IBM Connections 5.5 – installation summary

IBM Connections 5.5 – installation summary

Hi all,

during Christmas break I found some time between kids, family and all other duties to do my first IBM Connections 5.5 installation. I want to share my findings.

Installation of prerequisite software

  • WAS: New fix pack version (8.5.5 FP6) – but nothing really new about installing WAS and creating profiles
  • DB2: DB2 10.5 FP5 and further releases is supported – this is also a standard installation

Installation of IBM Connections 5.5 via IM

I`m really positively surprised about all the changes, IBM performed to the installation routine of IBM Connections 5.5:

  • IHS mapping directly while installing IBM Connections

IC5.5-installation1

Great idea! If you previously installed IHS & Plugin and configured it in your WAS cell, you can directly set this during installing IBM Connections 5.5. All applications will be mapped to IHS and the LCC.xml file will be changed according to your servers access host entry

  • Application changes – PushNotifications, URLPreview, RichTextEditor are now separate applications
  • Basic App role mapping is possible directly while installing

IC5.5-installation2

You can add additional admin users as well as global moderator users. This is a great improvement but does not save us from changing the role settings after installation (e.g. if you do not allow unauthorized access…)

  • Installation summary log file (/ibm/Connections/install.log)

IC5.5-installation3

A BIG improvement!!! All details about applications installation can now be found in one log!

  • Performance / best practices optimization during installation

IC5.5-installation4

If you take a look at the install.log file you probably will notice that IBM put some best practice optimizations into the new installation routine

  1. SystenOut/Err.log logrotate settings are set to: 10 MB size and 30 log files. The rollovertype is set to TIME so that logs are rolled-over after 24 hours. This might be not optimal for all environments, as this can result in very large log sizes.
  2. Web Container Threads are set automatically to 75 instead of the standard value of 50 (this is a good starting value but might need more fine tuning)
  3. Verbose garbage collection is activated automatically (manual step in IC5)
  4. Heap Size of DMGR is set to an appropriate value (manual step in IC5)
  5. SSO domain is set automatically during installation

IC5.5-installation6

  • Installation summary with time values how long installation of each component took

IC5.5-installation5

And some other things…THIS is a real help and a great improvement for all IBM Connections administrators.

Installation of Search Type ahead functionality (Solr Search)

In IBM Connections 5.5 a new feature is introduced “type ahead search” for all content (not only profiles as in IBM Connections 5.0). This is a great new feature but it must be clear that this seem to only be a try-out functionality until CR1 or something later…

The installation is fairly easy:

  • Download the Solr Smart Type ahead
  • Unzip the package to any folder you want
  • export your JAVA_HOME variable and retrieve your Connections CA certificate
  • Start the solr server
  • Update the LCC.xml and search-config.xml file

Seems easy … is easy. But this seems very experimental to me. There are disadvantages of the current GA solr type ahead search:

  • Solr Search in IBM Connections 5.5 does not support clustering (in general solr supports clustering)
  • Only Linux is supported

So this is something that we have to wait to be fully integrated until the next CR or something later. Without HA and only Linux as supported OS seems to be too experimental to me.

Anyway the type ahead search works great 😉

Surveys in IBM Connections communities

Forms Experience builder has a new name within the IBM Connections 5.5 package: IBM Connections Community Surveys V5.5

This is the normal Forms Experience Builder 8.5.1 package. There is nothing new for me installing this release.

Summary

IBM Connections 5.5 is a big release in two ways:

  • BIG improvements in the installation routine
  • BIG improvements in the feature list

I like the new release! A very good job that IBM did. Congratulations 😉

I`m not yet sure if I really like the UI of IBM Connections 5.5 – but this is something I just need to get used to

 

 

6 thoughts on “IBM Connections 5.5 – installation summary

  1. Great overview! Funny you did this over the holiday on a whim. Can 5.5 be done as an in place upgrade?

    1. Hi Jim, thanks. Yes you can do an in-place migration as the same WAS Version is used. DB2 can also be upgraded. But in-place migrations are not suitable for production environments as you will have a long downtime. Better plan a side-by-side migration so that you have time to fix errors.

  2. Hi, i did a midsize deployment and the SystemOut.log settings are set to a daily rollover, which results in some GB of log files on my test system. Changed it back to a size rollover.
    Thanks for your summary

    1. Hi Christoph,
      yes my fault. Eventhough the sizes are set, the rollover type is set to “TIME” so that it takes 24 h to rollover a log I changed it in the post.
      Rollover size of 24 hours does not seem to be practical for everyone.

      Julius

  3. The search type-ahead is working for all content or just content that you accessed recently ?

    For us it seems to work only on content that was accessed recently so the usefulness is not that great

    1. Hi Pierre,

      sorry… took quite a long time to answer.
      It works for all content in my testenvironment. But in my first installation I had the same issues than you… only recent searches were displayed. Take a look into the solr.log if there is log activity if you type in any char into the search field…

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