IBM® WEBSPHERE APPLICATION SERVER (WAS)

HISTORY | VERSIONS | VIDEO | PACKAGES | DEPLOYMENT | COMPONENTS | FAQ

WebSphere Application Server is an IBM Java, Enterprise Edition (JEE) runtime environment that provides a framework for developing, delivering, and accessing Java applications. WebSphere Application Server is middleware that is deployed in the middle between database and servers, for example, at the back end and web clients and web servers at the front end. WebSphere Application Server provides the framework for integrating Java applications with a myriad of client devices, business applications, and systems.

History of WebSphere Application Server (was)

The first version of WebSphere Application Server was released in 1998 and was, primarily, a Java servlet engine. This first version was developed before the full capabilities of the JEE platform existed, including Enterprise Java Bean (EJB) technology. The first major release of WebSphere Application Server was version 3.5. Version 4.0 was released in 2001 and took a big leap forward as a full J2EE 1.2 certified runtime. This version, however, still utilized a rational database model and required DB2, or another database, to operate. Version 5 incorporated a complete re-design, utilizing XML-based configuration and removing the need for a database. Version 5 was the first version where all varieties of the product were based on common code. Since then, the runtime has developed significantly, supporting and incorporating many open-source frameworks.

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WebSphere Application Server product versions

Websphere Version Latest Fix Pack Release Date End of Support by IBM Java SE Version
Liberty (continuous delivery) 19.0.0.12 June 2016 N/A 6 until version 17.0.0.2
7.x since version 19.0.0.1
9.0 9.0.5.6 April 2019 N/A 8
8.5.5 8.5.5.19 June 2013 N/A 6 until version 8.5.5.13
7, 7.1 since version 8.5.5.2
8 since version 8.5.5.9
8.5 Liberty Profile 8.5.5.9 June 2012 June 2016 6, 7, 7.1 since version 8.5.5.2
8 since version 8.5.5.9
8.5 8.5.0.2 June 2012 June 2012 6 and 7
8.0 8.0.0.15 June 2011 April 2018 6
7.0 7.0.0.45 October 2008 April 2018 6
6.1 6.1.0.47 June 2006 September 2013 5
6.0 6.0.2.43 December 2004 September 2010 1.4
Kevin McG. Websphere Application Server

Kevin McGrath is one of our leading independent Global IBM experts who specializes in WebSphere Application Server and is a member of our technical council.

Kevin has written the book on scripting for WebSphere Application Server and has 15 years of experience in training people on WebSphere Application Server.

Keep watching to hear about Kevin’s background and experience with WebSphere Application Server.

WebSphere Application Server packages

WebSphere Application Server is available in multiple packaging options to suit different application scenarios:

  • WebSphere Application Server Express
  • WebSphere Application Server Base
  • WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment
  • WebSphere Application Server for IBM z/OS®
  • WebSphere Application Server for Developers
  • WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition
  • WebSphere Application Server Liberty Core
  • WebSphere Application Server Community Edition

WebSphere Application Server deployment

You can implement WebSphere Application server as a stand-alone solution or it can be part of a distributed network of WebSphere Application Servers.

A stand-alone deployment does not support load balancing or high availability features. In a distributed topology, you can cluster several WebSphere Application Servers to implement load balancing and high availability for mission-critical applications.

The WebSphere Application Server Base and Express packages support deployment as a stand-alone server only. With the WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment package, you can support either stand-alone servers or a distributed environment.

WebSphere Application Server components

WebSphere Application Server is a Java virtual machine (JVM)that implements the J2EE application server model and includes many enhancements that enable you to maximize Java application features.

Every WebSphere Application Server runtime contains one logical web container that runs web application components. Web applications can include a combination of related Java servlets, Java Server Page (JSP) files, and Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML) files that make up a business application. The web container processes servlets and JSP files and, although it can also process HTML files, in a typical production environment, HTML files are processed by an external web server that is connected to the web container by a web server plugin. The web container supports the javax.servlet.http.HttpSession interface so that servlets in the web container can keep track of users, for example as they add items to a shopping cart. The web container can also include specialized servlets that support IP telephony and portlet applications.

IBM® FileAn Enterprise JavaBean (EJB) container provides the runtime services required to deploy and manage EJBs. EJBs are Java class files, packaged as Java Archive (JAR) files, that usually contain the business logic in web applications. The EJB container provides data access and also manages threading and transaction support for EJBs.Net is an enterprise content management platform which enables better collaboration over content across the business.

WebSphere Application Server includes a connection manager that supports Java EE Connector Architecture (JCA) and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) connections. JCA connections provide access to Enterprise Information Systems (EIS) by applications, by plugging vendor-provided resource adapters into WebSphere Application Server. JDBC connections define the providers and sources of data that is accessed by web applications.

The Java Message Service (JMS) enables Java applications to asynchronously send and receive data and events to and from external sources. JMS defines a common enterprise messaging API that supports both queue-based and publish/subscribe message models. WebSphere Application Server includes a default messaging provider that uses the service integration bus for transport and supports queue-based and publish/subscribe messaging. To use the default JMS provider, you define JMS connection factories and destinations that correspond to service integration bus destinations. Many WebSphere Application Server implementations use IBM MQ as an external JMS provider. WebSphere Application Server provides the JMS client classes and administration interface and IBM MQ provides the queue-based messaging system.

The Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) is an API for a directory service that enables Java applications to look up data and objects via a name. Naming operations, such as lookups and binds, are performed on contexts and all naming operations begin with obtaining an initial context. Applications use JNDI lookups to find a resource by using a known naming convention and you can change the resource the application connects to without having to make changes in the application.

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