First a few comments about the install. I have the latest version of OmniFind, 8.5 for a 32bit Windows Server 2003 OS.
The install program will install both WebSphere Application Server and IBM HTTP Server if not already installed on the OS. I got the binaries together and started the install on an empty VM image. The latest fixpack of OmniFind allows you to install on WAS 7.0. The other WebSphere components in the environment are at 6.1 level so to stay consistent I used the same WAS ND 6.1 binaries that came with portal.
Trying to install with WAS ND turned out to be a poor choice. At least this is what I concluded after the install programs (WAS, OmniFind, IHS) finished. The Enterprise Search applications did not start correctly. I did some debugging actions to see what may be the problem: deleting the profile, re-running the install, etc. I rechecked the pre-reqs and saw that the WAS Base edition is what should be used. I'm guessing that it should be possible to make it work with an ND eventually, but thought it would take less time just to uninstall everything and start fresh with a WAS Base version. So that's what I did and everything went smoothly.
Next step was applying the fixpacks. Usually fixpacks are cumulative, but for some reason the instructions say to first install fixpack 1, and then fixpack 4. It goes rather quickly: less than an hour. After the restart, all components were functionning correctly: the http server, the WAS and the OmniFind applications were all up and running.
The next step was to configure a collection and a localhost file system crawler. This went well with no surprises. The crawler crawled, the parser parsed, the indexer indexed and the sample search application returned documents for my search queries.
The next step was configuration of Quickr, WCM, and Connections crawlers. To be continued in my next post.