IBM WebSphere Application Server
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IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS), a software application server, is the flagship product within IBM's WebSphere brand. WAS is built using open standards such as Java EE, XML, and Web Services. It works with a number of Web servers including Apache HTTP Server, Netscape Enterprise Server, Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS), IBM HTTP Server for i5/OS, IBM HTTP Server for z/OS, and IBM HTTP Server for AIX/Linux/Microsoft Windows/Solaris. Uses 9060 port for connection.
IBM has shipped several versions and editions of WAS. In the first beta versions, WAS was called Servlet Express.
Initial release in June, 1998. Was primarily a Java Servlet engine.
This version of WAS was compatible with a JDK 1.2, J2EE 1.0 version. IBM provided many enhancements to the basic J2EE 1.0 spec. Support for OS/400 (now i5/OS) and OS/390 (now z/OS) was added, although the z/OS version maintained a substantially separate codebase until v5.x. Version 3 is distributed in three editions: Standard Edition (SE), Advanced Edition (AE), and Enterprise Edition (EE).
This version was shipped in following editions:
- SE (Standard Edition)
- AE (Advanced Edition)
- EE (Enterprise Edition)
This was a J2EE 1.2 certified application server. It inherited the database-based configuration model from V3.x for all but the single-server edition, which already used an XML datastore.
- AE (Advanced Edition)
- AEs (Advanced Edition single). Single-server edition that was not able to run in a cluster configuration.
- AEd (Developer Edition). Functionally equivalent to AEs, but intended only for non-production development use.
- EE (Enterprise Edition)
The version released on 19 November 2002. This was a J2EE 1.3 certified application server. It was a major rewrite of the V3/V4 codebase and was the first time WebSphere Application Server was coded from a common codebase. Now WAS across all deployment platforms, from Intel x86 to the mainframe, are substantially the same code. The database-based configuration repository was replaced with a replication XML file-based configuration repository. A service called the Deployment Manager had the master copy of the cell configuration, and nodes had the file(s) they needed copied from this master server whenever they changed. V5 also included a miniature version of MQ 5.3 called the embedded Java Message Service (JMS) server.
- Express Edition replaces the Standard Edition. Express now becomes the term to indicate SME-oriented offerings from IBM, across all its software brands.
- Network Deployment. This version supports deployment of a cell configuration with cluster and J2EE failover support. It now also includes Edge Components, previously known as Edge Server. This provides a proxy server, load balancing, and content-based routing.
- Enterprise Edition. This version added a workflow engine, called the Process Choreographer, for the first time but predates the BPEL standard. It also added the first fully supported application threading model called WebSphere Asynchronous Beans.
- WebSphere Application Server for z/OS. This version is essentially the same as the Network Deployment product but is optimized to take full advantage of z/OS features, such as Workload Manager, to leverage the key technologies that make the mainframe indispensable for mission-critical, scalable, and secure workloads.
Released 1 April 2004.
- The main change from V5.0 was a JDK upgrade to 1.4.2 and use of the Jython language for wsadmin scripting support instead of only supporting Java Tcl.
- Network Deployment
- WebSphere Application Server for z/OS
- Version 5.1 for z/OS is the first to support zAAP engines.
- WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation V5.1
- This is the follow on product to WebSphere Application Server Enterprise Edition V5.0. The workflow engine was updated to support BPEL rather than the proprietary FDML format used in V5.0. The product was also repriced and available on all IBM platforms from the Intel environments to the mainframe.
- WebSphere eXtended Deployment (XD)
- For more information please reference the #WebSphere eXtended Deployment section below.
- This version was released on December 31, 2004. It is a Java EE 1.4 compliant application server. Security enhancements include support for JACC 1.0 and WS-Security 1.0.
- Support for Java Standard Edition 1.4
- Community Edition (free, support for fee)
- Code based on Apache Geronimo project
- Many programming model extensions previously found in WebSphere Application Server V5.0 Enterprise Edition were moved out of enterprise and into Express and Base. These APIs included application profile, startup beans, the scheduler, and async beans.
- The JMS engine, now called "WebSphere Platform Messaging," was rewritten in 100% Java and its functionality greatly enhanced. (WebSphere MQ is still supported as the JMS provider and is interoperable with WebSphere Platform Messaging.)
- The clustering was rewritten to use the high availability manager. This manages all singletons in the WebSphere environment and can provide hot recovery for those singletons.
- WebSphere was modified so that a shared file system can be used to store transaction logs and this meant that any cluster member with that shared file system mounted can hot recover in-doubt XA transactions with no external HA software.
- The Deployment Manager's role was eliminated from all clustering runtime operations. It's only required for centralized JMX admin and config changes.
- Now supports running mixed version cells (V5 to V6) in production.
- WebSphere Application Server for z/OS
- Provides the same core functionality as Network Deployment, since it shares a common programming model, but still contains the platform advantages such as:
- z/OS Workload Manager for prioritized management of mixed workloads
- Resource Recovery Services (added transactional integrity for complex, critical transactions)
- Support for security mainframe products such a RACF
- Advanced vertical scaling for application server by featuring a unique control region (integrated control area) server region (where workloads are completed) separation which enables the control region to open and close server regions as needed by the volume of incoming requests
- Parallel Sysplex support for full participation in the Sysplex, enabling advanced failover support and a geographically dispersed environment that seamlessly acts as one with a centralized logging and management facility
- WAS XD as it is known increases the functionality of the application server in two main areas - Manageability and Performance. It also allows makes possible new configurations, such as dynamic virtualization between pools of application servers.
- Under the performance header the ObjectGrid component was added, which is a standalone distributed cache that can be used with any application server (any version with a 1.4 JDK) or with any J2SE 1.4 runtime, including zLinux and z/OS support.
With Version 6, some of the functionality previously found in WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation (WBISF) moved into the new IBM WebSphere Process Server. Other function moved into the other editions (Express and above).
This version was released on June 30, 2006. It is a Java EE 1.4 compliant application server and includes the following function:
- Support for Java Standard Edition 1.5
- Support for running JSR 168 Portlets in the application server
- Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Servlets
- Enhancements to the WebSphere Install Factory
- IBM Support Assistant
- IBM JSF Widget Library
- Simplified Administration
- Improved Certificate and Key Management
- Security Enhancements
- Administration of IBM HTTP Server from WebSphere Admin Console
- Support for Web Services Resource Framework and WS-BusinessActivity (WS-BA)
- Support for JSR160 JMX Remote Connections (From IBM Agents Only)
- Administrative Console Jython Command Assistance
- Enhanced scripting. This version started the deprecation process for the Jacl syntax.
- 64-bit servants and a new Apache-based IBM HTTP Server for z/OS
Support for the EJB 3.0 technology and support for some webservices standards were provided by the EJB feature pack and the webservices feature packs, respectively. These function in these feature packs has been folded into the main product in version 7. Functions in the webservices feature pack include:
- Asynchronous programming model (Limited functional support)
- Multiple Payload structures
- StAX (Streaming API for XML)
- WS-RM (Limited functional support)
- WS-Addressing (Limited functional support)
- JAX-B support
- Policy Set (Limited functional support)
- Secured thin client (Limited functional support)
- SOAP (protocol) Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism (MTOM)
- Supports CGI and CORBA
- This version was released on September 9, 2008. It is a Java EE 5 compliant application server.
Following are the flagship features of WebSphere Application Server Version 7:
- Flexible Management
Flexible Management facilitates administration of a large number of WebSphere Application Server base edition and Network Deployment topologies that might be geographically distributed.
- Business-Level Application
Business-Level Application is used for managing application artifacts independent of packaging or programming models.
- Property Based Configuration
The Property Based Configuration feature simplifies the experience of automating administration: an administrator can update the WebSphere Application Server Version 7 configuration using a simple property file.
WebSphere Extended Deployment
WebSphere Application Server V6 Extended Deployment Edition (WebSphere XD) was released in 2006 as an add-on for WebSphere 6. XD provides advanced features for both administrators who manage multiple Java EE-based applications and developers building advanced applications that require asymmetric clustering techniques. It also has a number of technologies to significantly increase the performance of running applications, including an in-memory database cache and a highly advanced load balancer called the on demand router.
The WebSphere Application Server security model is based on the services provided in the operating system and the Java EE security model. WebSphere Application Server provides implementations of user authentication and authorization mechanisms providing support for various user registries:
- Local operating system user registry
- LDAP user registry
- Federated user registry (as of version 6.1)
- Custom user registry
The authentication mechanisms supported by WebSphere are
- IBM HTTP Server
- Java (software platform)
- Comparison of application servers
- zSeries Application Assist Processor zAAP
- IBM Rational Application Developer
- WebSphere software brand site
- WebSphere Application Server zone -- WAS technical resources via IBM's developerWorks program
- WebSphere Release History
- IBM WebSphere Application Server V6.1, Componentization Overview - Overview of the componentization of the WebSphere Application Server as a set of OSGi bundles.
- List of supported hardware and software
- Billy Newports blog - one of the main architects for XD WPF and ObjectGrid as well as high availability for the WebSphere application server in general
- GSE Nordic WebSphere User Group - large user group in the Nordics (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and the Baltic countries
- World Wide WebSphere User Group
- Hands-on guide to tuning, including using jython scripting
- Recommended Reading List
- Video on IBM WebSphere Application Server Installation
- Video about WebSphere Application Server Scripting and Automationde:WebSphere
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