IBM released WebSphere Application Server (WAS) 8.5.5 in 2013 and since then market share is growing but slowly. It’s surprising to see version 6 is still used by 50% where version 8 is just 9.6%.

websphere-market-share

If you are still on WAS 7 and considering moving to WebSphere 8.5.5 then following will give you an idea about new things introduced in WAS 8.5.5.

As an administrator, you may want to start playing with installation and if you are new to WebSphere then this little introduction will help you.

Update: WebSphere 9 is available on IBM Cloud Blumix, in case you are interested.

JAVA SE7 Support

Java 7 is supported in WAS 8.5 version. Now you have the flexibility to switch between Java 6 and 7. This helps a developer to take advantage of Java 7 features in an application deployed on WebSphere environment.

Application Deployment using “Monitored Directory”

Very handy for developers to drop the code in monitored directory so a server can pick the changes and deploy them automatically.

HPEL Logging

High-Performance Extensible Logging (HPEL) is binary logging to improve the server performance. HPEL is faster than text logging.

Inbuilt Health Management

You can take advantage of health management to monitor the conditions and take necessary actions. You may create health policies to identify the potential issues and take proactive action to avoid/minimize the application downtime.

Liberty Profile

It’s dynamic profile to enhance the delivery experience. It’s faster than any other WebSphere profile and starts in less than 5 seconds. The liberty profile in 8.5 leverages OSGi (Open Services Gateway Initiative) that has very small application server memory footprint.

Intelligent Routing

ODR (On Demand Routing) component is a java-based proxy server that handles incoming requests and distributes across the WebSphere application server environment.

Dynamic Clustering

Dynamic Cluster is the new Intelligent Management feature, which enables WebSphere to dynamically stop, start and allocate resource as and when required.

EJB 3.1 Compatibility

EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans) 3.1 is supported from starting WebSphere 8 version.

JDBC 4.1 Compatibility

JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) 4.1 is supported in WebSphere 8.5.5 version.

Installation using Install Manager

Starting from WebSphere 8, you need to use IBM Install Manager to install WebSphere.

Web 2.0

With the support of Web 2.0 and Mobile Toolkit, developers can build reliable mobile web applications on standard technologies like HTML 5, CSS3 & JavaScript.

I hope now you are familiar with new stuff introduced in WebSphere 8.5. This wouldn’t be possible without the following the reference.

http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpapers/pdfs/redp4870.pdf

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