Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Problems with Virtual Portals and missing Administration link - don't Google it, Wiki it

Tomorrow, I'm seeing a customer who is having an issue with a missing Administration link in their Virtual Portal, using WebSphere Portal 6.1.

I've reproduced the problem ( or so I hope ) using WebSphere Portal 6.1 on openSuSE 11 ( it may or may not important, but I've recreated the customer's environment by installing two instances on the same application server, and securing both against OpenLDAP ).

After some digging around, I've resolved my problem ( and, I hope, my customer's problem ), thanks to the nice people who maintain the WebSphere Portal Family Wiki here.

The specific article ( WebSphere Portal 6.1 Admin Installation Virtual Portal Initialization ) describes how the problem occurs ( on instances where one installs WebSphere Portal in (ironically) administration mode ( a slimmed down installation with far far fewer applications and portlets ).

I, and (I'm hoping) my customer, have used this lightweight installation - it's a good way of creating a development or demonstration environment. I usually install WebSphere Portal Express 6.1 which can take 2-3 hours depending on the hardware ( bearing in mind that DB2 UDB and WCM are installed, along with a host of portlets and services ), whereas the slimmed down installation took 30-40 minutes ( on an openSuSE 11 VMware image running under my beloved Ubuntu ).

It highlighted how little I know about Virtual Portal creation - under the covers, an XMLAccess script is executed ( whereas I thought it was Harry Potter at work ). It transpires that the XMLAccess script neglects to add the Administration link to the theme of the newly created VP ). The article provides an updated script which fixes the problem.

More for me to learn ..... and to find out whether this does, in fact, help my customer tomorrow ...

Cross my fingers :-)

2 comments:

Dave Hay said...

Yay, fixed it, as I'd hoped. My customer had implemented the fix almost before I got my coat off this AM. One of the shortest visits ever :-)

Chris said...

Dave,
Thanks for your informative info. I've downloaded the VMware WebSphere Portal V6.1.0.1 Beta on WAS 7.0 and have misplaced the login credentials. Please help?
Thanks