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This article is aimed at first-time users of IBM® WebSphere® Portal 8.0, introducing some key functions and best practices, and briefly looks at IBM Installation Manager (IIM), WebSphere Portal 8.0 Launchpad. We also cover installing WebSphere Portal / IBM WebSphere Portal Express and the first-steps functionalities, along with a quick guide to uninstalling.
This document is specific to non-iSeries® and non-zOS® operating systems. The procedures for iSeries and zOS vary and are beyond the scope of this article; however, iSeries-specific instructions are included for some areas to highlight key issues.
Let's start by understanding how to get the software for WebSphere Portal 8.0 and WebSphere Portal Express 8.0. There are three options:
Physical DVD image. If WebSphere Portal is available on a DVD disk, you can perform the install by inserting it in disk drive. Note that installing from DVD is not supported on iSeries.
Electronic images. Also called “e-images,” whereby you can use Passport Advantage (PPA) to download the images on your local drive and then perform the installation.
Live repository. PPA credentials are required for installing by use of Live repository. (Note that, since IIM install is not possible via Passport Advantage, it must be already installed on the system.)
IBM Installation Manager
IIM is a new product introduced with WebSphere Portal 8.0 and is a prerequisite to any WebSphere Portal 8.0 installs and configurations. By default it is installed under C:\Program Files\IBM\Installation Manager on Microsoft® Windows and under /opt/IBM/Installation Manager on UNIX® operating Systems.
IIM can be invoked by use of IBMIM.exe or via the /IBMIM command from Eclipse directory. On Windows IIM can be invoked from Start menu as well.
IIM-related logs can be found in C:\ProgramData\IBM\Installation Manager on Windows and /var/ibm/InstallationManager on UNIX systems. Note that, on some versions of Windows OS's, the ProgramData folder is hidden by default, but you can go to system settings and unhide that folder to work with IIM logs.
The IIM logs are saved in .xml format and are divided by three color codes and messages, where green rows means details in the logs, yellows are warnings that can possibly be ignored, and reds are errors that must be fixed for successful install or uninstall. The format of logs makes them easy to read navigate through (see figure 1).
Figure 1. IIM Install Log example
You can uninstall IIM by running uninstall.exe and ./uninstall commands from the uninstall folder under the above-mentioned directory structure or by using the Control Panel –- Add and Remove Programs option on Windows systems.
: IIM can only be uninstalled after all the products installed by it are successfully uninstalled.
Installing Launchpad, WebSphere Portal / Portal Express 8.0, and FirstSteps
Now let's discuss the installation steps.
To install Launchpad, invoke it from dvdimg --- Setup --- setup.sh/exe, or setup64.exe, for 64-bit Windows.
The Launchpad option is only available for installing WebSphere Portal 8.0 on non-iSeries and non-zOS systems.
Launchpad offers an option to install IIM, if it is not already installed on the system. (As mentioned above, IIM is a prerequisite to installing WebSphere Portal 8.0.)
Launchpad allows installing WebSphere Portal V8 from media that use downloaded images or physical disks. Install from network using a mounted network, and install IIM only if it doesn't exist on the machine.
Besides installing WebSphere Portal, Launchpad has other options such as Quick Start, release information, prerequisite information, and administrative tools that provide further details about the product.
You can install WebSphere Portal V8.0 by using a GUI, that is, an IIM-based install, either by using Launchpad as mentioned above or by doing a direct repository connection from IIM. You can also install it by using Silent Install if response files need to be recorded.
The Silent Install sample response file for iSeries is available with the Install image, and on Windows, AIX, Linux, and Solaris, you can record this file by using IIM commands.
Various offerings of WebSphere Portal V8 such as Enable, IBM Web Content Manager, WCM_Se, and Extend can be installed with IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) or on pre-installed WAS. Note, however, that these offerings cannot be installed without WebSphere the Portal Server V8 package as they have dependency on that package.
WebSphere Portal 8.0 Express install comes with IBM DB2®. The IIM panel prompts you for a DB2 password, so make sure the DB2 password complies with your system password requirements; for example, if your Windows password settings ask for one capital letter, then that requirement should be met for a DB2 password as well.
For WebSphere Portal Express 8.0, the DB2 panel on IIM offers an option to test a DB2 user ID. If a password is entered that does not meet system requirements, then the test user ID will fail also if a DB2 ID already exists on the system, this function validates it and prompts you to enter another DB2 ID.
Invoke FirstSteps from the following locations after WebSphere Portal 8.0 installs successfully:
1. From the Start menu, select All Programs --- IBM WebSphere --- IBM WebSphere Portal Server 8 --- FirstSteps.
2. Soon after install completes, on the IIM panel, select the radio button option to start FirstSteps or, from a command line use firststeps.sh/bat from <wp_profile_root>\PortalServer\firststeps.
As usual FirstSteps has the option to start and log in to WebSphere Portal Server. (Note that logging in to Portal Server using Firefox's Mozilla browser on AIX is not supported. The FirstSteps panel includes instructions on available browsers for AIX.)
After starting Configuration Wizard Server, you can launch it from the WAS Integrated Solution console menu, which is different from previous WebSphere Portal releases. Figure 2 shows the Configuration Wizard link on the bottom of the left-hand Navigation pane.
Figure 2. Configuration Wizard link
Uninstalling WebSphere Portal and Portal Express 8.0
Uninstalling via IIM
Click the Uninstall option on IIM to continue with both WebSphere Portal 8.0 uninstall and WAS uninstall or just WebSphere Portal uninstall.
All servers must be stopped for uninstall to continue; otherwise, the IIM panel displays a message as shown in figure 3.
After all servers are stopped, click the Recheck Status button (in the bottom left-hand corner of figure 3), to confirm that all prerequisites are met for uninstall to continue. (The Recheck Status option is new with WebSphere Portal 8.0.)
Figure 3. Uninstall
WebSphere Portal Express 8.0 offers the option to uninstall DB2, as shown in figure 4. If the Uninstall DB2 option is selected with Portal Express 8.0 uninstall, all the database instances, database files, and user ID created will be removed. Also, note that:
Groups such as db2users and db2admins will not be removed and must be manually removed, if you intend to install WebSphere Portal Express again on the same box.
Also, it's a good idea to restart the machine for a fresh new install.
Uninstall is also possible, using silent uninstall where a response file is recorded and then uninstall commands are run. Even for this process the servers should be stopped before running any commands to uninstall. (Note that, just like installs, iSeries supports only silent uninstalls.)
It's always best to delete all WAS and WebSphere Portal directories from the file structure, and to kill all running processes. If needed, the machine should be rebooted so that there won't be any obstacles with new installations.
Figure 4. Uninstall DB2 option
In addition to the install and uninstall functions on the IIM panel, there are other functions such as Modify, Update, and Rollback, all of which have their own functionalities. Let's take a quick look at them:
Update. The Update option is used to install fixes via IIM. Note that:
The fixes, whether interim or cumulative, can be removed via Uninstall.
A fix pack install can be removed via the Rollback option (see below).
Modify. Modify is used to add or remove WebSphere Portal and Deployment Manager profiles.
Rollback. Rollback is used to remove applied fix packs and revert to the original installation.
You can also perform these functions, using silent install where response files are recorded using the IIM record command. For iSeries-specific systems, you can create the response files by modifying the non-iSeries response files to match those of iSeries.
This article has provided the highlights and key areas for installation and configuration of WebSphere Portal 8.0. For more robust information and in-depth knowledge, refer to the WebSphere Portal 8.0 documentation that comes with the product, as well as the Quick Start guide, release information, and the Prerequisite Information links under Launchpad.
developerWorks WebSphere Portal zone:
WebSphere Portal 8.0 Announcement Letter:
WebSphere Portal Forum:
Launchpad Web site:
About the author
Parveen Patel, originally from India, moved to the US about a decade ago and joined IBM in 2004 as a college intern, working with WebSphere Application Server. She soon moved to WebSphere Portal Server after graduation from North Carolina State University in 2005 with a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.