Sunday, March 27, 2011

TAMeb Naughty Installer - SMS Part 1

I've long been an admirer of IBM Tivoli security software. The components mostly do exactly what you would expect.

However, I've always been a bit confused by the means and mechanisms used to install the software. This week, I had a brilliant example of pure laziness on the part of the developer within IBM who had responsibility for coding the installer for the Tivoli Access Manager for e-business SMS component!

Consider the following facts:
  • Windows 2008 Server (64-bit) platform
  • WebSphere 7 already deployed
  • Tivoli Access Manager for e-business Policy Server already deployed and configured

Installing the SMS component should be as simple as running the installer from the TAMeb Base package and following the on-screen instructions. Unfortunately, on my system, the installer failed to recognise that WebSphere was installed and insisted on installing its own version of WebSphere.

And the reason for this failure to detect the WebSphere installation? I could plainly see that it was deployed at d:\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer. I could plainly see that WebSphere was running by checking the list of Windows Services. The installer, however, could not.

It was time for some code-hacking to determine what was going on and after a little bit of digging around the installer, I found that it was checking for a WebSphere installer by looking through the Windows registry.

Interesting, I thought. Surely there must be a reference in the registry for WebSphere? Well, that may indeed have been the case, but it certainly wasn't where the installer was looking for it!

A colleague of mine had installed WebSphere using his credentials. I was installing SMS using my credentials. The SMS installer was looking for WebSphere registry keys under LOCAL USER in the registry. And they didn't exist there because I didn't install WebSphere!

The addition of the following registry keys (under my session) allowed the installer to recognise the WebSphere instance:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\IBM\WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\IBM\WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment\]

That said, I wanted to install the SMS components on to my D: drive. Do you think that would work? Do you think if I installed the software there that the smscfg routine would work? If you think positively about these questions, then it's time to think again! Check back for the next thrilling episode in the SMS Installation Series!

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