Taking Notez

Notes from My Work with WebSphere Portal, Domino, and Other IBM Technology

Mind Numbing Moments

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When ever I advise someone on applying packs and fixes to IBM WebSphere Portal I ALWAYS say they must read every line of the documentation and follow each of the linked documents until they have determined the precise requirements for their environment. Of course sometimes I fail to follow my own advise.

Such was the case today. I am installing a new development environment for our dev team. Because I feel it is imperative that the platform for which they are developing is current, I decided to apply the most current and recommended fix packs and fixes. I scanned the very familiar text of the relevant pages and quickly surmised that the process was the same as before. IBM Exceptional Web Experience

One recent change to the site proved to be a bonus. There is now a wizard interface to guide the selection of the recommended packs and fixes. I dutifully downloaded the artifacts for the WebSphere Application Server, the WebSphere Portal Server, and the required update installers for each.

Next, as usual, I installed the WAS fix using it’s installer and then, using the HealthChecker tool for the portal, I confirmed that the platform was ready for the portal pack and fixes. The install of the fix pack failed. It was a message not unfamiliar to me. In a nutshell, the log showed that the user did not have permission to extract the archive for WP_PTF_7002. Well, I thought, maybe I should log on to Windows as the portal admin. While it is not normal to see this error on Windows (very common on Linux and Unix) I assumed that there were indeed some ownership issues on Windows Server 2008 that I had overlooked.

The operative words in this monolog are ‘quickly’, ‘surmised’, and ‘assumed’. After making ownership changes to the entire folder structure I tried again; I failed. I dove into the DeveloperWorks forums. I scanned the web. No luck seemed to be coming my way. I almost reached out to a friend at IBM to ask if he had seen this problem. And then I was struck by a thought, “What if I contact my friend and he points out something in the documentation I had overlooked.”

With reluctance only marginally overcome by the potential of real embarrassment I read (notice I did not say re-read) the docs. And there it was: a simple requirement to provide values to WASPassword and PortalAdminPWD in the wkplc.properties file. While I am inclined to quibble about the necessity or even the desirability of this, I have to admit that it was a simple overlooked requirement that cost me an hour of frustration.

Lesson learned: surmise less and read more.

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Written by David Wilkerson

February 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Posted in WebSphere Portal

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