Endeca: Upgrade (5.1.3 to 6.1.4A)

Over the past month or so, I have been working on upgrading an Endeca system that currently processes about 150,000 records. The current system runs on Endeca MDEX Engine v5.1.3. The latest version at the time of writing this post, is 6.1.4A.

I decided to work on a VirtualBox Virtual machine, running Windows Server 2008 R2.  I then installed all the Endeca components including CAS 3.0.0, Developer Studio 6.1.0, Platform Services 6.1.0, etc, on the Virtual machine.  I used “Deployment Template 3.2” to create a new instance of Endeca for the upgraded system.

I amended the new AppConfig.xml to reference the same information as in 5.1.3.  I didn’t overwrite the new AppConfig.xml, as I didn’t want to lose any version specific settings (such as XQuery – see below).

I then copied across all the pipeline configuration from 5.1.3 and opened the pipeline in Developer Studio.  Developer Studio then upgraded the pipeline to the new version.

I tried an initial baseline update, but it didn’t work straight away.

The points I discovered whilst implementing the new system, are as follows:

  • The “AppConfig.XML” now incorporates a script to load XQuery modules.  I used a text compare tool to compare the AppConfig.XML file from 5.1.3 with 6.1.4A, and this was the most obvious difference.
  • As the “Spider” component has been deprecated, I used the CAS Web Crawler to crawl a URL (used for reading reports).
    • I configured the Web Crawler to write the output to a Record Store instance, using the procedures defined in the “Endeca Content Acquisition System – Web Crawler Guide – Version 3.0.0 – May 2011” documentation.
    • I ran a full crawl, again using the CAS documentation, and then amended the Baseline Update script, to run the crawl:
      • CALL EndecaCAS3.0.0binweb-crawler.bat -d 1 -c c:endecasystemwebcrawl -s c:endecasystemwebcrawlsites.lst
    • “-d 1” refers to the depth of the crawl
    • “c:endecasystemwebcrawl” refers to the configuration folder (containing the recordstore-configuration.xml and site.xml files).
    • “c:endecasystemwebcrawlsites.lst” contains a list of the site URLs to be crawled.
    • I then added “Record Adapter” to the pipeline referring to the Record Store, as per the steps in the “Endeca Content Acquisition System – Quick Start Guide – Version 3.0.0 – May 2011” documentation.
  • Make sure the Dimensions and Properties are set up correctly.  It helps to have Developer Studio open with the original pipeline (i.e. 5.1.3), and the new pipeline (i.e. 6.1.4A).  Check each property/dimension and make sure they are OK.
  • Ensure the Property/Dimension Mappings are correct in the “Property Mapper” component.
  • Ensure the “Combine records” is ticked in the “Record Cache” component (this might be dependent on how the data is extracted.

I then successfully ran a baseline update, and compares the results using the reference application.

I hope you find this useful.  Please add any comments below if you need any further information.

C

Endeca: How do you show all dimension values even if no results will be returned?

Hi.

I have a .NET web site using Endeca, that references a three-level externally managed dimension.

An example of this dimension is:

  • Level 1: Dairy free, meat free, gluten free

    • Level 2: Meat free

      • Level 3: Tofu

    • Level 2: Dairy free

However, because there are no results for Meat free or Tofu, these are not showing in the application.

I have enabled the DeadEnds Dgraph option in the AppConfig.XML file, but this only shows the Meat free option, not Tofu.

Hope someone can help.

Endeca: “Unknown Host Exception using eaccmd”

Earlier today, one of the database servers that I manage wasn’t responding. This turned out to be due to a Windows Update that caused the server to restart, but the server didn’t come back properly. We restarted the server again and it seemed OK.

Because this happened in the middle of an Endeca “Baseline Update”, the website that referenced Endeca wasn’t responding either. This was due to locks that Endeca puts in place to prevent other baseline or partial updates from running.

However, when I ran the following command to check for Endeca locks, I got an error:

F:\Endeca\MyApp\control>eaccmd list-flags --app MyApp

The error was:

An error occurred while trying to communicate with EAC; nested exception is:
java.net.UnknownHostException: [old server name]
Make sure the EAC host and port are correct. You can use the –verbose option for more information.

Looking on the Endeca support site, I discovered the following solution:

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