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Installing IBM Lotus Forms Webform Server in a clustered environment



Many times the Lotus Forms support team is asked how to install the Webform Server Translator in a clustered environment. This technote discusses the installation procedure and provides links to multimedia modules which reinforce the topics.


Introduction to Webform Server clustering

There are different ways you can set up your cluster environment to run Webform Server, but most likely it will depend on the business needs. In a typical production environment, the topology can be divided in two large sections: Front End and Back End.

Front End refers basically to the segment in the topology where your Application lives plus all the essentials that are needed to have this section of the topology up and running like IBM HTTP Server (IHS), Load Balancer, Deployment Manager if a cluster environment exists for this part of the topology, etc.

Back End refers to the section where the Webform Server lives plus all the additional components needed to have this section of the topology up and running, like IBM HTTP Server, Load Balancer, Deployment Manager, Log Server, SharedFileCache, database, etc.

A typical production environment could be set up as shown in the next diagram:

Prior to installing the Webform Server Translator to a managed node there are preparation steps that need to be completed.

This technote assumes the use of WebSphere Application Server Deployment Manager, IBM HTTP Server, DB2 and IBM Forms Server 3.0.1; however, the steps are the save for all supported WebSphere Application Server, HTTP Server, DB2, and IBM Forms Server versions.

Preparing to install the Translator to a cluster

Module 1 of 2: Installing IBM Forms Server version in a clustered environment

These steps assume that you already have DB2 set up. DB2 version 9 was used for the referenced demonstration. All the defaults were accepted during the installation of DB2 in the demonstration. For further instructions on installing DB2, refer to the DB2 Knowledge Center.

Steps to creating a clustered environment
  1. Install WebSphere Network Deployment on the system destined to be the Deployment Manager. During the installation process, in the environment selection, you should be asked about what profile you need to create on this system. Select Deployment Manager “Cell (Deployment Manager and federated application server)”
  2. Install the refresh and fixpacks as well as the Java SDK patch. For more information, refer to the document titled "Fix list for IBM WebSphere Application Server version 6.1" (#7007951)
  3. Start the deployment manger if it is not already running. Since WebSphere Application Server 6.1 Network Deployment was installed with the option to “Cell (Deployment Manager and federated application server)” you should have now a DM (profile Dmgr01) and a managed node (profile AppSrv01)

You can now start the managed node by running the following command:
<WebSphere AppServer install directory>\profiles\AppSrv01\bin\startNode.bat

Install IBM HTTP Server 6.1 web server and WebSphere Application Server plug-in (webserver1)
When having a Webform Server cluster environment, you will have several Webform Server Application servers available in the cluster to be used by the application (Servlet/Portlet) in the Front End. However, your application will not be able to use them all without having a sprayer mechanism in front of the Webform Server Cluster. One of the sprayer mechanisms available is the IBM HTTP Server. Installation instructions
  1. Install IBM HTTP Server and web server plug-in webserver1
  2. Upgrade to the most recent IHS fixpack
  3. Upgrade to the most recent IHS SDK
  4. Upgrade to the most recent web server plug-in
  5. Upgrade to the most recent web server plug-in SDK

Configuring webserver
Navigate to <IHS install directory>/Plugins/bin and look for a script file with the name you gave the HTTP server. The syntax of the file should be similar to:
configure<HTTPServername>.bat (for example configurewebserver1.bat)

Deploy the new web server to the Deployment Manager
To deploy the new HTTP Server, run the script you just copied. The script will configure the HTTP server within the Deployment Manager. Once you run this script file, you should see the new Web server available in the Deployment Manager console at “Servers > Web Servers”.

Set plug-in load balancing to Random
To achieve a more even load distribution among the members of the cluster change the load balancing option to “Random”. For more information, refer to the document titled "Understanding IBM HTTP Server plug-in Load Balancing in a clustered environment" (#1219567).

Installing Webform Server Translator on the managed node (AppSrv01)

Module 2 of 2: Installing IBM Forms Server version in a clustered environment

The WFS cluster is a collection of Webform Servers. A Webform Server is installed on a managed node. A cluster of Webform Servers could have one or more managed nodes. Managed nodes usually live on separate systems. A managed node spawns one or more Webform Server JVMs; this is called vertical scaling.

  • A managed node needs to exist in the system to install Webform Server.
  • For performance reasons it is recommended that the DB2 server is run on a separate system (other than the translator server systems).
  • This setup assumes that the Shared File Cache (SFC) is planned to be centralized in the cluster (all Webform Server members in the cluster use one common SFC)
  • This setup assumes that the Log Server is planned to be centralized in the cluster (all Webform Server members in the cluster log to one common LogServer). For performance reasons it is recommended to install the Log Server on a system other than any of the systems where Webform Server lives.

Before you start the installer, you must have the following information available:
  • Cell name
  • Federated node name

When installing Webform Server, perform the following steps:
  1. Choose Language to navigate within the install wizard
  2. Accept the Java license
  3. Provide the destination directory Webform Server (WFS). By default WFS is installed at C:\Program Files\IBM\Lotus Forms\Server\3.0\Webform Server
  4. Select the features to be installed on the system.
  5. Select the installation type. You will be presented with two options: Typical or Managed Node. Choose "Managed Node"
  6. Select to deploy the Translator application (TranslatorApp) but not the Sample Servlet. This will keep the IHS plug-in cleaner.
  7. Installer DB settings

8. The installer will prompt for the location of WebSphere Application Server followed by the Translator Application deployment details screen. Select the AppSrv01 profile. If you like you can change the default name of the application server to TranslatorServer1 so each instance can be incremental for example (TranslatorServer1, TranslatorServer2 and TranslatorServer3) in the vertical cluster.

9. Follow the installation wizard until that install is completed
10. Using the Deployment Manager console (Applications/Enterprise Applications), uninstall the DefaultApplication to keep the IHS plug-in cleaner.
11. Start the Translator in the Deployment Manager console (Servers/Application Servers/)
12. Test to insure the installation was successful http://<serverName:port>/translator/Translate?pwsAction=toolbelt
The default port is 8085.

Creating a cluster of Translators
  1. In the Deployment Manager console navigate to Servers / clusters
  2. Define the WFS cluster name (for example WFS_Cluster) and click next
  3. Define the member of the cluster. The new member of the cluster needs to be defined using the managed nodes where WFS was installed. You can create as many cluster members (or JVM's) on a single node for vertical scaling purposes. For the first member use the existing application server TranslatorServer or TranslatorServer1 by selecting the radio box "Create the member by converting an existing application server". Then click "Next"
  4. You can now add the second and third TranslatorServers to the same node. Click "Finish" once you have completed adding the Translators
  5. Save the changes

Creating host aliases for the new cluster members and web server
During creation the new TranslatorsServers2 and TranslatorsServers3 members should be assigned automatically; however, this is not always the case. Using the Deployment Manager console creates the host aliases for the new members of the cluster. You can do this by navigating to:
  1. Environments > Virtual Hosts > default_host > Host Aliases in the Deployment Manager Console
  2. Click "New"
  3. Add the new ports. If you kept the default port for the first Translator (ie 8085), then add ports 8086 and 8087.

Associate the TranslatorApp to the cluster and web server
By default, the TranslatorApp is deployed to application server “TranslatorServer” at the time that WFS is installed. At this point, the WFS Cluster does not know anything about the TranslatorApp. To establish the association between the new WFS cluster and the application “TranslatorApp”, navigate to “Enterprise Applications > TranslatorApp > Manage Modules” and perform these steps:
  1. Click the checkmark box for module “IBM_Webform_Server_Translator_3.0.1.73”
  2. Select the cluster and web server you want to associate to this application
  3. Click OK and save the changes.

Generate and propagate web server plugin-cfg.xml
  1. To generate the plug-in file go to the Deployment Manager console (Servers -> Web Servers) and mark the checkbox besides the new web server and click the “Generate Plug-in” button. NOTE: This step must be done after associating the TranslatorApp to the Web Server, otherwise the plugin-cfg.xml will not contain the correct information.
  2. To propagate the plug-in file to the web server go to the DM console (Servers -> Web Servers) and mark the check box besides the new web server and click on the “Propagate Plug-in” button.
  3. Start the IHS web server
  4. Start all the TranslatorServers in the cluster
  5. Test all components by navigating to each toolbelt.
  • http://<serverName:8085/translator/Translate?pwsAction=toolbelt
  • http://<serverName:8086/translator/Translate?pwsAction=toolbelt
  • http://<serverName:8087/translator/Translate?pwsAction=toolbelt

When testing, you should see a Welcome screen for each of the ports.

Related information

Fix list for IBM WebSphere Application Server version 6
Installing WebSphere Application Server Network Deploym
Installing DB2 version 10.5

Document information

More support for: IBM Forms Server
Webform server

Software version: 4.0,,, 8.0,,, 8.0.1, 8.1, 8.2

Operating system(s): Windows

Software edition: All Editions

Reference #: 1318694

Modified date: 20 August 2009

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