WebSphere Tutorial

Are you excited to learn one of the amazing tutorials? This WebSphere application is simply referred to as “WAS”, and it is a Java based application server platform (popularly called J2EE). Here J2EE stands for JAVA enterprise edition and offers functionality to deploying fault-tolerant, multi-tier, and distributed software tools. This tool also allows users to work with run time environments and manages the interfaces to create modular components. In this WebSphere Tutorial, we will be explaining the concepts like features, versions, advantages, architecture, and tools. This websphere online tutorial for beginners helps to gain outstanding knowledge of the concepts. Are you amazed to learn this tutorial? What are you waiting for? Let’s begin the journey;

Introduction to WebSphere application:

WebSphere application is a java based web application tool developed by IBM corporations. This application tool refers to the brand-proprietary computer led software products also named as an “Application and data integration middleware tool”. These software application products are used by the end customer to create and integrate the applications with any other different applications. The central WebSphere tool is also known as the “WebSphere Application server” or WAS.

This WebSphere application tool offers functionality to deploying the fault-tolerant, multi-tier Java software applications, and distributed applications. It also provides the runtime java environment set up and manages the interfaces with many modular components. The WAS will support J2EE features and improve the coding features. This IBM WAS has evolved as a software product with newly updated JEE standards and IBM continued to offer new versions of WAS to support JEE features.

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IBM WebSphere versions:

In this section, we are going to explain the various WebSphere versions:

1. WebSphere version 8.0 -> J2EE level 6 -> EJB 3.1 -> servlet number 3.0 -> JSP 2.2.

2. WebSphere version 7.0 -> J2EE level 5 -> EJB 3.0 -> servlet number 2.5 -> JSP 2.1.

3. WebSphere version 6.1 -> J2EE level 1.4 -> EJB 2.1 -> Servlet number -> 2.4 ->JSP 2.0.

4. WebSphere version 6.0 -> J2EE level 1.4 -> EJB 2.1 -> Servlet number -> 2.4 -> JSP 2.0

5. WebSphere version 5.1 -> J2EE level 1.3 -> EJB 2.0 -> Servlet number 2.3 -> JSP 1.2

6. WebSphere version 5.0 -> J2EE level 1.3 -> EJB 2.0 -> Servlet number 2.3 -> JSP 1.2

7. WebSphere version 4.0 -> J2EE level 1.2 -> EJB 1.1 -> Servlet number 2.2 -> JSP 1.1

8. WebSphere version 3.5 -> JSEE level 1.2 -> EJB 1.0 -> Servlet number 2.1 -> JSP 1.0.

Why is the IBM WebSphere application server used?

The following are the key factors that will explain the advantages of using IBM WebSphere application server:

1. The WebSphere application server supports migration scenarios including cloud migration. WebSphere version to version migration including WAS liberty and offers immediate migration from third party application servers.

2. The WebSphere configuration tool for IBM offers an easy interface for “Cloning” of V7, V8, AND V8.5 traditional versions. Here the current data cell remains untouched and fully functional, and when the WebSphere migration completes. Your new data cell will be running on WebSphere V9 in the IBM cloud applications. They are easy to use Wizard guides which are achieved through simple steps.

3. The WebSphere configuration migration tool is an Eclipse Plugin that helps to migrate your existing server configuration from WebLogic, JBOSS or Traditional WebSphere V7.0+ to liberty and traditional WebSphere application server V8.5.5+.

4. The migration WebSphere toolkit for application binaries offers a command line tool that quickly evaluates application binaries for rapid deployment on newer versions of WebSphere application server traditional or liberty.

WebSphere Application server Architecture Overview:

In this section, we are going to explain the overall structural components and the work nature of each component. The below diagram explains the architectural overview of WebSphere:


The WebSphere architecture consists of one or more computer systems they are called nodes. Nodes are available inside the WebSphere cell. Each WebSphere cell consists of one node. By using this node you can install the WebSphere software. Suppose if the WebSphere cell consists of more than one node, then all the required software components are distributed among the multiple nodes. The following are the major components of WebSphere architecture:

1. A web server that offers the services of HTTP.

2. A database server that offers a data persistence service.

3. WebSphere application server (WAS).

Important points:

1. The WebSphere plugins are implanted as a filter and these examine all incoming HTTP requests and route them into other web application servers based on the use of URL composition.

2. Each Web server consists of its own API that allows users to filter the implementation.

3. Standards based protocols like HTTP OR HTTPS will be supported by Firewall based products.

4. SSL can also be used within the DMZ that encrypts network traffic between the software applications and web server systems.

5. Here the WebSphere configuration files are used by the Plugins (XML based and easy to administer). Multiple redirection rules will be defined to more than one application server.

6. The plug-in supports the load balancing and error free capabilities, which offers higher scalability with additional administration effort.

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The latest features of the WebSphere application server:

The following are the latest features and its description of the WebSphere application server.

1. Monitored deployment tool: This is a newly monitored directory-based web application installment, update and uninstall of J2EE application developments.

2. HPEL tool: This is a new high performance extensible logging or HPEL problem solving tool and enhanced security and administration features to improve the administrator productivity and control.

3. Updated installed process: This is a newly simplified install and maintenance application through the IBM installation manager to improve the controlling and efficiency.

4. Workload efficiency tool: helps to run the same workload on fewer servers, and also creates the 30 percent savings to update the EJB performance and web services.

5. Improved performance and high availability with WebSphere MQ: Messaging is a key feature of an enterprise both in Java JMS and IBM’s specific messaging platforms known as WebSphere MQ. The webSphere application server is continuous to offer easy integration with MQ and protection services offered by WAS.

6. Security hardening: Here SAML or Security assertion markup language represents the user’s identity and security attributes. With the help of SAML, you can easily sign-in and encrypt SOAP message elements.

a. Any organization for the advancement of structured information standards (OASIS) – a global consortium that offers development, convergence, and adoption of the e-based applications and web service standards.

b. Web service security API or WSS API and WebSphere trust support customers to build a single sign on web service based applications.

c. The WSS (Web service security) API supports security token types and deriving keys for signature, verifications, encryption, and decryption.

d. The auditable security events are nothing but security events that perform instrumentation and will be added to the security run-time codes to enable the logs and reviews.

e. Enhanced Cookie helps to reduce the cross-site scripting vulnerabilities and also offers better security services. For example; single sign on (SSO) and LPTA (Lightweight third-party authentications).

7. Security auditing enhancements: This feature enhances the security reporting, session security, and web attributes.

a. Offers additional security features that are enabled by default.

b. Security enhancements required by JAVA servlet pages 3.0.

c. JAVA authentication SPI for java containers support and offers third party authentication requests for response in web applications.

d. Configure the federal repositories at the software domain level in any security domain environment.

8. Performance improvements: JPA L2 cache and integration support with DynaCache environment. Here new caching features functionality for servlet caching, web services, command cache, and many more.

9. Improved migration support: this offers better support to migrate applications that are deployed to the WebSphere application server. The improved version of command-line tools and graphical user interface wizards tools also available.

10. JDBC or java database connectivity: This feature inserts new and upgraded providers only for database connectivity. This JDBC connectivity supports the database application developments in JDBC.

Extended Deployment in WebSphere:

WebSphere extended deployment is a newly launched product for the IBM WebSphere software tool. WebSphere Extended deployment is a software platform and adds new features to the software. The main purpose of using Extended Deployment in WebSphere is to provide dynamic operations, high-performance computing, and also supports extended management. The WebSphere extended deployment also delivers enhanced qualities of services with optimizing IT features and resources.

There are three extended deployment products available they are;

1. WebSphere Virtual Enterprise management:

The below are the key points of WebSphere Virtual enterprise management:

a. This increases software flexibility and agility to integrate business process, service improvement, application performance, and better health management.

b. This offers the application infrastructure virtualization capabilities that will help to reduce the cost. So that users are able to create, manage, running the enterprise applications and SOA environment setup.

2. WebSphere extreme scale:

a.This is one of the essential IBM software technologies that help in conducting extreme data transaction processes.

b. It allows any business application to process large volumes of data transactions with better efficiency and linear scalability.

c. This offers transactional integration and transparency to assure high availability, constant response time, and high reliability.

d. It also operates an in-memory data grid type that dynamically replicates, manages, partitions and replication of business logic and application data across multiple servers.

3. Compute grid:

This component enables execution, monitoring, and scheduling of the batch type with service policy management and workload data management.

Asymmetric and Symmetric clustering in WebSphere:

Clustering is similar to a parallel system that consists of multiple CPUs. The clustering systems are created by using two or more computing devices and they merge together. There are two types of clustering systems as shown below:

1. Asymmetric Clustering system:

In this type of clustering, one of the nodes in the cluster system is in stand mode and the remaining nodes run in the application. If any of the stand nodes fails, that node will not be a part of the clustering system. This stand node continuously monitors the server and if any of the other nodes fails, this stand node will replace them.

The following diagram explains asymmetric clustering:


Working process:

Below are the important steps involved in Asymmetric clustering:

1. In this type of clustering, a master node will direct all the slave nodes to perform the required tasks. These requests are managed by the master nodes.

2. A distributed memory cache used to improve the system performance.

3. This cluster also manages the resources like memory and peripheral devices. These resources are divided between the asymmetric nodes at boot time.

Advantages of using Asymmetric clustering:

The following are the important advantage of asymmetric clustering:

1. Here many computer devices will be connected together and the processor will work parallel. This clustering type reduces the cost of hardware resources.

2. This asymmetric clustering increases the reliability and if one node fails, then the stand-by node will pick up the slack.

3. All the asymmetric clustering system processors are independent and only share memory for further communication purposes.

4. All the asymmetric clustering system processors consist of kernels and operate on different operating system platforms.

2. Symmetric clustering system:

In symmetric clustering, the system consists of two or more modes and monitors all the applications while running. This one is more efficient than the asymmetric clustering system due to it uses both hardware resources and software resources.

The following diagram explains the symmetric clustering system:


Advantages of Symmetric Clustering in WebSphere:

The following are the advantages of Symmetric clustering:

1. The symmetric clustering in WebSphere is more reliable compared to asymmetric clustering. The reason behind this is that if anyone node fails, the other stand up node will pick up the slack. This will never cause the system failure and provides graceful degradation.

2. Many computer devices are connected together and mostly work in parallel. This will reduce the cost of hardware resources.

3. This symmetric clustering is more scalable as it will add a new node to the system. No need to take the entire clustering system to add new a new code.

Attribute channels in WebSphere:

A channel is nothing but establishes a connection or link between sending and receiving channels. A channel consists of a sender channel at the local data queue manager location and the receiver channel at the remote queue manager location. These two channels (sender channel and receiver channel) are composed of the same names, and together they make a channel.

Mainly these channel attributes are used only with WebSphere Message Queue applications, they specify the channels for sending or receiving messages in a file or record.

Below points will explain the attribute channels in WebSphere:

1. These attributes of a channel are optimal for given circumstances for each WebSphere channel. When the channels are running the actual data values may change during the environment set up.

2. Many WebSphere attributes consist of default values and they can be used for most channels.

3. In WebSphere message queue used for iSeries communications, and here most of the channel attributes are specified as an *SYSDFTCHL*= this means that the value will be taken from the default system channel in your development setup.

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Explain about WebSphere MQ real transport:

This WebSphere MQ real transport is a lightweight protocol. This lightweight protocol is mainly used for optimization processes where messages are non-persistent. The WebSphere MQ real time transports are mostly used by JMS clients.

The important points to be considered here:

1. The WebSphere MQ real time transport is best suited for the applications to send huge messages. Here all the applications make use of protocols located in TCP/IP protocol to quality consideration and no persistent delivery. For instance, the TCP/IP protocol can be used in a situation where you need to update every frequent. The examples included are the stock market, share values, and update the scoreboard for the sporting events.

2. This WebSphere MQ real time transport is a lightweight protocol which is optimized for non-persistent messaging type.

3. This type of WebSphere MQ real time transport is an ideal message portal for application developments. Here a large number of messages will be sent to various client applications.

4. WebSphere Message queue real time transport is mainly used by JMS clients and offers high level scalability and messages throughout.

5. The web Sphere MQ real time transport never offers persistent messaging portable or durable subscriptions.  

IBM WebSphere Edge server and its components:

The WebSphere Edge server allows users to deploy the application parts that consist of JAVA servlets or JAVA servlet pages components to work with proxy cache and executes these cache. These caches are popularly known as “Edge server” and this works with the original WebSphere application servers. This feature is known as “Offloading”.

The IBM WebSphere edge application is a set of web application server components that are mainly used to improve the performance of web-based application systems.

Each edge server in WebSphere consists of 4 important components:

1. Network dispatcher:

Network dispatcher is a type of TCP protocol connection router that helps to load several TCP servers. The prototypes of Network dispatcher are used to support high scale load web sites. Network dispatcher offers faster IP address kernel extension to the TCP/IP protocol. Load sharing is also possible with the help of a Network dispatcher to monitor and control the connection allocation algorithm.

2. Caching proxy:

Web caching proxy is used to satisfy the client request without contacting the origin server. Usually, users configure browsers to send all the requests through a shared proxy server. The proxy servers are a large cache of web browsers. With the help of this server, the browsers send all the requests to proxy and these requests object from the origin server, returning them in HTTP responses to the browser.

3. Content distribution:

Content distribution is the act of promoting content to the online audience in multiple media formats through various channels. These channels can be categorized into three groups such as owned, earned, and paid.

4. Application service at the edge:

An application service edge is an emerging cybersecurity concept and “future of networking security in the cloud”. This security approach allows organizations to apply any type of secure access to the users.

Differences between the Application server and Web server:

In this section, we are going to explain the key differences between the Application Server and Web Server:

Application server:

1. Application server consists of various protocols that provide business logic to the client applications.

2. Here the number of protocols are used to provide business applications.

3. The delegation model in the application server is complex to use.

4. It's a framework that helps to deliver various applications to another device.

5. It can be used to serve both web based applications and enterprise based applications.

6. This application server supports multi-threading along with other features.

 Examples for application servers: Tomcat, Apache Tom EE, IBM WebSphere, and Wildfly, etc.

Web Server:

1. The web server allows clients to visit web pages in the browser.

2. Here we need to use the HTTP requests which are handled by web servers.

3. The delegation model in the web server is very simple to use.

4. It is not able to process multiple simultaneous requests in parallel.

5. It is used to facilitate web based traffic that is generally less resource-intensive.

6. This web server also serves state content to the end-users using the HTTP protocol.

 For example Microsoft IIS, Apache, Jetty, Nginx, Lite speed, and Roxen.

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IBM WebSphere Proxy Server:

IBM WebSphere Proxy server is an HTTP proxy or SIP proxy server. Here one of the class libraries is used DCS_UNICAST_ADDRESS is also known as the High availability manager communication port.

The important points:

1. Once you install a WebSphere proxy server, you need to configure the XMPP proxy server first. Then these WebSphere proxy servers will be connected through a firewall, node agents, and servers use the DCS_UNICAST_ADDRESS which is used to determine where to connect route traffic to servers.

2. When the DCS library reports a proxy server is up, then the WebSphere proxy server will be added to the pool.

3. When the DCS library reports a proxy server is down, then the WebSphere proxy server will remove it from the pool.

4. If there is no server available for the route URI, then 503 will be returned to the client.

The following diagram explains how to connect with the Proxy server router.


Here we only make use of HTTP proxy for all types of services, and this proxy server is also aware of the entire sell connectivity. Therefore users need to add distinct virtual hosts, these hosts are key to ensure whether the connection is done correctly or not. A WebSphere SIP proxy server is tied with the specific lists and also consists of ports:





WebSphere MQ JMS provider:

The main usage of a WebSphere Message queue or MQ is used to use as a JAVA message provider (JJMS) for JEE applications, which will be deployed on the WebSphere application servers. The WebSphere MQ JMS is a type of message provider for Message queue systems. This is a set of java classes and allows the usage of the JMS application to access the WebSphere MQ systems. This type of model offers point-to-point and publish/subscribe to the JMS which are supported by the MQ JMS provider.

Below are the important concepts of JMS provider:

1. IBM WebSphere Message Queue class consists of java messages which are nothing but a set of JAVA classes that help to access any web applications to access the WebSphere message Queue systems.

2. This JMS provider offers services like a point-to-point model and Publish/subscribe to the JMS system.

3. These JAVA classes are available as a part of the IBM WebSphere MQ client.


I hope you guys got some idea about IBM’s popular product known as “WebSphere application server”. WebSphere is a J2EE application server and mainly supports creating frameworks to develop the server-side Java objects. This WebSphere tutorial is ideal for both fresher as well as Experienced JAVA professionals who want to earn promotions and packages. To learn and get a job in top tech companies learning only the theoretical part is enough, to get hands-on experience you should attend an online course related to WebSphere technology. You know what? As per the latest Gartner report, almost 33% of the database companies use WebSphere application servers. So you can expect a huge job opening every year. What you are waiting for, let’s start learning this amazing tool to unleash your J2EE skill set.  

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As a Senior Writer for HKR Trainings, Sai Manikanth has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Digital Marketing, Content Management, Project Management & Methodologies, Product Lifecycle Management Tools. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.