Sunday, January 25, 2009

partnumber zip files from Passport IBM SW Catalog

Scenario: suppose you are a new IBM customer. Or, suppose you work for an IBM Business Partner. Either way, suppose you have access to the SW Catalog Downloads of IBM. And you want to get your brand new packages for WebSphere Portal. Version 6.1, Extended. And final supposition: you want to download and install/test Portal on Linux, then on AIX.

So far, so good. You access the Catalog, search for Portal 6.1 and get a whole bunch (more than 100) of packages to download, worth several tens of GB. Not good.

First piece of advice: search for 'Portal 6.1 for AIX', or 'Portal 6.1 for Linux'. Do not search for 'Portal 6.1 for Windows' :) Portal on Win is not a good choice, and this comes from experience ... boinc ...

But, before cursing IBM for tens of partnumbers instead of a clean *.tar file containing all you need, think about this:

- Your IBM software runs on 10 platforms (you'll count them below)
- You are just about one of IBM's several thousands customers, and IBM needed a way to package SW for below 10 platforms.
- Have some patience and I'll explain in short my revelation, so you'll find it a little more comfortable to download and prepare your packages.
- I think IBM has special services attending the needs for packaging. So if you want DVD's with everything packed and ready to go, search and call these IBM services.

Following are my considerations:
- Download the partnumbers files and keep them as they are.
- Because some of these are mixed and contains components for different platforms. You need for Linux and for AIX as well.

Before the final consideration, I'd say that RTFM, occasionally, is useful. At least, seems to me that InfoCenter (for Portal) gets better and fills new and useful information, not only for the current version but for previous versions as well.

- In InfoCenter you'll (re)discover how to organize and unpack these partnumbers zips in order to perform your install for either AIX or Linux, as you wish. And here comes the quote:

"Copy CD content to a file server
This option has the following benefits and is best if installing on multiple machines:
Installing from a network drive may be faster than from a CD-ROM drive; review your network and hardware options to determine the best choice
The installation program finds the CDs it needs
Perform the following steps to copy CD content to a file server:
1. Create a directory for the product; for example, /wpversion_number
2. Copy the contents of each CD into its own directory; for example:

The operating system codes are:
AIX (32-bit and 64-bit) = A
HP-UX (32-bit) = H
HP-UX (64-bit) = HI
i5/OS = I
Intel Linux (32-bit and 64-bit) = IL
PowerPC Linux (32-bit and 64-bit) = PL
zLinux (64-bit) = ZL
Solaris (32-bit and 64-bit) = SS
Solaris (64-bit) = SO
Windows (32-bit and 64-bit) = W
Note: (UNIX only) After copying the content, set read and execute permissions for users doing the installation. "

And final thought: how would you organize SW packages and different components (WAS, WASND, Forms, Sametime, Edge Components, TDS, and all other stuff coming into Portal Extended) for 10 platforms ? What if you want to offer another dimension, like Server, Enable and finally Extended ? hmmm ... tough, ain't it ?

Would you go for each platform to offer a single *.tar or *.zip ? If so, you'd multiply the storage to host this amount of space by 10. And what about the three licensing options ? ... even tougher ...

So, you need modular approach. Here you go, you've got your modules. They're the partnumber zip files :)
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