Sunday, August 1, 2004

Setting up a Wiki in WebSphere Studio Application Developer

WIKIWIKI WEBSPHERE

By Jeff Chilton
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

According to Wikipedia (at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki):

The terms wiki (pronounced 'wickie' or 'weekee') and WikiWiki are used to identify either a specific type of hypertext document collection or the collaborative software used to create it. 'Wiki wiki' means 'super fast' in the Hawaiian language.
A WikiWikiWeb enables documents to be authored collectively in a simple markup language using a web browser. Because most wikis are web-based, the term 'wiki' is usually sufficient. A single page in a wiki is referred to as a 'wiki page,' while the entire body of pages, which are usually highly interconnected, is called 'the wiki.'

Basically, a wiki is just a great piece of collaboration software that is quick to set up, quick to use, and quick to generate a number of benefits. In some ways, a wiki is sort of a low-budget Lotus Workplace Team Collaboration site, without all of the bells and whistles, of course.

There are a number of Open Source wiki implementations available, and quite a few of them are written in Java and are compatible with the WebSphere line of products. For this exercise, I selected JSPWiki (from http://www.jspwiki.org), not for any specific reason over all of the others, but it does work well, is easy to set up and configure, and it does have a number of contributed add-on components.

You can download the software from their site and have a working wiki up and running in the WebSphere Studio environment an amazingly short period of time.

Download the software

The first step in the process is to go out to the JSPWiki download site (at http://www.jspwiki.org/Wiki.jsp?page=JSPWikiDownload) and download the .zip file containing the latest version of the software. At the time of this writing, the current stable release was 2.0.52.

I simply downloaded the pre-compiled binaries, but you can also use Studio to build a JSPWiki instance from source, and if you are really adventurous, you can go out to their CVS (Concurrent Versions System) repository and build from the latest versions that are currently under development.

Once you download the file, you will need to unzip it into a folder. Once that has been accomplished, you will also need to unzip the .war file to a folder, and you will need to unzip the sample pages into a folder of their own, since those come bundled in their own .zip file.