Over the past few days I have been installing a Connections environment in a locked down windows environment with a very agressive group policy.
Which was a lot more locked down than I expected it to be, so here are a few gotchas that I discovered that may assist you if you are in the same situation.
In this scenario we were using 3 machines:
machine 1 – DB2, TDI and Domino (for LDAP)
machine 2 – Connections (Deployment manger and Connections node)
machine 3 – HTTP server
The Group Policy would only allow the db2admin user to do anything DB related. For the databases to install and function correctly I had to follow these steps.
Create the db2admin and lcuser accounts as a local machine admin, logon as the db2admin to install and configure db2, be logged on as the db2admin user to use the connections db creation wizard (it would work as another user to create them but all the grants failed) – normally I would add my machine admin account to the corrrect db2 groups, but the windows policy was not playing ball.
Once db2 is installed and the Connections dbs created the only users with access to the dbs are db2admin and lcuser – regardless of the users that were placed in the db2 windows groups – to query the DBs you must connect to the db with either of the valid users.
Appeared to work correctly (thank you TDI) – but I did find the issue in my previous post that if you use TDI 7.1 and then downgrade the connections wizards don’t work as expected.
Installed as expected, but there were a few issues with communicating with the deployment manager.
Connections installed as expected, but took a long time, longer than normal.
Ports and other considerations
Pass the coms team / firewall team – whomever looks after such things a copy of the WebSphere plugin file and ask them to open all ports listed between HTTP and Depolyment manager machine, also port 8008 should be opened up for HTTP Admin.
Becuase of issues between the HTTP server and Dmgr/Connections machine, the news application was not mapped properly and plugin did not generate. This caused issues with the news app, which manifested itself with recomendations widgets, media gallery widgets and who do i know widgets throwing errors (no errors in the system out log) – after checking the http server error log, I found it was trying to serve news up from the webserver, after checking the plugin news wasn’t mapped.
This was easily resolved by remapping the news app to the webserver, regenerating and propagating the plugin file.
The Connections machine itself requires access to the internet for RSS feeds – if the machine can’t get out it can not retrieve RSS feeds and will give a nasty error.
It was a little challanging, especially when you have to justify every port, but once I spent 5 mins explaining how the environment hangs together and what the ports are required for it was no problem at all.
No doubt I shall be using this blog post to remind me of what needs to be opened up when I hit this issue again
Speaking at Connect 2014 what an honor
Tue, Nov 26th 2013 7:18a Sharon Bellamy It is an honor and a privilege to have been chosen with my friend and Christoph Stoettner to speak at this years Connect / Lotusphere conference.
This will be the 4th Connect / Lotusphere I have attended but the first I have spoken a full session at – in previous years I have helped run a BOF and have spoken at speedgeeking.
We will be speaking in the Best Practices track, sharing our admin and scripting tips and tricks to help make a Connections Admin’s day a little easier
The ful [read] Keywords: admin
mod_deflate compressing your Connections pages before they hit the client
Mon, Nov 25th 2013 8:15a Sharon Bellamy I have also posted this over on the Cube Soft Blog
The Apache v2 module mod_deflate is extremely handy if you are serving IBM Connections up to remote locations with little bandwidth. Some of the Connections pages have large css or java script files that are required to function correctly but for countries that have poor connection to the remote server this causes slow page load times and sometimes timeouts.
So mod_deflate to the rescue ..
open your httpd.conf file and ensure that the mod_defla [read] Keywords: connections
Screen for linux how did I not know about this
Thu, Nov 21st 2013 7:14a Sharon Bellamy thanks to my friend Gabriella Davis for the heads up on this awesome linux tool
I was having issues with the Sametime TURN server timing out due to my linux session dying or timing out and Gab suggested to look up the screen command.
It is a simple yet affective tool which is implemented usually by default on a linux server that allows you to reconnect to a screen initiated session
you simply enter the command screen from your linux servers command line – the remote session may look like n [read] Keywords: sametime
ConnCtrl bash script for IBM Connections
Fri, Nov 15th 2013 7:16a Sharon Bellamy I have also blogged this over on the Cube Soft company blog - with my good friend Mr Tim Clark we have created a script for starting and stopping IBM Connections on Red Hat (RHEL)
The script has a bunch of variables to allow you to input the path to the WebSphere deployment manager and nodes, and a place to enter the names of your Connections servers.
Please visit Tim’s blog for all the information and to download the script. [read] Keywords: connections
Connections 4.x search – well that was a weird problem
Fri, Oct 4th 2013 11:09a Sharon Bellamy If you have migrated or moved an IBM Connections instance from 3.0.1 > 4.x (either 4.0 or 4.5) or moved data between 4.x servers you may have noticed a weird issue with searching, especially around communities.
The reason I have been a bit quiet on the blog of late is because I am working on a few Connections projects many of which have involved migrating data between test and live servers or replicating data between servers. I have come across a few issues relating to search so I thought I w [read] Keywords: connections
Issues with Install manager GUI on RHEL 6.3 ?
Wed, Apr 3rd 2013 6:12a Sharon Bellamy If you are attempting to install Connecitons 4.5 on RHEL 6.3 you will have noticed that there is an issue with using the GUI for the IBM Installation Manager with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3
The IM won’t fire up a GUI even though xterm works for other GUI’s on the machine, no errors, no splash screen, no nothing !!
It has been driving both Stuart and I bonkers .. after a lot of digging here is what you need to get it to work :
yum install gtk2.i686 gtk2-engines.i686 PackageKit-gtk-m [read] Keywords: ibm
Sorry for the radio silence ….
Wed, Apr 3rd 2013 6:12a Sharon Bellamy I want to apologise for my lack of blogging and tweeting – there has been a lot of ups and downs in my personal life over the last 10 months, serious injury which is still not totally resolved and a bunch of other things that have contributed to not only my lack of blogging – but has stopped me attending and speaking at LUGs.
I would like to think that I may be over the worst of it – I had a fantastic holiday with my daughter Emily in Feb 2013 to Disney World, I am working with [read] Keywords: connections
Social Connections V – coming soon
Tue, Feb 5th 2013 8:09p Sharon Bellamy The international and independent IBM Connections user group will be visiting beautiful Zurich, Switzerland on June 28th 2013!
IBM Switzerland has graciously offered us the use of their IBM Client Center and it already promises to be a busy day
To register for this event please visit our registration page here, or use the button below: [read] Keywords: connections
Social Connections IV fun in Amsterdam
Wed, Dec 12th 2012 11:15a Sharon Bellamy After months of planning, much panicking by certain members of the SOCCNX team and a small amount of winging it – the 4th Social Connections User Group for IBM Connections Users hit Amsterdam on the 30th of November 2012.
Considering this user group was an idea that Stuart and I had over a coffee in the Uni cafe a couple of years ago, we have gone from 60 attendees at Social Connections I to a massive 203 attendees from 16 countries representing 99 unique organisations at Social Connection [read] Keywords: connections