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WebSphere Application Server Basics

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IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) for iSeries is an e-business application deployment environment. Built on open-standards technology, it is IBM's Java-based Web application server that helps you deploy and manage Web applications, ranging from simple Web sites to powerful e-business solutions.

WebSphere Application Server Overview

WAS provides runtime interfaces and APIs for server-side Java components, which are based on Sun Microsystems specifications. The following Java components allow you to build complex Web applications, such as e-commerce Web sites:

  • Servlets--Java servlets extend Web servers, providing an easy-to-use replacement for Common Gateway Interface (CGI). Basically, servlets are dynamically loaded modules that handle requests from a Web server. They run on the server side within the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and do not depend on browser compatibility. Servlets can access databases and perform programmatic functions.
  • JavaServer Pages (JSPs)--JSPs are used to present data to the end user. JSP tags are used in conjunction with HTML tags to produce dynamic Web pages. The information presented on these pages is retrieved by a servlet.
  • Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs)--EJBs are used to model complex data in a transaction-based environment. There are two types of EJBs: entity beans and session beans. Entity beans can model part or all of a database. They also synchronize with the database so that changes in the DB affect the EJB and vice versa. Session beans model less-persistent data and typically will not survive a server failure. The lifetime of a session bean is that of its client.
  • Web services--Web services are self-contained, modular applications that can be described, published, located, and invoked over a network. Web services reflect a new service-oriented approach to programming, based on the idea of building applications by discovering and implementing network-available services or by invoking available applications to accomplish some task.
  • JavaMail--The JavaMail APIs model an email system. The APIs provide a platform- and protocol-independent framework to build Java-based email client applications.
  • Java Message Service (JMS)--JMS supports message-based applications in the Java programming language, allowing for asynchronous exchange of data and events throughout a network. JMS provides an enterprise messaging API. On the iSeries platform, the only supported messaging product is WebSphere MQ (formerly known as MQSeries).

The WAS security system allows you to control access to WebSphere resources (such as servlets, JSP files, HTML files, and EJBs). The security system also provides the infrastructure that ensures that the security choices you have made are enforced.

WAS also includes APIs for manipulating Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents and utilities for administering the product. You can add these XML APIs to your server-side Java components to generate, validate, parse, and present XML documents. The utilities include a Java-based administrative console, a Web-based console, a command-line interface, and a function that allows you to import and export administrative data as XML documents.

WebSphere Development Environment

There are a variety of tools available to use, in conjunction with WAS, for developing server-side Java components. The table below identifies the WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries product levels that you can use to develop applications for the corresponding version of WAS.

WAS Version
WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries Product Packages
WAS 3.5

WebSphere Development Tools for iSeries V5.1

WAS 4.0
WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries V4.0
WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries V4.0

WAS 5.0

WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries V5.0
WebSphere Development Studio Client Advanced Edition for iSeries V5.0

IBM WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries V4.0 is an application development package containing all of the key iSeries development tools (both host and workstation components). With this package you can do the following:

  • Use the IBM WebFacing Tool to convert existing 5250 interfaces to Web interfaces with minimal changes to the host application.
  • Use the generated default servlets, Beans, and database-access logic to customize your code or create new business logic with Java development tools.
  • Write business logic for new e-business applications in ILE RPG or ILE COBOL with interoperability enhancements for Java.

WebSphere Development Tools for iSeries V5.1 is the predecessor to IBM WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries V4.0 (Development Studio Client). It consolidates key iSeries workstation development tools into a single package and is included with WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries.

IBM WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries V4.0 consolidates the key workstation development tools for traditional and e-business application development to the Eclipse-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE), WebSphere Studio Workbench. Version 5.0 delivers improved infrastructure for tools associated with the Eclipse Workbench V2. The new IDE provides tool integration and interoperability. Many key iSeries tool vendors have integrated their solutions into this new IDE. You get these things with this package:

  • Java development tools
  • A Web development environment
  • XML tools
  • Web services
  • Database support
  • Remote System Explorer
  • IBM WebFacing Tool
  • IBM CoOperative Development Environment (CODE)
  • IBM VisualAge RPG

IBM WebSphere Development Studio Client Advanced Edition for iSeries V5.0 is the next generation of advanced workstation development tools to create iSeries e-business applications that leverage the execution capabilities of WAS V5.0. It consolidates the standard set of application tools for iSeries server and e-business development into one comprehensive and integrated iSeries product.

Both the Standard client and the Advanced client include the following:

  • The ability to plug in third-party tools based on the Eclipse platform to extend the Remote System Explorer and iSeries projects
  • Deployment to IBM WAS for iSeries, V5.0 Advanced and Express
  • Enhanced style sheet for the IBM WebFacing Tool
  • Additional PDM functions in Remote System Explorer
  • WebFacing Tool customization with Web development tools for iSeries, including integration with Data and Flow
  • Web Services client test environment
  • New distributed debugger, so you can debug and run Java programs exported to the iSeries host using the iSeries Projects perspective
  • The Profiling perspective to trace and determine performance issues for iSeries Java programs
  • Updates to Page Designer
  • The Data perspective
  • Documentation in the Help perspective that now opens in a separate window so that you can resize and reposition it to appear beside the user interface while you work


In addition, Advanced includes these:

  • Support for J2EE V1.3, EJB V2.0, Servlets V2.3, and JSP 1.2 specification
  • Concurrent support for WAS V4.0 (J2EE 1.2) and WAS V5.0 (J2EE 1.3)
  • EJB-to-RDB mapping that provides the model, runtime environment, and interface for editing the mapping between EJBs and relational database tables
  • Support for EJB Query language, Container Managed Persistence (CMP 2.0), and message-driven JavaBeans
  • Editors for deployment descriptors (ejb-jar.xml and application.xml)
  • A built-in test environment where you can test J2EE artifacts and configure other local or remote servers for integrated testing and debugging of J2EE applications, providing support for Apache Tomcat and the WAS V4.0 and V5.0 runtime environments
  • A new iFrame portlet that provides an interface to wrap an existing Web application for use on a portal
  • Custom tags and runtime extensions for the WebFacing Tool
  • Support for viewing and printing spooled files
  • Struts-compliant code generated by the WebFacing Tool conversion process
  • Support for the iRAD Struts builder and Struts development tools

To program server-side Java components for WAS, you should be familiar with Java programming, server-side Java programming, and object-oriented design. Familiarity with database programming, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), HTTP server configuration, and HTML page creation is also helpful.

WebSphere Application Server for iSeries Product Information

WAS has several available versions and editions. The following table lists these versions and editions as well as the release on which they are supported.

OS/400 Release
Standard and Advanced
Advanced Single Server
and Advanced
Express, Base, and Network Deployment

Note: WAS Enterprise Edition is not supported on iSeries.

Each of the WAS versions and editions provides different support. The following table identifies the components available for each edition of WAS.

V3.5 Standard
V3.5 Advanced
V4.0 Advanced Single Server
V4.0 Advanced
V5.0 Express
V5.0 Base
V5.0 Network Deployment


Web Services

XML Configuration

DB2 Configuration


Admin Console: Java Application



Admin Console: Browser-Based


Workload Management





Workload Management (Clustering)

Multiple Machine Topologies



** limited







The following provides more detailed information on the functions included in the various WAS versions and editions.

Version 3.5

WAS for iSeries V3.5 is available in two editions: Standard Edition and Advanced Server Edition. The Standard Edition supports Java servlets, JSPs, and XML. The Advanced Server Edition lets you use Java servlets, JSPs, and XML to transform static Web sites into vital sources of dynamic Web content. It also provides a high-performance EJB server for implementing enterprise bean components that incorporate business logic. In addition, it supports multiple machine topologies, distributed transactions, and transaction processing.

Both editions of WAS V3.5 utilize an Administrative Console, which is a standalone Java application that runs on an IBM AIX, a Sun Solaris, or a Microsoft Windows workstation. The console connects to the administrative server (on iSeries) and provides a graphical interface that allows you to configure and manage WebSphere resources.

Version 4.0

WAS for iSeries V4.0 is available in two editions: Advanced Single Server Edition and Advanced Server Edition. The Advanced Single Server Edition lets you use Java servlets, JSPs, and XML to transform static Web sites into vital sources of dynamic Web content. It also provides a high-performance EJB server for implementing enterprise bean components that incorporate business logic. The Advanced Server Edition, in addition, supports multiple machine topologies, distributed transactions, and transaction processing.

The Administrative Console for the Advanced Single Server Edition of WAS V4.0 consists of a browser-based graphical interface that allows you to configure and manage WebSphere resources. The Advanced Server Edition utilizes the standalone Administrative Console Java application.

Version 5.0

WAS for iSeries V5.0 is available in three editions: Express, Base, and Network Deployment.

IBM WAS Express Edition

  • Offers an affordable, approachable, and rapid solution to develop, deploy, and manage e-business applications
  • Helps you build static and dynamic Web sites. You can view information in databases, perform simple updates, and create and use Web services.
  • Includes wizards, templates, and cross-industry samples to help developers through the process of building a dynamic Web site. While the wizards and templates actually generate code for you, the samples can be used as a starting point, code repository, or reference and educational guide.
  • Provides the tools required to build e-business applications within a single package, including a simplified application server, development environment based on WebSphere Studio (powered by Eclipse technology), and application samples and templates
  • Leverages existing skills through a simplified programming model with support for technology based on Java and Web services
  • Supports the latest specifications for JSPs, Java servlets, and Web services.
  • Allows migration to other WebSphere software products when more advanced development and deployment capabilities are required

IBM WAS Base Edition
IBM WAS Base Edition for iSeries provides the foundation for serving dynamic content via servlets and JSPs. It also offers XML document services that implement server-side XML document processing. In addition, it provides support to enable iSeries to run EJBs. Other features include the following:

  • Support for an integrated JMS subsystem based on IBM WebSphere MQ technology
  • Integrated support for Web service open standards, with comprehensive infrastructure to support production-ready deployment of enterprise Web service solutions for dynamic e-business
  • Support for the J2EE platform with the richest set of enterprise Java open-standard implementation on the market today as well as powerful interoperability between Web services and J2EE
  • Improved performance via additional distributed workload and enhanced caching
  • Integration with WebSphere Studio Application Developer and WebSphere Development Studio, both built on Eclipse, the open-systems development environment
  • Enhanced security with improved systems management and integration with performance tools

IBM WAS Network Deployment
IBM WAS Network Deployment includes the Base application server as well as a Network Deployment Manager that offers the following additional features:

  • Integrated support for private UDDI registry and Web Services Gateway
  • Additional automation of distributed system management via centralized deployment manager and dynamic clustering capability for simplified administration of all clustered environments
  • Enhanced application availability and elimination of single points of failure between dispersed data centers with Advanced Multi-Domain Availability/Failover
  • Support for multiple machine topologies
  • Workload management (WLM), which facilitates application server load balancing and failover
  • Network Dispatcher and Caching Proxy components of IBM Edge server, which enhance load balancing, failover, and performance capabilities.

All editions of WAS V5.0 provide improved administration of WebSphere applications via browser-based GUI and XML configuration (there's no dependency on DB2 for storage of configuration information).

Additional WebSphere products

The following products are part of the WebSphere brand name and can be used to create your e-business environment.

WebSphere Commerce

IBM WebSphere Commerce (WC) is an advanced tool for those interested in business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce. WC provides an easy way to reuse a current HTML-based, online catalog as a base for a total e-commerce system. With WC, you can create and manage dynamic marketing programs, track your success, and quickly adjust your campaigns to achieve profitability objectives. This is difficult to accomplish through traditional forms of merchandising.

WebSphere Payment Manager

Payment Manager (a portion of the larger WebSphere Commerce product) was developed for merchants with consumer security and convenience in mind. It delivers security-rich electronic payment processing. WebSphere Commerce payment processing integrates with many existing payment processing networks, all to help ensure compatibility and interoperability with new standards and products.

WebSphere Host Integration

IBM WebSphere Host Integration Solution takes your legacy applications to the Web. It extends host applications to the Web and provides software for creation and deployment of new host access e-business applications, without requiring any changes to the existing applications themselves. Whether you need to simply deliver a Web page, put a new face on a legacy application, or create sophisticated Java solutions, the IBM WebSphere Host Integration Solution allows you to quickly and flexibly integrate critical enterprise data with the Web.

WebSphere Host On-Demand

IBM WebSphere Host On-Demand provides secure Web-to-host access and e-business application programming support. It provides one in

Sue Kelling has years of WebSphere Application Server experience, from installation and configuration to deployment of applications for use in simulated customer environments. Involved with WebSphere Application Server since Version 3.0 was available on the iSeries platform, Sue is the author of several IBM Redbooks and Experience Reports on the solutions that they built and tested using WebSphere Application Server.


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