I was among the people who was fortunate enough be be sent a review copy of the new "XPages Portable Command Guide" book that has just been published. While this review has been a long time in the making I wanted to get it out there never the less. You should first read the review Tim Tripcony wrote ("XPages Portable Command Guide is a book every Domino administrator should read") as it is spot on and very good and accurate. The thing about XPages that many developers and administrators forget - or simply doesn't know - is that it is running on a completely rewritten HTTP stack on the Domino server. It was even refactored recently to be based on OSGi technology to make it even better and more easily extensible. The XPages runtime is more like a traditional J2EE server (like Websphere Application Server) than a traditional Domino server. This means that the runtime is very configurable but out of the box it is configured to be a jack of all trades. You can change it though and you probably should if you run business critical applications of it.
For me the most important part of the book is the part about the xsp.properties file that is the main configuration file for the XPages runtime. The file is central to how an XPages application function and it's crucial that it is configured and tuned correctly for the needs of the application. While having to do this kind of configuration by hand is prone to errors and that IBM really should provide better tooling for it doesn't change its central role for XPages. It is therefore very important that you as a developer or administrator know how to edit it. For the developer you need to be able to configure the application so it functions at peak efficiency and as an administrator you need to know enough to throttle your developers to not configuration the applications to as to note starve one another for resources.
The important part about XPages is that where many of the settings for traditional Domino web applications are server settings many, if not all, of the xsp.properties settings can be thought as of deployment settings as well as server settings. As Tim writes - "There are plenty of settings that can be defined in this file that only the developer should care about, but many of them you don't want the developer to decide. Trust me, if you leave it to me, I'm typically going to max out the RAM consumption in an attempt to provide lightning fast response times. But it's your server. You should be overriding me on that decision... as long as it's still in keeping with the end users' business needs, of course."
So if you do any work with XPages I therefore highly recommend you get a copy of this book. Get it as an e-book though as it's a reference and IMHO a paper copy doesn't make any sense. Most of the API calls you can also find good documentation on online but the xsp.properties part is lacking online and it's critical to know about and understand if you want to get the maximum from the XPages runtime.
Authentication vs. Authorization
Wed, May 8th 2013 7:39a Mikkel Heisterberg When ever I talk to customers and partners about single-sign-on (SSO) and the concepts of "authentication" I'm quite often baffled by the level of misunderstanding, misconception and lack of knowledge about just how "authentication" works. Now the reason I put "authentication" is quotes is that when we talk about authentication it's really not just authentication we're talking about. When we talk about confirming the identity of a user and confirming that the user is allowed to access a [read] Keywords: acl
Websphere Application Server WIM LDAP adapter log trace
Thu, May 2nd 2013 12:50a Mikkel Heisterberg When debugging LDAP login issues for Websphere Application Server (WAS) you're actually debugging the WIM (Websphere Identity Manager) part of WAS. The actual login piece is part of the adapters (database, ldap, file) which is the repository specific piece that WIM delegate the actual authentication to. The best debug string to use is "com.ibm.ws.wim.adapter.ldap.*=finest" as it limits the debugging to the LDAP piece of WIM. [read] Keywords: ibm
Setting up LDAP failover for Websphere Application Server
Wed, May 1st 2013 2:16a Mikkel Heisterberg As you may know LDAP is crucial to Websphere Application Server (WAS) when using it for IBM Connections so it makes good sense to configure failover for LDAP. If the LDAP server becomes unavailable you can no longer log in (actually you can't even log into ISC) and WAS can have a hard time reconnecting to the LDAP. Failover is set up using either the ISC Federated Security UI or by editing wimconfig.xml directly (or using wsadmin commands). Using wimconfig.xml have some advantages as you can se [read] Keywords: connections
Fixing IBM Connections help for IE users
Mon, Apr 15th 2013 5:13a Mikkel Heisterberg At a customer site they were actually using the IBM Connections help documents (a first I know) but it didn't work for the users in Internet Explorer. After some research it turned out to be due to a missing compatability statement in the generated HTML documents (this statement is present in HTML generated for other features). I've previously reported this issue to IBM but it still hasn't been fixed in version 4.0 CR3 so I took it upon me to find a solution. The solution turned out to be sim [read] Keywords: connections