Placing greater emphasis on availability than in any previous release of its
software, IBM Wednesday released detailed enhancements to its core WebSphere Application Server (WAS).
Big Blue offers a glimpse of the long-awaited version 6 of WebSphere Application Server. It claims a quick uptime, new automation, and standards support.
The announcement is part of IBM’s major upgrade of its WebSphere middleware product lines, its biggest in about two years.
WAS 6 cuts downtime and failover from five minutes to a matter of seconds,
an unprecedented boost in continuity and performance for an IBM software
server, according to Bob Sutor, director of marketing, WebSphere Foundation
Sutor said the upgraded application server represents the Armonk, N.Y.,
company’s efforts to protect business applications from outages, from power failures to hurricanes or tornadoes, that can cost companies thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
For example, financial institutions that broker large transactions online
require as close to 100 percent uptime as possible. When an outage at a bank
occurs, financial transactions get dropped, costing businesses and people
time and money.
Sutor told internetnews.com improvements in WAS 6 spring from the company’s autonomic computing technology, which are computing systems designed to self-heal, manage
After detecting an outage, WAS 6 redirects data to a fail-over server within
the same data center, or via the Internet to a completely different location, if needed. Before, administrators had to manually reboot
D.H. Brown & Associates analyst Pierre Fricke said the high-availability and
fail-over features could give IBM a leg-up on what current rivals BEA Systems and
Oracle currently provide in their application server products.
WAS 6 has a new, drag-and-drop environment that automates tedious steps of
application development for programmers. Eliminating hand-coding has been a
major bugbear for software companies.
“IBM lagged in ease-of-use and deployment and they certainly improved that
with 6,” Fricke told internetnews.com. Moreover, Fricke said support
for Java Server Faces and Service Data Objects improves the presentation
layer on the server-side, making it easier to accommodate different
With such improvements, IBM hopes to boost its share over rivals BEA Systems
and Oracle in the application server space, a multi-billion
industry where applications are transferred across hardware servers and
networks of all sizes.
There is also increased and up-to-the minute standards support, including
WS-Security, which authenticates communications between Web services and WS-Transactions, which makes sure Web services are consistently delivered.
Sutor also claims the software embodies a service-oriented architecture (SOA) more than any other application server on the market.
SOAs are related processes and services that can be mixed and matched
through reusable software components instead of pieces that are manually
coded. What this does is allow businesses to more quickly and efficiently
integrate and share applications and data with customers, partners and
suppliers. Web services are considered a subset of an SOA.
WAS 6 fits into this mold, Sutor said, because IBM’s engineers have adjusted
it to more easily integrate with customers’ systems, regardless of the
technology. WAS 6 provides this with faster messaging connectivity to an
enterprise service bus a layer of connection infrastructure
that allows transactions to flow between applications.
WAS 6 and a lighter weight Express version will be available by year’s end,
with pricing to be unveiled at that time.
In related WebSphere software news, new versions of IBM WebSphere Studio Site
Developer and WebSphere Studio Application Developer tools are currently
planned to be available in the fourth quarter. When they appear, they will
be re-branded as IBM Rational Web Developer for WebSphere Software and
Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software, respectively.
This article was originally published on internetnews.com.