WebSphere Articles

Full Set of IBM Business Process Manager Classes Available

We have been releasing various courses on IBM Business Process Manager 8.5 lately and have several different options for those clients using this product.  The course that might apply depends a bit on the role someone is in so below are the options we have:

Business Analysts:

Programmers/Developers:

Administrators:

“Whole Team”:

  • WA2219 BPM Bootcamp with IBM Business Process Manager Advanced 8.5 – We also have a 5 day “bootcamp” class that is intended to show multiple roles the capabilities of the IBM Business Process Manager platform and how to most effectively leverage the many features.  This class combines the full 3 days of the process modeling course and then includes 2 days on the “programming” that would be most commonly used to support process applications.

For those wanting to learn more about how to leverage the features if the IBM BPM platform, it might also help to view the recorded webinar below.  Even though the webinar was originally given for 8.0 it still applies to 8.5 as well.

Webinar – Effective BPM with IBM Business Process Manager 8.0

So for those clients looking to use the many features of IBM Business Process Manager 8.5, let Web Age Solutions help you learn these capabilities!

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WebSphere Portal 8.0 Programming Class Released – Now with Mobile!

We have recently updated our WebSphere Portal 8.0 Programming class (WA2089) with some new topics.  The most notable of these is coverage of some of the new mobile features that IBM has included in WebSphere Portal 8.0.  This includes the WebSphere Portal Mobile theme and “device classes” which is a framework provided by WebSphere Portal to allow you to easily determine what type of device a user is viewing the portal on and perhaps adjust the view content based on that information.

In recent versions of the class we have also added or expanded coverage of some topics popular with clients which include the following:

  • Spring MVC portlet framework
  • Customizing WebSphere Portal themes and skins (the mechanism for this changed drastically in WebSphere Portal 7.0 and we show the new way)
  • Using the Dojo client-side JavaScript library loaded by WebSphere Portal
  • WebSphere Portal “iWidget” framework for client-side components loaded by the portal
  • Basic WebSphere Portal administration tasks like deploying portlets and creating portal pages
  • WebSphere Portal Personalization Framework

Although the basic portlet programming hasn’t changed in several WebSphere Portal versions there are certainly lots of important things that have changed recently so this updated WebSphere Portal 8.0 Programming class will help get you up to date!

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WebSphere Liberty Profile Webinar – Wednesday, May 28, 2PM Eastern

Although WebSphere Application Server is one of the most robust Java Enterprise Application Servers for deployment of mission critical applications, it is not always that easy to use in development. Often we see clients who deploy to WebSphere in production using Tomcat or some other server to test in development because it is "easier". The complaint is that the full WebSphere Application Server takes too long to start or redeploy applications and is not intuitive to configure for developers. To address these issues, IBM has created the WebSphere "Liberty Profile" server. This is a lightweight server, certified for Java EE 6, that starts much faster and is easier to configure.

 

In this webinar we will look at the features of the WebSphere Liberty Profile server, how it compares to the "full" WebSphere Application Server, and how you can use it to simplify the development and testing of Java EE applications. We will even show that with version 8.5.5 of the WebSphere Liberty Profile there are some intriguing new features that would even let you run the server as part of a cluster and use it for some production deployment scenarios. We will also highlight the use of FREE Eclipse development tools that are available since the cost of development tools for WebSphere Application Server has also been historically an issue.

 

Register for the webinar here

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Testing Cordova Hybrid Apps in Worklight

Recently I worked on a project that introduced me to IBM® Worklight® mobile application platform. Among other things, I was pleasantly surprised at the price tag of the Developer Edition of this product: it is free. The Developer Edition comes with an Eclipse-based IDE called the Worklight Studio which offers support for authoring the client-side of your mobile web, hybrid and native apps as well as developing server-side components called adapters.

The Worklight Studio comes with a web application called the Mobile Browser Simulator that can help you with developing and testing your hybrid applications created using Apache Cordova framework. The Mobile Browser Simulator offers you a suite of visual controls for simulating a variety of native bridge APIs to such native device capabilities as accelerometer, camera, compass, file system, device info, contacts database, etc., without the need to run your apps directly on mobile devices or their emulators (which would require setting up specific run-time environments, such as ADT Eclipse plug-in for Android, Xcode for iPhone, etc.)

Here is a screen-shot of the Mobile Browser Simulator that shows Cordova APIs’ visual controls/widgets on the left with the expanded Battery widget that helps simulate different battery levels and the battery plugged-in event (fired when the battery is plugged in for charging and stays in this state until un-plugged).
Worklight 6.0 Mobile Browser Simulator Screen

So, if you are interested in this approach to testing Cordova hybrid apps, below are a few simple steps to follow that will help you get up and running in no time.

Note: For this blog posting, I used Worklight ver. 6.0 which comes with Cordova framework ver. 2.6.
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Create Better Web Applications With Java EE 6 Training

At Web Age Solutions, we have the challenging task of not only keeping up with technology specifications but whether clients are actually using those technologies.  We have started to see much more interest in Java EE 6 training on various platforms so this is obviously taking hold.

Java EE 6 had the unenviable distinction of being released pretty much right as companies were trying to dig out of the 2008-2009 economic downturn.  So even though it did take 1-2 years for all of the major server platforms to release versions that supported it, many clients were taking a “wait and see” approach to upgrading.  Since companies first have to upgrade to the most recent platform before they can even think about using the new technology that is available it has taken until now to really start seeing that take hold.  Even JBoss clients, which usually take a more “figure it out on our own” approach, are doing training to make sure they can fully take advantage of the latest JBoss version, including the very different administration model (which we cover in our WA2060 JBoss Administration and Clustering course).

One of the primary barriers to taking advantage of what the new platform can do is simply knowing what is available.  Quite often projects take an approach of “we do it this way because we’ve always done it this way” and don’t look for ways to improve and simplify their applications by leveraging new approaches to programming.  With Java EE 6 (and soon Java EE 7) continuing to expand the possibilities that are out there this is becoming more of an issue.  We are a long way from the days when only Servlets/JSP were “standard” and you needed a thick “patterns” book just to create your own web framework.

To further support those that might be looking for Java EE 6 training, I’ve updated all of our course maps for Java EE 6 training on the major platforms.  These course maps show a different path depending on if you are familiar with the big changes introduced in Java EE 5 since several clients often skip versions of a server and in particular we are seeing migration paths like WebSphere 6.1 –> WebSphere 8.x.  These course maps also mention some of the Spring 3 training classes we offer since clients sometimes do training in that area as well.

Java EE 6 Course Map for WebSphere 8.5

Java EE 6 Course Map for WebSphere 8.0

Java EE 6 Course Map for WebLogic 12c

Java EE 6 Course Map for JBoss

Looking to the future, the Java EE 7 specifications are finalized and servers are being updated right now to fully support them.  JBoss is as well and will probably be released early next year (they say this year but JBoss is always missing release deadlines).  The tricky thing is that the open source project is being renamed to “Wildfly” and the “JBoss” name will be reserved for only the supported version.  There is already a version mismatch between the two and now having two different names I think is going to cause more confusion but we will see.

As servers release support for Java EE 7 I think the goal is to try and release classes as early as possible.  This will depend somewhat of course on which servers release support first.  We are going to be working internally to develop ways where we can develop hands-on labs that are more modular and can be more easily reused in different courses so we can start developing those early and support more clients that are “early adopters” and want to upgrade quickly.  Java EE 7 contains a lot of updates as well so we are looking forward to introducing that to clients as they start moving to servers that support it!

Now we get to sit back and enjoy watching the “race” of which server supports Java EE 7 first.  Any bets?

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Accessing EJBs from Java SE Using WebSphere’s Embeddable EJB Container

Introduction

In this blog, we’ll explore how to employ the Embeddable EJB Container inside a Java SE application using WebSphere Application Server 8.x.

Embeddable EJB Container

One of the new features introduced in EJB 3.1 (part of Java EE 6) is the Embeddable EJB Container. The main two use cases for the Embeddable EJB Container are:

  1. Unit testing your EJBs without requiring a Java EE application server
  2. Embedding EJBs inside a Java SE application, which allows you to take advantage of their benefits (e.g., security and transactions)

The primary advantages of using the Embeddable EJB Container are:

  • You don’t need to install the application server if all you need to do is unit test or employ your EJBs within a Java SE-based application. You just need access to the vendor’s Embeddable EJB Container JAR file.
  • The Embeddable EJB Container starts almost instantaneously, unlike the server-based EJB container (which can take a minute or more to start up), since the Embeddable EJB Container initializes only EJB-related components.
  • The Embeddable EJB Container has a much smaller memory footprint than the equivalent server-based EJB container.

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How about a FREE set of WebSphere and Spring Eclipse Development Tools?

Lately I’ve been working quite a bit on expanding the classes available in our Spring 3.0 category.  One of the things that has always set our Spring training apart is that we offer options to develop Spring applications for WebSphere (in addition to other classes that use JBoss or Tomcat).  Spring has been a very popular framework and WebSphere a very popular server so it has always been a popular choice for our clients.

In the past, the downside has always been that WebSphere development required Rational Application Developer (RAD).  Doing Spring development in RAD was never a great fit since you couldn’t use the Spring Eclipse plug-ins that were available from SpringSource.  You also had some choices from MyEclipse for WebSphere and Spring tools but those weren’t free.  Now recently, IBM released FREE Eclipse tools so you can control and deploy to a WebSphere server directly from Eclipse, something that used to require RAD.  I’ve blogged about that before but that was without Spring tools.

So while developing our Spring 3.0 classes for WebSphere I wanted to take a fresh look at what would be the best environment for this.  The contenders would be:

  1. RAD without installing Spring tools
  2. MyEclipse Bling (WebSphere “Blue” tools and Spring)
  3. RAD with Spring tools added
  4. Eclipse with WebSphere and Spring tools installed

Read the rest to see the “Winner” and how to set it up!

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WebSphere 9 Coming Soon?

UPDATE:  As it turns out my guess that there would be an “intermediate” release was correct.  WebSphere 8.5.5 was released recently which mostly has updates for the Liberty profile being a certified implementation of the Java EE 6 Web profile.  The Redbooks updates was obviously for this 8.5.5 version.  The other points are still true though and I would be surprised if there is not an announcement of WebSphere 9.0 at or before the Impact 2014 conference next spring.

ORIGINAL POST: I know for those of you out there using WebSphere, the initial reaction to the title of this blog post is probably “But we haven’t even finished migrating to WebSphere 8.0/8.5!”  I myself didn’t think a new WebSphere version could be waiting in the wings but there have been a few interesting data points to consider:

– Java EE 7 should be final by end of May this year (http://java.net/projects/javaee-spec/pages/Home).

– Many Java EE 7 JSRs are already in final review (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/stage?listBy=proposed).

– IBM Developerworks has betas of 9.0 versions of development tools (https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/wasdev/entry/download?lang=en)

– IBM Redbooks had a residency open to update several core WebSphere Redbooks to “the latest release of WebSphere Application Server”.  This was only open to IBM employees since people who work on the Redbook would obviously get a “sneak peek” at the next WebSphere.

Although thinking about when WebSphere 9 might be released is interesting, I think there is another possibility, that there will be some “intermediate” release that includes updates mainly to the Liberty profile, the lightweight server that IBM is trying to tailor to developers.  Perhaps there will be something like an 8.5.5 release mainly to pick up updates to the Liberty profile.

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First Java EE 6 Web Service Class Released

We have just released our first web service class as part of our Java EE 6 courses:

WA2087 Programming Java SOAP and REST Web Services – WebSphere 8.0 / RAD 8.0

Java EE 6 contains two ways to write web services, JAX-WS for “classic” SOAP web services and JAX-RS for REST web services.  This class covers how to implement both styles.  The course also covers securing both types of services and compares the two styles so you can decide which might be appropriate for different situations.

I think this course will be especially useful for people that support JAX-RPC web services from J2EE 1.4 but need to look to what are the more recent Java standards for web services.  Java EE 6 put JAX-RPC on the “proposed optional” list of technologies which means in the future Java EE servers may not be required to support JAX-RPC.  Although I expect WebSphere will still support it now is a good time to start looking for how to migrate JAX-RPC web services to more recent standards like JAX-WS and JAX-RS.

This course is part of our WebSphere Application Server 8.0 Programming course map.  We have other courses that cover just JAX-RS or just JAX-WS as well as a course that covers REST services with JAX-RS and the AJAX clients that are most common for REST services.

If you have any questions about these courses feel free to contact us.

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WebSphere 8.5 Released

For those used to the measured releases of IBM, the title might come as a surprise.  After all, WebSphere 8.0 was just released last summer and many clients were just starting to prepare to move to 8.0 when IBM announced that it would release 8.5 this summer.  This also includes a new release of RAD 8.5 at the same time.

We will certainly have much more information on what is new in this version coming out over the next several months but I just wanted to give a quick summary now.  You can also look for some more information posted at the WASdev blog or a recent IBM Developerworks article.

Since we’re just looking at the important points here I’ve broken them down by job role:

Developers:

  • Ability to use Eclipse for WebSphere development.  We’ve detailed this previously in this blog post.
  • WebSphere 8.5 supports Java EE 6 just like WebSphere 8.0 does
  • Both WebSphere 8.5 and 8.0 support prior versions of J2EE/Java EE to help minimize application changes required during migration
  • WebSphere 8.5 includes a “Liberty profile” which is a lightweight server featuring extremely short startup time and other features beneficial to developers.  This will certainly be something we focus on more in the near future
  • Simplified server configuration of the Liberty profile with a single XML file
  • Any applications developed to run on the Liberty profile will also run on the “full” WebSphere Application Server
  • Support for JDK 7, although JDK 6 is still the default

Administrators:

  • WebSphere 8.5 still has the changes introduced in the 8.0 server.  The most major of these was the installation with the ‘Installation Manager’ tool and an optional logging framework, HPEL, which provides better performance and usability of logging.
  • Many of the features previously available in the ‘WebSphere Virtual Enterprise’ edition have been added to the ‘WebSphere Network Deployment’ edition.  This means IBM is providing an expanded set of features that used to cost much more to get your hands on.
  • Use of an ‘On Demand Router’ to intelligently route and prioritize application traffic.
  • ‘Application edition management’ which will allow deploying and testing a new application version while the current one is still active for users.  New application versions can then be activated seamlessly without interruption.
  • Health management and dynamic provisioning whereby policies can be established for the desired service level of an application and actions can be taken automatically to ensure these policies are met.  These actions could be as simple as restarting servers or as complex as adding new servers to a cluster.  Establishing these policies would let the WebSphere environment respond automatically without waiting for manual intervention of administrators.
  • Being able to track and rollback administrative changes.  This can be used to rollback administrative changes if needed without needing to manually track changes yourself.

Certainly, even this short list of new features provides a lot of things to look forward to as you start using WebSphere 8.5.  Be sure to follow our blog for more articles about WebSphere 8.5 and announcement of training and consulting offerings around this exciting new version.

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