Basics of pdadmin: How to open the shell and authenticate yourself

This is the first in the series of posts that explain how to complete various tasks with ‘pdadmin’ command line tool. All versions of IBM Security Access Manager for Web (formerly known as IBM Tivoli Access Manager for e-Business) come with this tool, which sometimes makes it much more useful than Web Portal Manager UI. Here I will cover the basics – how to open the pdadmin shell and how to authenticate yourself.

There are several possible ways to get to the pdadmin prompt.

  • Open command prompt on your installation and type ‘pdadmin’ – usually the binaries directory that includes pdadmin tool is a part of the system path. But if this does not work, you can find pdadmin executable in the Policy Director’s “bin” directory. Typical path is “C:\Program Files\Tivoli\Policy Director\bin” on Windows systems and “/opt/PolicyDirector/bin” on UNIX.
  • New in v7.0: Use the so-called REST API, which is in fact simple HTTP interface to pdadmin utility. More about it in later posts.
  • In the new virtual appliance edition (also available in v7.0) you can log in to the appliance console, and then find the pdadmin prompt (covered up as ”admin” item) under “wga” menu.

The first thing you have to do after the pdadmin prompt was opened is to authenticate your session to the server. This task is pretty straightforward.

pdadmin> login
Enter User ID: sec_master
Enter Password: ********
pdadmin sec_master>

Note that there is no need to issue explicit login command when working via HTTP API, since the authentication credentials are specified in the dedicated section of the HTTP payload.

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