Installing and configuring IBM Business Process Manager on Windows 2012 R2 for Development

Starting my new job at Blue 2.0 and my supervisor gave me a little challenge… to get BPM installed.  Turns out it’s a little bit of a process and I’ve already had to start over once so I thought I’d document my process here.  I’ve decided to use Windows 2012 R2 as my development environment, I’d expect that most IT departments (that are windows based) are going to want to use the newest version of Windows Server so I figure why not make my development environment match a common deployment environment (I’d be interested to see the deployment numbers for base OS for this technology but that’s another day).  You can get a free 180 day evaluation copy of 2012 here:  I’m using the Essentials package so I don’t have to configure absolutely everything.  I’ve installed the server on my VirtualBox VM already and gone through the initial config.  For this virtual box you’ll need at least 40GB of HD space.

Once your server is ready the first thing you’ll want to do is install the .NET 3.5 feature from the Server Manager.  My first time through the install it stopped here as the installer tried but failed to properly install it.  If you’re not familiar with Server 2012 open up the Server Manager from the start menu and click “Add roles and features”.  Go through the wizard and select your server then skip to Features.  We’ll need the top check box “.NET Framework 3.5 Features”.  Hit install and wait for the magic.

You can also install this feature and make it available to your IIS Web Server by selecting “Web Server (IIS) > Web Server > Application Development > .NET Extensibility 3.5” Which will include the necessary feature for you as well.

While this is installing you’ll need to acquire an installation package.  We already had the files downloaded for BPM 8.5.5 but you should be able to obtain them on IBM support portal  if you are signed in.  They also have a pretty cool “Interactive Installation and Configuration Guide” but I noticed that it misses a few things.

I also noticed that if you have any server roles they could conflict with WebSphere.  I was having some serious issues seeing my server from my host so I decided to strip out all of the default roles that were installed.  This could have been an issue with my Firewall configuration but the other roles are not necessary so if you want you can open up the Server Manager, click the “Manage” button and then Remove Roles and Features.  Using the Wizard you can remove the pre-installed roles like the domain controller, DNS server, AD servers, ect…  It will require several restarts but if you keep at it you’ll get them all.  I always checked the box restart if necessary at the top so that I wouldn’t accidentally try to remove to much at once before the other dependencies were gone.

I’m a big fan of snapshots so before starting the BPM installed I took a quick snapshot just in-case there was an issue.  Now since we are working with VirtualBox I find the easiest way to make the files accessible for the install is to put them on an external HD and then from the VM Click “Devices > USB Devices > My External HD”.  You should copy the files form the external to the actual VM file system before running the installer.

Once the files are copied over right click the launchpad64 application and run it as an administrator.  Select the Typical installation.  You’ll want to install the Process Center.  Set your admin username and passwords.   DO NOT USE THE FOLLOWING SPECIAL CHARACTERS: $.  The installer will let you then crash later.  Since this is for development you’ll want to install DB2 express (you may have to re-start the installer as an admin here).  Select “No, I need one installed for me“.  When creating a password here make sure you meet basic complexity requirements otherwise it will let you progress and then fail during install (one special character, one number and avoid the characters specified by the tooltip).   Again, since this is for development I didn’t connect it to a support account.

That’s it, you should now have your very own development environment to break and play with IBM’s BPM technology.  You will need to add some exceptions to your firewall in order to access things like the Process Center Console and the WebSphere Application Server Administrative Console.  Open up Windows firewall and and rules for both ports 9080 and 9043.  Also I’ve noticed that it’s best to use “Run as Administrator” on pretty much everything involved with this software when on Widows otherwise there seems to be a lot of little issues that happen.

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