Thursday, 22 November 2007

Fun n' games with WebSphere Portal Express v6 on Windows 2003 Server - DON'T USE DOMAIN USERS

Well, have just spent a fun-packed day trying, and failing, to install WebSphere Portal Express v6 onto Windows 2003 Server.

In the end, the problems were totally due to the fact that I was installing as a domain administrator, rather than a local computer administrator. Of course, I didn't know that then - this is one of the pitfalls of always performing installations on local machines where all the users and groups are local.

This was a brand-new Windows 2003 Server SP2 server, running as a guest on VMware ESX.

To begin with, I checked the usual things -

a) Checked no ports in use in the range 90xx or 100xx, using NETSTAT -AN | FIND "LISTENING"

- Discovered NETSTAT -AON which shows which processes are using which ports - which is nice

b) Checked "pingable" fully-qualified host name ( this used to be an issue with earlier versions of WebSphere Portal, although v6 makes more use of localhost for internal stuff )

On the first ( of many ) installations, I hit an exception with the DB2 user ( wpdb2ins ) which didn't meet Windows Domain password rules; had to use upper case characters as well as numbers.

I guess that should've warned me off.

I removed WebSphere Portal, and cleaned up disk, registry etc.

I then hit a further exception, due to fact that Windows user ( domain user ) wasn't in local DB2ADMINS and DB2USERS group; cheated by added user into both groups. Again, that should have taught me a lesson re local vs domain users.

Cleaned up again ( at first, I forgot to remove C:\WINDOWS\, meaning that installation failed on WAS install step )

Finally, installation repeatedly failed at DB2 Express installation stage with SQL5043N - I thought this related to the fact that the DB2 uninstallation doesn't remove entries from C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC\SERVICES. In the end, this was a herring rouge.

However, I couldn't get past this point despite numerous installations.

At that point, I went home ( and built my own Windows 2003 VMware image, which worked first time ).

When I came back in this AM, I decided to try the local administative user, and c'est voila - it works.

Lessons learnt - #6453

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