Tuesday 25 December 2007

New Nadger

Santa ( ahem, the missus ) kindly bought me a new iPod Touch ( aka iTouch ) for Christmas this year.

Just starting to play but ..... wow, omg, it's a nice bit of kit.

Just need to work out how to blog from it and I'm good to go ......


Tuesday 18 December 2007

Creating a Red Hat Enterprise Linux VMware image

Had some fun n' games installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) as a
VMware guest.

In essence, the RHEL installer didn't ever see a disk drive within the
VMware image.

In the end, it transpired that, by default, VMware uses the BusLogic
driver, whereas RHEL does not ship with this driver on disk ( even on
the DVD ).

The solution was to (a) perform a Custom create and choose the LSI
driver instead of the BusLogic driver -OR- (b) specifically select Red
Hat Enterprise Linux as the guest OS.

I've documented it here in case it helps.

Enjoy !


Friday 14 December 2007

"I aten't dead"

Some sad news at: -


but, as the cliche goes, where there's life there's hope :)

Best wishes to Terry, and his family.

Tuesday 11 December 2007

Getting quicker with Quickr

Spent the past few days getting (back) up to speed with Lotus Quickr Services for WebSphere Portal ( having updated it to at the weekend ).

The more I use it, the more I (a) understand and (b) love this piece of kit.

Having hit a major hurdle last week where a customer had asked me to show document approvals - not having prepared myself, I looked like a bit of a daftie, but my bacon was saved by a swift piece of work by a colleague using Sametime and the Information Centre.

Having learnt my lesson ( prepare for everything, even if you don't expect to need to demonstrate a product in depth ), I've dug into some of the Quickr elements including: -
  • Document Types

    Relate to templates, versioning options and workflow

  • Templates

    Associated with application e.g. MS Word document

  • Property Sheets

    Document metadata associated with document type

  • Categories

    Used as filters in views, searching and navigation
and have created simple one-stage and more complex multiple-stage document approval processes, using document types.

I also learnt that the drag n' drop capabilities don't work unless the Library component is deployed standalone on a page - I found this out by creating a Project Library place and wondering where the D&D whizziness had gone. Thanks to some more Sametime interaction, I was able to resolve this - I added the Library component into the place on a NEW page, and all was well.

In short, I'm mostly prepared for tomorrow ( just going to go and back up the place, library etc. ).

More tomorrow :-)

Saturday 8 December 2007

Riddle me this ...

So, I have a most excellent RHEL VMware image, and have sorted out how to use up2date against my company's internal RHN server.

but ....

How do I install additional components that aren't in the VM ? As an example, I needed to install GCC in order to get the required updates for libstdc++ in order to install Lotus Quickr .....

I couldn't work out how to make RHEL use my company's installation server to go get these additional features, even though I could've chosen to install Linux via a network installation ( using a lightweight boot CD image - VMware is able to boot from an ISO image in order to perform an installation, instead of using physical media ).

PS Before I realised this fact, imagine how much fun I had downloading the ISO images, burning them to CD and then installing the VMware image from the CD with all that lovely disk swapping .....

I'm sure that there is a magic invocation somewhere but ........

Meantime, I'm downloading an ISO of the RHEL DVD in order that I have it available locally to install from.


Tuesday 4 December 2007

More Linux silliness ....

Whilst trying ( and failing ) to configure my RHEL VM to use my company's internal RHN mirror, I was running the following command: -

wget -qO- https://hostname.domain.com/pub/bootstrap/bootstrap-rtp.sh | /bin/bash

Now you can see the obvious flaw, right ??

Yes, you guessed it - I'd copied the command verbatim from a website, and included the three leading spaces, which meant that the command did absolutely nowt.

Therefore, the follow-up command: -

rhnreg_ks --force --username=username --password=password

defaulted to the original settings, and went off to the Red Hat site rather than my company's mirror.

I'd run this many, many times before I realised. Do I feel silly ?


FYI Upgrading Lotus Quickr Services for WebSphere Portal to

As you're no doubt aware, is now available for the WebSphere Portal-based deployment of Lotus Quickr, as per: - Lotus Quickr fix pack

The Readme refers to the Lotus Quickr Update Installer for version 8.0 but doesn't make it 100% clear where the installer can be obtained. It then states: -

Download the latest cumulative fix file and the WebSphere Portal Update Installer Version 6 from here.

This, potentially, is a herring rouge, as the version of the Update Installer here ( 2007-09-07 ) is for WebSphere Portal v6, rather than for Lotus Quickr.

Therefore, please get the correct installer from Fix Central.

Choose Product Family = Lotus, Product = Lotus Quickr and select Continue. Leave the default settings for All fixes and click Continue. After a few seconds, you'll see see a huge list of fixes - the Update Installers are here: -

Fix Name:
Fix Type: iFix
Platforms: Linux
Abstract: Portal Update Installer (PUI) for Quickr, Linux version. Build: 20070905_1746. Date: September 5, 2007

and: -

Fix Name:
Fix Type: iFix
Platforms: Windows
Abstract: Portal Update Installer (PUI) for Quickr, Windows version. Build: 20070905_1746. Date: September 5, 2007.

as is the fixpack: -

Fix Name:
Fix Type: iFix
Platforms: Windows
Abstract: Portal Update Installer (PUI) for Quickr, Windows version. Build: 20070905_1746. Date: September 5, 2007.

and it's prerequisite fixes.

Thanks to Jon for pointing out the discrepancy. Thanks also to Stuart for pointing out that the fixes are now available.

An Interesting Article - "Key Challenges in Portal Adoption"

Found this whilst browsing TheServerSide last night. It's an article by Nikil Sharma from Infosys, and covers some of the common pains, challenges and lessons from customers looking to deploy portal solutions.

He ends by summarising as follows: -

1. Identify all the stakeholders; seek buy-ins and involvements of all relevant units and parties right from the beginning of the initiative. Rope in enterprise architects and not just Portal or technical architects to ensure alignment of Portal adoption with future Roadmaps.
2. Educate all stakeholders on the portal space and capabilities of the portal, so that they can actively and effectively contribute.
3. Establish and circulate a formal Governance model which will cover the Portal adoption in all phases ranging from conception, design, implementation, and rollout to collaboration. Processes and policies should clearly identify the ownerships, accountabilities (RACI) on various segments of the portal.
4. Technology selection should be done carefully after evaluating all possible options and bearing in mind the attributes of costs (development and run-time), future support, compliance to standards, ease in customization, out-of-the-box support for requirements, ease of integration with other products etc.
5. Initiate early UI prototyping to bring clarity in requirements and paint a realistic picture of the proposed solution. UI prototyping will also help in identifying the various screen elements and components that would be required and will also assist in arriving at a reasonable effort estimate.
6. Lastly, the big-bang approach is particularly dangerous for an ambitious initiative like a Portal and hence should be planned out intelligently. Best is to go for a phased approach.

I'd recommend taking a read - the article can be found here.

There's also an interesting discussion thread here.

with some real-world experience coming through. I especially liked this one: -

These slick salesmen sold us their portal stack and we were gullible enough to buy in to the hype.

When the salesmen did their demo, they showed us awesome stuff that portlets could do. Unbeknown to us, they showed us predominantly Content Management stuff that were largely static news data.


Monday 3 December 2007

Device eth0 has different MAC address than expected, ignoring.

If you see: -

Shutting down loopback interface: [ OK ]
Setting network parameters: [ OK ]
Bringing up loopback interface: [ OK ]
Bringing up interface eth0: Device eth0 has different MAC address than expected, ignoring.

then you may be seeing the same problem as me; am using a prebuilt VMware image of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), where my colleague had hard-coded the MAC address of his virtual Ethernet adapter into the configuration.

The solution is simple - edit /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 and remove the line: -


Alternatively, use the graphical network configuration tool to do the same.

Bonne chance

Linux Games - The Fun Continues ...

Fresh on news of my success ( eventually ) with Windows Server 2003, I figured that it was time to finally move my demonstration environments to Linux.

After careful consideration, I chose Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) v4 ( nowt to do with the fact that a colleague had provided a pre-built RHEL VMware image for download ).

The one thing that kinda unsettled me was that the VMware image only had 2 GB of spare disk, and I knew I'd need more for unpacking and then installing the various IBM software products.

The VM had been built using the Unix Logical Volume Manager (LVM) so a bit of required reading ( aka required Googling ) was needed.

I ended up with a set of instructions that allowed me to create a new VMware virtual disk, and then allocate it to a Linux mount point of /spare.

Here's my script: -

a) Add the new virtual disk using VMware ( have assumed that new disk is 10 GB ): -

New disk should appear as /dev/sdb

b) Create a new partition of type 8e ( Linux LVM ): -

fdisk /dev/sdb

c) Create a new LVM Physical Volume on /dev/sdb1

pvcreate /dev/sdb1

Returns Physical volume "/dev/sdb1" successfully created

d) Extend the existing LVM Volume Group ( VolGroup00 ) to include this new device: -

vgextend VolGroup00 /dev/sdb1

Returns Volume group "VolGroup00" successfully extended

e) Create a new logical volume called spare in the newly extended VolGroup00 ( 320 extents == 10 GB ): -

lvcreate -n spare -l 320 VolGroup00

Returns Logical volume "spare" created

f) Create an EXT3 file system on the newly created logical volume spare: -

mkfs.ext3 /dev/VolGroup00/spare

Returns a message relating to i_size 4243456 and 8192 blocks

g) Create a directory called /spare to use as a mount point: -

mkdir /spare

h) Allow the newly created file system to automatically mount by adding the line: -

/dev/VolGroup00/spare /spare ext3 defaults

to /etc/fstab

i) Mount the newly created mount point: -

mount -a

j) Check the newly created mount point for size: -

df -km /spare

-> should return used = 55, available = 9513, use% = 1%

I ran through the instructions twice, and all seems well.


Thursday 22 November 2007

Fun n' games with WebSphere Portal Express v6 on Windows 2003 Server - DON'T USE DOMAIN USERS

Well, have just spent a fun-packed day trying, and failing, to install WebSphere Portal Express v6 onto Windows 2003 Server.

In the end, the problems were totally due to the fact that I was installing as a domain administrator, rather than a local computer administrator. Of course, I didn't know that then - this is one of the pitfalls of always performing installations on local machines where all the users and groups are local.

This was a brand-new Windows 2003 Server SP2 server, running as a guest on VMware ESX.

To begin with, I checked the usual things -

a) Checked no ports in use in the range 90xx or 100xx, using NETSTAT -AN | FIND "LISTENING"

- Discovered NETSTAT -AON which shows which processes are using which ports - which is nice

b) Checked "pingable" fully-qualified host name ( this used to be an issue with earlier versions of WebSphere Portal, although v6 makes more use of localhost for internal stuff )

On the first ( of many ) installations, I hit an exception with the DB2 user ( wpdb2ins ) which didn't meet Windows Domain password rules; had to use upper case characters as well as numbers.

I guess that should've warned me off.

I removed WebSphere Portal, and cleaned up disk, registry etc.

I then hit a further exception, due to fact that Windows user ( domain user ) wasn't in local DB2ADMINS and DB2USERS group; cheated by added user into both groups. Again, that should have taught me a lesson re local vs domain users.

Cleaned up again ( at first, I forgot to remove C:\WINDOWS\vpd.properties, meaning that installation failed on WAS install step )

Finally, installation repeatedly failed at DB2 Express installation stage with SQL5043N - I thought this related to the fact that the DB2 uninstallation doesn't remove entries from C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC\SERVICES. In the end, this was a herring rouge.

However, I couldn't get past this point despite numerous installations.

At that point, I went home ( and built my own Windows 2003 VMware image, which worked first time ).

When I came back in this AM, I decided to try the local administative user, and c'est voila - it works.

Lessons learnt - #6453

Thursday 15 November 2007

Learn a new thing every day .....

I've spent an interesting few days getting to grips with WebSphere Integration Developer and WebSphere Process Server, in the context of Human Tasks.

Currently, we have two or three options: -
  • Use the oob My Tasks portlet - this only works if WebSphere Portal can automatically authenticate to WebSphere Process Server e.g. if they are sharing the same LDAP, or if Portal is running on Process Server.

    The portlet allows the SCA endpoints to be defined against a remote Process Server instance, but doesn't provide inputs for user ID / password or Credential Vault.

  • Use WebSphere Portlet Factory's web services builders to initiate a new Human Task, using a (currently alpha) plugin to WebSphere Integration Developer to export the WSDL and XSD files from an exported Human Task

  • Use WebSphere Portlet Factory and a set of (currently alpha) models/builders to interact with WebSphere Process Server at the SCA layer, allowing portlets to initiate AND consume Human Tasks
Using the second approach, I was able to get the sample Loan Application working, where I used Portlet Factory to consume the WSDL and XSD generated by WebSphere Integration Developer. This allowed me to present a simple UI in a portlet, and initiate a new Human Task ( loan application ), and then use a generated JSF client to work with, and process, the request. This was enough for a simple demonstration.

Sadly, I was not able to get the Human Task models/builders to work, most likely because: -

a) WebSphere Portal ( on which the models were being executed ) was secured against WMM/DB2, whereas WebSphere Process Server was secured against a Custom User Registry ( using property files )

b) A classpath conflict due to the fact that I was using WebSphere Portal Express 6.1 beta

When I get some free time ( in the next week or two ), I'm going to rebuild my demonstration environment and configure both WebSphere Portal and WebSphere Process Server against the same LDAP, in order that I can achieve single sign-on between the two environments using LTPA ( alternatively, I may install WebSphere Portal onto WebSphere Process Server - giving me one JVM rather than two ).

On a related note, I'm also going to explore the beta of WebSphere Integration Developer 6.1, as I'm keen to look at the Lotus Forms integration options - as far as I can establish, that'd allow me to generate a XForms/XFDL user interface, alongside the existing JSF and WSDL/XSD interfaces.

I've already been exploring a demonstration built by my colleagues that shows a form initiating a Human Task, against via WSDL. This mostly works, although the Lotus Forms Viewer does generate an error or two.

More to come ..............

Tuesday 13 November 2007

Hey, I'm up here on the learning curve, and the view is lovely

Following on from my last post I've spent a most excellent few days really getting into WebSphere Integration Developer (WID) and WebSphere Process Server (WPS).

I'm not as far forward as I'd like, but I've made some good progress, including: -

  • Getting WID installed and patched ( the latter took a while on my home ADSL )
  • Deploying sample applications, as well as some generated by my German colleague
  • Configuring my WPS instance to use security from a pair of property files
  • Figuring out how to start/stop WPS from the command line as well as within WID
  • Generated a JSF-based user interface application from within WID
  • Exporting a process as a web service using WSDL
  • Importing the WSDL into WebSphere Portlet Factory
  • Creating a portlet that initiates a human task ( loan request ) from within a Portal page ( this is the role of the end-customer )
  • Using the JSF UI to work with, and approve, the loan request (task) - the JSF UI reflects the role of the loan adviser
I've made loads of notes, and need to collate them in the next few days.

I still need to get a separate set of Portlet Factory models working - they "talk" to WPS via Service Component Architecture (SCA) components via Web Services. This doesn't quite work, but I'm getting there.

In essence, this would allow me to write a portlet that can work with existing tasks, as well as initiating new ones.

The thing that impressed me most ? Getting WebSphere Integration Developer, WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Process Server and WebSphere Portlet Factory to run on my 3 GB laptop, alongside Radio 4 (!), Lotus Notes and this blog ( via Firefox ).

Right, I'm going (back) in .......

Friday 9 November 2007

Stretching myself ...

Thus far, I have not had a chance to extend my reach into IBM's Business Process Management tools, such as WebSphere Integration Developer and WebSphere Process Server.

I attended an excellent 2-day session earlier this year, and "played" with these tools, as well as WebSphere Business Modeler ( used by business analysts to build and document processes using the open-standard Business Process Execution Language - BPEL ).

Now the waiting is over ... I'm going to spend some time this weekend hooking WebSphere Portlet Factory into a sample application running on WebSphere Process Server. This is using some early release code that'll be part of Portlet Factory in the future.

Should be fun - it's always good to be ramping up the learning curve .... see you on the other side.


Wednesday 7 November 2007

Managing web content with ... Web Content Management

Spent a fun few hours last night, and again this AM, setting up a WCM demonstration environment, using a simple end-to-end lab created by one of my colleagues.

The lab takes one through the creation of site, site area, authoring and presentation templates, menu component and a add/edit/approve toolbar.

I've used this lab before, and never really fully appreciated how beautiful WCM actually is. For some reason, this time around, it just made so much sense.

Having used the lab, I then started to get clever, and, without too much hard work, I had two portlets; one with a list of content and one displaying the actual content, with an add button on the list and an edit button on the actual content item.

I tried, and failed, to include a PDM link in the content item - I was pushing my luck at this point so, remembering the first rule , I decided to quit whilst I was ahead.

Ironically, I'm attending a 2-day WCM Proof-of-Technology event on November 22/23, and then a formal 3-day WCM class the following week. Therefore, by the end of the month, I'll be the absolute guru ( NOT! ).

Seriously, WCM rocks and, given that it's core to solutions like Quickr, it's good to know.

Friday 2 November 2007

What's the first rule ?

No, not Fight Club, I mean the first rule of anything technical.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. This is especially true if it's the night before a major customer demonstration, and you don't have a whole load of time to deploy a new VMware image and get it back to the point you were at ( AND YOU DON'T HAVE A DARN BACKUP ).

My Connections demo was looking really really sweet, and was working like a dream. Bearing in mind that it's a VMware running Connections, Domino and Sametime, I was really really impressed.

Then I noticed that, for some reason, the SMTP notification wasn't working ( or wasn't enabled - have yet to check ).

So what did I do ? I enabled SMTP within the Domino Directory, and thought nothing more. I stopped the Domino server ( ignoring the NSD that was generated on the shutdown - THERE WAS MY FIRST WARNING ).

This morning, I powered up the VM, started Domino, started WebSphere Application Server ( on which Connections runs ), and then started my Notes and Sametime Connect clients ( on the host Windows OS ).

"Hmmm, that's funny", I mused, "I wonder why Sametime is failing to connect"

"Hmmm again, I wonder why I cannot access Domino on port 8080"

"Oh dearie me, I wonder why I cannot even access the Domino web admin console"

At that point, I flipped over to the Domino console, and noticed lots of Sametime-related error messages - THAT WAS MY SECOND WARNING.

Thankfully, I remembered what I'd done and thought to myself - I wonder if a Sametime server can have SMTP enabled ? Guessing what I'd done, I rebooted the VM ( 'cos Domino was way hosed, and I couldn't even get to the console's command line ) and managed to start Domino in a kinda restricted way ( I used the server rather than ststart ).

Once Domino was up, I was able to get in with webadmin and disable SMTP. I stopped Domino, and restarted using ststart and all was well.

At that point, I sighed with relief, struck myself firmly around the head with a RPG developer's guide, and STOPPED/BACKED UP THE VM.



Thursday 1 November 2007

And there's more ...

Fresh from my success with Connections and Sametime, I've now hooked Connections up to Lotus Notes ( more than the default Activities option ) and Microsoft Office.

Here's the evidence: -


Again, enjoy.


Last week Quickr, this week Connections

Have been having fun with Lotus Connections. A colleague kindly provided me with a VMware image ( based on Linux ), which was prepopulated with users, profiles, activities etc.

I'm demonstrating this shortly, and wanted to show social networking and collaboration at its best. Therefore, I wanted to show how Connections can be extended using Notes, Sametime, Office etc.

To this end, I used a neat little plugin from IBM's Catalog: -


to allow Sametime users to see profiles of their contacts and, perhaps more importantly, see the activities on which they're both working.

Have documented it here: -


Hope this helps someone, somewhere ...


Wednesday 24 October 2007

Getting up to speed with Quickr ( getting Quicker with Quickr ? )

Have spent a fun few hours this afternoon playing with, and customizing, Lotus Quickr ( deployed on WebSphere Portal rather than Domino ). I uploaded content using the Connectors from Office XP, Windows Explorer, Sametime and Notes 8. I also tried the "drag n' drop" jobbie.

PS Does one say Connector or Connectr ?

All I can say is "Wow, it's soo cool".

A good example of how component-based architectures work e.g. using Portal Document Manager and Web Content Management through WebSphere Portal, but in a seamless OOB fashion.

Just starting to play with the themes and skins ( standard WebSphere Portal 6 stuff, although it'd be great to see the Portal 6.1 Theme Customizer in there in the future - 8.1 ?? ).

I've just cracked the art of changing the the text on the front page from the default "IBM Lotus Quickr - The fastest way to share everyday content across connected teams" to something different.



In essence, this "splash screen" is created by a portlet called Quickr My Places Header that's deployed on page Content Root -> Home -> Home.

This portlet uses a JSP called MyPlacesHeaderPortletView.jsp which is located in: -


This JSP gets its text from a properties file called: -


which, for the English locale, translates to: -


in: -


I changed the value for the NVP quickrArrived from IBM Lotus Quickr to Welcome to my Quickr.

I also changed the text for fastestWay from The fastest way to share everyday content across connected teams to This is THE collaborative team document sharing place-to-be.

Having previous enabled JSP reloading for this particular web application: -

a) Edit ibm-web-ext.xmi in \Quickr\wp_profile\config\cells\dmht6\applications\Quickr_My_ces_Header_quyyjdy.ear\deployments\Quickr_My_ces_Header_quyyjdy\MyPlacesHeader.war\WEB-INF
b) Change reloadingEnabled="false" to reloadingEnabled="true"
c) Restart Quickr

I only need to "touch" the aforementioned MyPlacesHeaderPortletView.jsp to force the page reload. I can then see the changes dynamically by reloading the web browser.

However, you don't need to use reloading if you don't mind restarting Quickr each time you make a change.

There's probably an easier way to do this - given that Quickr is based on WCM, I'm wondering whether I could use that instead e.g. cut down the JSP and then use a WCM component.

A job for another day ................

Monday 22 October 2007

Lotus Quickr (Java Deployment) to Domino and Sametime

Have just gone through the process of installing and migrating the Java deployment of Quickr to a Domino/Sametime environment for Single Sign-On and collaboration.

Apart from a few false starts, it's pretty much similar to the process of hooking WebSphere Portal v6 up ( which is no real surprise, given the underlying architecture ).

Looking good .....

Here's my notes of the Quickr -> Domino security configuration, in case it helps. **CAVEAT** Remember, *ALWAYS* use the Information Centre and official documents - my stuff worked for me, your mileage may vary

Wednesday 17 October 2007

Lotus Quickr - it sooooooooooooo rocks

Just spent a couple of enthralling days with a bunch of colleagues and
partners exploring Lotus Quickr; both the Domino and Java flavours ( aka
deployments ).

The more I see of it, the more I like it - I need to do more, and get
into the depths, especially the J2EE deployment, which is based on
WebSphere Portal and Web Content Management.

All in all, a very good investment ......

Thursday 11 October 2007

WebSphere Portlet Factory - Things I Did Not Know

As mentioned, my knowledge of WPF has increased in leaps and bounds as I progress through the course ( and this is the 3-day introduction; I've the 1-day advanced course to come tomorrow ).

Imported models seem pretty cool - think of it this way: -

Developer A works on the back-end integration, using direct database/application access or, more likely, a services layer ( whether using web services or not ). This results in a model.

Developer B works on the front-end user interface, applying Web 2.0-like artifacts such as Ajax, Dojo etc. as well as CSS, JSF, JSP etc. This results in a model.

Developer C ( or the architect, which would be me me me ) ties the two models together; for example, he/she creates a third model which is, effectively, the application/portlet framework, and simply imports the other two models into it.

At this stage, all of the builder calls in both imported models are available for Developer C to use, without needing to be bothered about the actual implementation e.g. JDBC vs DAO, JSF vs JSP, Ajax vs Dojo etc.

This provides the ultimate abstraction - if the mechanism of data access changes in the future ( from JDBC to WSDL ), Developer A changes their model, and Deveoper C re-imports it.

The other big revelation was profiling - I kinda knew how powerful this way, especially as I've seen it demonstrated so many times. However, I'd never actually used it.

In essence, Developers A and B both identify builder inputs that can be profiled ( can relate to different use cases ), and associates those inputs with a specific profile set/profile.

The application assembler ( Developer C ) creates/manages the profile, entering the appropriate values for each profiled builder call.

This allows one "application" to be generated for each use case, based on the inputs to the profile. A profile could then be selected by the end-user, or mapped to a LDAP group.

Want to change the way the sales team use/see the CRM application ? Simply change the profile, rather than going back to Developers A and B.

It's possible to introduce muchos complexity at this stage, but there is an art to keeping it simple.

All in all, a good investment of my time thus far .......

Watch this space

Tuesday 9 October 2007

WebSphere Portlet Factory - More Hands On

Am thoroughly enjoying the formal training for WebSphere Portlet Factory - it's good to run through it from A to Z, as I've been jumping in and out of it over the past 18 months or so.

It's been especially useful to gain an understanding of the underlying principles and architecture behind WPF.

In addition, having just run through a lab to expose a RDBMS as a service, with SQL queries returning XML datasets, it's good to see the structure and format of a well laid-out model, rather than my hack n' slash approach.

On a related note, I found this external developerWorks wiki for WPF last week: -


Friday 5 October 2007

Shannon Airport

What an interesting place :-)

Looks like it was last updated in 1965. Kinda surprised to find something so .... well, basic, especially given that it's the gateway to the west of Eire.

Still, mustn't grumble - the wireless is free ( as in air ) and I managed to find a spare wall socket with free (!) power ( don't tell the H&S folks ).

Have been here for nearly three hours, with less than an hour to go before I depart ( for London, I hasten to add ).

It'll be good to back home, after three nights away from my loved ones :)

And, next week, I get to spent FOUR nights away in sunny Manchester, whilst I learn WebSphere Portlet Factory ........ ooh, business travel is just so exotic

Insight into ActiveInsight

I've spent the last day or so "playing" with the new Lotus ActiveInsight tool - despite being new to the concept of balanced scorecards, I'm pretty impressed.

So imagine how pleased I was to see a new open beta, v6.1, announced: -


One of the highlights is "...new builders for Cognos, Hyperion and Business Objects..." which, I assume, means that the beta includes a new version of WebSphere Portlet Factory.

I also noted that the beta code will only run on WebSphere Portal 6.1 ( see http://www.davehay.f2s.com/2007/09/ooooh-shiny-stuff.html ) which is even better.

I sense another download-fest approaching..........

Wednesday 3 October 2007

Nice litle utility .... and it uses a command line too :)

A colleague (thanks John) just introduced me to a whizzy little tool for delivering Adobe PDF-based presentations, KeyJnote, which runs on Unix, Windows and OSX.

It provides some lovely transition effects and, more importantly, allows the presenter to highlight areas of the "slide" using a user-defined rectangle or a circle ( far better than the "laser" pointer ), provides zooming capabilities and, even better, provides a pan-out mode where all the "slides" in the deck can be previewed.

This makes navigation far easier than the traditional way, and all of the effects can be driven from keyboard commands or, I guess, specific mouse buttons.

Check it out: -


and enjoy presenting once more.

PS Don't have presentations in PDF format ? Shame on you - Lotus Symphony allows you to export from ODF or PPT to PDF ( as does Open Office )


Thursday 27 September 2007

Social Networking - A Different Perspective

I attended an interesting session in London this morning, hosted by a consultancy practice who really do get the power and value of social networking.

The speakers knew their stuff, and seemed to have a lot of real world experience ( they certainly mentioned a large number of "blue chip" clients and prospects ).

The most important point made ( and it wasn't just made by me !! ) was that Web 2.0 is far far more important than the technology that (currently) underpins it - I love AJAX, DOJO, RSS etc. but it's not going to help my business spend less to make more. Web 2.0 ( I so hate that phrase ) is all about the power of user-owned, user-created, user-managed, user-moderated content - the power of communities, collaboration, information sharing etc.

As a technologist ( aka geek or nerd ), I still worry about a couple of things about this whole area: -

* As a business, who can I trust to host, maintain, secure AND BACKUP my content, IP etc. ? Do I really want to bet my business on a 3rd party service, especially if it's free. I'm old fashioned
enough to believe that you get what you pay for and, therefore, the corollary of that is also true - if you don't pay, you can't whinge

* Do I really want to encourage my employees to create potentially massive amounts of uncontrolled, unstructured data ?

Neither of these things are show-stoppers - many companies offer security, reliability, SLAs etc. and unfettered creativity is far better than drone-like subservience.

The other thing that did come out of today's session was an important message that business leaders need to hear - your employees ( past, present and future ) will be using social networking tools at some time ( instant messaging, blogging, chatrooms, newsgroups, discussion fora etc. ).

Therefore, control is (a) hard and (b) somewhat fruitless - save the stick and offer some carrot - provide the tools in a safe, secure, organised ( rather than controlled ) manner, with the caveat that, if you create the content during office hours on our kit, we reserve the right to own it, moderate it and (in some extreme cases) remove it.

All in all, a good investment of a morning ( and the coffee was good, strong but good ).

Thanks to Casper, Ed and Jon for the invite.

Tuesday 25 September 2007

Conflict Resolution

If you see something similar to: -

(Sep 7, 2007 2:11:50 PM), PortalExpress.install,
com.ibm.wps.install.ExternalCommandAction$OutputWatcher, msg2, StdOut:
[wsadmin] WASX7017E: Exception received while running file "C:\Program
exception information: com.ibm.bsf.BSFException: error while eval'ing
Jacl expression:
(Sep 7, 2007 2:11:50 PM), PortalExpress.install,
com.ibm.wps.install.ExternalCommandAction$OutputWatcher, msg2, StdOut:
[wsadmin] invalid command name "checkUidPw"
(Sep 7, 2007 2:11:50 PM), PortalExpress.install,
com.ibm.wps.install.ExternalCommandAction$OutputWatcher, msg2, StdOut:
[wsadmin] while executing
(Sep 7, 2007 2:11:50 PM), PortalExpress.install,
com.ibm.wps.install.ExternalCommandAction$OutputWatcher, msg2, StdOut:
[wsadmin] "checkUidPw"

during an installation of WebSphere Portal Express 6.0, then the problem
MAY be due to a port conflict.

I saw this yesterday, where Symantec BackupExec was listening on port
10000, which the WebSphere Portal installer uses ( it's actually used by
the server1 instance which is started during the Enable Security phase ).

Once we temporarily suspended the BackupExec service and performed a
clean installation ( having uninstalled fully, removed VPD.PROPERTIES,
empty folders etc. ), the installation completely normally.

Being a typical techie, I also made two or three other changes prior to
the installation ( renamed the installation images to W-Setup, W-1 etc.
) and installed into C:\WebSphere rather than C:\Program Files. However,
my money (£££) is on the port conflict, knowing that WebSphere will try
and use it.

If in doubt, use NETSTAT -AN | FIND "LISTENING" to see what's going on
BEFORE you do the installation. Additionally, or alternatively, use the
TCPView utility from SysInternals at: -


Thanks to Chris for his patience and hospitality ( and copious amounts of coffee and water )

Have fun

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, nice new redbook draft for WebSphere Portlet Factory

More light reading for the weekend, to go with the Portal Express
redbook and the Programming Portlets book.

Portal Application Development using WebSphere Portlet Factory



More theming

I've played around with the themes in WebSphere Portal Express. The more
I play, the more I like. Being a noob to web design, CSS etc., I'm
mightily impressed that I only need to change one properties file to
change the colours of a menu item, page title, menu etc.

Not sure whether I mentioned this already, but the beta of WebSphere
Portal Express 6.1 also includes a whizzy theme customiser application.
Have only played a little, but it rocks...........

More to come ...


Thursday 20 September 2007

Would you drive your car without a dashboard ?

No ? Well, how can you run your business without one ?

Seriously, have just finished a 1-day event at the new gorgeous IBM Innovation Centre, here in Dublin, with an excellent presentation about IBM's offerings around real-time interactive dashboards, balanced scorecards, BII ( Business Intelligence Integration ) etc.

As a WebSphere Portlet Factory advocate, I knew this stuff, but it's just soooo great to see it pitched properly by someone who is enthusiastic and passionate about her subject. If you've not seen Baiju, then be prepared to be impressed.

Here's her pitch: -


Tuesday 18 September 2007

Forget Rhapsody in Blue, this is Symphony in Yellow

For those of us old enough to remember Lotus Symphony ( a Personal Information
Manager or PIM from the 1980s ), IBM Lotus have now released .... Lotus

The major difference is that this one is cool and works and ...

In essence, the open ODF-based editors shipped with Lotus Notes 8 have now been
decoupled from the product, and are available for download FOR FREE.

Check out: -


for further details.

Did I mention that they are OPEN and FREE ?

Enjoy !

Wednesday 12 September 2007

Tuning up

Was Googling around for something earlier and found this: -

IBM WebSphere Portal Version 6.0 Tuning Guide


A bit of light reading, perchance ?

Friday 7 September 2007

Draft Redbook - IBM WebSphere Portal Express - Customizing Portal Express for Small to Medium Business

An excellent piece of work from a mixed IBM/BP team, with some great sections on Lotus Component Designer, WebSphere Portlet Factory, themes etc.


Ooooh, shiny stuff

A colleague just informed me that the open beta of WebSphere Portal v6.1 is available.

Features include: -

Simpler download/install

  • New Web 2.0 support to dramatically improve performance of the browser based user experience
  • New Site management capabilities greatly improve abilty to promote portal applications from test to production
  • Step-up authentication providing options to extend end user security options
  • New Theme customizer portlet improves ability to create and manage portal themes
  • Updated out of box example web sites with new support for preconfigured internet security and virtual portal support

Please see: -


for further details.

Have downloaded, and am installing as I type .....................

*UPDATE* September 8 - have installed and am impressed - looks very nice


Wednesday 5 September 2007

Scheming with Themes

Have been playing around with WebSphere Portal Express and its
themes. I've not done much with themes since Workplace Services Express,
so it's been a fun time,

First thing I'd recommend anyone do is read this redpaper: -

IBM WebSphere Portal Express - Customizing Portal Express for Small to Medium Business


because it's got an excellent chapter (2) on theming, and shows how
easily the out-of-the-box Express theme can be modified if you're merely
looking to add a customer's logo into your portal.

Having done that, I started to dig a little deeper, and got into some of
the underlying Cascading Stylesheets (CSS). This is where I'm a little (
OK, a lot ) rusty, so I had great fun playing with the
default.properties file, which is referred to by many other JSPs.

It's important to remember to switch on dynamic JSP reloading; this
allows you to change things and see the effects of your changes, without
restarting the portal each time.

See: -


for further information.

As with all things, backup, backup, backup and keep a track of your changes - change something, test something.

This section of the Information Center may also help: -


Enjoy !!

Saturday 25 August 2007

WebSphere User Group in Edinburgh - 11 September 2007

I'm hoping to be there but, even if I'm not, I'd still encourage you to
attend :-)


Fun with WebSphere Portlet Factory

I've been tied up for most of the past month or so, building customer
demonstrations using WebSphere Portlet Factory.

At the beginning of the process, I knew enough to build a simple
drill-down dashboard portlet, taking data from an Excel spreadsheet.

After much experimentation, trial and error, I've now built a whole host
of different portlets using this most excellent tool - interaction with
DB2, online awareness using Lotus Sametime, Ajax type-ahead
functionality in queries, drag and drop eventing using DOJO etc. etc. etc.

The value of the tool continues to impress me, especially as I wouldn't
consider myself as a proper Java developer.

In fact, I'm so impressed, I'm actually going to attend a 4-day class in
Manchester in early October.

The sky is truly the limit.


Wednesday 25 July 2007

Event - Social computing with Lotus Connections - 11-13 September 2007 @ IBM Hursley Park

IBM Lotus Connections is social software for businesses that empowers you to be more innovative and helps you execute more quickly by using dynamic networks of coworkers, partners and customers.

In this workshop, you will learn how this software enables you to promote collaboration and innovation by connecting people with common work objectives or professional interests. It helps you harness the inherent social drives of the people in and around your company, and makes it easy for people to connect in new ways—which is the key to unlocking and leveraging all the skills within your organization and beyond.

What you will discover by attending this workshop

* The components, features and functions of Lotus Connections:
o Profiles: Search for and find people based on criteria such as name, organization, location, reporting structure and interests.
o Communities: Groups of people who share a common interest can collaborate with one another by exchanging and sharing information or interacting with one another using IBM Lotus Sametime and e-mail.
o Blogs: Communicate with your peers or colleagues and nourish innovation.
o Dogear: Save, organize and share bookmarks; discover bookmarks that have been qualified by others with similar interests and expertise.
o Activities: Track your work with a dashboard; invite and share your tasks with others; and manage work items.
* Available development tools
* How to set up, configure and use each feature of Lotus Connections
* How to incorporate the features in existing applications and Web sites


* Become familiar with the setup and use of Lotus Connections features
* Understand the functions provided by each feature
* Understand how the features work with each other as well as how they can be incorporated into other applications and Web sites
* Learn how to use the tools and underlying servers to configure the products for use
* Hands-on labs


* This workshop is intended for IBM Business Partners, but customers will be accommodated on a space available basis.
* Good technical understanding of Internet concepts
* A general understanding of object-oriented programming concepts, systems and languages
* Also helpful, but not required:
o Some knowledge of Web 2.0 concepts
o Previous experience with Lotus Sametime or WebSphere Portal
o Familiarity with the Rational Application Developer (or Eclipse) development environment


Apologies for my absence

Vacation and work pressures ( yawn ) have got in the way ....

Wednesday 27 June 2007

Lotus Connections and Lotus Quickr are now generally available :-)

Here are the announcement letters: -

IBM Lotus Quickr provides a way to exchange business content quickly and
easily, enabling effective collaboration between connected teams



IBM Lotus Connections delivers social software for businesses


Off to download ...................

Saturday 23 June 2007

IBM Web Content Management (WCM) Open Mic conference call on June 28, 2007

Following on from this dW article: -

Understanding syndication in IBM Workplace Web Content Management


IBM will hosting an Open Mic conference call with Lotus Development and
Support Engineers to discuss WCM Syndication on Thursday, June 28, 2007.
This call will take place in two sessions at 10:00 AM EDT and 9:00 PM
EDT, to facilitate participation from customers worldwide.The call will
last 60 minutes. Please dial into the call 5 minutes before the
scheduled start.


4th July .... now important for another reason ..... Connectr "Making the most of your connections"

Thanks to Neil, Stuart and co. for arranging this.


Will hope to see you there ....

Friday 22 June 2007

Portal - A solution rather than a product

During the course of this year, I've spent a lot of time elaborating the
value of portals to businesses; small, medium and large.

The more I do this, the better it gets - the more clearly I'm able to
focus on the deliverables - return on investment, time to value, user
experience etc. - rather than on the technology which is, when all's
said and done, getting better and better by the day.

There are a number of enablers that make this easy - they allow us to
focus on the "What" as well as the "How" - these enablers include other
software such as WebSphere HATS ( taking green-screen applications to
the web ), WebSphere Portlet Factory ( rapid application development ),
WebSphere Dashboard Framework ( showing line-of-business what can be
done ) and Workplace Forms ( automating business processes, and getting
it right first time ).

IBM has also produced an excellent set of resources, known as
Accelerators, as per this demo: -

*IBM Demo: Accelerators for WebSphere Portal: Recorded Demo*


I first got into WebSphere Portal in 2002/3, when we were very dependent
on Java development skils ( remember WebSphere Studio Application
Developer ), which customers often saw as an inhibitor - especially if
their background was RPG, .NET, Notes/Domino etc.

The world has changed - the products have improved, the customers are
more portal-savvy, and the market is more mature.

In short, the future begins .... now


Sunday 10 June 2007

This Modern Life

Thanks to Paul ( pmooney.net ) for finding this site - this one
describes me best (!): -


and I'm proud to admit it ( which is a statement in itself ).

Thursday 7 June 2007

Free software !

I did know about this, but had forgotten :)

Use the IBM Omnifind search engine to help your employees search for content, using your own search indexes, featured links, symantic searches, themed front page etc.ALL FOR FREE.

See: -


and: -


Just downloading now ............................

Friday 25 May 2007

Unashamed Plug ( not for me, but for others ) - Programming Portlets: From JSR 168 to WebSphere Portal Extensions

Experienced programmers and developers who are new to portal programming
or to WebSphere Portal will find accessible and essential information on
the features and functionality of portal development with this updated
reference. Covering the building blocks of developing portals and their
applications, particularly JSR 168, this handbook offers software
engineers advice on enhancing their current skills, staying current in
the latest portal developments, and developing portlets for specific
standards. This new edition has extensive JSR 168 material and revised
technical information including WebSphere Portal (v6), Portlet Factory,
and Workplace Forms.

*About the Author*
*Ron Lynn* is a software engineer for IBM. He lives in Exeter,
California. *Peter Blinstrubas* is a portal consultant on the IBM
technical sales team. He lives in Prospect, Connecticut. *Joey Bernal*
has an extensive background in building portal and web applications. He
lives in Houston, Texas. *Usman Memon* is an IT architect with IBM's
Software Services for Lotus Raleigh Portal Technology Group. He lives in
Raleigh, North Carolina. *Cayce Marston* is a senior IT specialist
within the IBM technical sales team. He lives in Victoria, British
Columbia. *Tim Hanis* is the coauthor of /Mastering IBM WebSphere
Portal: Expert Guidance to Build and Deploy Portal Applications/. He
lives in Pearland, Texas. *Varadarjan Ramamoorthy *is a portal
consultant with IBM Software Services. He lives in Morrisville, North
Carolina. *Stefan Hepper* is the coauthor of the book/ Pervasive


Wednesday 23 May 2007

Awesome - Workplace Forms and WebSphere Portal integration

I've known about the options for integration between Workplace Forms and
WebSphere Portal for some long time now, but have only just had a chance
to play with one of the specific integration points - Portal Document

Whilst attending an event in Paris, I've just worked through a lab that
took me through building a form from scratch ( which I've done before,
but not for a while ), and then plugging it into PDM via a special set
of buttons, wizards etc.

This includes providing a workflow to allow template forms to be
approved for general use, allowing users to complete, sign and submit a
form, and then having the approver validate the form within the workflow
itself. In this context, all of the workflow routing is done within PDM

It's not an end-to-end solution in its own right, but it's a great place
to start............

See: -


for further details.

Tuesday 22 May 2007

Leveraging WebSphere Portal V6 programming model - parts 1, 2 and 3 ( UPDATED LAST WEEK )

Leveraging WebSphere Portal V6 programming model

Part 1. Managing
portlet configuration using the edit_defaults mode

Use the hierarchical portlet preferences model to provide flexibility in
your portlets.


Part 2. Advanced URL generation in themes and portlets

This article describes and shows how to use the latest additions to the
URL generation capabilities for themes, skins, and portlets in IBM
WebSphere Portal Version 6. With these new services, portlets can
generate links to other portlets and pages for a broader variety of use
cases than in previous versions. Portal and portlet developers learn
when and how to use these new features


Part 3. Introducing Composite Application Workflow in WebSphere Portal

This third part in the series descibes how to use Composite Application
Workflow to design and run workflows in a WebSphere Portal environment.
You learn the primary capabilities and see how to implement and use a
simple workflow


Thursday 17 May 2007

Web Chat - Creating Web 2.0 portals using AJAX and REST with WebSphere Portal - 24 May 2007

This chat, to be held on May 24 and moderated by Stephan Hesmer and
Stefan Behl, is about Web 2.0, related technologies such as AJAX, REST,
and Dojo, and how WebSphere Portal leverages these technologies. You can
ask questions about the topic and get real-time answers from these two
highly respected WebSphere Portal Architects who are deeply involved
with Web 2.0 enablement of WebSphere Portal.


Thursday 10 May 2007

WebSphere Portal v6 Training in London


IBM Websphere Portal V6 Adminstration 1 (WP710GB)




9/10/11 July 2007
20/21/22 August 2007




IBM WebSphere Portal V6: Administration 2 (WP720GB)




12/13 July 2007
23/24 August 2007




IBM WebSphere Portal v6 Application Development (WP610GB)


On request


On request



Thursday 3 May 2007

Wednesday 18 April 2007

Installing the 6.0.1 fixpack ...

These are my rough n' ready notes, based on one installation thus far: -

Installation of WebSphere Portal 6.0.1 fixpack

but it worked for me.

In essence, I had to upgrade WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment to, upgrade WebSphere Process Server to 6.0.1 ( I always choose to use WPS underneath Portal, ready to get started with the My Tasks portlets etc. ) and then upgrade WebSphere Portal itself.

On a Thinkpad T60p with 3GB, I guess the entire process took about 2 hours, including the downloads ( via a nice fast network connection ).

As always, caveat emptor.

Wednesday 11 April 2007

Redbook - WebSphere Portal Version 6 Enterprise Scale Deployment Best Practices


[PDF] http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redbooks/pdfs/sg247387.pdf

WebSphere Portal version 6.0 refresh pack 1 released


This refresh pack updates IBM® WebSphere® Portal 6.0 ( or to version 6.0.1.


This refresh pack updates IBM WebSphere Portal, including Server, Enable and Extend editions as well as WebSphere Portal Express v6.0, and Workplace Web Content Management™ (WCM) from the or level to the service release level.



Tuesday 3 April 2007

It's been a looooooooooooooong time ...... Domino and Sametime on AIX

Apologies for lack of posts in the past month or so, but it's been hectic times.

However, have just completed some testing to help a BP deploy Domino 7.0.2 and Sametime 7.5 on AIX. There are a few curveballs, probably down to my penchance for not RTFM'ing but diving straight in.

However, it works and I can connect to it from (ahem) Notes 8 beta2, and all is well.

Let me know if anyone wants my notes, with the usual caveats :)

Wednesday 28 February 2007

ThemeWeaver - Like DreamWeaver but ..... for themes

ThemeWeaver's objective is to help you create/modify WP6 themes and skins to your requirements.

There is no actual "installation" process required. All you need to do is download and save the whole directory structure somewhere on your hard disk, then open the index.htm file in your browser.

It is based on modifying a "base theme", of which there is only one at this time, called the "OmniCorp" theme. When time permits I will create more base themes to choose from. The idea is that you choose a base theme as your starting point, then adjust the various settings to modify it to what you need. Therefore it is not suitable for modifying your own theme because your settings will be in different from what is documented, which only applies to the selected base theme.

ThemeWeaver is also partly educational tool, as you have discovered. It is not meant to do everything for you, but only act as a guide. By making the adjustments yourself, you soon get a good understanding of the theme/skin file structure and parameters and you will be able to make your own changes beyond what ThemeWeaver offers. If the tool did everything for you, you will be restricted to what it can do and nothing else.

And yes, it is definitely shareable outside IBM. There is nothing there that is proprietary and if it makes customers/business partners more productive that is all good. Just make sure you tell them it is on an "as is" basis and there is no support commitment, although feedback is welcome (using the integrated feedback channel).

Make sure you read the important notes in the index.htm start page under "Setting up and getting around" and all will be sweet.

A darn good tool .....

It's not Portal but ......

If you get: -

PC Sync has encountered a problem and has terminated the synchronisation.

try clearing the contents of: -

C:\Documents and Settings\hayd\Application Data\Nokia\PCSync\SynchData

and setting up, and running, PCSync again

Works for me, anyway :)

Sunday 25 February 2007

More fun n' games from the VMware camp

Was still suffering from major performance problems using a variety of VMs on VMware Workstation 5.5.3 and VMware Server 1.0.1 ( using VMs created for Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Professional ).

In all cases, the overall responsiveness of the VM was absolutely abysmal, even when running with 2 GB ( in the VM ) on an 8-way server with 16 GB RAM ( running W2K3 as a host OS ).

After some serious Googling, it turned out to be a setting in the .vmx file ( same directory as the actual VM image ).

Simply by adding: -

mainMem.useNamedFile = "FALSE"

and physically restarting the VM ( actually shutting down the guest OS, and stopping/starting the VMware session ), the performance seemed to improve drastically.

This, combined with VMware Converter ( as blogg'd about previously ) allowed me to take a demo deployed on a native WinXP OS, convert it to a VM and then run it as a guest on the same machine that used to host it full-time.

As far as I can establish, this setting prevents the guest OS from paging its memory back to the host OS' disk. What's wierd is that I'd allocated 2+ GB to the VM, and Task Mangler didn't imply that memory was short but ..................

Remember kids, ymmv


Friday 16 February 2007

VMware - Slow, slow, quick, quick, quick

I was bashing my head against my screen, trying to work out why a particular Windows 2003 Server VM was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo slow.

I'd done all the usual things - checked the memory allocation, removed un-needed hardware, defragged the virtual SCSI disks etc. but to no avail.

Thankfully, Google had the answer, Google is my friend :)

"Display Hardware Acceleration

Windows Server 2003 has display adapter hardware acceleration disabled by default. This slows down graphics performance and mouse responsiveness in the guest operating system.
To enable hardware acceleration in a Windows Server 2003 guest, open the Control Panel, and then open the Display Properties control panel. On the Settings tab, click Advanced. On the Troubleshoot tab, drag the Hardware acceleration slider all the way to Full."

Source: http://pubs.vmware.com/guestnotes/wwhelp/wwhimpl/common/html/wwhelp.htm?context=GOS_Install&file=guestos_win2003.html

Obvious really :)

Wednesday 14 February 2007

WebSphere Portal - My Download Guide


I'm always forgetting what specific images I need for a WebSphere Portal 5 or 6 installation. Therefore, I decided to create, and post, my own personal download guide.

This works for me - caveat emptor for the rest of you: -

WebSphere Portal 6.0

Download this: -

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Management V6.0 - Portal Install V6.0 (W-Setup)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Mgmt V6.0 - WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment for Windows, V6.0.2.9 (W-1)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Mgmt V6.0 - WebSphere Process Server for Windows, V6.0.1.1 (W-2)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Mgmt V6.0 - Portal Server (Disc 1 of 2), V6.0 (W-3)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Mgmt V6.0 - Portal Server (Disc 2 of 2), V6.0 (W-4)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Mgmt V6.0 - Personalization, V6.0 (W-5)

Unpack it like this: -

unzip C93LQML.zip -d d:\temp\WP6\W-Setup
unzip C93LWML.exe -d d:\temp\WP6\W-1
unzip C93LRML.exe -d d:\temp\WP6\W-2
unzip C93LSML.zip -d d:\temp\WP6\W-3
unzip C93M4ML.zip -d d:\temp\WP6\W-4
unzip C93LUML.zip -d d:\temp\WP6\W-5

*UPDATED* WebSphere Portal

Download this: -

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - Portal Install (Setup), V5.1.0.1

WebSphere Portal V5.1 - Certain Components of WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation for Windows, V5.1 (1-1)

WebSphere Portal V5.1 - Certain Components of WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation for Windows, V5.1 (1-2)

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation - WebSphere Application Server, V5.1 Fix Pack 1 Cumulative Fix 3 for Windows (1-15)

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - Portal Server, V5.1.0.1(2)

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - IBM Workplace Web Content Management and Personalization, V5.1.0.1 (3)

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - WebSphere Application Server Archive Install for Windows, V5.1.1.3 (4-1)

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - WebSphere Portal Archive Install for Windows, V5.1.0.1 (5-1)

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - WebSphere Portal Archive Install for Windows, V5.1.0.1 (5-3)

Unpack it like this: -

unzip C82XSML.zip -d d:\temp\WP5\cdSetup
unzip C814GML.exe -d d:\temp\WP5\cd1-1
unzip C814HML.exe -d d:\temp\WP5\cd1-2
unzip C82XUML.exe -d d:\temp\WP5\cd1-15
unzip C82Y1ML.zip -d d:\temp\WP5\cd2
unzip C82Y2ML.zip -d d:\temp\WP5\cd3
unzip C82WEML.exe -d d:\temp\WP5\cd4-1
unzip C82WLML.exe -d d:\temp\WP5\cd5-1
unzip C82WNML.exe -d d:\temp\WP5\cd5-3

I use a command line tool called UNZIP.EXE which I've also posted here: -


( I'm sure you know what to do with the .xex file )

Hope this helps

Dave Hay

Sunday 11 February 2007

VMware Converter - It Rocks !

This may be of use/interest: -


I'm just in the process of using it to convert my Café Culture demo from a Windows XP hard drive image to a VMware virtual machine.

It was smart enough to read the entire WinXP setup ( two NTFS partitions ) from a SATA drive installed in the Ultrabay of a Thinkpad T60p, and turn it into a set of .vmx and .vmdk files on my new 320 GB USB2 drive.

I'm now in the process of pruning down the content of the VM, as the image is a bit large - but disk is cheap, right :)

PS Three things to be aware of: -

1) You will need to reactivate Windows XP, as the underlying hardware on which it runs has changed from a real Thinkpad to some VMware virtual hardware - therefore, make sure that it's a pukka copy of XP before you start
b) You will need to remove all the Thinkpad/ThinkVantage drivers n' stuff, and install the drivers for the VMware hardware e.g. network cards etc. but this is pretty painless
iii) You'll need to install VMware tools ( as per usual )

Saturday 10 February 2007

Caution - Problem with Windows maximum path length and WebSphere Portal node name


Learn from my mistake

If your nodename is 8 characters or longer, you may get this exception: -

2007-02-08T11:42:00Z Result: [wsadmin] java.io.IOException: java.io.IOException: The system cannot find the specified file, either the filename is too long on Windows system or run out of file descriptor on UNIX platform. java.io.FileNotFoundException: D:\ibm\WebSphere\profiles\wp_profile\wstemp\Script110a1279556\workspace\cells\stargate\applications\BPEContainer_stargate_WebSphere_Portal.ear\deployments\BPEContainer_stargate_WebSphere_Portal\compensate_ejb.jar\META-INF\ibm-ejb-jar-ext-pme.xmi.workspace_save (The system cannot find the file specified)

This is because the nodename pushes the length of the path out to 261 characters, which exceeeds the Windows 256 character limit: -


I'm using Windows 2000 Server SP4.

Hope this helps.


Sunday 4 February 2007

WebSphere Portal Express v6 - First Thoughts

Well, the installation went well - I used a 2 GB VMware image, running on my home Athlon64 server ( running OpenSuSE 10.2 ).

No major problems with the installation, although I did find it strange that the DB2 installation prompted me to reboot the PC whilst, at the same time, the Portal installation had just completed and was prompting me to access the portal via the First Steps menu.

Other than that, I did see an issue where the server startup would appear to fail ( more details to come ) due to a problem with the OS setting ServicesPipeTimeout. However, the server actually worked OK - it was merely an issue with the fact that it runs as a Windows service ( NOTE; the installation doesn't give you the choice of service/no service - however, it is a manual, rather than automatically started, service.

See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/824344 re the ServicesPipeTimeout hack. I'll post the error messages later .......

First impressions of WP6X (!) - looks very nice, the initial site offers intranet and internet pages, and a slightly different dynamic launch menu.

Also noted that WP6X is based on WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment ( WAS ND ) rather than WebSphere Process Server, which kinda makes sense. Also noticed that the Portal version is actually

Only other comment at this time - the automatic DB2 installation is very nice, and almost invisible ( apart from the need for a reboot ).

More to come .....

Saturday 3 February 2007

Woohoo - my first Workplace Dashboard Framework 2.6.5 portlet


I've just spent a couple of hours following this most excellent tutorial from one of my IBM colleagues: -

Building dashboards with IBM Workplace Dashboard Framework


I did hit a problem with a java.lang.NumberFormatException which slowed me down a tad. It turned out to be a problem with, quelle surprise, the format of some numbers in my spreadsheet.

I've documented this in the attached files below.

Hope this helps someone


Problems with Excel import in WDF

WebSphere Portal Express v6 - The Story So Far ....

Well, my first installation was in a VMware Windows 2000 Server SP4 environment - note to self; make sure you have more than 1 GB in the VM, or the installation takes a wee while :)

I noticed that the Portal installation also installs DB2 9.1 and, I assume, uses that for the underlying database rather than Cloudscape.

Early days yet, and more to come


Thursday 1 February 2007

WebSphere Portal Express v6

**Updated as at 3 August 2007**

Please note that two of the download images have been refreshed/replaced: -


Old C97Q3ML.zip @ 270 MB
New C134EML.zip @ 400 MB


Old C97Q5ML.exe @ 370 MB
New C1192ML.exe @ 373 MB

**Updated as at 3 August 2007**

Well, I've just downloaded the newly released Portal Express product, and will be installing it today. I'll post my observations but, in the meantime, here are the details of the included images: -

WebSphere Portal Express V6.0 - IBM WebSphere Portal Express Quick Start and Server Install, V6.0 (W, IL, I - Setup)

WebSphere Portal Express V6.0 - IBM WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment for Windows, V6.0.2.15 (W-1)

WebSphere Portal Express V6.0 - IBM DB2 UDB, Express Edition for Windows, V9.1.0 (W-2)

WebSphere Portal Express V6.0 - IBM WebSphere Portal Express (1 of 2), V6.0 (W-3, IL-3, I-3)

WebSphere Portal Express V6.0 - IBM WebSphere Portal Express (2 of 2), V6.0 (W-4, IL-4, I-4)

WebSphere Portal Express V6.0 - IBM WebSphere Portal Express, V6.0 (W-5, IL-5, I-5)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Management V6.0 - IBM Tivoli Directory Server for Windows V6.0 (W-6)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Management V6.0 - IBM Tivoli Directory Server Fixpack for Windows V6.0.0.1 (W-7)

IBM Lotus Sametime 7.5 Server Cumulative Fix Pack 1 for Windows

Note that I didn't download Notes/Domino 7 or Sametime 7.5 because I already had them on my USB drive.

Watch this space......

Monday 29 January 2007

WebSphere Portal and Security

Just going through an assessment of the security options around the IBM WebSphere Portal product, and found these two useful documents: -

IBM WebSphere Portal V5.1 Security Overview


IBM WebSphere Portal V6.0 Security Overview


Enhance your Portal Search solutions with advanced search features

Do you want to empower your portal users with productive and advanced search capabilities such as suggested links or faceted search navigation? You can do this easily by leveraging seven new sample portlets available for use with the Portal Search and Indexing API (SIAPI) now available for IBM WebSphere Portal 6.0.

Download the sample portlets from the Portal Search Toolkit and run them as-is, or modify the sample source code as needed. Use these sample portlets on a portal page to see how you can provide a richer search experience for your portal.


Saturday 27 January 2007

Lotusphere 2007 - what was it all about ( apart from beer, fun, beer, beer, fun, blogs ) ??

Lotus Connections

It's all about .... Social Networking


Lotus Notes and Domino 8

It's all about .... World class collaboration gets even better with new features and capabilities.


Lotus Quickr ( fka Lotus QuickPlace )

It's all about .... The fastest way to share everyday content across connected teams


Lotus Sametime 7.5.1

It's all about .... More than a product; a platform for unified communications and collaboration


IBM WebSphere Portal Express Version 6.0

It's all about .... Productivity for small & medium business


Lotus Component Designer ( fka Workplace Designer )

It's all about .... Lotus software for composite application development


Lotus ActiveInsight ( fka Workplace for Business Strategy Execution )

It's all about .... Sharpen business focus for better performance


Lotus Workforce Management

It's all about .... Help employees, managers and human resources be more productive


Enjoy !

Thursday 25 January 2007

Ed Brill - "Biggest surprise to me so far -- WebSphere Portal Express 6.0"

"... It got but a scant few minutes in yesterday's keynote, but it's become a fair bit of buzz. The WebSphere Portal Express 6.0 announcement has captured a bunch of attention, including a sold out breakout session earlier today. ..."


Latest from Lotusphere - WebSphere Portal Express v6 ....

Not too much of a surprise, but definitely welcome.

IBM WebSphere Portal Express capabilities include:

* Integrated portal content management: Gives business users the ability to create and manage portal content without IT intervention or support.
* Contextual collaboration: Enables users to share information and collaborate within the context of an application (e.g. within a Customer Relationship Management application) in which they are working. Provides access to collaboration tools including instant messaging, Web conferencing and team workspaces.
* Single sign-on (SSO): The basis for seamless, secure digital-identity based access to multiple enterprise applications, systems and networks.
* Roles-based access: Offers advanced control over access to information, content and applications based on users' roles and responsibilities in the organization.
* Search: Facilitates searching, indexing and displaying information from multiple portal sites and document libraries.
* Composite applications support: Uses select components and logic from two or more applications to build a completely new application. Composite applications are built on a services oriented architecture (SOA) so they can be optimized and dynamically changed.
* Workspace customization tools: Allow users to customize their work environments and navigate to the information they want and need.

WebSphere Portal Express Version 6.0 features and enhancements:

* Intranet and extranet example sites that install in under an hour.
* Portal interface includes new themes, drag & drop customization, and fly-out menus.
* Web content management capability reduces implementation time and costs by placing content creation and management firmly in the hands of content experts for "author once, publish everywhere" control. The end result is that web content can be kept more accurate and updated more frequently.
* Improved document management tools enable users to easily share, view, and organize files of all types in a central location.
* Support for access to a wide variety of applications including Lotus Notes, Microsoft® Office and Microsoft Windows® applications, lets your employees work with the applications they know.
* Improved instant messaging and presence awareness based on proven Lotus Sametime technology.
* Designed for an out of the box experience, with intranet and extranet sites that can easily be tailored to a customer's specific needs included.
* Includes Lotus Component Designer, an innovative, easy-to-use, standards-based development tool that allows application designers to easily create components for IBM WebSphere Portal Express.
* Based on the latest version of WebSphere Portal and provides extended capabilities with support of WebSphere Portlet Factory, Workplace Forms, Workplace for Business Strategy Execution, and the Workplace Dashboard Framework.
* Enhanced administration, including the ability to delegate select administration actions to end users to reduce administrative overhead.
* Improved search capabilities.
* Better performance.
* Additional improvements include list portlets with workflow and alerts, enhanced themes and skins, and improved mail and calendar portlets.

Source: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/genservers/portalexpress/features/?S_CMP=rnav

WebSphere Host Access Transformation Services and WebSphere Portal Together

The purpose of this document is to show how HATS and Portal can be used together to achieve Single Sign-On ( SSO ) for an i5/OS application running on a System i server ( aka iSeries or AS/400 )

In my environment, I was using HATS v7 beta 3 and WebSphere Portal However, the steps should work for earlier versions of both products.

http://www.davehay.f2s.com/HATS_and_Portal_Together_v2.zip *UPDATED 23/01/2007*

Comments gratefully received :-)

Installing the WebSphere Portal fixpack on i5/OS ( System i aka iSeries aka AS/400 )

As with all things, this worked for me - that doesn't mean that it'll work for you. If in doubt, please follow the Information Centre resources at: -


Caveat emptor


- Ensure that Portal server is stopped
- Download the latest Portal Update Installer, and expand it into the /QIBM/ProdData/PortalServer/V6/update directory
- Place WP_PTF_6001.jar within the /QIBM/ProdData/PortalServer/V6/update/fixes subdirectory
- Set PortalAdminPwd property in /QIBM/UserData/WebSphere/AppServer/V6/Base/profiles/wp_profile1/PortalServer/config/wpconfig.properties



- Start QSHell
- Export the WAS_PROD_HOME directory: -

export WAS_PROD_HOME=/QIBM/ProdData/WebSphere/AppServer/V6/Base

- Change to /QIBM/UserData/WebSphere/AppServer/V6/Base/profiles/wp_profile1/PortalServer/update
- Run the following command: -

updatePortal.sh -installDir /QIBM/UserData/WebSphere/AppServer/V6/Base/profiles/wp_profile1/PortalServer -fixpack -install -fixpackDir /QIBM/UserData/WebSphere/AppServer/V6/Base/profiles/wp_profile1/PortalServer/update/fixes -fixpackID WP_PTF_6001

- If you see "Result: BUILD SUCCESSFUL" then job done - took 153 minutes 43 seconds on an i520 with 12 GB memory !!

- Check and, if needed, follow steps for post-fix pack installation here: -


Enjoy !

WebSphere Portal - Installing the Fixpack


This represents my own experiences with this fixpack - your experiences may vary. Please use caution, especially when working in a production environment.

Please see: - WebSphere Portal version 6.0 fix pack 1


and: -

WebSphere Portal Version


for the formal IBM documentation.


Right, here goes.

Firstly, download the fixes from here: -


In my environment ( a clean installation of WebSphere Portal 6.0.0 installed on WebSphere Application Server ND and WebSphere Process Server ), I only needed to download: -

WebSphere Portal version 6.0 fix pack 1 ( ZIP archive)
6.0.0-WP-Multi-FP001.zip (418MB)

PK31711 - Full production-capable support of composite application workflow. (4.1MB)

PK35227 - Creation or edit of composite application/template fails using DB2 on z/OS. (9.9KB)

PK35520 - My Tasks portlet is unavailable. (3.7KB)

plus: -

Required WebSphere Application Server V6.0.2.13 fixes (7MB)

However, your mileage may vary.

There are other fixes for various versions of WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Process Server.

Check your versions and choose as appropriate

Ialso downloaded the latest version of the Portal Update Installer: -

WebSphere Portal Update Installer for version 6
PortalUpdateInstaller.zip (9.6MB)

In my testing, I found that I had to use a version of this later than October 24, 2006.

I then performed the installation as follows: -

a) Install 6.0.2-WS-WAS-IFPK29636.pak by simply double-clicking on .PAK file; the association with WebSphere is already set up

b) Using WinZIP, expand the Portal Update Installer to \WP6\WebSphere\PortalServer\updates

c) Using WinZIP, expand the three other PKxxxxx fixes to \WP6\WebSphere\PortalServer\updates\fixes ( note that you will need to create this subdirectory )

d) Using WinZIP, expand 6.0.0-WP-Multi-FP001.zip to \WP6\WebSphere\PortalServer\updates\fixes

e) Edit \WP6\WebSphere\PortalServer\config\wpconfig.properties and set a value for the property PortalAdminPwd

f) Open a command prompt

g) Change directory to \WP6\WebSphere\PortalServer\updates

h) Run \WP6\WebSphere\AppServer\bin\setupCmdLine.bat

i) Run \WP6\WebSphere\PortalServer\updates\updatePortalWizard.bat

j) Choose "Install Fixpacks

k) Select WP_PTF_6001 from \WP6\WebSphere\PortalServer\updates\fixes as the source

l) Choose to install the fix pack - and wait

m) Assuming that installation is successful, shut down servers - ***OTHERWISE YOU CANNOT INSTALL THE REMAINING FIXES***

n) Re-run updatePortalWizard.bat and choose "Install fixes"

o) Select \WP6\WebSphere\PortalServer\updates\fixes as the source

p) Select PK31711.jar, PK35227.jar and PK35520.jar

q) Choose to install the fixes - and wait

r) Assuming that installation is successful, you're good to go :)

On completion of this process, \WP6\WebSphere\AppServer\bin\versionInfo.bat should return: -

IBM WebSphere Application Server - ND
IBM WebSphere Process Server

and \WP6\WebSphere\PortalServer\bin\WPVersionInfo.bat should return: -

IBM WebSphere Portal MultiPlatform

I've now done this three times; with success in each case :-)

Note to self - use kubectl to query images in a pod or deployment

In both cases, we use JSON ... For a deployment, we can do this: - kubectl get deployment foobar --namespace snafu --output jsonpath="{...