Admin Linux

Upgrading your JDBC driver for all you HP SiteScope fans

HP SiteScope is a pretty good and not overly pricey infrastructure monitoring solution. We’ve used it for years. An unexpected Oracle error sent us scrambling to remember how the heck we installed an Oracle JDBC driver on HP SiteScope the last time we did it, which was eons ago. As with many very specific yet important things on the Internet, the documentation available on the Internet was pretty spotty. Here is my attempt to remedy that. These instructions are for Redhat Linux, though I would think similar considerations would apply to the Windows version.

The details
Well all our Oracle database monitors were working just fine for years. So when asked to monitor a new database we simply copied one of the old ones and appropriately changed the connect string. But a strange thing happened. We got this error:


ORA-28040: No matching authentication protocol

So we spoke with a DBA. This new database, being newer, was running a much more current version, Oracle 12C. I became convinced that our several-years-old JDBC driver for SiteScope simply wasn’t compatible. The DBA searched the oracle site and found supporting evidence for that hypothesis. So how to upgrade?

The latest JDBC Drivers can be found here on Oracle’s Website. We selected JDBC Driver 12c Release 1 ( and downloaded the ojdbc7.jar file.

The thing is that to download it you need some kind of Oracle developer account. Fortunately I had one from years back and it still worked. So we were able to download it.

Where does it go?
The other breakthrough I had was simply to remember after thinking about it what the old jdbc driver was called. Its name wasn’t anything like ojdbc.jar. No, it was classes12.jar!

Of course memories can be tricked. To confirm that that jar file looked basically right we did a

$ jar tvf classes12.jar

Sure enough, there were a bunch of lines for oracle/jdbc/blah, blah. Then out of curiosity I tried to check the actual classpath of the SiteScope process with something like this:

$ ps -ef|grep java|grep classes12

and sure enough, it highlighted a java process – clearly belonging to HP SiteScope – and the classes12.jar therein.

So memory confirmed.

Speculative next steps
This part is speculative and may not be necessary though it doesn’t seem to hurt anything. I wanted to maximize my chance of success the first time, rather than stopping/starting HP SiteScope multiple times, right? So I didn’t see a quick way to tell HP SiteScope that, hey, the new driver to use is ojdbc7.jar, not classes12.jar so I tried to force its hand. We moved the classes12.jar file out of its directory:

$ cd /opt/SiteScope/WEB-INF/lib; mv classes12.jar /tmp

and put the new jdbc file in that directory, and made a sym link from the old driver to the new one for good measure!

$ ln -s ojdbc7.jar classes12.jar

We tested if we could get away without stopping/restarting HP SiteScope. Nope. It didn’t pick up the new driver. So we were a little nervous. So we did the stop/start thing:

$ service hpss stop; service hpss start

It takes awhile, but…

Yes, the new monitor began working! Of course we were worried a bit about backwards compatibility between the 12C driver and the older version 11 databases, but those continued to work as well.

Installing a recent JDBC driver fixes the ORA-28040 error for our HP SiteScope installation. Was that sym link really necessary? I don’t know for sure, but I see that the java process still has classes12.jar in its path. It does not have ojdbc7.jar! There’s probably a way to modify the classpath, but I don’t know it. So in my case I’d be inclined to say Yes it was.

References and related articles
Oracle’s version 12C JDBC driver.
I rail against HP’s bureaucratic ways in this older posting.
My last HP SiteScope upgrade is documented here.