Websphere Application Server 6

Every J2EE project has difficulties in choosing the Application Server Containers. Even though open source Application Servers like JBoss tries to rule out the giants, still many commercial projects choose the giants as they have already made good impressions. Among the giants IBM’s Websphere and BEA’s Weblogic had equal competition. Many commercial J2EE projects still believe that their commericial product will be secure only with the giants and the downtime of the giant application servers are negotiable.

Now IBM has released Websphere Version 6 and recently I attended IBM’s in-house workshop on WAS 6. After attending the workshop, I realized that WAS 6 is going to be the primary Application Server as it provides most of the solutions to the big commercial J2EE projects.

WebSphere® Application Server V6.0 is the industry’s premier Java™-based application platform, integrating enterprise data and transactions for the dynamic e-business world. Each configuration available delivers a rich application deployment environment with application services that provide enhanced capabilities for transaction management, as well as the security, performance, availability, connectivity, and scalability expected from the WebSphere family of products.

What Websphere V6.0 Offers:

1. Full J2EE V1.4 compatibility, as well as Web services support above and beyond the specification, including a native, enterprise-ready JMS provider.

2. New packaging providing full J2EE 1.4 compatibility across the board, from the base Express offering to the most robust Network Deployment, offering multiple deployment options from single server to clustered, highly available, high-volume configurations.

3. Rapid development and deployment features that reduce development cycle time and maximize the ability to use existing skills and resources.

4. Tight integration with IBM Rational tools, a highly productive development environment built on Eclipse, the open systems development environment.

5. Industry’s broadest cross-platform support.

6. Delivers an advanced, security-rich infrastructure that is extensible through a pluggable architecture.

7. Delivers a single, unified Web browser-based administration across all configuration options.

8. Offers distributed-workload and caching capabilities to intelligently optimize performance

9. Provides enhanced application availability with sophisticated clustering and load-balancing capabilities

My Observation on Websphere V6.0

… WAS 6 has pretty good Administrative Console. Administrative console is built using Struts and JSF technologies.

Hmm…we all know that Websphere Version 5 also had their Administrative Console built using Struts. So what’s special in Version 6 and why they have also used JSF?

The Good News to all of us is they have integrated Tivoli Performance monitor in the admin console itself using the JSF technology. Now all our J2EE Projects can be benchmarked easily in the console.

… They have replaced JMS C Processes with Java Process and embedded the JMS Servers in the Application Servers. In Older versions, once you start your JMS Server you can see list of C Process running in your CPU [Something that starts with ‘amq’].
If you haven’t noticed it yet, try starting JMS Server in Version 5 and look at your Process list [See Task Manager for Windows. Ps –f for Unix].

… Load balancing has improved drastically. According to their benchmarks, they claim that Websphere Version 6 can handle 10,000 Concurrent requests where as Websphere version 5 can handle only 500 concurrent requests.

… They have improved in the areas of Caching

… Websphere Version 6 has Scheduling Services. This is the one I admire the most. Because when I worked with one of the Reporting Project, the project had a module that involves scheduling architecture. And I had to learn Quartz API and write the scheduler service. Now since this is the part of Websphere, developer’s overhead in writing the services is reduced. And now the developers only need to configure the scheduler service and start using it.

… Websphere Version 6 has support for Web services.

Additional Interesting News:

Finally in the workshop, IBM mentioned about the following that seems interesting to me…

… Extended Deployment Server, which is capable of tuning the application server.

… WebSphere Application Server V6.0 delivers Services Oriented Architecture today, across all configurations. The products allows businesses to increase their return on investment and lower their total cost of ownership by reusing existing IT assets using standards based messaging and the latest Web services standards. This translated into reduced costs, reduced time to value, and increased business flexibility.

… WebSphere Application Server V6.0 provides a secure, dynamic platform for businesses. Businesses are able to do more work with less resource with WebSphere Application’s scaling abilities and security features.

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