The IBM HTTP Server for i product is unique from other Web server products in many ways. One of the key features is the graphical user interface (GUI) provided for setting up and managing your servers. The interface is called IBM Web Administration for IBM i and is rich in function, examples, error-checking, and ease-of-use. Web Administration is made significantly easier through the use of forms, wizards, tasks and tools. The Web Administration interface provides configuration and management functions for many Web technologies, helping users combine these many technologies into a usable Web environment to run their Web based business.
The Web Administration supports the following Web technologies:
IBM Web Administration for IBM i consists of a comprehensive suite of wizards, task, tools, and forms to help users create and manage their Web environments. The following will touch on a handful of these capabilities. The following topics are covered:
- Web Administration Interface
- HTTP Server (Powered by Apache)
- WebSphere Application Server
- IBM Workplace Services Express
- Starting the Web Administration interface
Web Administration Interface
The Web Administration interface is broken down into several main sections. The navigation is handled by a set of tabs that define the logical groupings. The first time you access the Web Administration interface, you are on the Setup tab.
Figure 1 - Web Administration for IBM i
The purpose of the Setup tab is to learn about the different Web technologies supported. It is also a launch point to create the different environments. You can launch any of the create and configure wizards from this page. In the left navigation frame on many pages you will see Common Tasks and Wizards containing the basic list of creation and configuration wizards. The icon in the main right frame provides a link to an information page that gives a set of links where you can learn more about the selected Web technology.
Figure 2 - Information page for HTTP Server
The Information page for HTTP Server, for example, provides selected links to the Information Center where you can gain more indepth knowledge.
The Manage tab is the launch point to manage all the Web environments on this system. Since there are many different environments that can be managed, the navigation is further broken down into sub-tabs.
Figure 3 - Manage tab
The first sub-tab is All Servers. This page provides one location where you can see all the Web servers that exist on this system. This page is also organized into three logical groupings. Click on each tab on the page to see all the servers for that grouping. You can do some basic management activities from this interface, for example, start, stop, manage, and delete servers.
Figure 4 - Advanced tab
Work with advanced features including Internet Users and Groups, Search Engine configuration, and Triggered Cache Manager.
View related information about Web administration for IBM i and how to make it work for you. Learn more about some of the different technologies supported by Web Administration.
HTTP Server (Powered by Apache)
The Web Administration GUI allows you to manage every aspect of the HTTP servers running on this system.
This is the starting point to create and configure an HTTP Server. The Create HTTP Server wizard creates all the necessary configuration files and populates these files with the required directives to create a basic working HTTP server.
Figure 5 - Create HTTP Server wizard
With Web Administration, it is no longer necessary to memorize directive names and their proper usage or syntax. Directives are represented in the Web Administration interface by meaningful and descriptive field names, and help text is available for every field! It is no longer necessary to keep track of the context(s) supported for a given directive. The Web Administration interface knows the rules and automatically enforces supported context for all directives. For those users that have a deep understanding of the directives, use the Directive index feature to quickly and easily navigate to the desired directive.
Figure 6 - Directive Index
Click on the Directive Index link. All the directives supported by HTTP Server (powered by Apache) are presented in alphabetical order. Click on the letter for a fast path to the desired directive. Click on the form link to launch the form containing that directive.
Figure 7 - HTTP Server form
The HTTP server forms are logically grouped. Click on a form to view and modify the settings for this HTTP Server. Any directive that is modified will be checked for errors to ensure the value is correct for that directive. The GUI understands all the rules that govern the location and format of the directives. Therefore, only the directives that are valid for the context that is currently selected are shown in the form. The GUI builds the directive in the proper form and adds it to the configuration file.
WebSphere Application Server
The Web Administration GUI supports the creation, configuration, and management of many versions of WebSphere Application Server.
Figure 8 - Create Application Server
The Create Application Server wizard creates a configured and working application server where you can then deploy your Web applications. The create wizard prompts you to select from a list of all the versions of WebSphere Application Server installed on this system. To complete this integrated Web environment, you can then choose to create a new HTTP server or select from a list of existing HTTP servers. Both of these servers will be created and configured.
Figure 9 - Create Application Server - ports validation
One of the common problems users encounter when creating a new server is port conflicts. To reduce the likelihood of a server not starting due to port conflicts, the GUI recommends a range of ports that are not being used. If you enter a different range of ports, the GUI validates this range.
Figure 10 - Create Application Server - Deploy Business Applications
The Create Application Server wizard also gives you the option to deploy an application that can be used out of the box. The first application is the IBM Telephone Directory. This application is an online phone book, allowing you to hook into an existing LDAP directory or set up a new LDAP configuration. The telephone directory provides powerful search capabilities combined with easy to use user information management. The second application is an online survey used to create, configure and manage Web-based surveys.
Figure 11 - Manage Application Servers
The manage application server functions provide a rich set of tools that allow easy access to and management of the most common components of an application server. The GUI provides many wizards to help the user successfully configure and manage the selected component. There is easy access to the start and stop function. For the more advanced user that needs to modify lower level attributes, a link is provided that launches a new window requesting the URL for the WebSphere Administrative Console.
IBM Workplace Services Express
IBM Workplace Services Express offers a simplified collaboration solution for small and medium businesses by providing select collaborative capabilities such as instant messaging and team spaces. This product employs a standard-based platform delivered on top of the WebSphere and J2EETM infrastructure taking advantage of Portal technology. IBM Workplace offers flexible server-managed client choices to deliver the right capability to different types of users in a secure, dynamic work environment. Collaborative capabilities such as exchanging instant messages with subject matter experts, creating and managing shared documents or discussions, holding Web conferences, and creating new workplace applications, are integrated into a single user experience.
Figure 12 - Create IBM Workplace wizard
The Create IBM Workplace wizard creates all the components necessary for a production ready, secure workplace environment. The HTTP server is created and configured, the application server is created and configured, and the necessary DB2 databases are created. Then the IBM Workplace products are deployed, configured, and hooked into the databases. If you choose, you can be guided through the steps to tie this Workplace environment into either a new or existing LDAP configuration.
Figure 13 - Create IBM Workplace - Security with LDAP configuration
This wizard secures the Workplace environment by configuring the user repository to use either an existing or new LDAP configuration that it will configure for you. To assist with the difficult LDAP syntax, the Browse utility allows you to navigate the LDAP directory by pointing and clicking rather than possibly entering data incorrectly. If you do choose to enter the LDAP syntax in one of the fields, the values are verified to ensure correctness.
Figure 14 - Manage Workplace environment
Once the server is created, the GUI provides a rich set of management capabilities. You can easily start and stop the entire Web environment using the Start and Stop wizard. These wizards start or stop the HTTP server, all the necessary application servers, and the document rendering server. If you do not remember the URL, click on the provided URL in the middle of the right frame. If you need to see the values that were specifed when this environmet was created, use the View Create Summary feature. Figure 15 is an example of a summary. A link to the advanced Administrative Console is also provided.
Figure 15 - View Create Summary
The creation of a Workplace environment requires many scripts and tasks to be called and run. To view the output of these scripts use the View Creation Logs option.
Starting the Web Administration interface
The IBM Web Administration interface can be started by issuing the following CL command on your IBM i command line:
STRTCPSVR SERVER(*HTTP) HTTPSVR(*ADMIN)
After starting the server, bring up a browser window and enter the following URL: