Category Archives: IBM Connections

Deleting temp and wstemp on Microsoft Windows Server

Since some versions of IBM Connections, it is mandatory to delete temp and wstemp of your Connections node after deployment or updates, or you end up with an old layout/design of Connections GUI.

On a Windows Server System this can be a pain, because within temp/wstemp WebSphere Application Server creates a folder structure with nodename / application server name and so on. In must cases the delete ends with the message “path too long”.

So you can start and rename the folders and try to delete over and over again. A time consuming activity and you need to do several times during an update.

There are several tips around, but most of them need an extra tool installed. I searched for a solution for this for a long time, but never blogged about the way I normally use to avoid this. I remembered during a skype discussion with other Connections guys some days ago, so here is the easiest and fasted way to get rid of long paths:

Path too long? Use Robocopy (thanks Bert van Langen)

Robocopy is a great tool and it is installed by default since Windows Server 2008, I use it during migrations to move the IBM Connections shared data to an other place, but it’s easy to create an empty folder and move it to the temp folder of the WebSphere Application server node.

Here as an example:

mkdir d:\empty 
robocopy d:\empty D:\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer\profiles\AppSrv01\temp /purge

But be careful, robocopy is not using the trash, so when you type the wrong path, or forget the \temp, you end up with searching the backup tapes.

IBM Connect 2017 – slides, news and so

This year I attended IBM Connect in San Francisco. In my eyes it was a great event and I enjoyed it very much.

Some announcements are very important for the future and evolution of the IBM portfolio:

  • IBM Connections Pink – Jason Gary and the IBM Development team showed the future of IBM Connections. The basis will be Docker and a lot of other Opensource products. I see forward to work with a complete new stack and be very curious on deployment, migration and scaling. It is a complete rewrite and will not longer need DB2 or WebSphere. A good summarize was written by Glenn Kline.
  • panagenda ApplicationInsight – all IBM Domino customers with valid maintenance will get ApplicationInsights to analyze the code and usage of their Domino databases
  • IBM Domino will be updated through feature packs, we will get Java 8 and other long awaited functionality
  • IBM announced a new lifetime IBM Champion: Julian Robichaux, big congrats to him and well deserved

Just a few session slides are available through the official conference page (we provided them, but they are still not available), so we uploaded ours to slideshare:

Best and Worst Practices for Deploying IBM Connections


IBM Connections Adminblast


All other session slides of my panagenda colleagues can be found in the panagenda slideshare account.

Update

During the 11 hour flight to San Francisco I used the time to update the XPages and Generic HTML Widgets (OpenNTF) for IBM Connections 5.5 CR2. Frank van der Linden uploaded the changes today.

Regexp error during Connections install

This week I installed IBM Connections 5.5CR1 on a Windows Server. I used WebSphere Application Server 8.5.5.9 and everything ran pretty smooth, but the Connections install itself ended in an error after all applications were successfully installed.

The popup showed a regexp error and a long string. The installer ran through the night, so I couldn’t remember this string and started the install again. The Same message box appears after everything was successfully installed (checked through ISC, after the error everything was uninstalled by the Installation Manager) and even the install.log showed nothing special.

This time, I remembered the string, it was the password of my WebSphere Administration user! The password looked like this:

960n4gv343te6f(

After removing the bracket and replaced it with another special character everything was installed without error. So be careful with special characters and IBM Installations.

I never had an issue with special characters, but I know that the Sametime documentation mentions that space, @ and ! can be a problem.

IBM Connections 5.5 install Ephox Editors

Several people told me that installing the Editors is not described very well in the IBM Connections documentation. So i decided to write down the steps I used to deploy the editors. Hope it helps.

Check Installation on ephox: http://docs.ephox.com/display/EphoxForIBMConnections/Installing+Textbox.io+Services

  • Extract EPHOX_EDITORS3.0.1_CONN5.5.zip
    • edit config/config.js

      • editor: 'textbox.io | EditLive | CKEditor | role-based'
        This sets the default editor. When you use role-based you can enable textbox.io and EditLive for different user groups.
        Be aware that editlive needs a Java plugin which is mostly deactivated or outdated in actual browsers.
      • Enable Spelling-Servie URL (you need to deploy tbioServices_c5.ear):
        spellingServiceUrl: "https://connections-host/ephox-spelling"
        You have to set to https, that spell-checking works with http and https access to Connections.
        If you have selected role-based, you must deploy the EphoxEditorsForConnections.ear
      • When you want to use the builtin spellchecking, you need to install services/tbioServices_c5.ear
    • Start ./install.sh or install.exe

      • ./install.sh root@webspherehost <customization-dir> <webressources-dir>
        You need to type the root password 3 times, because installation uses seperate ssh calls for the installation
  • Create /opt/ephox/application.conf (WINDOWS: WAS_INSTALLATION_DRIVE:\opt\ephox\application.conf)
        
ephox {
     allowed-origins {
       origins = [
          "https://connections-55.panastoeps.local",
          "http://connections-55.panastoeps.local"
       ],
       url = "https://connections-55.panastoeps.local/ephox-allowed-origins/cors"
     }
}
  • Map Applications to your webserver, update the Connections versionstamp and restart Common and Ephox Applications
  • Verify: http://<your server and port>/connections/resources/web/ephox.editors.connections/verify.html

Missing images in Wikis after migration to IBM Connections 5.5

Wikis in IBM Connections 5.5 have a little bug, because the link (/library instead of /wikis/form/api/library) for images are wrong and so they are not displayed.

There is a technote, which should solve this issue, but the used way with ProxyPass is not what i want to use. When you use ProxyPass and ProxyPassReverse you should add a ProxyRequest off to be more secure. ProxyPass to localhost can be a problem too, i would suggest to change localhost to the Connections IHS Hostname.

Why do I use a different approach?

Most of my deployments already use a RewriteRule to redirect the hostname to there Connections Homepage, so i don’t need an additional module (which needs ressources and can have security considerations), when i can solve the image issue through mod_rewrite.

RewriteRule "^/library/(.*)" "/wikis/form/api/library/$1" [R,L]

If you haven’t set <forceConfidentialCommunications enabled="true"/> in LotusConnections-config.xml you need to set the RewriteRule and the ProxyPass config within your http and your https configuration parts!

Example httpd.conf:

... 
# HTTP configuration
<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName connections.example.com

    RewriteEngine On

     # Redirect hostname to Homepage
    RewriteRule ^\/$ https://connections.example.com/homepage [noescape,L,R]

    # Fix wrong wiki image URL
    RewriteRule "^/library/(.*)" "/wikis/form/api/library/$1" [R,L]
</VirtualHost>
# HTTPS configuration
<VirtualHost *:443>
    ServerName connections.example.com

    RewriteEngine On

    # Redirect hostname to Homepage
    RewriteRule ^\/$ https://connections.example.com/homepage [noescape,L,R]

    # Fix wrong wiki image URL
    RewriteRule "^/library/(.*)" "/wikis/form/api/library/$1" [R,L]

    SSLEnable
    SSLProtocolDisable SSLv2 SSLv3
</VirtualHost>
...