Connections 4.0 – Metrics and CR2

There is an issue with displaying Metrics within IBM Connections 4.0 if your servers are in the GMT timezone, the effect of which is that Metrics are simply not displayed (as shown in the screen shot below).

Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 11.06.01

There is a fix for this issue, ifix LO72778,  but after installing CR2 I found the problem re-occurred. To resolve it I realised I would need to re-apply ifix LO72778 which meant I had to do the following:

1. Uninstall the Metrics component of CR2 (LO72170-IC4000-CR02-Metrics)
2. Uninstall ifix LO72778
3. Install the Metrics component of CR2 (LO72170-IC4000-CR02-Metrics)
4. Install ifix LO72778.

What I should have done (and have done subsequently) is uninstall ifix LO72778 before installing CR2 and then re-install it after CR2.

 

Connections 3.0.1 Fix Pack 1 installation issue

During the installation of fix pack 1 for IBM Connections 3.0.1 I had an issue with the upgrade of the News application.
One of the (many) good things about Connections is that it writes a separate insallation/upgrade log for each application which really helps narrow down the search for the cause of installation/upgrade issues, so in this instance I opened the newsUpdate.log (located in /opt/IBM/LotusConnections/logs) and found the following:

 [exec]   [wsadmin] An unexpected exception was thrown.  Halting execution.
 [exec]   [wsadmin] Shutting down workbench.
 [exec]   [wsadmin] Error executing deployment: java.lang.IllegalStateException. Error is Platform not running.
 [exec]   [wsadmin] java.lang.IllegalStateException: Platform not running
 [exec]   [wsadmin]      at org.eclipse.core.runtime.adaptor.EclipseStarter.run(EclipseStarter.java:374)
 [exec]   [wsadmin]      at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
 [exec]   [wsadmin]      at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(NativeMethodAccessorImpl.java:60)
 [exec]   [wsadmin]      at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.java:37)
 [exec]   [wsadmin]      at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Method.java:611)
 [exec]   [wsadmin]      at com.ibm.etools.ejbdeploy.batch.impl.BootLoaderLoader.run(BootLoaderLoader.java:494)
 [exec]   [wsadmin]      at com.ibm.etools.ejbdeploy.batch.impl.BatchDeploy.execute(BatchDeploy.java:114)
 [exec]   [wsadmin]      at com.ibm.etools.ejbdeploy.EJBDeploy.execute(EJBDeploy.java:107)
 [exec]   [wsadmin]      at com.ibm.etools.ejbdeploy.EJBDeploy.deploy(EJBDeploy.java:348)
 [exec]   [wsadmin]      at com.ibm.etools.ejbdeploy.EJBDeploy.main(EJBDeploy.java:310)
 [exec]   [wsadmin] EJBDeploy level: @build@
 [exec]   [wsadmin] ADMA5008E: The EJBDeploy program failed on file /tmp/app7307803356142343542.ear. Exception: com.ibm.etools.ejbdeploy.EJBDeploymentException: Error executing EJBDeploy
 [exec]   [wsadmin] ADMA0063E: An error occurred during Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) deployment. Exception: com.ibm.etools.ejbdeploy.EJBDeploymentException: Error executing EJBDeploy
 [exec]   [wsadmin] ADMA5011I: The cleanup of the temp directory for application News is complete.
 [exec]   [wsadmin] ADMA5069E: The installation of application News failed. This application was in the middle of a full update and therefore is uninstalled from the configuration session. Discard your current configuration session immediately to recover the application. Do not save changes to the WebSphere Application Server configuration repository. The application is not uninstalled from this repository. Until the current configuration session is discarded you do not see this application in the current session.
 [exec]   [wsadmin] WASX7017E: Exception received while running file "/opt/IBM/LotusConnections/ConfigEngine/config/work/was/EarUpdate.jacl"; exception information: com.ibm.ws.scripting.ScriptingException: WASX7418E: Application update for News failed: see previous messages for details.

After some investigation I eventually found a technote ( EJB Deploy Error: java.lang.IllegalStateException: Unable to acquire application service ), which whilst not directly relating to Connections, looked as though it could help resolve the issue.

The technote says “The problem may occur when Enterprise JavaBeans Deploy is updated as part of a Fix Pack install and there are files in the EJB Deploy configuration directory from the previous EJB Deploy install.” and the recommended fix is to delete the contents of the EJB Deploy Configuration directory.

As I was fortunate enough to be doing the install on virtual machines I reverted to the snapshots taken just prior to starting the upgrade, then removed the contents of the EJB Deploy Confiuration directory (/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/profiles/Dmgr01/ejbdeploy/configuration) and re-ran the installation of fix pack 1, which this time completed successfully.

DB2 Control Center launch issue on Windows 2008 Server

I came across an issue recently where the DB2 Control Center was hanging when trying to start it on a Windows 2008 Server. The splash screen would appear and then just sit there. Looking at Task Manager I could see a process – db2javit.exe – consuming nearly 100% of the CPU so I decided to kill it before it became an issue (thankfully the server was not in production at this stage) at which point the DB2 Control Center started.

After a couple more tests I discovered that, rather than killing the db2javit.exe process to get the Control Center to load, if I right-clicked on the DB2 Control Center icon and selected ‘Run As Administrator’ it loaded without an issue.

Reset the superadmin password in TDS

In my test IBM Connections environment I use Tivoli Directory Server (TDS) as the LDAP server. Unfortunately I misplaced the password for the ‘superadmin’ account (which is used for managing the Web Administration Tool console).

Thankfully I found the solution here, all you need to do is edit the console_password file, which in my environment is here:

/opt/ibm/ldap/V6.3/appsrv/profiles/TDSWebAdminProfile/installedApps/DefaultNode/IDSWebApp.war.ear/IDSWebApp.war/WEB-INF/classes/security/console_passwd

And then replace the contents of the file with these two lines:

ef13c691261ad9f4f313

ef03d586310f

This will reset the password back to the default which is: secret

Or alternatively just don’t loose the password in the first place!

Don’t fall foul of IBM’s trademark

OK, sorry the headline is far more dramatic than the content of the article, but I promise it is relevant.

Whilst upgrading a Connections environment to 3.0.1 using a response file I got the following error:

Invalid byte 1 of 1-byte UTF-8 sequence.
00:00.34 ERROR [main] com.ibm.cic.agent.internal.application.HeadlessApplication run
Invalid byte 1 of 1-byte UTF-8 sequence

 

After a quick check of the response file and I could see a strange character (a black diamond with a white question mark in it) being displayed to the right of IBM on one of the lines:

<profile installLocation=’/opt/IBM/LotusConnections’ id=’IBM� Lotus Connections’>

What should actually be displayed is the registered trademark symbol (an R in a circle), like so:

<profile installLocation=’/opt/IBM/LotusConnections’ id=’IBM® Lotus Connections’>

So, I corrected this and re-ran the upgrade but I got exactly the same error. What I had missed (at the bottom of the response file) was another instance of the registered trademark symbol, which was also being displayed as a black diamond with a white question mark in it:

<offering profile=’IBM� Lotus Connections’ version=’3.0.1.0_20110317_1432′ …..

Once I’d corrected that line as well the upgrade ran successfully. I’m not sure what caused the issue and I’ve not been able to recreate it but I suspect that the file was edited/saved by something like MS Word that changed its formatting.

IBM Connections – Incorrect Global Moderation Alerts

I’ve been working with a customer recently on Moderation within IBM Connections 3.0.1 and we discovered an issue where alerts are being sent to Global Moderators when they shouldn’t.

In this scenario pre-moderation (content approval) is disabled but post-moderation (content flagging) is enabled and Blog owners (both Community and standalone) are allowed to moderate comments on their blogs.

If a Blog owner enables moderation on comments then they will receive a notification asking them to approve (or not) comments when they are submitted. The problem is that the Global Moderators also receive this notification which they shouldn’t (as pre-moderation is disabled).

There is now an iFix available to resolve this (LO64314) which is well worth applying to avoid your Global Moderators getting emails asking them to approve comments they can’t even access.

The consultant’s toolkit

I’ve been lucky enough to work with Dave Hay on several projects and always find him very generous in sharing his knowledge and experience but on the latest project where we worked together he taught me (and I suspect a few others) one of the most important things I will learn, so much so I have to share it.

 

The project we were working on required the team to work some long hours and each evening our meal was a take-away at our desks. After pizza and then burgers obviously it was only a matter of time until we had curry. When the curry arrived we all started to dive in and quickly realised that we’d forgotten cutlery, except Dave that is. Dave simply reached into his laptop bag and produced his own fork, we all looked on impressed (and slightly enviously) as we had to use our naan bread as make-shift spoons.

 

So, as Mr Hay told us: Always carry a fork with you, it’s an essential part of the consultant’s toolkit.

 

 

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