My Latest Nightmare... Installing IBM FileNet 5.2

I recently worked on a project where I had to develop a solution that can
interact with instances of IBM's FileNet P8 and installing FileNet was an utter nightmare.  Throughout the years I have encountered & used IBM solutions and systems in many capacities but I can honestly say this was the worst experience I ever had with an IBM solution.

The project has a really tight deadline and my time to hack a solution was very short. Upon procuring the FileNet software I first had to spend about 2 hours on the IBM Passport site which is where I had to hunt down all 11 install packages that clock in at over 10 GB compressed. The IBM Passport site is not user friendly at all you'll probably spend a few minutes figuring out how to find the packages that you need. I just ran searches in the "Find By" name for each install package.  Be sure to download the proper packages for your particular OS.

After I had all of the files I began the Windows Server 2008 installation using these install instructions IBM FileNet Single Server Install which are utterly worthless.  The FileNet composite installer is supposed to make the single server install really easy effortless but I found out the hard way this isn't the case.  I ran the Composite installer and it read Step 1 of 28 as it chugged along it crashed at step 3 of 28 with a truly obscure error.  I ran it again and it failed at step 3 again. At this point I got into hacker mode and started to look at the innards of the installation packages.  I was deeply surprised to find over 86 batch files that are used to perform the Composite server installation.  I haven't touched batch files in over 4 years but I was still vaguely familiar with them so I started to debug and hack their stuff.

After days of trail & error I was able to finally successfully install a working
copy of FileNet so that I could then proceed to write my app which I really only had about 48 hours to write & test. I was successful in my en devour but with no help from IBM.

Most ppl that know me know that I am a very passionate open source proponent and stories like these just make me even more passionate about opens source software.  I understand that software installs never go as planned but I feel that they should especially when you have to pay over $8,000 for a copy of FileNet or any software.

In the end I documented all of my actions and I've open sourced my hacked IBM FileNet 5.2 install scripts.  So if you're a Sys Admin or a user with a valid FileNet install license looking to install a single instance server then you'll def need to use my hack.

Get the instructions & FileNet scripts off my github/ariv3ra

If anyone from IBM is reading - Please fix your shit!  We pay too much money for your software already and at the very least we should be able to install it.



  1. Wow. Thanks for going through the pain. I'm in the exact same boat. Have to develop for filenet but need to install filenet first. The customer is actually using an earlier version of Filenet that has no composite installer. That's like a 300 point process that I mucked up royally somewhere in the process.

    So I decided to install 5.2 using your instructions, and it did complete. Whether its working correctly or not is another issue. Thanks so much for posting your experience

    Incidentally, was your project an attempt to deliver files to filenet? Did you use the .net SDK or Java or something else? Just curious.

    Thanks again. I can not fathom how a company as large and succesful as IBM gets a way with this Mickey Mouse crap. I feel your pain.

  2. Glad I could help. I build a connector library for an api service call that basically enables access to most storage & content management systems. I built it in Java by the lib is a component in the apiDoc platform. Signup as a developer & check it out.

  3. i got a failure at Step 16. i open cpit_install_stdout, i saw too many error concern to database. am i wrong in database install step?
    i need your help!

  4. Hey Manh sorry for very delayed response to your comment. I'm not receiving notifications when ppl leave comments so I'll have to look into it.
    Let me know if you still need help. Sorry again!


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