WebSphere Portal Basics for Administrator & Tips ,Tricks

Posted: September 16, 2009 in IBM Game Plane
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WebSphere Portal Basics for Administrator

Some of the great questions that you need to know inorder to become WebSphere Portal Server Administrator.

  1. What is the difference between Application Server and Portal Server ?

    Application servers extend the ability of a Web server to handle Web application requests, and enables a server to generate a dynamic, customized response to a client request. A portal server extends the application server by providing a portlet container that can run portlets and to create portal a website that provides users with a single point of access to Web-based resources by aggregating those resources in one place.
  2. What are the steps involved in deploying themes and skins in a clustered production websphere portal environment ?

    Export the WebSphere wps.ear (Portal EAR) using wsadmin.
    Use EarExpander tool to expand the exported wps.ear file.
    Copy the updated themes and skins into ../themes/html, ../skins/html folder.
    Use EarExpander tool to collapse the EAR directory into an EAR file.
    Use wsadmin to update the wps.ear to complete the deployment of updated themes and skins.
  3. What changes needs to be done to view changes to your theme and skins JSPs without restarting the portal server ?

    You need to enable automatic JSP loading by setting reloadingEnable property to true in ibm-web-ext.xmi file of the wps.ear.
  4. What are the 3 different ways of installing a portlet application in WebSphere Portal ?

    Install a portlet using the portal administration page using Web Modules portlet.
    Install a portlet using xmlaccess tool.
    Pre-deploy a portlet as a standard EAR by installing the portlet WAR file in WAS console and then registering the portlet using xmlaccess.
  5. What is the purpose of XMLAccess configuration file Export.xml & ExportRelease.xml ? What is the difference ? & When will you use one over the other ?

    Export.xml exports the complete portal configuration and useful when transferring configurations between development installations.
    ExportRelease.xml exports the complete portal configuration from the release domain as required by the portal ReleaseBuilder tool and useful when tranaferring different release configurations between staging and production environments.
  6. List me the steps involved in building a release in WebSphere Portal ?

    If you have a completely new installation of the staging server and the production server:
    • Install the staging server, then install the production server.
    • Develop a release on the staging server.
    • Build the release on the staging server.
    • Empty portal contents on the production server by running the WPSconfig.sh|bat action-empty-portal task.
    • Import that release onto the production server. Refer to Transferring a complete configuration for information.

If you already have a production server without a staging system:

Export the release of your production server.
Install an empty staging server using one of the following two methods:
Install the staging server with the flag -W emptyPortal.active=True.
After installing and configuring the staging server, run the WPSconfig.sh|bat action-empty-portal task.
Import the production release onto the staging server. Refer to Transferring a complete configuration for information.
Develop and build a new release on the staging server.
Export that new release from the staging server.
Use ReleaseBuilder to generate the differential between the two releases.
Import the differential onto the production server.

What is the purpose of ReleaseBuilder tool in WebSphere Portal ?

ReleaseBuilder enables management of release configurations independent of user configurations and used during staging of follow-on releases of WebSphere portals, configurations, and artifacts need to be moved between systems.

  1. What are the steps involved in editing WebSPhere Member Manager (wmm.xml) files on a federated node ?

    On the primary node of the WebSphere Portal cluster, check out the files using ./WPSconfig.sh check-out-wmm-cfg-files-from-dmgr task.
    Make any changes to the Member Manager files. The files can be edited in the portal_server_root/wmm directory on the WebSphere Portal node.
    When you have completed your changes, check the files back in using ./WPSconfig.sh check-in-wmm-cfg-files-to-dmgr.
  2. How to change the default portal URI /wps/portal after installation ?

 Set the property WpsContextRoot to the new URI and run ./WPSConfig.sh modify-servlet-path task.

  1. List different types of user registry supported by WebSphere Portal ?LDAP (includes LDAP with an optional database user registry).
    Database user registry.
    Custom User registry, (non-LDAP, non-database).
  2. What is LDAP realm support and why would I want to use it?

    A Realm allows you to group users from one or more LDAP trees of one user registry and expose them as a coherent user population to WebSphere Portal; this is also referred to as horizontal partitioning. Realms allow a flexible user management with various configuration options; for example, you can combine principals from one or more corporate LDAP tree. A realm must be mapped to a Virtual Portal to allow the realm’s defined user population to login to the Virtual Portal.
  3. What is an Application group and why would I want to use it ?Application groups is a concept that allows you to define user groups within the database user registry with members (users or groups) contained in the LDAP user registry you configured. The benefit of application groups is that you can create Groups that are only used in WebSphere Portal particularly in scenarios where there is Read-only LDAP or special group setup specific to the portal.
  4. What are the two methods to install the empty staging WebSphere portal server ?

    Empty portal contents on the staging server by running the ./WPSconfig.sh action-empty-portal.
    Install portal with the ./install.sh -W emptyPortal.active=”True” option.
  5. How do you stop portal traffic to the node being upgraded in 24×7 cluster upgrade process ?

    Locate the cluster member being upgraded, and change the value in the Configured weight column from a value to zero and make sure the plugin config information is propagated to webserver to stop traffic.
  6. How to set limits on searches for users and groups ?                                                               Setting a maximum number of search results maximumSearchResults=”200″
    in wmm.xml
  7. What portal resources are scoped for virtual portal ?

    Portal pages.
    Portlet instances.
    Portal Search Engine search services and search collections. This includes the search content sources.
  8. What portal resources can’t be seperated for virual portal ?

    Themes and skins.
    Vault segments and vault slots.
    Supported clients and markups.
    Composite applications and templates.
  9. How do you enable temporary and extended trace logging for WebSphere Portal ?

    Temporary traces can be set for a temporary period by using the administration portlet Enable Tracing or the IBM WebSphere Application Server administrative console and also using the Enable Tracing portlet in the portal administration page.To enable extended trace settings for a longer period of time, that is, for more than one session, switch them on in the WebSphere Application Server configuration, save the updates and restart the portal server.
  10. What are the different states of the syndication process ?                                                 Idle: No syndication is occurring.
    Pending: A request has been made to the syndicator, but it has yet to initiate a request to the syndication application.
    Queued: The syndicator has sent a request to the syndication application, but syndication is not yet active.
    Active: Syndication is occurring between the syndicator and subscriber.
    Disabled: Syndication is currently disabled.
  11. What are the two types of rendering portlets ?                                                                               Local rendering portlet and Remote rendering portlet.

How to find the websphere version of your installation ?

You might think that it’s something trivial that everyone might know but unfortunately my blog gets hits looking for the command to find the version of the websphere almost everyday , hence i wrote this article and also learnt that you can write blog articles about things that are trivial as well and might get hits as good or ever better number of hits compared to non-trivial articles with less amount of time spent on writing one 🙂 .

To find the version of WebSphere Application Sever,

  • You can run versionInfo command to generate a report from data extracted from XML files in the properties/version folder. The report includes a list of changed components and installed or uninstalled maintenance packages. you can find more about the differnet

On Windows : run %WAS_HOME%\bin\versionInfo.bat (e.g) c:\WebSphere\AppServer\versionInfo.bat

On Unix : run $WAS_HOME/bin/versionInfo.sh (e.g) /opt/WebSphere/AppServer/bin/versionInfo.sh

Sample Report generated by the versionInfo.bat command:

WVER0010I: Copyright (c) IBM Corporation 2002; All rights reserved.
WVER0011I: WebSphere Application Server Release 5.1
WVER0012I: VersionInfo reporter version, dated 4/28/04

IBM WebSphere Application Server Product Installation Status Report

Report at date and time 2009-07-20T20:24:56-07:00

Product Directory D:\WebSphere\AppServer
Version Directory ${product.dir}\properties\version
DTD Directory ${version.dir}\dtd
Log Directory D:\WebSphere\AppServer\logs\update
Backup Directory ${version.dir}\backup
TMP Directory C:\DOCUME~1\rkannan\LOCALS~1\Temp

Installation Platform
Name IBM WebSphere Application Server
Version 5.1

Technology List
BASE installed
JDK installed

Installed Product
Name IBM WebSphere Application Server
Build Level cf140715.02
Build Date 04/19/2007

Installed Product
Name IBM WebSphere SDK
Version 1.4.1
Build Level ${build.level}
Build Date ${dateStamp}

End Installation Status Report

To find the version of WebSphere Portal Server,

  • You can run WPVersionInfo.sh to gather version information of the websphere portal server installation.

On Windows : run %WPS_HOME%\bin\WPVersionInfo.bat (e.g) c:\WebSphere\PortalServer\bin\WPVersionInfo.bat

On Unix : run $WPS_HOME/bin/versionInfo.sh (e.g) /opt/WebSphere/PortalServer/bin/WPVersionInfo.sh

Sample report of the command:

[root@server101 bin]# ./WPVersionInfo.sh
WVER0010I: Copyright IBM Corporation 2002, 2008; All rights reserved.
WVER0011I: WebSphere Portal
WVER0012I: VersionInfo reporter version, dated 20080530_1701
IBM WebSphere Portal Product Installation Status Report
… …
Installed Product
Name IBM WebSphere Portal MultiPlatform
Build Levelwp610_494_01 2008-06-19
Build Date 06/19/2008
Installed Product
… …
End Installation Status Report

To find the version of IBM JDK installed along with WebSphere Application Server,
  •  you can run java -fullversion to find the jdk version details

On Windows : run %WAS_HOME%\java\bin\java -fullversion (e.g) c:\WebSphere\AppServer\java\bin\java -fullversion

On Unix : run $WAS_HOME/java/bin/java -fullversion (e.g) /opt/WebSphere/AppServer/java/bin/java -fullversion

Sample output of the command:

D:\WebSphere\AppServer\java\bin>java -fullversion
java full version “J2RE 1.4.2 IBM Windows 32 build cn1420-20040626”

With Thanks


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