Thursday, November 26, 2009

WebSphere XML Feature Pack V1.0 Released

I'd proud to announce that we released the XML Feature Pack which means it's ready for production deployment in WebSphere Application Server 7.0 environments.

The WebSphere Application Server V7.0 Feature Pack for XML provides an XML programming model that has support of the W3C XML standards of XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0, and XQuery 1.0. These newer standards provide developers with innovative capabilities for simplified development of XML-based and document-centric applications. The programming model consists of two parts:

- The new XML Transform and Query (XPath 2.0, XSLT 2.0, and XQuery 1.0) runtime which has been optimized for performance, runs under Java 2 security, has an thread-safe model appropriate for server environments, and provides for reliability, availability, and serviceability.

- A new API to invoke all three languages that allows applications to navigate, transform or query XML from a single consistent Java API. This API also allows the XML runtime to incorporate existing Java business logic and data.

Other important parts of this feature pack are:

- The IBM Thin Client for XML with WebSphere Application Server provides all the same functionality in J2SE clients that are used in WebSphere Application Server environments.

- The samples (with easy to browse source code) which show over 40 different aspects of the new XPath 2.0, XSLT 2.0, and XQuery technologies, three end to end web applications that show how to use these technologies to navigate, transform, and query XML atom blog feeds, and an end to end web application that shows how to integrate data from databases that support XML natively with other XML data sources in the most simple and performant way.

- Command line and ANT tools for pre-compiling XML artifacts for optimal performance

- Command line tools for simple execution of XML artifacts

- The Information Center for complete documentation of the XML Feature Pack

I will be posting all links to public information on the XML Feature on this blog post. Already, there is a video that shows how to get the XML Feature Pack installed (including the samples), so you can get started easily.

Update 2009-01-18: Rational Application Developer 7.5.5 tools add support for XPath 2.0 and XSLT 2.0.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Web Services Performance Improvements in WAS

Back in WAS 7.0, I blogged about impressive web services performance improvements.

We have continued that improvement in fixpack 7 ( Given this is a fix pack, we decided to make the new functional optional (until 8.0). You can learn about how to turn it on in PK94109. Basically you enable it by setting a system property on your application server instance.

This improvement is on the JAXB to XML marshalling (serialization) side. On the server, this would be important when responses are large (the typical case is responses are larger than requests). On the client, this would be important on requests.

As before, this not only helps web services using JAXB, but also anyone using JAXB directly in the application server.

In our tests in the labs we see approximately 20% increase in performance for some representative web services. If you are using JAX-WS JAXB based web services, turn this one with and let me know what you see.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WebSphere Application Server Feature Pack for XML Links

As I talk to folks about the WAS Feature Pack for XML, I usually need a single link to all public information. There was a open beta link like this but now the open beta is closed. This blog post will be updated over time to include all links that are important for the XML Feature Pack.

Main Links
- Quick Blog Overview of XML Feature Pack
- New Features Added in XML Feature Pack (XQuery Schema Awareness, XSLT 2.0 Debugging Support)
- New Features in XML Feature Pack Tech Preview (XQuery Modules, easier to bind Java functions, better error messages)
- XML Feature Pack website

Installing on the application server
- Install WebSphere Application Server for Developers
- The If network connected, install IBM Installation Manager for WebSphere and update
- If behind firewall, download repository and install locally

Obtaining the simple Thin Client
- Download the thin client
- Download tech preview of latest thin client

- XML Feature Pack Infocenter
- Javadoc for XML Feature API

- Rational Application Developer 7.5.5 XSLT 2.0 support
- Simple XQuery execution with XQDT

Video demos
- How to install and get running with XML Feature Pack samples
- Using the thin client to get up and running in five minutes
- IBM Education Assistant video on the XML Feature Pack 1.0
- Using the XML Feature Pack with an XML Database

Industry Coverage
- InfoQ article that overviews the XML Feature Pack contents and makes comparisons to other related technologies

Developerworks Articles
- Programming XML across the multiple tiers: Use XML in the middle tier for performance, fidelity, and development ease
- Programming XML across the multiple tiers, Part 2: Write efficient Java EE applications that exploit an XML database server

W3C Specifications
- XPath 2.0
- XSLT 2.0
- XQuery 1.0

Great books on the standards
- XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer)
- XQuery

Last updated: 2009-02-23 (added XQuery tools and thin client information)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WebSphere Hypervisor Edition for AIX gets a date

Yesterday, IBM announced the dates for the WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition for AIX.

Borrowing from the announce letter:

  • Adds support for PowerVM hypervisor

  • Optimizes WebSphere Application Server for virtualized environments enabling higher hardware utilization, while allowing you to spend less time on installation and configuration, and more time on strategic initiatives

  • Manages installation and deployment of WebSphere Application Server and associated operating system in conjunction with WebSphere CloudBurst

The WebSphere Hyper Visor Edition for AIX will be available November 25th. The WebSphere Cloudburst appliance will ship preloaded with this support on January 29th, 2010.

We haven't talked much about Hypervisor Edition or Cloudburst on this blog. Anyone interested in us talking more about the benefits and typical uses of this technology? The net, net of Hypervisor Edition is its a packaging vehicle of the application server environments for virtualized environments (doing the things you'd want a virtualized image to do correctly) that works with (or without) the CloudBurst appliance that deploys such environments to your private clouds used in testing and production.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

XML Feature Pack, SCA Refresh, and SAML get a date

Yesterday, IBM announced the dates for the XML Feature Pack, a major update to the Service Component Architecture Feature Pack, and SAML support in the WebSphere Application Server.

Borrowing from the announce letter:

New WebSphere® Application Server V7 capabilities promote application innovation and efficient development and management through updated Service Component Architecture (SCA) support, new XML programming model standards, and support for secure, interoperable Web services using SAML1 Token:

  • Key updates to SCA programming model support for composite application assembly and service deployment through the WebSphere Application Server V7 Feature Pack for SCA V1.0.1 Refresh

  • Support for the XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0, and XQuery 1.0 programming model standards to benefit XML application development scenarios through the WebSphere Application Server Feature Pack for XML

  • Support for OASIS Web Services Security SAML Token Security Profile 1.1 standard delivered in the WebSphere Application Server V7 Fix Pack 7 (

XML and SCA will be generally available on November 20th, and SAML will be available on November 13th. Hopefully you can try these out over the holiday season and be ready for deployment next year.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Introducing Feature Packs and the CEA Feature Pack

Here is a quick video I had missed the opportunity to blog about when it first came out talking about our WebSphere Application Server Feature Packs and the Communications Enabled Applications (CEA) Feature Pack.

We have a lot more about the CEA Feature Pack on our blog dedicated to it: