Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Great overview of WebSphere Application Server V8.0

Tom Alcott put together a great overview of version 8.0 of the WebSphere Application Server. Take a spin through his article on developerWorks.

He covers the Java EE 6 standards, additional integrated programming models (OSGi, Service Component Architecture, Java Batch, Communications Enabled, and XQuery/XSLT 2.0), additional feature packs (Web 2.0, dynamic scriptiong), system management improvements including installation, high availability, logging, recovery, security and migration.

Well worth the read.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm not dead yet

From time to time, I see posts asking whether or not Java EE is dead. To paraphrase with a Java EE twist, "The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated." It takes a lot of effort to build and deliver a Java EE release and it should be no surprise that it takes a while for vendors to get support out the door, but WebSphere Application Server V8.0 is now out and Java EE 6 support is one of the major pieces of it.

I've been prepping education material for various groups, but I thought I'd take a moment to reflect just how far we've come in improving the platform.

Once UI frameworks start taking advantage of Servlet 3.0 web fragments, it will be a snap to drop a UI framework into a web app and have it auto configured. JSF Facelets are a great improvement on UI composition and reuse. JSF Managed Beans have been split out into their own basic component model that will serve as the core for the platform's future evolution. This means a lean and mean component model that developers can easily grasp and use. The annotated POJO programming model is used everywhere and makes developing and describing components easy. Managed Beans and EJBs now form a graduated component programming model that starts simple and lets you add capabilities as needed with nothing more than an annotation. You can now package your EJBs in your WARs and Contexts and Dependency Injection for EE (CDI) will let you use them as Managed Beans. That means you can start with Managed Beans in your web app today and easily switch to EJBs as needed without repackaging or changing coding patterns. EJBs can be used anywhere a Manage Bean is used and just as easily.

Need to provide access to resources over the web? JAX-RS provides a simple POJO pattern for RESTful services.

Want to stop writing validation logic throughout your application to ensure data integrity? Try Bean Validation and have it done automatically for you.

Lastly, there's a new set of scoped JNDI namespaces that extend beyond java:comp into java:module, java:app, and java:global scopes. These allow a developer to share resources and refs at each of their respective scopes without having to replicate resource declarations in numerous places. It also makes it easier on admins, who only have to bind the shared resources once, instead of everywhere they are used.

I'd have to say that EE 5 and EE 6 have been some of the most productive releases from a developers point of view. This is about as far from being dead as a platform can get. If you haven't tried it yet, pick up a developer or trial edition of WebSphere Application Server v8.0 for free and give it a shot.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

WebSphere ... going Mobile and the Cloud

In my recent travels, two topics have come up over and over again. The first is mobile and the second is cloud. I'll see if we can get some content on mobile, but for now here is a great overview by Chris Mitchell.

On cloud, I wanted to point folks to some excellent sources of information on cloud that are by my WebSphere colleagues, but not on this blog.

Jason McGee has alot of demos on his blog that show how the IBM Workload Deployer help you leverage your middleware in the private cloud.

Dustin Amrhein reflects on how these technologies relate to real world deployments on his blog.

Matt Hogstrom has talked about his views of the cloud based as well on his blog.

Last, but not least, Jerry Cuomo has talked about our strategy around cloud and IBM's views on what private cloud means and how to consider performance around cloud (something I'm personally involved with at this point) on his blog.

Please take some time to spin through these blogs and let me know if there are additional aspects of cloud and mobile you'd like to hear from WebSphere folks.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

WAS V8 is Here

Its been in Beta for over a year - a program in which 9000 individual companies participated, 3 time more than any previous WebSphere early program. Now, in the week that IBM turns 100, WebSphere becomes a teenager (yes, we started in 1998) and WebSphere Application Server V8 is here.

First and foremost WAS V8 is a production-ready, fully certified Java EE 6 platform. Some of the primary component technologies, such as JPA 2.0 for persistence and JAX-RS for RESTful Web Services, have been available on WAS V7 through the additive WAS V7 feature packs, and now WAS V8 brings them together as part of our complete Java EE 6 platform support. Building web applications from composable framework technologies is significantly simpler using Servlet 3.0, with the introduction of web fragments. EJB modules can now be packaged directly in WAR archives to simplify the assembly of web applications. The embeddable EJB container continues the simplification of application development, providing a lightweight standalone container for testing EJBs. A common theme here is " development simplification", something further enhanced in WAS V8 with the new monitored directory support for faster compile-edit-debug cycles - drag your new or modified app to the monitored directory and WAS will automatically update or deploy it. Comprehensive Java EE 6 productivity tools are included in RAD v8.0.3, which is also now generally available. Of course, its not all just about Java EE 6. WAS V8 and RAD V8.0.3 support a broad range of programming models to address a wide spectrum of business problems:
  • Web applications can be assembled, deployed and managed as OSGi applications to dramatically reduce the size of EARs, increase the reuse of common libraries used by multiple enterprise applications, eliminate version conflicts between applications and enable in-place managed updates of modules of running applications.
  • Service Component Architecture (SCA) enables SOA assets to be assembled into coarse-grained composites and to be exposed over a variety of protocol bindings which can be decorated with declarative policies for security, reliability and transactional integrity.
  • The Web 2.0 and Mobile feature pack extends the reach of enterprise assets and provides a rich client experience for popular mobile devices including iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
  • Communication enabled applications (CEA) simplifies the application use of IP telephony through a catalog of customizable and extensible Web 2.0 widgets.
  • Support for batch workloads, alongside standard OLTP workloads, is provided directly in WAS V8 via the POJO-based Java Batch programming model and batch container, consolidating into WAS V8 the core batch support from WebSphere XD Compute Grid. At the same time, a new V8 release of Compute Grid provides enhanced support for massive batch jobs through management of job parallelization as well as managing end-to-end jobs across disparate execution environments such as WAS and CICS.
  • Processing large XML documents using XPATH 2.0, XSLT 2.0 and XQuery, exploiting a highly-optimized XML processor and Java XML API for navigating XML data in the most efficient manner.
Operationally V8 has seen a significant investment in reducing cost through improved performance and greater efficiency in common operational tasks. We haven't wasted any time in publishing our first SpecJEnterprise2010 results for WAS V8, which immediately takes first place on EjOPS/Core to add to WebSphere's lead for overall EjOPS/AppServer.

And its not just raw throughput that is faster in WAS V8. Product installation simplification through use of the IBM Installation Manager (IM) and new template-driven cell creation has reduced product installation time by 15%, large-topology server creation time by 69% and large-topology cluster-creation time by 31%.

Look out for more WAS V8.0 posts soon from the WAS team.