventually (after a much longer time than I would have hoped) I figured out where I needed to go and I was told that I needed to do some configuration before I could start. Fair enough, nothing wrong with that and they were nice enough to provide me with a link to some relevant documentation. While going through it I came across another link, possibly containing all the information that I needed, but I never know as all I saw was this…

oracle cloud 404 error

Maybe I’m just unlucky but I seem very prone to finding all these errors. Eventually I figured out where I needed to go to complete the configuration and went to create my application. But it still told me to complete my configuration and after double and triple checking, it turned out I simply needed to log out and back in to get it to work. Again maybe some weird stuff was going on and that’s not normally required but it was yet another thing to add to my grievance.

After logging back in, I was finally able to deploy an application!

Now that I am done venting hopefully I can actually provide some useful information to you so you can live a happy life, protected from the hardships I have faced.

  1. If you already have an Oracle account (I believe you need one to download the Java JDK), when you are on the main page you will need to choose Free Trial (which might become Create Account at some point) instead of Sign In. After following through the various pages there is an option to use an existing account.
  2. Once logged in you can add widgets to the dashboard allowing you to see information about deployed services and applications. Once that widget is on the screen by selecting the name of the widget it will take you to a screen which displays extra information and allows you to open the Service Console that is mentioned in the Oracle docs quite a lot.
  3. Before you can create an application you need to set your replication policy. To do this you need to access the Storage section of the web application. There seems to be various ways to get there and once setup I believe the sidebar menu changes which makes it easier to find it (unfortunately I do not have an image of the pre-setup menu).
  4. It could look like the below, which was reached by clicking on a widget title (I chose Application Container) followed by Open Service Console and when the page is displayed opening the cloud setup replication policy 1

    Or if it looks like the below then no steps need to be taken as it is already displayed.

    oracle cloud setup replication policy 2

    I’m not really sure why there are two slightly different looking sidebars but the buttons will take you to the same place.

  5. Once the storage page is reached then a popup should display to make you set your replication policy (again I do not have an image of this). This cannot be changed so make sure you choose the correct one for your needs. Some extra information can be found in the Oracle docs for setting the replication policy, which also tells you how to get there if my earlier steps didn’t help.
  6. Logging out after this point seemed to put my account into the correct state as when I came back in I could create an application.
  7. If you wanted to deploy a Java (or Node, PHP, Python, Ruby) application like I did, then go to the Service Console of the Application Container section and a Create Application button should be displayed allowing you to do so.

I now feel much more relaxed after writing this post. Hopefully all the pitfalls that I fell into get fixed and the navigation around the site is made easier in the future allowing for a much better user experience. After all the hassle of setting up my account was out of the way actually using Oracle Cloud was pretty straight forward and deploying an application did not take very long to achieve. At the end of the day, don’t let all my excessive ranting put you off trying it yourself and making your own opinions of the experience.

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