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InfoQ Homepage News IBM WebSphere Application Server Version 8 Released with Full Java EE 6 Support

IBM WebSphere Application Server Version 8 Released with Full Java EE 6 Support

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Last week marked two milestones for IBM: Thursday June 16, 2011 marked IBM's 100th anniversary, and on the next day IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) V8 was launched, with complete support for the full Java EE 6 profile:

  • EJB 3.1
  • Contexts and Dependency Injection for Java (CDI) 1.0
  • Bean Validation 1.0
  • JavaServer Faces (JSF) 2.0
  • Java Servlet 3.0
  • Java Persistence API (JPA) 2.0
  • Java API for RESTful Web Services (JAX-RS) 1.1
  • Java API for XML-based Web Services (JAX-WS) 2.2
  • Enterprise Web Services 1.3 (JSR-109)
  • Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB) 2.2

As well as the Java EE 6 standards, WebSphere 8 integrates a lot of the feature pack content that was previously available as separate installs on top of WAS V7:

  • OSGi applications. Modularity framework OSGi has been used internally in WebSphere Application Server for several years. Within WAS V 8 existing components can be exposed as SCA components inside OSGi applications. In turn, OSGi and web applications can be deployed as OSGi bundles in the WebSphere Application Server.
  • Service Component Architecture (SCA) 1.0 based on the open source Apache Tuscany project.
  • Java Batch, which provides a batch container service that integrates a batch programming model with administration functions such as job definition, job status, checkpoint and restart.
  • Communication Enabled Applications (CEA). The CEA programming model adds support for communications capabilities, like click-to-call, call notifications and co-browsing.
  • XML programming model improvements include support for Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) 2.0, XML Path Language (XPath) 2.0, and XML Query Language (XQuery) 1.0. The IBM Thin Client for XML can accelerate application development of client-side applications that utilise XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0, and XQuery 1.0 in WebSphere Application Server.

Two feature packs are available for WAS V8. The "Web 2.0 and mobile" pack, also available for WAS V7 and 6.1, is based on the Apache Wink and Dojo projects. It aims to extend the reach of WAS to support applications from the desktop to mobile devices, including popular smartphones and tablets such as Apple's iPad and iPhone, products running Google's Android OS, and RIM's BlackBerry range. The "dynamic scripting" pack, which is for version 8 only, enables the user of PHP and Groovy within the WebSphere environment.

IBM has also put considerable emphasis on improving the systems management aspects of the platform. WAS 8 is the first version of the software to run IBM's installation manager, which is expected to ease deployment, especially for organisations that need to install the software across different hardware platforms. The installation manager provides a single installation technology for installing and uninstalling the product and fix packs, and updating and rolling back fix packs. A particularly welcome addition is the ability to install the desired level of service pack in one pass, thus eliminating the need to install the GA product first and then apply any fixes as a separate step.

WAS V8 includes an Application Migration Tool (AMT), that was delivered during the V7 service cycle. The AMT analyses source code to find potential migration problems.

WebSphere is the third application to be certified with full Java EE 6 Profile, following on from Oracle's GlassFish Open Source Edition 3.x and upwards, and JEUS 7 from TmaxSoft. Products certified against the Web Profile include Caucho Resin 4.0, and GlassFish Open Source Edition 3.x Web Profile.  JBoss have yet to release a certified Java EE 6 product. JBoss Application Server 6 does support the web profile, but hasn't been certified compliant.  Rich Staples, product manager for the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform product, told InfoQ that version 7.0 will be certified against the web profile, whilst 7.1, which will be released towards the end of the year, will be both Web Profile certified and full EE 6 certified.  This will also be the version that is used for the commerical, supported version EAP 6.

More information on the WebSphere 8 release can be found here.

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