June 24, 2019 By Michael Thompson 5 min read

New operational modernization components help WebSphere developers on their cloud journey

WebSphere Application Server (WAS) version 9.0.5 delivers new operational modernization components which aid customers on a WebSphere-centric modernization journey to Kubernetes. The new Application Navigator provides visibility to applications across traditional and container-based deployments; the Kubernetes-based logging and monitoring services are now available for use to centralize logging and monitoring for existing WAS environments.

The following sections summarize what’s new, introduce the Application Navigator, and answer commonly asked questions, organized by areas of interest. Readers of this post may also be interested in the announcement details and the webinar “3 New Ways to Help You Get to Containers with WebSphere ND.”

Overview of what’s new in WebSphere 9.0.5

WebSphere Application Server version 9.0.5 includes the existing traditional WebSphere 9.0 service stream and the Liberty continuous delivery service stream. New features have been added to Liberty since WAS, and new operational modernization components have been added to WAS ND with version Specifically:

  • WebSphere Liberty Core: This version includes all of the features and enhancements which have been continuously delivered to Liberty since WAS These enhancements, built as open source through the Open Liberty project, include MicroProfile 1.x and 2.x support, Java EE 8 Web Profile support, and support for Java SE 11.
  • WebSphere (base): Similar to WebSphere Liberty Core edition, WAS Liberty (base) 9.0.5 includes all of the features and enhancements which have been continuously delivered to Liberty since WAS These enhancements, built as the open source through the Open Liberty project, include MicroProfile 1.x and 2.x support, Java EE 8 Web Profile and Full Profile support, and Java SE 11 support for WAS Liberty. Additionally, the traditional WAS Admin Console has been enhanced with a new Liberty readiness analysis feature, which allows administrators to easily scan applications to determine their readiness to be deployed to Liberty and containers. See “Getting Advice on Moving Your Java EE Applications to WebSphere Liberty Just Got Easier” for more details.
  • WebSphere ND: In addition to all of the features included in WAS (base), WAS ND 9.0.5 delivers new management tools which aid customers on a WebSphere-centric operational modernization journey and speed the transition to containers.
  • WebSphere Application Navigator: This version introduces a new hybrid management console that enables application visibility and management across cells, collectives, and containers. Application Navigator is delivered as a containerized microservice architecture and runs in a Kubernetes environment. The logging and monitoring services within the Kubernetes environment can be used with existing WAS ND deployments to centralize logging and monitoring. This Kubernetes-based, centralized visibility, logging, and monitoring enables operations team to use the tools they will use when workloads are deployed in containers without changing the existing WebSphere environment.

Continuous delivery updates for many of these components are expected to continue through 2019 and beyond.

Update: Announcement 220-128 supersedes the service reset announcement included with WAS 9.0.5 mentioned below. Announcement 220-128 states that IBM will provide standard support for both WAS versions 8.5.5 and 9.0.5 until at least 2030.

Important note: With this release, the WebSphere 9.0 support date has been reset. That is, effective with the eGA of version 9.0.5, scheduled for June 28, 2019, WebSphere version 9.0 customers will have a new minimum of five years of standard support with an option to extend support for up to three additional years. In other words, standard support for the WAS 9.0.x stream will now be available until at least June 2024.

Operation modernization with WebSphere Application Navigator

Application Navigator provides holistic, real-time visibility to applications across hybrid deployments. Application Navigator is designed to assist operators in root-cause analysis with a simplified app-centric management view and deployment-based actions to help quickly drill into problems when they occur.

Application Navigator complements existing user interfaces, such as the WebSphere Admin Console and Liberty Admin Center, by providing a view which spans WebSphere cells, Liberty collectives, and Kubernetes deployments. Application Navigator links into specific tools when actions are taken—from deployment and configuration to log investigation and monitoring dashboards.

Application Navigator is delivered as a containerized microservice architecture and runs in a Kubernetes environment. WAS ND 9.0.5 includes IBM Cloud Private Foundation as a Supporting Program to provide the required Kubernetes environment. Once installed, Application Navigator can be installed from the IBM Cloud Private catalog.

Check out this short video that introduces Application Navigator.

FAQs: Operations and administration

Q. Does the IBM Cloud Private Foundation included with WebSphere 9.0.5 allow me to run my applications in containers?

A. No. The WebSphere 9.0.5 entitlement does not include a supported Kubernetes environment for production workloads. The WAS license continues to allow both the traditional WAS runtime and the Liberty runtime to be used and supported in any container environment. However, customers must use separate entitlement to provision a supported Kubernetes environment for their applications as production container workloads.


Q. How is Application Navigator different from WebSphere Admin Console and Liberty Admin Center?

A. The Application Navigator is a new user interface which enables IT Operations teams to view their application deployments across a variety of deployment environments. Application Navigator can show applications deployed in containers, WebSphere cells, or Liberty collectives. Comparatively, the WebSphere Admin Console and the Liberty Admin Center are user interfaces designed to specifically handle operations and tasks specific to those middleware environments. Neither the Admin Console nor the Admin Center were designed to handle container-based deployments. The Application Navigator has a broader, hybrid cloud scope and is optimized for the needs of container-based deployments as well as existing WebSphere middleware environments.

FAQs: Service

Q. What happens to the WebSphere 9.0.0.x service stream?

A. WAS 9.0.5 replaces the existing WAS 9.0.0.x service stream. The WAS release will replace the fix pack and all future 9.0.0.x fix packs. For example, WAS replaces WAS, WAS replaces, etc. No migration is required for WAS 9.0 customers to apply WAS For customers on WAS 8.5.5 that wish to migrate to WAS 9.0.5, the normal version-to-version migration applies.


Q. What happens to the WebSphere 8.5.5 service stream?

A. The WAS 8.5.5 service stream fix pack numbering is unaffected by the release of WAS 9.0.5. IBM intends to make some of the operational modernization components delivered in WAS 9.0.5 available in future WAS 8.5.5 fix packs.


Q. Is a migration required?

A. For existing WAS 9.0.0.x installations, no migration is required—WAS 9.0.5 installs like a fix pack and replaces the scheduled WAS fix pack. The normal version-to-version migration applies for installing WAS 9.0.5 on WAS 8.5.5.x (or earlier).


Q. Does WebSphere 9.0.5 remove any deprecated items?

A. No deprecated items have been removed as part of WAS 9.0.5. It is IBM’s policy to only remove deprecated items on major release boundaries. Since WAS 9.0.x is a mod version release (not a major version release), no items have been removed.

FAQs: Programming model

Q. Does this version of WebSphere Application Server include Java EE 8?

A. Yes, Liberty supports both Java EE 8 Web Profile and Java EE 8 Full Profile programming models. Liberty also supports MicroProfile versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 2.0.


Q. Does this version of WebSphere include Java 11 support?

A. Yes, Liberty supports running on Java SE 11 beginning with the continuous delivery update.


Q. Does this version of WebSphere include MicroProfile support?

A. Yes, Liberty supports MicroProfile applications.


Q. Does this version of WebSphere include Spring and Spring Boot support?

A. Yes, Liberty supports the Spring framework and Spring Boot applications.

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