Nice Strategy Map From IBM

Today at the Keynote of #ICSUG in Germany, Kramer Reeves presented a strategy map for ongoing development of IBM’s Messaging.  A big thank you to Henning Schmidt (@schmhen) for tweeting this. Note the ND+1 and ND+2 in 2016/17 and 2017/18 alongside July 2021.

Obviously “SUBJECT TO CHANGE” but this very clear statement from IBM at today’s Keynote points to an  extremely ambitious and forward looking strategy

“We have made the big bet that Domino is our long-term strategic server” - Kramer Reeves”

Upgrading Filenet - Something To Watch Out For

Last night I was working on a Connections CR2 upgrade that included upgrading Filenet.    I was using this very nice piece of documentation from IBM on a lab walkthrough of upgrading to CR2 here .  To date my biggest problem with FileNet has been finding all the files needed and that’s especially true of the CR2 update files but I got there.  What tripped me up was upgrading the CE Client and FNCS (section 3.4.5 on the document).  The sample command is

update-fncs-ceclient.bat “C:\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer\profiles\Dmgr01” - was.admin.user wasadmin -was.admin.password Passw0rd -fncs.fp.installer.location “c:\Downloads\FNCR2\IBM_CONTENT_NAVIGATOR- WIN.exe” -doInstallFNCS y -ceclient.fp.installer.location “C:Downloads\FNCR2\Filenet cr2\5.2.1-P8CPE-CLIENT-WIN.EXE” - doInstallCEClient y

The problem is that this script ran for about 6 minutes then bombed out.  I checked the fn-fncs-ceclient-update.log file in c:\ibm\connections\ccm\ccm\ccm\scripts (where the script is run from) and it showed a failure to make a SOAP connection (after it had already successfully made one earlier in the script).  I then checked wsadmin.traceout in the Dmgr profile under logs and saw references to “WASX7198W websphere The configuration service is not running” and other failures logging in like “empty credentials”.

OK so the problem was my login credentials used in the script for admin account and password right? Wrong.  Because that works fine earlier in the script. In fact the first thing it does is make a SOAP connection to the Dmgr server.  OK.  So the problem is that my password for the admin account contained a ! - we all know that WAS doesn’t like encoding and decoding special characters right?  Wrong. I tried another account, and another,  I tried wasadmin but that failed (and I wondered if that was because it was a FileNet update and FileNet wants an LDAP account).  At this point i’m bouncing between accounts trying to get this working.  I get the customer to remove the ! and give me a password with no special characters.  Still no luck.

Then I think a bit more.  What if the script isn’t using the values I gave it to run but instead is assuming they are already there in soap.client.props and is attempting to read them from that file. I go to check soap.client.props under Dmgr\properties and there is no value stored there at all.  I add my admin credentials in there and the script runs perfectly.

Today’s lesson is don’t assume a script you are running is using the credentials you give it!


Searching For The Elusive 5.2.0-P8CE-WIN.EXE

In this month’s adventures of Connections installs I offer you my search for a required Filenet installer.  If you’re installing CCM there are 4 files you need to have in a directory for the Connections install to complete - from the install instructions here and shown below .  I’ve done this lots of times and you basically put the executables together in one directory you can point to during the Connections install.

However with CR2 came a requirement to update the installers see here and below

Notice the difference?  CR2 doesn’t list the 5.2.0-P8CE-WIN (LINUX, AIX , ZLINUX) file at all as a required update.  That means that all the other files are in Fixcentral but not that one.  So I want the latest file and I don’t know if there’s a newer one.  I go to Fix Central and search for 5.2.0-P8CE and get offered the files.  I try to search for a download list for IBM Connections Content Manager but it doesn’t exist (I like the download lists because they often have the latest part numbers).  There is one for IBM Connections but that doesn’t include any of the FileNet components.

Off I go to Partnerworld where I type in IBM Connections Content Manager and I get an eAssembly to go through including the file FN_CE_5.2.1_WINDOWS_ML which sounded hopeful but I already had that and it contains the following. Note 5.2.1-P8CPE-WIN not P8CE.  The 5.2.0 files were no longer showing on Partnerworld under Connections Content Manager


Luckily I’m a paranoid control freak and have backups of all the installers myself and there I found the original FN_CE_5.2_WINDOWS_ML file which, when download and extracted had the correct 5.2.0-P8CE-WIN file in it.  The one the Connections installer wanted and refused to progress without.


The sizes of the zip files should have made me suspicious.  It does look like the 5.2.1 zip file in partnerworld has the wrong content (possibly because there isn’t a 5.2.1 for P8CE only for P8CPE) and i’m not the only one who goes cross eyed staring at P8CE vs P8CPE.   Or maybe I’ve been staring at this too long. Either way thanks to my backup I’m sorted now.

Adding DB2 Datasources Using db2cli

I recently blogged about Advanced Query Tool which I have started using on my VMs instead of one of the heavyweight IBM DB2 client tools.  AQT is a lightweight client that allows me to examine the databases easily but it works by reading in the datasources defined in Windows in the ODBC Manager.  To create datasources you must have some kind of DB2 client or driver installed.  I installed the minimal drivers which gives me this

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 11.18.05

Selecting ‘Configure DB2 .Net Data Provider” calls up a GUI interface that walks you through setting up a datasource.  To find the ODBC Manager under Windows 7 or 8 go to Control Panel and click on System and Security then click on Administrative Tools.

Each driver is configured to connect to a specific server and port.  The configuration is stored in db2cli.ini and db2dsdriver.cfg.  But what if you want to change the server or port address for a datasource.  Or in my case, add multiple datasources pointing to different servers?  Well you could try running the GUI tool again but that decision was made for me when Windows 7 decided to stop running the file and I decided I preferred to have more visibility / control of the configuration.  So instead I chose to use the command line to change and create new datasources.

Open an administrative command prompt and go to the DB2 client install directory (in my case c:\IBM\SQLLIB) and run

db2cli writecfg add -dsn PEOPLEDB_SA -database PEOPLEDB -host -port 50000

That writes a new datasource called PEOPLEDB_SA (you can call it what you want so long as it’s unique) that is connecting to a database called PEOPLEDB on server port 50000.  You don’t need to be able to connect to the database when you run the db2cli - it doesn’t validate or test at this point.

Now we need to add this newly created DSN to the Windows registry by running

db2cli registerdsn -add -alldsn

When you’re all done you need to restart Windows for the new registry to be read by AQT and you can go ahead and test the connection and use AQT to connect to the database by choosing the PEOPLE_SA datasource.


Installation Manager Install Fails on Redhat 6.6

Starting a new Connections customer build this weekend I ran into a problem at step 1 - installing Installation Manager. I could install the console version using ./installc but the graphical version would bring up the product selection screen then crash before the license screen with a “JVM Terminated =1”.

After trying various things, new versions of java, using root instead of sudo (a known problem with earlier versions of IIM) I found the technote I needed.  This is a problem caused by a very specific combination of packages

RH6.5 or 6.6

GTK > 2.24

Cairo <1.9.4

Amazing I didn’t catch that right?  To tell what versions you have installed run

rpm -q gtk

rpm -q cairo

If your cairo version is out of date (which mine was) go to and download the latest version of cairo (in my case cairo-1.10.2-3.el6.x86_64.rpm)

then run rpm -U cairo-1.10.2.-3.el6.x86_64 .  Now IIM will run and install fine using ./install

Full details of the technote are here

Don’t Miss These Sametime Webcasts From IBM

IBM have three upcoming webcasts in April and May, all of which are definitely worth attending especially if you’re deploying Sametime Media elements.

April 8th   Serviceability Tool for IBM Sametime presented by Jeff Miller from the IBM Sametime team

The serviceability tool reviews your Sametime install , configuration and performance and outputs recommendations for you.

click here for details

April 15th Media Manager High Availability with Tony Payne and Jennifer Wales from the IBM Sametime team

click here for details

May 20th Sametime Troubleshooting Tips & Tricks with Tony Payne from the IBM Sametime team

click here for details

My Caffeinated Sessions At Social Connections

I’m delighted to say that I will be speaking at Social Connections in Boston this April.  It’s a great conference entirely about all aspects of Social Software and IBM Connections.  I like to try something different so I asked for 30 minute slots for my technical sessions this year

Staying On Top Of Connections Administration

From SSL certificates to setting up application security and rebuilding searches, we’ll cover how to identify the most common problems and resolve them quickly.

To do this we’ll also discuss how to set up logging and review both IHS and WAS logs and the key information you’ll need to supply IBM when opening any PMR (and where to find it).

I then have a session on Connections identities and LDAP with Terri Warren called

Who Does Connections Think I Am?

and one on designing a Connections environment - this one is only 15 minutes long.  You can give up 15 minutes to hear how to plan your Connections environment can’t you?

Connections Design From The Bottom Up

To see the full agenda for Social Connections or better yet, to register, click here

See you there!