This article will demonstrate how to install and configure the IBM HTTP server for WebSphere environments.
Portlet and portal developers will often benefit from an installation of the IBM HTTP server. They will do so to test an application or theme they have written by using a conventional HTTP server instead of the HTTP server embedded in WebSphere Application Server. One benefit of this is to evaluate the behavior of an application when various caches are implemented. Installation of the IBM HTTP Server is not complicated and this article should provide the necessary assistance to enable developers to easily succeed.
The first step is to determine what version of WebSphere Application Server is installed. This is important because installing the correct version of the IBM HTTP server depends on knowing the installed version of the WebSphere Application Server. To do this on a Windows computer you can use the IBM Installation Manager “View Installed Packages” webpage. This utility is available from the start menu by choosing Start and then locating a program group labeled IBM installation manager. Expand the program group and you will find a utility for viewing installed packages.
Launching the utility will cause an internet browser to open a file named “installed.xml”. This file will be displayed as a webpage. Scroll through the list of installed packages and locate the package group named “IBM WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment V8.0”.
On a base install of portal the version of the WebSphere Application Server installed should be Version 22.214.171.124 (126.96.36.19921022_1902). This information is important. If the application server is found to be at a higher level you will need to not only install the web server but you will also need to apply patches. Fortunately, the IBM installation manager can assist in both regards.
The next step will be to locate the appropriate parts for installation of the web server. This can be done through PartnerWorld (for business partners) or Passport Advantage (for customers).
Locating the WebSphere Application Server eAssembly for the edition of WebSphere Portal you will see parts for the IBM HTTP Server.
After you have downloaded the appropriate parts, expand the compressed files into a single folder structure such that subfolders for each disk image are listed. Then in the IBM Installation Manager locate the File menu and update the preferences to reflect the repository location for disc one.
After setting the revised repository preferences, select the install option of the IBM installation manager. In the list of available packages select the checkbox for the IBM HTTP server for WebSphere Application Server, the WebSphere Plug-ins and the WebSphere customization toolbox.
After clicking next you will be presented with the page to accept the licensing of these products.
After clicking next you must select the appropriate features for the products being installed. In my example I am using a 64-bit operating system therefore I have selected the checkbox for the IBM 64-bit runtime environment for Java Version 6.
And, after clicking next, additional configuration is required. On this panel indicate the port number and the account that will be used if the IBM HTTP server is intended to run as a Windows service (there is a similar option for Linux).
After clicking next pad launching the install process the IBM installation manager will proceed with installation. Conclusion of the installation, or at a later time, you may launch the WebSphere customization toolbox.
Once the tool has completed its launch, a list of provided tools will appear. Select the tool labeled “WebServer Plug-ins Configuration Tool”. Next, click the button labeled “Launch Selected Tool”.
A panel will display labeled “WebServer plug-in Runtime Locations”. To the right of the panel is a list of buttons. Click the button labeled “Add…”
After clicking the add button the first step in configuring the Webster plug-in will be to select the Web server type. In this example the IBM HTTP Server V8 is selected.
The next button on the panel labeled “Web Server Configuration File Selection” click the browse button and select the file HTTPD.conf also specify the Web server port. In this example the port number is port 80. Once these settings are complete, click the button labeled Next.
On the next page labeled “Setup IBM HTTP Server Administration Server” decide whether or not to setup the IBM HTTP Server Administration Server. Checking the box labeled “Setup IBM HTTP Server Administration Server” will enable remote administration of the IBM HTTP Server using the IBM WebSphere Integrated Solutions Console. If configuring the IBM HTTP server administration server, enter a port number for the administration port. In this example we have used 8008. Finally, we have enabled creation of an ID for the administration server and specified the name and password. When the decision and settings are complete, click the button labeled Next.
Indicate whether to configure the Adminstration Server as a Windows Service and with what type of account to launch the service. Also, indicate the startup type for the service. Then, click the button labeled Next.
A Web Server Definition Name must be provided. A unique name entered into the text box will be used when later updating the WebSphere Application server console. Click the button labeled Next.
On the Configuration Scenario Selection page select the radio button for remote or local references to the WebSphere Application Server. In this example the server is remote. The directory to select in the local input should reference the application server binaries, In this example the location of the binaries is C:\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer directory. Click the button labeled Next.
The profile selection page requires selection of the profile to which the HTTP server will be bound. In this example we are configuring the web server for a portal deployment. The wp_profile is selected. Click the button labeled Next.
The summary page should be reviewed and, when settings are confirmed, click the button labeled Configure.
At this point configuration is complete. However some additional changes should be made to the configuration of the HTTP server. Specifically it is important to enable the rewrite module and to create at least one rewrite rule. In this example we want to rewrite incoming requests so that requests addressed to the qualified host name will be rewritten to include the portal home page, “/wps/portal”.
Locate the httpd.conf file. In this case, the path is C:\IBM\HTTPServer\conf.
Review the file and locate the LoadModule line for the rewrite module and remove the remark character to enable the rewrite module:
LoadModule rewrite_module modules/mod_rewrite.so
Now, activate the rewrite rules:
And then enter a rule such as this on the line immediately after the statement “RewriteEngine on”:
RewriteRule ^/$ /wps/portal/home [R=301,L]
You will need to update the plugin-cfg.xml file. This is a task performed in the solutions console and is perfromed to ensure all mappings are properly configured to include the web server as well as the application server in module mappings.
About the Author: David’s professional career spans multiple disciplines with a consistent emphasis on discovery and implementation of solutions geared towards achieving objectives of strategic importance. In 1993 David established his consulting practice providing automation of business processes. In 1996 he joined Jacob Solutions, Inc., predecessor to Davalen, LLC where he served as Principal Application Architect and Solutions Engineer. His project management and implementation skills have been put to work in sectors such as manufacturing, health care, banking, and insurance. The tools he employs include Microsoft DCOM (now known as .NET) and J2EE. His practice is to prefer technologies that leverage international standards. For this reason much of his development and implementation has been based, since 2001, on Java-related technologies. David’s professional accreditations including a certifications as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and an IBM Advanced Developer. A popular orator, David has been asked to speak across the United States on a variety of topics, including many java related topics, document management and web content management. His academic background includes a BA in History from The Citadel, an MDiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and post-graduate studies in data communications at Boston University.
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