IBM Connections 6.0 CR2 Released

Since yesterday a new Cumulative Refresh, for Connections 6.0, is available for download. It includes some new Features like OAuth Support for the mobile App, GDPR Support and a ton of bug fixes. Use the following Links to access the official documentation:

Complete Fix List

IBM Connections 6 Update Strategy

IBM Connections 6.0 CR2 Download

IBM Connections 6.0 CR2 Database Updates

 

 

Travelog, on the Path to Pink!

Today I attended an IBM Webcast, translated to English “Path to Pink”, it was held by Martti Garden and Matthias Schneider. Personally, I found it exciting and very informative. The IBM is keeping their promise and continuously delivers new Connections “Pink” parts.

I will skip the talk about technology and components on top of which Pink is being built, as well as the reasons why this is done, I am sure most are familiar with this part.

After a brief introduction with OrientMe, Connections Customizer and “Pink Metrics”, all these components are already delivered as a part of the pink package. We got a bit of insights what is coming next and a demo of some components which are not published yet.

For example, IBM Docs is coming as a Container, I personally liked the Docs Editor, which can be used in Files, Blogs and Wikis. It has a powerful export feature, which lets you export a blog to a wiki article.

“Pink Profiles” also extends the functionality of the Profiles application, many customers will like this, as it brings some highly practical functionality which was desired by many.

“Pink Middleware” will be delivered to allow new plugins and applications to be integrated in the Pink package easier.

“Pink Note”, “Connectron Client” (was also demonstrated) and “Pink Content” were just some of many terms mentioned.

For sure, these are very fun and excitement times to work with IBM Connections. I like the path were Connections is developing and the effort put by the IBM to develop the workplace of the future.

Orient Me – Issue at Configuring Notifications

One of the steps needed to configure Orient Me Notification Center is to modify the “service-location.xsd” file, as described in the following article:

https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/en/SSYGQH_6.0.0/admin/install/t_install_Orient_Me_NC_configure.html

This file can be “checked out” from the cell configuration documents together with “LotusConnections-config.xml” file. After I made changes to the “LotusConnections-config.xml” and “service-location.xsd” file, I tried to “check in” both files. But after a closer look to the cell configuration documents, only “LotusConnections-config.xml” file was changed although there were no errors in the output after the “check in” command.

I had to manually copy the modified “service-location.xsd” file, to the cell configuration files, overwriting the original, to make the new Notification Center work. The problem occurred on CentOS and WebSphere Application Server 8.5.5.10.

How to make Community Surveys work with Connections 6 and Java 1.8

After the installation of IBM Community Surveys, you may get an error after adding “Survey” or “Featured Survey” application to the Connections Communities. Adding the “Survey” Application will work, but when you try to use it you will get an error basically saying that the Application could not be loaded.

To resolve this issue, you need to disable “Edge Side Include (ESI) processing to cache the responses” option for the IBM HTTP Server. You can do this in the ISC:

  • Navigate to Servers –> Server Types –> Web servers.

  • Click on your HTTP Server.

  • After select “Plug-In properties”.

  • Under “Additional Properties” click on “Caching”.

  • After that, just remove the checkmark from “Enable Edge Side Include (ESI) processing to cache the responses”

  • Restart the HTTP Server.

After that, if your default browser language is set to English, you will be able to use “Survey” and “Featured Survey” inside the Communities. If you have any other language set you will get a “spinning” wheel (browser console will show “missing } after function body“) and without any error in the GUI the “Survey” application will fail to load.

To resolve this issue, you will need to download the updated “ibm.nitro.integrations.connections.packaging.client-8.6.0.071.jar” file and replace the one provided by the original Surveys package. You can download the file from the following URL: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg22003527&aid=1

The File resides in “<connections_shared_data>/provision/webresources” directory. You just need to replace the old file and restart Connections applications.

This is documented in the following Technotes:

http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg22003061

http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg22003527

Have fun. 🙂

Issue with IBM Connections plug-in for Notes

If you have more than four locations configured in Notes with two or more different User IDs, you may experience a rather strange bug in correlation with Notes Connections plug-in.

After the installation of the Connections plug-in for Notes, you will need to enter your connections credentials and save them. So far so good. The Problems start when you save your credentials in four or more Notes locations, involving two or more user IDs. After you change then from one Location to another, changing the ID-File, your client will lose all your saved Connections credentials for Notes Connections plug-in and you will have to type them in all Notes locations again.

This problem was reproduced with IBM Notes 9.0.1 Fix Pack 6 and the latest Version of Connections plug-in for Notes (5.5.0.20160818-0653).

If you are also experiencing this Error, open a PMR and reference the following APAR: “LO89513”.

Hopefully there will be a fix for this problem soon.

Duplicate User Error

After a Migration from Connections 5.0 CR3 to Connections 5.5, I had a User who could not access “Files”, “Activities” and “Communities” Application.

At the time the User tried to access the Applications I could see the following errors in the Log Files:

LotusConnecti E com.ibm.openactivities.exception.OpenActivitiesException: CLFRA0473E: Error locating profile: EXID mismatch, but email matches. name=<user_name>, directory EXID=D8823B93-F20D-F1AC-C125-7BA30045D6CF, db EXID=<user_id>

javax.servlet.ServletException: com.ibm.openactivities.exception.OpenActivitiesException: CLFRA0473E: Error locating profile: EXID mismatch, but email matches. name=<user_name>, directory EXID=D8823B93-F20D-F1AC-C125-7BA30045D6CF, db EXID=<user_id>

000004fa UserDAOImpl W EJPVJ9367E: Unable to associate the login ID <user_id> to the user ID D8823B93-F20D-F1AC-C125-7BA30045D6CF.

UserLifeCycle E com.ibm.lconn.core.web.util.admin.UserLifeCycleCmdsImpl$IUserCallbackImpl userLifeCycleSpiUpdatePerson com.ibm.lconn.share.platform.exception.DuplicateUserAccountException: EJPVJ9437E: Unable to edit user with ID 8781ffb1-6db4-4dfb-b386-431ce3f60544.

Caused by: com.ibm.websphere.ce.cm.DuplicateKeyException: One or more values in the INSERT statement, UPDATE statement, or foreign key update caused by a DELETE statement are not valid because the primary key, unique constraint or unique index identified by “2” constrains table “FILES.USER_TO_LOGIN” from having duplicate values for the index key.. SQLCODE=-803, SQLSTATE=23505, DRIVER=4.19.49

0000016c MemberProfile E sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl invoke0 CLFRA0349E: Error locating profile: EXID mismatch, but email matches. email=<email_address>, directory EXID=D8823B93-F20D-F1AC-C125-7BA30045D6CF, db EXID=<user_id>

The following article didn´t help me: https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSFHJY_2.0.0/deploy/duplicate_user_account_issue.dita

The “Files.User” table in the “Files” database looked like this:

Scrolling further right, you could see the state of the user entry:

After that I checked if the “Directory_ID” could be found in the “PEOPLEDB”, “Employee” Table, which was the case.

To resolve this error I used the following commands:

FilesMemberService.syncMemberByExtId(“<directory_account_state_0>”,{“newExtId”: “<directory_account_state_1>”, “allowExtIdSwap”: “true”})

CommunitiesMemberService.syncMemberByExtId(“<directory_account_state_0>”,{“newExtId”: “<directory_account_state_1>”, “allowExtIdSwap”: “true”})

ActivitiesMemberService.syncMemberByExtId(“<directory_account_state_0>”,{“newExtId”: “<directory_account_state_1>”, “allowExtIdSwap”: “true”})

Before you use these commands you will have to initialize the “wsadmin” command prompt and enable the administration for all applications involved, in my case I have done the following:

wsadmin –lang jython –username <was_admin_account> –password <password>

execfile(“filesAdmin.py”)

FilesMemberService.syncMemberByExtId(“WBTSCV”,{“newExtId”: “D8823B93-F20D-F1AC-C125-7BA30045D6CF”, “allowExtIdSwap”: “true”})

execfile(“communitiesAdmin.py”)

CommunitiesMemberService.syncMemberByExtId(“WBTSCV”,{“newExtId”: “D8823B93-F20D-F1AC-C125-7BA30045D6CF”, “allowExtIdSwap”: “true”})

execfile(“activitiesAdmin.py”)

ActivitiesMemberService.syncMemberByExtId(“WBTSCV”,{“newExtId”: “D8823B93-F20D-F1AC-C125-7BA30045D6CF”, “allowExtIdSwap”: “true”})

After that the user could access all applications without any problems.

IBM Connections Mail-Plug-in Integration with iNotes

In this article I want to go through the installation, configuration and troubleshooting of IBM Connections Mail-Plug-in in cohesion with Domino iNotes.

Requirements:

  • SSO needs to be configured between iNotes and Connections Server.
  • If you don’t use public certificates you will have to import the self-signed Certificate into WAS.
  • Download the newest Version, currently 1.6 iFix 2, of IBM Connections Mail, from IBM Greenhouse. Take your time, this might be tricky.  🙂

Installation:

Note: You do not need to stop your WebSphere Applications before you proceed.

1. Make sure you have the newest version of Installation Manager installed.

2. Start the Installation Manager as Administrator or disable the UAC.

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3. Add the IBM Connections Mail repository.

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4. Start with the installation.

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Make sure you don´t place the installation directory under “Program Files (x86)”, I also tend to delete blanks in the folder name.

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Configuration

Authorizing Users to Access the Mail Plug-In

1. Open the ISC.

2. Navigate to “Applications” –> “Application Types” –> “WebSphere enterprise applications” –> “Common”.

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3. Select “Configuration” Tab, then “Security role to user/group mapping”.

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4. Select the “mail-user” role via checkbox and then map it to “All Authenticated in Application´s Realm” special subject if you want to allow all Users to use the plug-in.

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5. Click OK and save.

After that the Mail Plug-In buttons are going to be visible for all Users in the navigation panel, but you are going to get an error if you try to use them.

Enable Discovery Service for the Mail Plug-In

I have chosen to go with the following configuration, just to make sure that the Plug-In works in case that both HTTP and HTTPS is used to access Connections Server, Mail Plug-In is still going to access E-Mails on iNotes Server solely via HTTPS.

http://www-01.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSVMJU_1.6.0/icm_update_discovery.dita?lang=en

1. Copy the “socialmail-discovery-config.xsd” and “socialmail-discovery-config-template.xml” files from the mail plug-in installation folder to “WAS-root/AppServer/profiles/Dmgr01/config/cells/cell-name/LotusConnections-config”.

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Make sure to check the optional settings in the official documentation.

2. Rename the newly copied XML file to “socialmail-discovery-config.xml”.

3. Open the XML file in your preferred editor.

4. Enter the following information:

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Delete everything else you do not need.

5. Save the file and synchronize the nodes.

6. Apply the configuration.

7. Check the discovery service via following URL:

https://<Hostname>/connections/resources/discovery/DiscoveryServlet?email=<yourMail

The Output should be similar with the following:

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After that mail and calendar information should be accessible in the navigation panel.

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Activate Help Content for the Mail-Plug-in

1. Copy the “Help.ear” file to your Desktop or any other location, where you can work with it, then open the file with any archiver Software.

  • It is located under: <drive>\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer\profiles\<deployment manager profile>\config\cells\ic-cell-q\applications\Help.ear

2. Open “Help.ear” file with any archiver software and delete the following folder:

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3. Download the Help files needed:

4.  Now you will need to extract the downloaded File and paste it in same directory from which we deleted „com.ibm.connections.mail.help“ folder.

5. Then just replace the newly edited “Help.ear” file with the new one. You will need to open ISC to do that.

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6. Click “Browse” and locate the “Help.ear” File.

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7. Click “Next”.

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8. Click “Next” until you get the “Finish” button and then click “Save”.

9. After that you should synchronize the nodes.

Now you will need to add the Mail-Plug-in Help section to the Systems Help Table of Contents.

10. Start the “wsadmin” tool.

<drive>:\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer\profiles\<deployment manager profile>\bin>wsadmin -lang jython -user <user> -password <password>

11. Type the following commands:

  • execfile(“connectionsConfig.py”)
  • LCConfigHelp.setHelp(“c:/IBM/tmp”,”activities”,”blogs”,”bookmarks”,”communities”,”files”,”forums”,”homepage”,”profiles”,”wikis”,”icmail”,”ibmdocs”)

Make sure you do not get any errors in the output.

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This will add the Mail-Plug-in Help section (“icmail”), you need to include help sections for all other application. The ones you left out will not be listed in the help application content.

12. Stop the help application.

13. Go ahead and delete the cached help files from the app server where help is installed. You will have to do this on all nodes where the help application is installed.

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14. Start the help application.

The new help section should be available now.

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Test vigorously and enjoy… 🙂

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Troubleshooting

The Mail-Plug-in uses the same log as the “News” Application.  The following debug parameter could be set for the News Server to help you troubleshoot issues with the discovery service “com.ibm.social.pim.discovery.*=all“.

Initialy I had problems with the SSL Handshake, on the connections side there were no errors to point me in the right direction, even with the discovery service debug parameter, mentioned above, set. Here is where Daniel Nashed helped me, he provided me with the debug parameters for the HTTP task on the Domino server.

HTTP Task debug parameters:

DEBUG_SSL_CIPHERS=2
DEBUG_SSL_DHE=2
DEBUG_SSL_HANDSHAKE=2
DEBUG_SSL_IO=0

Error in the GUI:

error

Errors in the log file of the iNotes Server:

HTTP Server: SSL handshake failure, IP address [<IP_ADDRESS>], Keyring [<KeyringFile>], [SSL Error: Invalid peer], code [4171]

SSL_Handshake> After handshake state = HandshakeClientKeyExchange (11); Status = -5000
int_MapSSLError> Mapping SSL error -5000 to 4176 [SSLHandshakeNoDone]
SSLSendAlert> Sending an alert of 0x0 (close_notify) level 0x2 (fatal)
SSL_Handshake> After handshake2 state SSLErrorClose (2)
int_MapSSLError> Mapping SSL error -5000 to 4176 [SSLHandshakeNoDone]
SSL_Handshake> After handshake2 state SSLErrorClose (2)
SSL_Handshake> SSL Error: -6989
int_MapSSLError> Mapping SSL error -6989 to 4165 [SSLConnectionClosedError ]

SSLAdvanceHandshake Exit> State HandshakeClientKeyExchange (11)
SSL_Handshake> After handshake state = HandshakeClientKeyExchange (11); Status = -5000
int_MapSSLError> Mapping SSL error -5000 to 4176 [SSLHandshakeNoDone]
SSLProcessProtocolMessage> Record Content: Alert (21)
SSLProcessAlert> Got an alert of 0x50 (internal_error) level 0x2 (fatal)
SSL_Handshake> After handshake2 state HandshakeClientKeyExchange (11)
SSL_Handshake> SSL Error: -6994
int_MapSSLError> Mapping SSL error -6994 to 4171 [SSLFatalAlert]

Our iNotes Server has a 9.0.1 FP4 IF2 Domino version, on the other side I had an IBM Connections 5.0 CR3 and 8.5.5.4 version of IHS. So the problem was in the configuration of IHS, the SSL Cipher Suites were not configured, therefore the defaults were used. A fast fix for this was to set “SSLCIPHERSPEC=2F35” parameter in the “notes.ini” of the iNotes Server because at that point my IHS could not use any newer SSL Cipher. “SSLCIPHERSPEC=2F35” means that the iNotes server will accept only “RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA” and “RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA” ciphers.

After that the Connections Mail-Plug-in worked just fine. 🙂

Different WAS node Versions in a single cell

In the course of Connections CR Updates I also tend to update all WebSphere Components to the latest supported version. Currently for Connections 5 CR2 & CR3 the latest supported Application Server is WebSphere 8.5.5.4.

Quite recently we needed to update a Connections environment from 5 CR1 to 5 CR2. This Environment consists of four nodes, on two of them we have Connections applications running in a cluster, the other two are used for IBM Docs applications, also clustered. One of the nodes where Connections Software is running is also a Deployment Manager.

The initial plan was to update WebSphere Nodes, to 8.5.5.4, only on which Connections is running. We wanted to update remaining nodes later on, in the course of IBM Docs Update. This was a very bad idea, after the Update, the two IBM Docs nodes, running the older version of WebSphere, started getting out of sync, causing Docs applications to stop working.

Manual Synchronization, using “syncNode.bat” file, seemed to resolve the problem for a short period, but only after we updated the IBM Docs Nodes to the 8.5.5.4 version we managed to solve the synchronization issue.

So beware of running different node versions of WAS in a single cell.

TDI Job “sync_all_dns.bat” fails to run

Recently I noticed that some employee records in PeopleDB were not in Sync with the records on our LDAP Server.

Looking at the Job History in “Task Scheduler” on our Backend Server, Windows Server 2008 R2,  were TDI Job “sync_all_dns.bat” runs I could see that the Job was being triggered at regular intervals as configured without any problems. After looking at the TDI Wizard Log Files, “ibmdi.log”, it was clear to me that the “sync_all_dns.bat” batch file was not run for a while, the value of “Date modified” Field was about two days old.

The “sync_all_dns.lck” File had the same value in “Date modified” Field, so the job “froze” for some reason.

2015-08-19 21_19_49-mRemoteNG - C__Users_wbtmam_AppData_Roaming_mRemoteNG_confCons.xml

After manually deleting the “sync_all_dns.lck” file the “sync_all_dns.bat” Batch file could be run and the PeopleDB synchronized with our LDAP Server without any problems.

Deleting Port numbers from LotusConnections-config.xml File

Short after installing Connections I always delete the port numbers or change the URL completely in the “LotusConnections-config.xml” file so that Connections Applications could be accessed without typing the port numbers as a part of an URL.

Doing this manually can consume lot of time.

You can automate this process by using the replace function in “Notepad ++” or “UltraEdit” editors as described in following.

Notepad ++

notepad++

UltraEdit

ultraEdit

I hope this helps. 🙂