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Blackboard Help

Preparing Installation Properties For The Q2 2016 Installer

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Release Q2 2016 is a new type of installer, based on Gradle and Maven. The installation process has changed, but ultimately, it is becoming more streamlined. The new installer is run completely from the command line. Blackboard Learn properties are preconfigured in a flat file along with a few settings to define the installation process. There are only a handful of required entries in that file. Most settings have a reasonable default value that only requires an entry if you need to change it.

Preparing the Installer Properties

The new Blackboard Learn installer does not have a User Interface. As such, there are no forms available for collecting the data at install time. In order to specify this information, the installer requires a flat file containing the configuration information previously entered during installation. For the purpose of this document, the configuration file will be named installation.properties, but there is no requirement for a particular filename, as the full path to the file is passed to the installation script as a command line argument.

There are several parameters required by the installer, and a subset of required parameters that are dependent upon the database the system will utilize.

Fresh Installation

Property Description
bbconfig.basedir This is the directory to install Learn into. Generally /usr/local/blackboard or C:/blackboard
bbconfig.file.license This is the full path to the Blackboard License to use when installing Learn
bbconfig.java.home This is the full path to the Java 8 directory, i.e. /usr/local/jdk1.8.0_60
bbconfig.appserver.fullhostname The full hostname of the Learn Application Server
bbconfig.admin.email Administrator email address
bbconfig.smtpserver.hostname The hostname of the SMTP mail server
bbconfig.inst.name Institution name
bbconfig.inst.city Institution city
bbconfig.inst.state Institution state
bbconfig.inst.zip Institution zip code
bbconfig.inst.country Institution country
bbconfig.inst.type Institution type: Developer, K12, Corporate, NAHE, INTL, etc.
antargs.default.users.integration.password Password for user 'integration', used for snapshot integration
antargs.default.users.rootadmin.password Password for user 'root_admin', used for the defunct Virtual Installation feature
antargs.default.users.administrator.password Password for user 'administrator'
antargs.default.users.guest.password Password for user 'guest'
bbconfig.database.datadir The directory to place the database files. This directory must not live in the Blackboard Install Directory.
bbconfig.database.type The type of database. Must be mssql or oracle.
bbconfig.database.server.instancename The instance name of the database
bbconfig.database.server.fullhostname Full hostname of the database server
bbconfig.database.server.systemuserpassword System password for the data base server
antargs.default.vi.db.password BBLEARN database password
antargs.default.vi.stats.db.password BBLEARN_stats database password
antargs.default.vi.report.user.password BBLEARN_report database password
bbconfig.database.admin.password BBLEARN_admin database password
bbconfig.cs.db.cms-user.pass BBLEARN_cms and BBLEARN_cms_doc database password
bbconfig.database.server.instancenametype.oracle The Oracle SID or SERVICE_NAME
bbconfig.oracle.client.drivertype The Oracle Driver Type, i.e. 'thin'
bbconfig.database.indexdir.oracle The directory that houses the Oracle indices

The data directory must be available to the database and the directory MUST exist ahead of time. Since the Blackboard installation directory does not exist prior to a clean install the data directory MUST NOT be under the installation directory.

Sample Installation Properties File

The following example shows what a installation.properties file might look like. For completeness, the settings for both SQL Server and Oracle are listed, but please only use the one that corresponds to your installation.

Windows

#
# Installer Overrides
#
bbconfig.basedir=C:/blackboard
bbconfig.file.license=C:/bbinstaller/license/bb-license.xml
bbconfig.java.home=C:/java/jdk1.8.0_91
#
# Explicitly set Hostname properties
#
bbconfig.appserver.fullhostname=dev.bbdn.local
bbconfig.appserver.machinename=dev.bbdn.local
bbconfig.collabserver.fullhostname.default=dev.bbdn.local
bbconfig.smtpserver.hostname=mail.monument.edu



#
# Use SQL Server
#
bbconfig.database.type=mssql

bbconfig.database.server.portname=1433

bbconfig.database.datadir=C:/mssql/bbdata

bbconfig.database.server.fullhostname=mssql.monument.edu
bbconfig.database.server.instancename=SQLSERVER

bbconfig.database.server.systemuserpassword=mssql

#
# Demonstrate non-required settings
#
bbconfig.tomcat.debug.enable=true
bbconfig.min.heapsize.tomcat=2048m
bbconfig.max.heapsize.tomcat=2048m
bbconfig.max.stacksize.tomcat=1M
bbconfig.jvm.options.extra.tomcat=-XX:+UseCompressedOops -XX:+DoEscapeAnalysis -Xverify:none
bbconfig.group.javascript.files=false
bbconfig.unix.max.open.files=5000

#
# Front-End Settings
#
bbconfig.frontend.fullhostname=dev.bbdn.local
bbconfig.frontend.protocol=https
bbconfig.frontend.portnumber=8443

#
# Installer-set passwords
#
antargs.default.users.guest.password=password
antargs.default.users.administrator.password=password
antargs.default.users.integration.password=password
antargs.default.users.rootadmin.password=password
antargs.default.vi.report.user.password=mssql
antargs.default.vi.db.password=mssql
antargs.default.vi.stats.db.password=mssql
antargs.default.vi.report.user.password=mssql
bbconfig.database.admin.password=mssql
bbconfig.cs.db.cms-user.pass=mssql

#
# Institution Information
#
bbconfig.admin.email=admin@monument.edu
bbconfig.inst.city=Washington
bbconfig.inst.country=USA
bbconfig.inst.name=Monument University
bbconfig.inst.state=DC
bbconfig.inst.type=NAHE
bbconfig.inst.zip=20036

Linux

#
# Installer Overrides
#
bbconfig.basedir=/usr/local/blackboard
bbconfig.file.license=/usr/local/license/bb-license.xml
bbconfig.java.home=/usr/local/jdk1.8.0_91
#
# Explicitly set Hostname properties
#
bbconfig.appserver.fullhostname=dev.bbdn.local
bbconfig.appserver.machinename=dev.bbdn.local
bbconfig.collabserver.fullhostname.default=dev.bbdn.local
bbconfig.smtpserver.hostname=mail.monument.edu



#
# Use Oracle
#
bbconfig.database.type=oracle
bbconfig.database.server.portnumber=1521

bbconfig.database.datadir=/usr/local/oracle/bbdata
bbconfig.database.indexdir.oracle=/usr/local/oracle/bbdata

bbconfig.database.server.fullhostname=oracle.monument.edu
bbconfig.database.server.instancename=ORACLE.monument.edu
bbconfig.database.server.instancenametype.oracle=BBLEARN

bbconfig.database.server.systemuserpassword=oracle
bbconfig.oracle.client.drivertype=thin

#
# Demonstrate non-required settings
#
bbconfig.tomcat.debug.enable=true
bbconfig.min.heapsize.tomcat=2048m
bbconfig.max.heapsize.tomcat=2048m
bbconfig.max.stacksize.tomcat=1M
bbconfig.jvm.options.extra.tomcat=-XX:+UseCompressedOops -XX:+DoEscapeAnalysis -Xverify:none
bbconfig.group.javascript.files=false
bbconfig.unix.max.open.files=5000

#
# Front-End Settings
#
bbconfig.frontend.fullhostname=dev.bbdn.local
bbconfig.frontend.protocol=https
bbconfig.frontend.portnumber=8443

#
# Installer-set passwords
#
antargs.default.users.guest.password=password
antargs.default.users.administrator.password=password
antargs.default.users.integration.password=password
antargs.default.users.rootadmin.password=password
antargs.default.vi.report.user.password=oracle
antargs.default.vi.db.password=oracle
antargs.default.vi.stats.db.password=oracle
antargs.default.vi.report.user.password=oracle
bbconfig.database.admin.password=oracle
bbconfig.cs.db.cms-user.pass=oracle

#
# Institution Information
#
bbconfig.admin.email=admin@monument.edu
bbconfig.inst.city=Washington
bbconfig.inst.country=USA
bbconfig.inst.name=Monument University
bbconfig.inst.state=DC
bbconfig.inst.type=NAHE
bbconfig.inst.zip=20036

Upgrade

The Q2 2016 release contains an upgrade for ActiveMQ. It is important that the ACTIVEMQ_MSGS table is empty before performing your upgrade. If you are a self-hosted customer and need assistance with this action please open a case with Client Support.

If upgrading an existing Blackboard Learn installation, the minimum number of required parameters list is much smaller.

Here is a sample installer.properties file containing the mimumum properties:

Windows

# Minimum Required Parameters for Upgrade to Q2 2016

antargs.default.vi.db.password=oracle
antargs.default.users.administrator.password=######
antargs.default.users.integration.password=######
antargs.default.users.rootadmin.password=######
bbconfig.file.license=C:/license/blackboard-license.xml
bbconfig.java.home=C:/java/jdk1.8.0_91

Linux

# Minimum Required Parameters for Upgrade to Q2 2016

antargs.default.vi.db.password=oracle
antargs.default.users.administrator.password=######
antargs.default.users.integration.password=######
antargs.default.users.rootadmin.password=######
bbconfig.file.license=/usr/local/license/blackboard-license.xml
bbconfig.java.home=/usr/local/jdk1.8.0_91

Note the use of '######' as the passwords. The upgrade process should ignore the values in these parameters, as you are upgrading and existing system that is already aware of these values.

That said, it is possible to copy the bb-config.properties file into place as your installer.properties with only a few minor tweaks. Of course, you MUST create the installer.properties file in a directory that DOES NOT exist in the current Blackboard installation directory.

In order to use your existing bb-config.properties, follow this workflow:

  1. Copy your bb-config.properties to a new location: cp /usr/local/blackboard/config/bb-config.properties /usr/local/installer/installer.properties
  2. Edit the installer.properties file in your favorite text editor.
  3. Remove the following entries:
    • bbconfig.version.number
    • bbconfig.os.file.separator
    • bbconfig.os.path.separator
    • bbconfig.jvm.options.extra.tomcat
  4. Add the following entries:
    • antargs.default.users.administrator.password
    • antargs.default.users.guest.password
    • antargs.default.users.integration.password
    • antargs.default.users.rootadmin.password

Once the upgrade is complete, you can add any custom jvm options back into the bb-config.properties file and run a PushConfigUpdates. Java 8 deprecated several JVM options. You can read more here.