Sunday, 6 July 2008

WebSphere Portal 6.1 - First thoughts ...

Well, I downloaded WebSphere Portal Express 6.1 on Wednesday ( having been travelling on Monday/Tuesday ).

I did my first installation at about midnight on Wednesday, which was possibly a mistake 'cos it failed. However, the second installation ( 0600 on Thursday ) worked OK; the major difference was that I manually truncated the WAS node name from my 8-character hostname ( STARGATE ) to 5 characters ( STARG ). I've seen this cause issues in the past with other versions of WebSphere Portal and Workplace. I believe it's due to path names being created that exceed Windows 256-character limit ( bear in mind that I am installing on Windows XP for my demo environment ).

Another observation was that the installation SEEMED to take quite a while - 2.5+ hours on a VMware image. However,  I'm using a beta of VMware Workstation 6.5 running under Ubuntu Linux, and I know that the beta has logging enabled.

I did another clean installation this AM, directly onto my Thinkpad T60p running Windows XP. This time it took 1 hour and 15 minutes, which is more acceptable - and similar to WebSphere Portal 6.0.

Once installed, the new Web 2.0 look n' feel is rather lovely, and the pages are now pre-cached, meaning that they load immediately.

Finally ( for now ) I configured Portal to use Domino 8 as a LDAP repository. For the first time ever, I relied solely upon the wizard, and was very impressed. I did, however, note one point to be aware of - WebSphere Portal now uses WAS realms for LDAP etc. and the realm can contain a base distinguished name ( think of this as the starting point for a LDAP search ).

By default, Domino places groups outside of the normal organization structure e.g. CN=wpsadmins rather than CN=wpsadmins, O=ibm. Therefore, setting the base DN for the realm to be O=ibm means that portal cannot find the administrative group, causing it to fail to start. I re-ran the wizard, and left the base DN blank, with the result that portal now starts and authenticates correctly.

Therefore, two lessons to be learnt: -
  • stick with 5-character node names; at least on older versions of Windows
  • avoid setting the base DN for a realm if you're using Domino ( unless my understanding of Domino LDAP is wrong )
More fun to come ....

1 comment:

Msu said...

I am having some issues installing Express 6.1. Did you come across any? How did you solve them?

Thanks.