Master Series: Perfected Steps to Installing IBM WebSphere Portal v8 and the Portal Wiki

Girish Kumthekar by Girish Kumthekar, Davalen

Having recently performed a Portal installation, I thought of sharing my experience so others may get to experience a fully functional Portal and experience the rich interface Portal provides.


Installation of IBM WebSphere Portal v8 is a multi-step process involving initial installation, configuration steps for Database transfer, Security and Clustering. This article focuses on the initial installation, which delivers a fully functional Portal.

Links are available at Portal wiki for information such configuration tasks, Portal development, Administration etc.

Portal wiki

You can become familiar with information about IBM WebSphere Portal v8  by reviewing the content of Portal wiki located at

The Content Template Catalog is a very useful tool – mock up a site quickly or to build the skeleton of a site as a basis for further development.

Planning for Installation

Portal with Web Content Management (WCM) provides you with more functionality for managing content that just the portal. Hence I focused on the second link in screen shot below as see on Portal wiki.

Portal wiki

Detailed System requirements

Under “Get Started”, follow the Detailed System requirements for your Operating System (e.g Windows). This landed me here ..

Detailed System requirements for your Operating System

Once I confirmed I had sufficient juice (and believe me, you will need it to run Portal), I was ready to proceed with the installation.

Software images

The IBM WebSphere Portal v8 product consists of multiple offerings and each offering includes multiple downloadable electronic images packaged by platform. Each platform package is called an eAssembly and each eAssembly contains all of the electronic images required for that offering to run on that platform.

The first order of business was to download the software images and extract them to a single folderThis is very critical! Otherwise you will face major problems during the installation.

Important: When expanding the eAssembly files, ensure that you expand the files into the same parent directory to create a complete installable image. For example, if you expand into a parent directory that is called download_directory, the following directory structure results:


IBM Web Content Manager Support

Since I wanted to focus of Portal with WCM, I made sure I downloaded WebSphere Portal Enable (you can download WebSphere Portal Extend as well).

Installation details

IBM Installation Manager

IBM WebSphere Portal v8 is installed using IBM Installation Manager, which is bundled with the product images. The process I followed was:

  1. Extract images into directories
  2. Install Installation Manager
    • Update Installation Manager to Version 1.6.3 (if desired)
  3. Restart Installation Manager
  4. Configure Installation Manager with Repositories
    • Note: Repository setup uses repository.config
  5. Use Installation Manager to install Portal v8

Locate setup directory

To begin this installation exercise, I grabbed a large cup of coffee, turned on my favorite radio station and settled down to locate the directory where the Setup files had been extracted (C:\Installs\Portal\Setup).

Once in that directory, I clicked on setup:

setup directory

After a quick review of sections such as Quick Start etc., with a mental note to come back and visit later for a detailed look, I was ready to click on Install Portal.

Installation Manager

Installation Manager is something new, introduced in WebSphere 8 and beyond. Thankfully Installation Manager comes bundled with Portal images (although it was relatively easy to find it on IBM websites). I noticed that Installation Manager Version that is bundled is 1.5.2 – current version is 1.6.3!! I said, definitely Portal install!!

One thing I would like to emphasize — Make sure to change the installation path from C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\Installation Manager\eclipse to C:\IBM\Installation Manager\eclipse. Otherwise you will get into trouble with the install.

You can watch the progress at the bottom of screen:

watch the progress

Just stay away from Cancel button!!

cancel button

Upon successful installation, I got success screen – I said so far so good.

successful installation

As directed, I made sure to restart the Installation Manager.

Now I was in the Installation Manager GUI:

Installation Manager GUI

Add Repositories

Installation Manager introduces the Repositories Concept. This took me some time to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, you wonder – why didn’t they think of this before?

To add, edit or remove a repository location:

  1. Click File > Preferences > Repositories. The Repositories page opens and shows available repositories, repository locations, and the connection status for the repositories.
  2. Click Add Repository.
  3. Enter the repository location or click Browse. When you browse, go to the repository location and select the diskTag.inf, repository.config, .zip file, or .jar file as appropriate for your environment.
  4. Click OK.

The new repository location is added to the list. If the repository is not connected, a red box shows in the Connection column.

I quickly added Repositories for WAS, Portal and Portal Enable using

File–> Preferences and was ready to take the final plunge!

One thing I would strongly caution … Uncheck the Search Service Repositories … option. Without a live internet connection to outside world – and I know security folks frown on such things – leaving this option checked can lead you to la la land !

With a deep breath, I clicked on Install:

install Portal

Basically, I took all the defaults except items such as change directory to C:\IBM\IMShared (to make a pesky warning go away).

change directory

Since I wanted to see all the functionality of Portal and WCM, I selected Full for Profile option.

Now here comes something you need to pay attention.

You MUST give a userID and password, and without this information you cannot access Portal later on, keep this information is safe place!!

With a Final Review (phew, this is just the install setup!) I clicked Install.

The installation proceeded somewhat smoothly – I had to give the paths for disk 1 occasionally (I wished they fix this).

For e.g.  C:\Installs\Portal\WAS\disk1

After about 30 minutes (your mileage may vary) I got Success!!

paths for disk

Login to Portal

Use the ID and password you used during install process to login to Portal at URL (hope you took my warning about keeping them safe to heart).


Login to Portal

Edit Mode

Getting Started

Administrator View

Notice that as Administrator you get TAB for Administration. Be careful, with this level of access, you can do a lot of things that average users cannot.


Web Content Management

Under Application, I could see Web Content Management:

Web Content Manager


You have now successfully installed a fully functional IBM WebSphere Portal v8. Feel free to navigate around the pages to see the rich features available.

You can perform additional configurations steps such as Transfer Database to DB2, security and Clustering. Refer to Portal wiki for additional information.


  1. Installation Manager
  2. IM Repositories can be found at

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