Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Properties File Based Configuration for WebSphere

WebSphere configuration is composed of many configuration files mainly in XML format and some in other formats. These configuration files are spread across many directories in WebSphere configuration tree. Contents of these configuration files is mostly complex configuration objects. And there are different tools (wsadmin, console and java APIs ) available to query and modify these configuration objects. Each of these tools contains different tasks to modify different parts of configuration. For example, wsadmin contains AdminConfig, AdminTask, AdminApp and AdminControl tasks to query and modify different configuration objects within WebSphere configuration. In WebSphere version 7.0, a simple properties file based configuration is introduced. Simple properties file based confguration tool is a single generic tool to query and modify all configuration objects within WebSphere configuration. Thus end user needs to know just one set of commands to configure WebSphere application server. This utility allows examination of the configuration by extracting the configuration into a human readable properties file. This utility also allows user to modify the extracted properties file and apply the changes to the configuration.

The following commands are provided to perform properties file based configuration:

1. extractConfigProperties : To extract configuration of entire cell or a specified configuration object's properties to a file.
2. applyConfigProperties : To apply properties specified in the properties file to the system.
3. validateConfigProperties : To validate a properties file before applying the properties file to the System.
4. deleteConfigProperties : To delete properties specified in the properties file from the system.
5. createPropertiesFileTemplates: To create template properties files to use to create or delete specific object types.

For more information can be found here:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Customer feedback in Barcelona

Last week, the 2008 European WebSphere Technical Conference and the 2008 European Transaction & Messaging Conference were held in Barcelona.

From 2008-November-Barcelona

Yes, there are worse things than spending a week in Barcelona. I've never been there before, and I definitely needed at least another week to see everything I wanted to see.

From 2008-November-Barcelona

I was there to run our Customer Feedback Program, which is a new track that debuted last spring at Impact 2008. The idea is that at most IBM conferences, the attendees naturally spend most of the week listening to IBMers speak. Where are we headed? What's new in the products? What's our newest three letter acronym? We wanted to turn this around and have sessions where the customers do the talking and the IBMers do the listening.

From 2008-November-Barcelona

These are small roundtable sessions with a couple of IBMers (usually a technical architect, designer, and/or product manager) and around four customers. After the sessions, we consistently hear from customers that they are the most valuable sessions of the week from their perspective, and the IBMers always walk away with great feedback about our products.

From 2008-November-Barcelona

We're trying to make these customer feedbacks sessions a staple for all of our conferences - so the next time you attend a conference (like Impact 2009 at the Venetion in Las Vegas) look for the feedback sessions. It's time well spent.

And if you ever get an opportunity to go to Barcelona, take it!

But watch out for the pigeons...
From 2008-November-Barcelona

Speaking tomorrow at the Charlotte WUG

Ying Ding has invited me to talk tomorrow at the Charlotte, NC WebSphere User's Group about our WebSphere Application Server version 7 release. If you happen to be in the Charlotte area, check out this link to the User's group for more information on the details for tomorrow's event. Look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Centralized Installation Manager (CIM)

Performing a WebSphere installation and configuration and/or applying maintenance is relatively easy (OK, don't shoot me, I said "relatively"). But having to repeat that over and over again on many different remote machines throughout an organization is both time-consuming and error-prone. To address this problem WebSphere Virtual Enterprise (previously eXtended Deployment XD) v6.1 created and shipped a "Centralized Installation Manager" (CIM), and it worked so well that it is now even included in WebSphere v7 Network Deployment (ND).

The CIM program can be installed into a v7 ND Deployment Manager, and then can easily install and maintain the workstations in a WebSphere cell. An administrator can remotely install or uninstall product packages and maintenance to specific nodes directly from the administrative console without having to repetitively log in and perform these tasks on each individual remote machine. CIM operations can be done through its Graphical User Interface or can be scripted for full automation. Since CIM only previously shipped with XD-6.1, almost no "ND" WebSphere customers currently know about it. For details about CIM and how you can leverage to simplify and automate your enterprise servers please see the WebSphere v7 InfoCenter CIM information. If you are an ND cell administrator then CIM is something you need to seriously consider, it is certainly a way to significantly simply your day-to-day operations.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Videos available that quickly walk you through WAS V7 functionality

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video with pictures worth?

I just found out that there is a series of about 50 videos available in the WAS V7 InfoCenter that cover many of the new features of WAS V7. I have watched a few of them and find them very clear and short enough to consume on breaks between other work.

Go here to find the IBM Education Assistant videos for WAS V7.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

More information on the TPC SOA benchmark

As I mentioned previously, the TPC (Transaction Processing Performance Council) is looking at SOA benchmarking. has an article that summarizes alot of the new and upcoming TPC work. You will see the TPC chairman, Mike Molloy, talk about the popular existing TPC benchmarks (TPC-C, TPC-E, TPC-H, and TPC-App) as well as new benchmarking efforts around energy (consumption with focus on greening of the data center), virtualization (across all new workloads), ETL (Database Extract, Transform, Load), and SOA.

On SOA, Mike explains, "TPC's SOA benchmark is only in the proposal stage, but the tentative plan is to focus on common industry-accepted portions of SOA infrastructure, mainly Web services, the enterprise service bus, and business process choreography. As advanced SOA practices become more standard in the industry, TPC will expand the benchmark to incorporate additional SOA infrastructural services".

I'm excited to work within the TPC to continue driving this SOA performance benchmark to reality. There are no other standard benchmarks that tackle these common SOA infrastructural components. If you have interest in seeing such a benchmark or comments on how it would help you, please post a comment. I'll relay them back to the TPC.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WebSphere Application Server V7.0 What new for Security

WebSphere Application Server V7.0 shipped some exciding new features for Security. WebSphere delivered a rich set of feature in providing greater granularity management of security controls, offering new Audit and Complicate features, and enhanced secure Proxy to meet your business.

Our new WebSphere Security Domains provide greater granularity management of security controls by offers more flexibility in configuring security under centralized management. WebSphere Security Domains is designed to allow for a separation of WebSphere administrative security and your business application security. For example, Business applications can be configured to use your external LDAP registry while the WebSphere administration can use your Federated Repository’s file base registry containing internal user. Further granularity can be further expanded between business applications by allowing separate security configuration between business applications using new security configuration scoping to a cell, a cluster, or application server level. This new level of security granularity provides significant new flexibility in the security mechanism implemented across various application portfolios.

Our new WebSphere Security Auditing feature offer enhanced complicacy and auditing capabilities. The auditing capabilities allow tracks a number of security related events. For Example of administrative actions that can be logged include: security configuration changes, key and certificate management, and access control policy changes. Business applications can be audited to record a number of security events such as authentication or authorization attempts. This new security logging and auditing capability ensures accountability for administrative actions. In addition, we offer a temper proof audit file to prevent any tempering of recorded audit data. For z/OS customers, the generated Auditing data optionally intergrades with the z/OS System Management Facility leveraging by recording the WebSphere Auditing data as part of the Auditing Type 83 records.

Our WebSphere Secure Proxy has been become a lot easier and more. The WebSphere Secure proxy offers a new DMZ Hardened Proxy profile option. The DMZ Hardened Proxy improves security by minimizing the number of external ports opened, loading only signed JARs, and running as an unprivileged user when binding to well known ports. Both static and dynamic routes are supported by the DMZ Hardened Proxy.

We encourage you to visit our WebSphere Application Server’s Infocenter under What New for more information on these features as well as the many other exciding features we are offering for WebSphere Application Server V7.

Monday, November 3, 2008

EJB 3.0 and Web Services in WebSphere App Server v7.0

One of the questions I get most frequently on the EJB 3.0 feature pack for WebSphere App Server 6.1, is where a customer has installed both the EJB 3.0 feature pack and the Web Services feature pack, and wants to expose their EJB 3.0 bean as a JAX-WS web service endpoint, like so:



public class MyEJB3WebServiceBean implements MyCoolService {



Unfortunately, we weren't able to directly support this scenario via the v6.1 feature packs, since doing so would have required that each feature pack depend on function in the other feature pack -- something that wasn't allowed in the overall definition for the v6.1 feature packs. We published a workaround for this, where you use a "helper class" as the JAX-WS implementation and have that class just forward the incoming requests to the target EJB 3.0 bean. It works just fine, but is nowhere near as nice as just having a single class that's both the endpoint definition and implementation.

The good news is that with WebSphere App Server v7.0, you can directly annotate your EJB 3.0 beans with the @WebService or @WebMethod annotation (just like the code above) and have them directly accessible via a JAX-WS endpoint; no "helper" class required. The Rational Application Developer (RAD) 7.5 tooling also makes it easy to code up your EJB 3.0 beans this way.

The ease-of-use combination of EJB 3.0 and JAX-WS is really, really nice. WebSphere App Server v7.0 makes it easy to implement this powerful combination of function.