New to WebSphere

Get acquainted with IBM's application and integration software

Whether you're just exploring or actually getting started with using WebSphere® software, you've come to the right place. This page, part of the developerWorks WebSphere site, provides an overview of the key components of the WebSphere platform and points you to a wealth of resources to help you learn more about the specific areas of interest to you and your business.

What is WebSphere?

WebSphere provides software for SOA environments that enables dynamic, interconnected business processes, and delivers highly effective application infrastructures for all business situations. WebSphere is IBM's application and integration software platform, and includes the entire middleware infrastructure, including servers, services, and tools, needed to create, deploy, run, and monitor round-the-clock, enterprise-wide web applications and cross-platform, cross-product solutions.

What can WebSphere do for me and my company?

An agile business is one whose business processes, integrated end-to-end across the company and with key partners, suppliers, and customers, can respond with rapidly and flexibly to customer demands, market opportunities, or external threats. You can use WebSphere to build and monitor an agile business infrastructure, and to develop and extend applications that run on that infrastructure.

How you work with WebSphere depends on your role in the business. IBM provides extensive tools and facilities to help you build, run, manage, and optimize your business applications. These tools are based on industry open standards, such as J2EE and Eclipse, and they use common installation, administration, security, and programming models.

Some examples of ways you can use WebSphere are:

Application infrastructure

WebSphere Application Infrastructure solutions enable fast, efficient delivery of applications and services with robust performance, high availability, and transactional integrity. Enhanced automation capabilities help simplify management and improve efficiency, which frees up IT teams to invest more time and resources in developing new applications that support changing business needs. You can further optimize resources and control costs with virtualization and cloud capabilities that make your infrastructure more dynamic and highly scalable.

IBM WebSphere Application Server, which provides the runtime environment for enterprise applications, is at the heart of several unique packages designed to meet a wide range of user requirements. WebSphere Application Server offers industry-leading support of programming models and open standards to accelerate the delivery of new applications and services.

WebSphere Application Server is the implementation by IBM of the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) platform. It conforms to the Java EE 6 specifications as one of its supporting programming models. From business critical and key enterprise-wide applications to the smallest departmental level applications, WebSphere Application Server offers the highest levels of reliability, availability, security and scalability.

WebSphere Application Server also provides programming models for Java Platform, Standard Edition 6, OSGi applications, Web 2.0 Mobile, Java Batch, XML, Service Component Architecture (SCA), Communications Enabled Applications (CEA), Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), and dynamic scripting.

WebSphere application infrastructure focus areas include:

IBM Workload Deployer (formerly known as IBM WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance) is a hardware appliance that further enhances the deployment and management of on-premises cloud environments with new WebSphere Hypervisor Editions and workload patterns based on IBM middleware and over a decade of best. practices Workload Deployer reduces application deployment time from weeks to minutes.

For more essential reading on WebSphere Application Server, see the Recommended reading list for Java EE and WebSphere Application Server.

For more information and expanded resources about WebSphere application infrastructure solutions, see the developerWorks WebSphere Application Server zone.

Application integration

WebSphere application integration and connectivity are part of a Smart SOA approach that enables information to flow freely within and across applications, business processes, and different organizations. WebSphere application integration products provide a wide variety of services to support this reliable and flexible flow of information, to increase collaboration, business insight, and cost-effective reuse of data and knowledge within your enterprise. Application integration ranges from ensuring speed, reliability, and compatibility when exchanging messages between two applications, to an enterprise-level SOA to support systematic information exchange across a wide variety of applications and services involving different servers, platforms, locations, data formats, and national languages.

WebSphere application integration includes three focus areas:

For technical resources on WebSphere application integration, see the developerWorks WebSphere application integration zone

Business process management

Business process management is all about collaborating between business and IT to build better processes to increase business agility and improve customer satisfaction. With IBM BPM solutions, you can optimize business performance by documenting, deploying and continuously improving end-to-end business processes.

To get started with BPM, you need to focus on delivering business value. Take an incremental approach that allows you to quickly prove value with a single project, build competency and skills, and extend across the enterprise. One particularly effective approach to BPM adoption is the Center of Excellence (COE) approach.

Business process management roadmap
Business process management roadmap

IBM BPM has four focus areas: business monitor, process automation, decision management, and process discovery and design, includes the following key products:

  • IBM Business Process Manager is a comprehensive BPM platform that gives you visibility and insight to manage your business processes. It scales smoothly and easily from an initial project to a full enterprise-wide program. Read articles and tutorials on IBM Business Process Manager for both business and technical users.
  • IBM Business Process Manager Industry Packs are a set of prebuilt assets to help accelerate delivery of standards-based industry solutions for banking, healthcare, and telecommunications with BPM.
  • IBM Business Monitor provides end-to-end business process and activity monitoring along with dashboards representing insight that can be used in process optimization. Read articles about IBM Business Monitor for both business and technical users.
  • IBM Case Manager unites information, process, and people to provide a 360-degree view of case information and achieve optimized outcomes.
  • Blueworks Live is a cloud-based BPM tool that enables collaboration and process automation. Read articles about BlueWorks.
  • WebSphere Business Events helps businesses detect, evaluate, and respond to the impact of business events based on the discovery of actionable event patterns. Read articles about WebSphere Business Events.
  • WebSphere Business Modeler offers process modeling, simulation, and analysis capabilities to help business users understand, document, and deploy business processes. Read articles about WebSphere Business Modeler.

For resources on IBM business process management for both business and IT users, see the Business process management page on developerWorks.

The quarterly IBM BPM Journal is another great source for BPM articles and columns.

Business rules management systems

IBM business rules management systems (BRMS) are a key component of BPM. They provide easy, safe, reliable control over automated decisions used by business systems. IBM BRMS includes the following products:

  • WebSphere Operational Decision Management consists of two component sets, which form a comprehensive platform for managing and executing business rules and business events:
    • WebSphere Decision Server provides the runtime components to automate decision logic, enabling the detection of actionable business situations and the response of precise decisions based on the specific context of an interaction.
  • WebSphere ILOG JRules enables management of decision logic that drives business systems.
  • WebSphere ILOG Rules for .NET BRMS provides functionality to build and deploy rule-based applications for .NET and SOA-based environments.
  • WebSphere ILOG Business Rules for z/OS facilitates the ability to move from manually coding rules to service-based rule execution as part of a progressive application modernization strategy.

For more information on WebSphere BRMS, see the developerWorks WebSphere ILOG BRMS zone.


The WebSphere Commerce family of products automates and integrates online marketing and sales processes across multiple channels that can be used by companies of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises, and for many different industries. It provides easy-to-use tools for business users to create and manage precision marketing campaigns, promotions, catalog and merchandising across all sales channels, allowing them to centrally manage a cross-channel strategy. WebSphere Commerce is a single, unified platform that offers the ability to do business directly with consumers (B2C), with businesses (B2B), indirectly through channel partners (indirect business models), or all of these simultaneously. WebSphere Commerce is a customizable, scalable, and high availability solution built to leverage open standards.

For how-to information and technical resources, see the developerWorks Commerce zone.

Cloud and virtualization

Cloud and virtualization technologies from WebSphere focus on evolving your application infrastructure onto a more dynamic platform. They help you leverage the cost benefits and time-to-value benefits of cloud computing, build your own clouds, and take advantage of traditional WebSphere technologies delivered on the cloud.

WebSphere provides several offerings for building clouds, including:

Read technical articles on cloud computing with WebSphere.

Other WebSphere solutions


WebSphere Portal products deliver a point of personalized interaction with applications, content, processes and people. Read technical articles and tutorials on WebSphere Portal.

Mobile and speech middleware

With WebSphere mobile and speech middleware, you can connect mobile people to the information and applications they need — anytime, anywhere, on demand. Enable users of telephones, wired or wireless, to conduct business transactions or access information simply by speaking. Read technical articles and tutorials on WebSphere mobile and speech middleware.


Visualization software from IBM provides the industry’s most comprehensive set of graphics products for creating highly graphical, interactive displays. User interface developers reduce development time and risk. End users understand their information better, and can react faster. For more information, check out the developerWorks IBM ILOG Visualization zone.

Improve your skills

  • Training includes WebSphere classroom courses, online education, and self-study materials.
  • Find out more about how to get WebSphere professional certification.
  • Events links to webcasts, conferences, tech briefings, workshops and seminars on WebSphere topics.

How can I learn more about WebSphere?

Bookmark and visit the developerWorks WebSphere site to learn more about the WebSphere platform and tooling, whether you're a new user of WebSphere products or an expert. This site is updated every week with the latest WebSphere-related events, product announcements, articles, tutorials, trial downloads, and more.

Additional information

Redbook iconIBM Redbooks
IBM Redbooks typically provide positioning and value guidance, installation and implementation experiences, typical solution scenarios, and step-by-step "how-to" guidelines. They often include sample code and other support materials that are also available as downloads from this site.

Book iconIBM Press
IBM Press books address the wide range of WebSphere products and services, architectures, and business solutions. With books designed to help users prepare for WebSphere certifications, master the implementation and support of a diverse range of WebSphere products and solutions, and educate business leaders.

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