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Java Developer : Article

Lots of Exciting Happenings in the World of WebSphere

Lots of Exciting Happenings in the World of WebSphere

It's been a busy month in the world of WebSphere, with the advent of some very exciting new functions in WebSphere Studio and WebSphere Application Server. The latest version of WebSphere Studio (v5.1) takes a huge step toward helping people build Web applications in Java - without needing to be a Java expert. This version contains several rapid application development features, such as a visual editor for Java and Enterprise JavaBeans, and a wizard for generating Web services. These features enable a whole new class of people to start customizing WebSphere.

WebSphere Studio now enables nonprogrammers to create Web services; soon everyone will be creating Web services. A wizard enables novices to connect a Web page to an application that delivers regular updates of the information of their choice. All the user needs to do is point the wizard to the application, which is registered as a Web service on IBM's UDDI registry, and let the tool generate the necessary code.

UDDI can automatically discover and integrate with services on the Web. Although not widely used today, many companies are experimenting with this technology within corporate intranets, and it should go mainstream within the next couple of years.

IBM now offers a Ready for IBM WebSphere Studio software validation program that opens up WebSphere to practically any third-party vendor, allowing almost any type of add-on functionality. You've got to be a member of PartnerWorld for Developers to participate, but if you're not, it's easy to join. The validation proves that your product works with the WebSphere Studio Workbench and/or the WebSphere Studio Family by correctly using their APIs.

The validation criteria focus on eight key areas of functionality: the ability to launch developer tools from the Workbench; to show and create developer tool views within the Workbench; to manage developer tool attributes and preferences; to connect developer tools to Workbench views and editors; to exchange data with and extend the Workbench Java development tools; to exchange data with and extend WebSphere Studio product components; to create developer tool help information; and to package and install developer tools.

The program is accessed through the Eclipse IDE, which makes adding new functionality to WebSphere Studio a simple process, as developers can plug in their favorite tools from any vendor supporting the open-source platform.

Meanwhile WebSphere Application Server v5.0.2 is more than just a standard fixpack; it's a mini-release. Starting with support for the Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.4 client container, there are improvements in Web services interoperability and security, performance and application tuning, platform support, systems management, and database integration.

Now there is also support for all of the Web services standards needed for describing (WSDL 1.1) and deploying (JSR 109) applications or services on a network in a consistent way so that they can be discovered (UDDI 1.0 and 2.0) and invoked (SOAP 1.1 and SOAP 1.1 with Attachments, SAAJ 1.1, WSIF, JSR 101), in a more secure (WS-Security, XML Signature, XML Encryption) and reliable manner (SOAP over JMS).

In addition to high-performing support for all of the newly released Web services standards, WebSphere Application Server v5.0.2 is the first production-level application server to support the June 2003 Board Approved Draft of the WS-I Basic Profile 1.0. Developers building Web services applications with WebSphere Application Server v5.0.2 will get a head start on interoperating across heterogeneous environments and enterprise boundaries.

Database connectivity has been expanded with a new, integrated DB2 Correlator with WebSphere Trace, which provides improved serviceability and better debugging when using WAS and DB2 together. It also supports the new JDBC Type 2 driver support for DB2 v8 with continued support for Sybase 12.5 and Oracle 9 R2.

And now, with virtualized backup clusters available, you can automatically configure your system to set up a backup cluster of servers in case your primary cluster fails - without having to write any code. If your primary cluster goes down, the workload is automatically sent to another cluster elsewhere in your network. What more could anyone ask?

More Stories By Jacques Martin

Jack Martin, editor-in-chief of WebSphere Journal, is cofounder and CEO of Simplex Knowledge Company (publisher of Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal http://www.s-ox.com), an Internet software boutique specializing in WebSphere development. Simplex developed the first remote video transmission system designed specifically for childcare centers, which received worldwide media attention, and the world's first diagnostic quality ultrasound broadcast system. Jack is co-author of Understanding WebSphere, from Prentice Hall.

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