This *should* be easier…

I am trying to be positive, I really am.  I’m trying not to rant in public, honestly.  I’m trying not to get so frustrated, but I have failed. Again.

Fixpacks and Lotus Connections.

Go to Fix Central and take a look at the fixes available for Lotus Connections 2.0:
IBM Support: Fix Central Select Fixes
(that is the first three of seven listed, plus the update installer).

The first one is a FixPack, the rest are individual fixpacks.  

So here’s the order of my thoughts this morning:

  • I wonder whether FixPack1 is a pre requisite for the other fixes.  It would be good if the fixpack changed the version number to say, 2.0.0.1 (as Quickr is now at 8.1.0.1) so that all the other fixes could refer to this version, but no that doesn’t appear to be the case.  So I click on “More information” next to the fixes hoping for a readme, but the links go to URLs like this one

    http://dbluewas2.pok.ibm.com/support/dcf/preview.wss?host=d02dbs88.southbury.ibm.com&db=support/swg/swgdnld.nsf&unidØ3A0661C7713B6B852574AD002BBD34&taxOC=SSCYJJF&MD=2008/08/22%2000:08:41&sid(for 2.0.0.0-LC-Multi-IFLO32153)

    Yes, thats right, a non-public, IBM-internal site.  So I go to download the fix, and what arrives?  Just one file, LO32153.jar.  Well that doesn’t tell me much…  So I assume that FP1 is required.

  • I download all the fixes, including the update installer.  I have been through this before so I know that the instructions included in the fix are woeful, but there is a technote available.  This definitely helps, and shows the Windows command line install as:

    updateLC.bat -installDir C:IBMWebSphereLotusConnections -fixpack -install -fixpackDir C:IBMWebSphereLotusConnectionsupdatefixpacks -fixpackID LC2001_Fixpack -wasUserId AdminUserID -wasPassword {AdminPassword}

    OK, so I need to know the location of the LC2 install, the location of the fixpack, AND the ID of the fixpack itself.  Well, thankfully IBM has provided this for FP1 in this technote, so we can go ahead and install it.  Now I have some issues with this installer – command line, too many paramaters, too much screen output, hard to read logs etc. but it does beat copying files around manually (like some other product I won’t mention) and once the syntax is known, it works ok.

    BUT….

    You need to know the fix ID.  So, what if one was to, say, download the rest of the fixes and try to install them.  Yes, that 2.0.0.0-LC-Multi-IFLO32153 fix for example.  It downloads as LO32153.jar.  But the filename won’t be the ID, no that would be far too simple!  It is something entirely different.

    So I try ‘LO32651’. Nope. ‘IFLO32651’.  No, not that either  So I am now trying to figure out what the darn ID is.  I’ll let you know.

To say that this process could be easier, less error-prone, more intuitive etc is such a huge understatement.  Chalk that down as another couple of hours of my time wasted.

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!