WebSphere Portal Admin Interview Questions Pdf

1. What is Portal?
Answer: Portal is nothing but a web/J2EE application installed on an application server. Portal provides content aggregation, personalization, authorization, and authentication.

2. What is local rendering and remote rendering?
Answer: The web content management portlets can be rendered local or remotely. A local rendering portlet displays content on the same portal as the instance where the web content manager is installed. A remote rendering portlet displays Web content on a different portal server than the instance where Web Content Manager is installed.

3. What is an Application group and why would I want to use it?
Answer: Application groups is a concept that allows you to define user groups within the database user registry with members (users or groups) contained in the LDAP user registry you configured.

The benefit of application groups is that you can create Groups that are only used in WebSphere Portal particularly in scenarios where there is Read-only LDAP or special group set up specific to the portal.

4. Explain Portal architecture?
Answer: The core implementation of the portal is UI, hosted by a Portal server. The HTTP requests, HTML responses, and returning appropriate portal pages are handled by the Portal UI. Enterprise Web application also can be handled by the Portal Server.

The portal architecture has the following:

Automaton Server: This server performs the management of job scheduling and implementation of a portal. It accesses all remote crawlers and profile services retrieved and stored from a remote database.

Image Server: This server hosts images and other web page content used by web services and a portal. With this configuration, large static files are to be sent directly to the browser without portal server impacts.

Search Server: This server indexes and searches all the information, applications, communities, documents, web sites through the portal.

Collaboration Server: Web content publication and management for portals and web applications are supported by this server. Its functionality can be accessed by a remote web service through Enterprise Web Development kit.

Content Server: Publication and management of web content for portals and web applications along with form-based publishing, branding, templates, content expiration are allowed by this server.

Authentication Server: This server handles the portal authentication for users and remote services can be accessed through EDK.

Remote Servers: Web services written using the EDK are hosted by remote servers. The servers can be in different countries, on different platforms and domains.

5. What is LDAP realm support and why would I want to use it?
Answer: Realm allows you to group users from one or more LDAP trees of one user registry and expose them as a coherent user population to WebSphere Portal; this is also referred to as horizontal partitioning. Realms allow flexible user management with various configuration options; for example, you can combine principals from one or more corporate LDAP tree. A realm must be mapped to a Virtual Portal to allow the realm’s defined user population to login to the Virtual Portal. 

6. How do you enable temporary and extended trace logging for WebSphere Portal?
Answer: Temporary traces can be set for a temporary period by using the administration portlet Enable Tracing or the IBM WebSphere Application Server administrative console and also using the Enable Tracing portlet in the portal administration page. 

To enable extended trace settings for a longer period of time, that is, for more than one session, switch them on in the WebSphere Application Server configuration, save the updates and restart the portal server.

7. What are different steps in creating content for WebSphere portal WCM?
Answer: The following are different steps involved in creating the content for the WebSphere portal WCM:

  • Create Library
  • Create Workflow
  • Create Site area (Sites are removed in WebSphere Portal 7.0)
  • Create Authoring templates
  • Create Presentation templates
  • Map authoring and presentation templates

8. What are the different states of the syndication process?
Answer: Idle: No syndication is occurring.

Pending: A request has been made to the syndicator, but it has yet to initiate a request to the syndication application.

Queued: The syndicator has sent a request to the syndication application, but syndication is not yet active.

Active: Syndication is occurring between the syndicator and subscriber.

Disabled: Syndication is currently disabled.

9. What is the difference between personalization and customization?
Answer: Personalization means to serve the user or consumer with user-specific data depending on his interests collected over time. A real-world example would be google serving ads basing on the recent search you made. Customization is ability provided to the user to change the layout, styling of the page and save it.

10. What is the difference between Application Server and Portal Server?
Answer: Application servers extend the ability of a Web server to handle Web application requests, and enable a server to generate a dynamic, customized response to a client request. A portal server extends the application server by providing a portlet container that can run portlets and create portal a website that provides users with a single point of access to Web-based resources by aggregating those resources in one place.

11. What are different modes available in Websphere Portal?
Answer: Apart for standard modes ( view, edit, help) it provides edit_ defaults and configures mode.

12. What are Authoring and Presentation Templates?
Answer: Authoring Template: This template is defined using authoring portlet, where we define the access information, form properties, and default content. It does not contain any information for presentation and The elements in this form are linked to the presentation template.

Presentation Template: This allows to change the look of a page without having to update what is being displayed on a page. It will allow defining Page style, Page layout and map element to the authoring templates.

13. What are the steps involved in deploying themes and skins in a clustered production WebSphere portal environment?
Answer: Export the Web Sphere was.ear (Portal EAR) using wsadmin.Use Ear Expander tool to expand the exported was.ear file.Copy the updated themes and skins into../themes/Html,/skins/HTML folder.Use Ear Expander tool to collapse the EAR directory into an EAR file. Use wsadmin to update the WPS.ear to complete the deployment of updated themes and skins.

14. What is a portlet container and where will I find one?
Answer: A portlet container runs portlets and provides them with the required runtime environment. A portlet container contains portlets and manages their lifecycle. It also provides persistent storage for portlet preferences. A portlet container receives requests from the portal to execute requests on the portlets hosted by it. A portlet container is not responsible for aggregating the content produced by the portlets. It is the responsibility of the portal to handle the aggregation.
A portal and a portlet container can be built together as a single component of an application suite or as two separate components of a portal application.

15. What is the difference between Application Server and Portal Server?
Answer: Application servers extend the ability of a Web server to handle Web application requests, and enables a server to generate a dynamic, customized response to a client request. A portal server extends the application server by providing a portlet container that can run portlets and create portal a website that provides users with a single point of access to Web-based resources by aggregating those resources in one place.

16. How do you stop portal traffic to the node being upgraded in 24×7 cluster upgrade process?
Answer: Locate the cluster member being upgraded, and change the value in the Configured weight column from a value to zero and make sure the plugin config information is propagated to the webserver to stop traffic.

17. What portal resources can’t be separated for the virtual portal?
Answer:

  • Themes and skins.
  • Vault segments and vault slots.
  • Supported clients and markups.
  • Composite applications and templates.
  • Policies.

18. How do I suppress the min and max buttons in the JSR 168 portlets?
Answer: You cannot do this in the portlet because these buttons are provided by the portal. Thus, your portal needs to not render these buttons for a specific portlet. In WebSphere Portal, you can do this by creating a special skin.

19. What is Web Content Management System (WCMS)?
Answer: Web Content management system is a software system that helps build and manage Web entities (Html pages, documents, etc.) Once setup is complete it provides templates for authoring, workflow management to the content. It is easy to use for a nontechnical user.

20. What is the PortletContext interface?
Answer: The portlet view of the portlet container is defined by PortletContext. It allows the availability of resources to the portlet. Using this context, the portlet log can be accessed and URL references to resources can be obtained. There is always only one context per portlet application per JVM.

21. What is Ripplestart?
Answer: Ripplestart is to restart the WAS cluster. It first stops the JVM and then starts it. By doing ripple start you ensure only one JVM is down at one time hence no downtime to the applications. 

22. What are virtual portals?
Answer: Virtual portal is the same as a base portal which can run on the same JVM. We can have as many as 150 virtual portals in a single installation. It will be separate in all respects but share the same system resource of the server.

23. Explain portlet lifecycle?
Answer: A portlet is managed through a well-defined life cycle that defines how it is loaded,
instantiated and initialized, how it handles requests from clients, and how it is taken out
of service. This life cycle of a portlet is expressed through the init, process action,
render and destroy methods of the Portlet interface.

24. What is an Application group and why would I want to use it?
Answer: Application groups is a concept that allows you to define user groups within the database user registry with members (users or groups) contained in the LDAP user registry you configured. The benefit of application groups is that you can create Groups that are only used in WebSphere Portal particularly in scenarios where there is Read-only LDAP or special group set up specific to the portal.

25. What are workflows?
Answer: A workflow is a sequence of steps that are followed in creating approved content. In WebSphere Portal, A workflow contains one or more stages. Every stage contains one or more actions, the following are different Workflow actions available in WebSphere Publish, Expire, Email, Scheduled Move, Custom Actions.

26. List me the steps involved in building a release in WebSphere Portal?
Answer: If you have a completely new installation of the staging server and the production server:

  • Install the staging server, then install the production server.
  • Develop a release on the staging server.
  • Build the release on the staging server.
  • Empty portal contents on the production server by running the WPSconfig.sh|bat action-empty-portal task.
  • Import that releases onto the production server. Refer to Transferring a complete configuration for information.

If you already have a production server without a staging system:

  • Export the release of your production server.
  • Install an empty staging server using one of the following two methods:
  • Install the staging server with the flag -W empty Portal.active=True.
  • After installing and configuring the staging server, run the WP Sconfig.sh|bat action-empty-portal task.
  • Import the production release onto the staging server. Refer to Transferring a complete configuration for information.
  • Develop and build a new release on the staging server.
  • Export that new release from the staging server.
  • Use Release Builder to generate the differential between the two releases.
  • Import the differential onto the production server.

27. What is the difference between personalization and customization?
Answer: Personalization: It means to serve the user or consumer with user-specific data depending on his interests collected over time. A real-world example would be google serving ads basing on the recent search you made.

Customization: It is ability provided to the user to change the layout, styling of the page and save it.

28. What are the steps involved in editing WebSphere Member Manager (wmm.xml) files on a federated node?
Answer: On the primary node of the WebSphere Portal cluster, check out the files using ./WPSconfig.sh check-out-wmm-cfg-files-from-dmgr task.

  • Make any changes to the Member Manager files. The files can be edited in the portal_server_root/wmm directory on the WebSphere Portal node.
  • When you have completed your changes, check the files back in using ./WPSconfig.sh check-in-wmm-cfg-files-to-dmgr.

29. Where is your web server hosted?
Answer: Again explain about your supported application architecture. However, in a typical production environment for the Internet-facing applications, Web servers would be in DMZ and application server in a core network.

This means you must have necessary ports allowed in the firewall between web servers to an application server. 

30. List me the steps involved in building a release in web Sphere Portal?
Answer: If you have a completely new installation of the staging server and the production server: Install the staging server, then install the production server. Develop a release on the staging server.

Build the release on the staging server. Empty portal contents on the production server by running the WP Config. sh|bat action-empty-portal task.Import that releases onto the production server. Refer to Transferring a complete configuration for information. If you already have a production server without a staging system: Export the release of your production server. Install an empty staging server using one of the following two methods: Install the staging server with the flag -W empty Portal.active=True.After installing and configuring the staging server, run the WPS config.sh|bat action-empty-portal task. Import the production release onto the staging server. Refer to Transferring a complete configuration for information. Develop and build a new release on the staging server. Export that new release from the staging server. Use Release Builder to generate the differential between the two releases. Import the differential onto the production server.

31. What can you do with XML access scripts?
Answer: XML access is command-line utility used for exporting and importing portal configurations. It can be used for backing up the configuration of certain environments, for loading new configurations (for new portlets or pages, for example), or for updating existing portlets when a new WAR file is provided by the development.

32. What changes need to be done to view changes to your theme and skins JSPs without restarting the portal server?
Answer: You need to enable automatic JSP loading by setting reloading Enable property to true IBM-web-ext.XML file of the WPS.ear.

33. What are the steps involved in deploying themes and skins in a clustered production WebSphere portal environment?
Answer:

  • Export the WebSphere WPS.ear (Portal EAR) using wsadmin.
  • Use Ear Expander tool to expand the exported WPS.ear file.
  • Copy the updated themes and skins into ../themes/html, ../skins/html folder.
  • Use Ear Expander tool to collapse the EAR directory into an EAR file.
  • Use ws admin to update the WPS.ear to complete the deployment of updated themes and skins.

34. What portal resources are scoped for the virtual portal?
Answer:

Portal pages.
Portlet instances.
Portal Search Engine search services and search collections. This includes search content sources.

35. What is the purpose of XML Access configuration file Export.xml & ExportRelease.xml? Whatis the difference? & When will you use one over the other?
Answer: Export. XML exports the complete portal configuration and useful when transferring configurations between development installations. Export Release. XML exports the complete portal configuration from the release domain as required by the portal Release Builder tool and useful when transferring different release configurations between staging and production environments.

36. What are the different states of the syndication process?
Answer: Idle: No syndication is occurring.

Pending: A request has been made to the syndicator, but it has yet to initiate a request to the syndication application.

Queued: The syndicator has sent a request to the syndication application, but syndication is not yet active.

Active: Syndication is occurring between the syndicator and subscriber.

Disabled: Syndication is currently disabled.

37. How is the inter portlet communication carried out in JSR 168 portlet?
Answer: The inter portlet communication for JSR 168 in Websphere portal can be done using Dyna cache or shared library. We can create a hash map or any data structure, where we can store an object that needs to be transported with a unique key and retrieve it from the receiving portlet

38. What is CSA?
Answer:  Client-side aggregation (CSA) is a new method of rendering a WebSphere Portal page that moves the rendering workload from the server to the client. It is made possible by the Representational State Transfer (REST) services introduced in WebSphere Portal 6.1.

In the traditional server-side aggregation (SSA) rendering, the page and each of the portlets is completely rendered on the server, using JSPs, and returned to the client in one big response.

In contrast, in CSA, we request only the pieces of information from the server that are required to update the page as a result of the user’s interactions with the page.

For example, if a page contains four portlets and the user clicks a link in one of the portlets, only that portlet is updated. This means the server must render only one portlet, instead of four portlets plus the theme for an interaction with a single portlet.

The REST services also take greater advantage of caching. Since each individual artifact can be independently cache-able, the client ends up retrieving a greater number of responses directly out of cache, further reducing the server workload.

39. What is the purpose of the Release Builder tool in WebSphere Portal?
Answer: Release Builder enables management of release configurations independent of user configurations and used during the staging of follow-on releases of WebSphere portals, configurations, and artifacts need to be moved between systems.

40. What is the purpose of XMLAccess configuration file Export.xml & ExportRelease.xml? What is the difference & When will you use one over the other?
Answer: Export.xml exports the complete portal configuration and useful when transferring configurations between development installations.

Export Release.xml exports the complete portal configuration from the release domain as required by the portal ReleaseBuilder tool and useful when transferring different release configurations between staging and production environments.

41. What is the PortletSession interface?
Answer: User identification across many requests and transient information storage about the user is processed by the Portlet Session interface. One Portlet Session is created per portlet application per client.

The Portlet Session interface provides a way to identify a user across more than one request and to store transient information about that user.

The storing of information is defined in two scopes:  APPLICATION SCOPE and PORTLET SCOPE.

APPLICATION SCOPE: All the objects in the session are available to all portlets, servlets, JSPs of the same portlet application, by using APPLICATION SCOPE.

PORTLET SCOPE: All the objects in the session are available to the portlet during the requests for the same portlet window. The attributes persisted in the PORTLET SCOPE are not protected from other web components.

42. What are workflows in WCM?
Answer: A workflow is a sequence of steps that are followed in creating approved content. In WebSphere Portal, A workflow contains one or more stages. Every stage contains one or more actions, the following are different Workflow actions available in WebSphere Publish, Expire, Email, Scheduled Move, Custom Actions. 

43. Can application run without any issue if DMGR is down?
Answer: Yes, DMGR down doesn’t impact existing running application. However, if you need to make any changes or deployment through DMGR, then that would be affected.

44. What are the common issues you have experienced?
Answer: You should always be honest about your expertise, however, to give you an idea:

  • Virtual host not defined
  • Logs not moving
  • Internal Server Error
  • OutOfMemory exception
  • Slowness
  • JVM not starting
  • High CPU/Memory/Disk utilization

45. What is Web DAV? What are the theme components stored in it?
Answer: Web DAV (web-based distributed authoring and versioning) is nothing but an extra set of methods using HTTP for managing documents. In WebSphere portal, all the static components of the theme are stored in Web DAV. This is one of the options for storing the theme. We can also load theme as a .war file.

46. What are the steps involved in editing WebSphere Member Manager (wmm.xml) files on a federated node?
Answer: On the primary node of the WebSphere Portal cluster, check out the files using ./WPSconfig.sh check-out-wmm-cfg-files-from-dmgr task.
Make any changes to the Member Manager files. The files can be edited in the portal_server_root/wmm directory on the WebSphere Portal node.
When you have completed your changes, check the files back in using ./WPSconfig.sh check-in-wmm-cfg-files-to-dmgr.

47. What are the different types of credential vault segments?
Answer: Vault segment is the partition of the vault.

There are two types of segments:

  • Administration managed
  • User managed

48. How would you deal with slow application complaint from clients?
Answer: Slowness could cause due to various reasons, and it’s essential to identify if it’s from WebSphere or some other components. To isolate, you can check the following.

49. What is session affinity?
Answer: I am a text block. Click the edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sits amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper Mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

50. What are the 3 different ways of installing a portlet application in WebSphere Portal?
Answer: Install a portlet using the portal administration page using Web Modules portlet.
Install a portlet using XML access tool.
Pre-deploy a portlet as a standard EAR by installing the portlet WAR file in WAS console and then registering the portlet using XML access.

51. What is the Credential Vault?
Answer: In WebSphere portal, the credential vault is the repository to store the user id and password. We can use credential vault service API to store and retrieve them programmatically.

52. What would you do when JVM is consuming 100% CPU & Memory on a server?
Answer: First of all, identify which JVM has high utilization. Take a thread dump of identified JVM for investigation and restart the JVM as a workaround to cool down the CPU/Memory.

53. Can you create a DB connection in render phase? Explain the reason?
Answer: Yes we can create DB connection in render phase of the portlet. But it is not suggested to create one in render phase because it will be called every time any other portlet on the page is changed and may result in stale DB connections.

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