WebSphere provides a lot to be excited about in 4Q 2017

By: Eric Hausken

WebSphere provides a lot to be excited about in 4Q 2017, including Open Liberty and integration with IBM Cloud Private

As organizations increase their pace of digital transformation and the transition to a hybrid cloud world, WebSphere offerings can help facilitate this pace of change with our quarterly cadence of continuous delivery enhancements.

This recurring blog will summarize these deliverables each quarter, the new and updated functionality that they provide as well as offer references for more detailed information.

IBM Cloud Private V2.1 and WebSphere Application Server

IBM Cloud Private provides a private and integrated IaaS and PaaS cloud environment, built on open source frameworks. Included are platform technologies that enable cloud native development and application modernization. WebSphere Liberty and WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment provide integration with IBM Cloud Private, including package installation with Helm, the Kubernetes native package management system. For more information, refer to the IBM Cloud Private V2.1 announcement.

Open Liberty 17.0.0.3 / WebSphere Liberty 17.0.0.3

Open Liberty 17.0.0.4 / WebSphere Liberty 17.0.0.4

While you might expect the 17.0.0.3 update to WebSphere Liberty to be a 3Q deliverable based on the fourth quadruple of the “version” number, that “.3” actually refers to the third WebSphere deliverable of 2017, which in this case was delivered at the start of October, to coincide with (drumroll please) the initial release of Open Liberty. Yes, not only is Liberty available as open source software, but we’ve moved the development into the open community as well, so you can actively participate – or just follow along.

Open Liberty is a Java EE Full Platform compliant application server, and is the same code used in the commercial WebSphere Application Server offerings. The commercial offerings include additional functionality and full IBM Support. For more on Open Liberty and how to contribute, check out the blog post here.

Of course, the Continuous Delivery (CD) of Liberty continues, including both 17.0.0.3 and 17.0.0.4 (the latter of which became available in December). The key functionality delivered in these CD updates includes:

  • The full implementation of MicroProfile 1.2, which facilitates the creation of Java applications based on Microservices.

  • Improvements to the Liberty Maven and Gradle build tools

  • A number of Java EE 8 features

  • Other runtime updates, including support for the OpenAPI v3 spec, Transport Security providing dynamic SSL filters, request timing thresholds on a per-application or per-servlet level, support for SSL communication between Liberty and MongoDB, Authentication with Social Media credentials, and more

  • As well as a number of your Requests for Enhancement (RFEs)

The full details can be found in:

WebSphere Application Server V9.0.0.5 and V9.0.0.6

The traditional WAS application server is also on regular cadence for continuous delivery of new functionality, as applied to the V9 release. The following enhancements are now available in traditional WAS V9.0.0.5 and V9.0.0.6 (both delivered in 4Q17):

  • (9.0.0.5) Certify WebSphere Application Server support for Microsoft SQL Server 2016

  • (9.0.0.6) IBM Http Server (IHS) Plugin archive install, which makes the same binaries currently available to the IBM Installation Manager also available as an archive (zip or tar, depending on the platform)

The complete rundown of WAS updates can be found here.

Notice of change of platform support for WebSphere Edge Components

For the dispatcher component of IBM WebSphere Edge Components Load Balancer for IPv4 and IPv6, support for the Solaris and HP operating systems is removed, effectively immediately.

Windows platform support for the dispatcher component is stabilized at Windows Server 2012; versions later than Windows Server 2012 will not be supported.

A variety of factors, including technical limitations on these platforms and the shift to Cloud-based computing, has driven these decisions. In Cloud environments, IBM recommends using the Cloud platform provided routing and load balancing services. For on-premise installations of IBM WebSphere Edge Components Load Balancer for IPv4 and IPv6, IBM recommends Linux as the alternate platform for Solaris and HP. IBM will continue to evaluate the supported platforms for the WebSphere Edge Components.

Platform support for WebSphere Application Server does not change as part of this announcement.

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