Integrating Watson Explorer with Anti-Virus Software

Many systems today run background processes or system services, such as anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-malware packages, that regularly scan the filesystems on a computer system. These packages check new and updated files for known signatures of viruses and other problematic software. On Microsoft Windows systems, the executable files produced by IBM as part of Watson™ Explorer are all digitally signed to identify their origin and to verify their contents.

If you are running such scanning software, make sure that you exclude the directory where you installed Watson Explorer (c:\Program Files\IBM\WEX\ on Microsoft Windows systems, and /opt/ibm/WEX on Linux systems), as well as any other location(s) in which you are storing data (crawl, index, and configuration data), from the list of directories to be scanned. Index files created by Watson Explorer are large binary files, and cannot contain viruses or dangerous software. They can also change relatively frequently, depending on the index refresh mode that you select or the frequency with which you manually update your index files. Scanning these files will hurt the performance of your system without providing any potential benefit. Anti-Virus scanning can also permanently corrupt an index by attempting an automatic replacement of index code that happens to match the signature of a known virus.

If your system security policies require that all executable binaries and libraries must be scanned for infection, you can simply exclude the following sub-directories of your Watson Explorer installation directory, as well as any other directories in which you are storing data:

  • Engine/cache
  • Engine/data
  • Engine/debug
  • Engine/tmp
  • ResultsModule/wlp/usr/servers/ResultsModule/apps/ResultsModule/WEB-INF/db
  • AppBuilder/zookeeper-data

These locations contain indices, collections, configuration data, applications, and temporary files produced and used by Watson Explorer, but do not contain any binary applications or libraries.

In addition to the negative performance impact of scanning files that do not need to be searched for viruses or malware, not excluding your Watson Explorer directories from virus scanning can also prevent standard Watson Explorer operations, such as pushing staging indices to live indices and cleaning temporary files, from operating correctly. Most anti-virus software keeps files open as they are being scanned, which will prevent Watson Explorer from deleting those files if it needs to do so.