Friday, April 30, 2010

Here comes WebSphere CloudBurst 2.0

Lifted from Dustin's Blog.

Just over a year ago, IBM announced the availability of the initial version of the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance. Today, an announcement signals the coming availability of WebSphere CloudBurst 2.0, and that brings the major release count up to three in a period of about 12 months (the release of 1.1 came at the end of last year).

You can read the announcement for yourself, but here is a quick overview of the new features and enhancements delivered in the latest version:

- WebSphere Process Server support: You can now provision fully functional, virtualized WebSphere Process Server environments using WebSphere CloudBurst. This adds to the existing support for WebSphere Application Server, and the beta and trial versions of WebSphere Portal and DB2 respectively.

- Multi-image pattern support: In previous versions of WebSphere CloudBurst, all patterns mapped to a single virtual image. This meant your custom patterns could only contain parts (or nodes) from a single product. Now you can build patterns that contain parts from multiple different images. This allows you to represent diverse application environments, for instance, one that includes WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Process Server, and DB2 components, as a single pattern. Of course, this also means installing and initializing these different product components becomes as simple as deploying a single pattern.

- Dynamic system management: During the lifetime of an application environment, it is commonplace to add additional capacity. Specifically for WebSphere environments, this often means adding more nodes and application servers into your landscape. WebSphere CloudBurst 2.0 makes it simple (click of a button) to add more nodes and application servers to a virtual system you previously deployed. Using this new capability, you can quickly scale up your application environment to meet the changing demands of its users. Conversely, you can scale down the environment and remove unnecessary nodes with the simple click of a button as well.

- Intelligence for the runtime: I always talk about the WebSphere intelligence the appliance delivers in terms of deploying and constructing WebSphere application environments. The addition of the WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition Intelligent Management Pack means this intelligence starts to make its way into the runtimes of your application environments. Use the new intelligent management pack to enable a policy-based approach to managing your applications. You can enforce application health actions, govern application response times, and even manage the rollout of new versions of your application with no service disruption.

- New Red Hat WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition: The WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition is a virtual image that includes everything from the operating system all the way to the WebSphere Application Server, pre-installed and pre-configured. Initial versions of this virtual image shipped with Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Staring in WebSphere CloudBurst 2.0, users can use a new WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition virtual image for VMWare ESX that packages the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server operating system.

As WebSphere CloudBurst marches forward with new releases, a theme becomes apparent: Give users a choice. What do I mean? Well, just look at where WebSphere CloudBurst stands with the 2.0 release:

- You can use WebSphere CloudBurst to provision environments to VMware ESX, PowerVM, and z/VM hypervisor platforms

- You can use WebSphere CloudBurst to provision WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Process Server, DB2, and WebSphere Portal

- You can run your virtualized WebSphere application environments on SUSE, Red Hat, AIX, and zLinux operating systems

Want to see more about the 2.0 release? Check out my new video. This much is inarguable: For running WebSphere application environments in an on-premise cloud, nothing comes close to the capabilities of WebSphere CloudBurst.

CEA Impact Sessions

In case you are looking to learn more about Communications Enabled Applications (CEA) at Impact, here are some talks you can come into:
Enabling Cobrowsing and Coshopping on your website - 2040A Tue, 4/May 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM Venetian - San Polo 3506
Adding Rich Interaction Support to your Enterprise Application - 2272A Wed, 5/May  10:15 AM - 11:30 AM Venetian - Lido 3103

Also, we have a lab on Enabling Coshopping and Two Way Forms on your Web Applications with CEA - 2027A Tue, 4/May 04:45 PM - 06:00 PM Venetian - Murano 3304

Finally, here is a less than 3 minute video showing cobrowsing and the new mobile widgets we have made available and will be demoing at Impact here as a tech preview

WebSphere Application Server Feature Pack for Dynamic Scripting

Lifted from Project Zero blog:

Today we announced a new feature pack for WebSphere Application Server based on WebSphere sMash. This new feature pack delivers the sMash programming model for use on entitled / current subscription WebSphere Application Server V6.1 and V7.0 servers.

Complete details can be found in the announcement letter.

When the Feature Pack becomes electronically Generally Available, downloads will be available on the official web site for WebSphere Application Server Feature Pack for Dynamic Scripting.

Also being made available through Project Zero, the sMash Enterprise Packager allows WebSphere Application Server V7 to deploy and manage sMash applications through the administrative console as an EAR file. Read more info about this and download the sMash Enterprise Packager on

Find out more about this new Feature Pack and more at IBM Impact 2010.

Based on technology from WebSphere sMash V1.1.1, the feature pack for dynamic scripting provides support for dynamic scripting languages including PHP and Groovy all the while allowing you integrate with AJAX, REST, ATOM, RSS, etc. There is also a resource model as part of the included Zero programming model that simplifies the creation of RESTful services. Want a quick way to create a Web 2.0 application in these languages .. then give this feature pack a try.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Video Blogs on Impact 2010 Sessions Next Week

Are you heading to IBM Software Impact 2010 next week? I hope so!

I will be presenting on WebSphere XML Strategy. I will be presenting a session on the WebSphere Application Server Feature Pack for XML talking about usage scenarios, how to use the feature pack, and best practices (Sessions 1635A/B on Monday and repeat Thursday). I will also be providing a general education session on XPath 2.0, XSLT 2.0 and XQuery 1.0 (Session 1634 on Tuesday) focused on basic education as well as noting whats new with the standards - with a cool give away! I will be assisting a lab where you can get hands on experience with the XML Feature Pack and the Rational Application Developer tools (Session 1606 on Monday). Stop by any of these session or hit me up on twitter (@aspyker) if you have any questions about XML or data strategy within your enterprise.

Along with the XML Feature Pack and XML strategy talks, I'll be participating in a SOA and BPM Performance update (1321) talking about SPEC SOA and multiple panel discussions around the values of the application server, performance, and feature packs.

You can hear me talk about the sessions here:

Some other videos about sessions next week are available as well.

Erik Kristiansen on RESTful, dynamic scripting, and OSGi programming models:

Lan Vuong on extreme transaction processing and elastic application architectures:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Looking for XPath/XSLT/XQuery Education?

Last year, I attended the XML-In-Practice 2009 conference. One person I met there is Ken Holman. Ken works for Crane Softwrights Ltd. which is a consultancy delivering computer systems analysis and training services with focus in structured text processing related to XML and SGML including XSL/XSL-FO, XSLT, XPath and XQuery, and UBL.

Ken and I have been collaborating recently on enabling the hands-on in-depth XSLT/XQuery classes offered to use the IBM Thin Client for XML with WebSphere Application Server V7.0. Now students with the feature pack can quickly configure Crane's exercises to utilize the latest XSLT/XQuery support from IBM.

The three upcoming publicly-subscribed deliveries for XSLT/XQuery are:

West-coast North America: April 26-30, 2010 - San Francisco area

East-coast North America: May 10-14, 2010 - Ottawa, Canada

Europe: June 7-11, 2010 - Trondheim, Norway

Ken travels the world teaching a number of XML-related classes both privately and publicly. He is willing to consider teaching anywhere and he welcomes anyone to contact him regarding a possible private or public class of any of his material. Ken has taught and offers other classes. You can see them here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

XML Feature Pack Available

I'm happy to announce another major update to the XML Feature Pack and its impact on our development tooling - Rational Application Developer for WebSphere.

We just released the version of the XML Feature Pack that has two major new features (as well as some small bug fixes). The two new features are:

XQuery Schema Awareness

In the initial release we had Schema Awareness for XSLT 2.0. In this release we add similar function to XQuery. Specifically this means we started to support the optional XQuery 1.0 features of schema import and schema validation. With these features you can use your own type information in XQuery programs. A common scenario would be looking for all addresses in an input document, regardless of they were "billingAddress" or "shippingAddress". Programming based on type information is a powerful concept that leads to more flexible implementations. Also, validation allows you to validate incoming documents, xml trees and whole output documents. This allows for greater reliability in your XML processing.

Debugging support for XSLT 2.0 under Rational Application Developer (RAD) for WebSphere

Previously with RAD you could debug XSLT 1.0 stylesheets. With this new release of the XML Feature Pack and with RAD you can debug XSLT 2.0 stylesheets. This isn't just about moving to a newer stylesheet level. With all the changes in the data model and advanced new concepts like grouping, there are many improvements in visualization with debugging over the XSLT 1.0 debugger.

What is also interesting is that this is a converged debugger. While there are other XSLT 2.0 debuggers out there, they only work on the stylesheet itself. With this support in RAD, you can debug not only the stylesheet, but also the Java code in your web application that invokes the XSLT engine along with any Java extension functions you might have. If you are using XSLT 2.0 in the application server, this is the tool you want for debugging end to end.

I hope to do a video demo of this Rational Application Developer functionality. Imagine setting breakpoints in XSLT as well as Java and being to jump between them. Anyone interested in seeing such a video demo?

Have fun with the new functions!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Options for WebSphere Application Server Scripting

 WebSphere Application Server (WAS) provides a scripting interface called wsadmin. wsadmin supports two scripting languages jacl* and jython. Five objects are available when you use scripts:
  • AdminControl: Use to run operational commands.
  • AdminConfig: Use to run configurational commands to create/modify WAS configuration.
  • AdminApp: Use to administer applications.
  • AdminTask: Use to run administrative commands.
  • Help: Use to obtain general help.

WAS provides a number of aids to developers and system administrators for the development of wsadmin scripts. Different options that can be leveraged in developing wsadmin scripts are explained below.

WAS V7 Script Libraries (new in v7 .. supported)
WebSphere Application Server V7.0 includes script libraries that can simplify the use of these objects.
Script libraries can be used to perform a higher level of wsadmin functions than can be done using a single wsadmin command. Only a single line from a library function is needed to perform complex functions. Each script is written in Jython, and is often referred to as “the Jython script”. The script libraries are categorized into six types (Application, Resources, Security, Servers, System) and the types are further subdivided into application and utilities. See the WAS V7 Administration and Configuration Guide chapter 8 for additional details. The script libraries are located in  WAS_INSTALL_ROOT/scriptLibraries directory. These libraries are loaded when wsadmin starts and are readily available from the wsadmin command prompt or to be used from the customized scripts.

Command assistance ( supported)
The command assistance feature in the administrative console was introduced in WAS V6.1 with limited scope in function. The command assistance feature has been broadened in V7.0. When you perform an action in the administrative console, you can select the View administrative scripting command for last action option in the Help area of the panel to display the command equivalent. This command can be copied and pasted into a script or command window.You also have the option to send these as notifications to the Rational Application Developer V7.5, where you can use the Jython editor to build scripts. ( 'as-is' see note below)
Another resource for WebSphere System Administrators for scripting is the script library. is a large python file containing hundreds of methods to help simplify configuring the WAS using scripting. A wide variety of methods have been developed. These methods perform tasks such as creating servers, starting servers, creating clusters, installing applications, proxies, core groups, core group bridge, dynacache, shared libraries, classloaders, replication domains, security, BLA, JDBC, etc. Please note that wsadminlib is provided on an 'as is' basis under the IBM DeveloperWorks license agreement. It is not a supported product. The underlying wsadmin calls made by the scripts are however supported by IBM.

Happy Scripting!

* jacl has been stabilized