IBM Support

Java SDK Upgrade Policy for the IBM WebSphere Application Server

Question & Answer


What is the Java™ SDK upgrade policy for the IBM® WebSphere® Application Server?


Updating to the latest compatible Java SDK could help you resolve problems more quickly.


The IBM WebSphere Application Server Java SDK can be upgraded to the latest service release for the same Java SDK version.

List of WebSphere Application Server fix packs and the corresponding Java SDK versions

Policy Summary by WebSphere Application Server release:

WebSphere Application Server V9.0, V9.0.5
Starting with V9.0 and applicable to all subsequent releases and fixpacks, there are two separate install packages that contain updates for WebSphere Application Server and Java SDK. Applying fixpacks of WebSphere Application Server will only upgrade the WebSphere Application Server. A separate WebSphere SDK package is required to upgrade the SDK which can be downloaded from:
WebSphere Application Server V8.0, V8.5, V8.5.5
Starting with V8.0 and applicable to all subsequent releases and fixpacks, there is one install package that contains updates for both WebSphere Application Server and Java SDK. Applying fixpacks of WebSphere Application Server also upgrades the SDK that is packaged and bundled within the fixpack. Additionally, separate Java SDK fixpacks are also available that contain just the SDK updates which can be applied to upgrade the SDK.

Details of Java SDK Upgrade Policy

WebSphere Application Server leverages the Java SDK as a base component. This results in unique support issues, including:
  • Matching Java SDK service releases to Application Server releases and fix packs
  • Delivering updates and fixes associated with the Java SDK on any given Application Server release.

In an effort to resolve customer Java SDK situations as quickly as possible, WebSphere Application Server Support has done a quickest-path-to-resolution analysis, determining the most direct way to collect problem information.

In some cases, problem resolution might include finding shortcuts to resolve symptoms. One shortcut is an immediate upgrade to a newer compatible Java SDK service release, before gathering detailed problem determination data.

There are multiple advantages to performing an immediate Java SDK upgrade as a quicker path to resolution over a full Problem Determination (PD) process:
  1. There is a continuous stream of fixes going into the Java SDK. Many problems encountered by customers are resolved by these fixes.
  2. When a new problem is encountered, applying the latest Java SDK is a quick way to determine if related fixes change the symptoms or correct the problem.
  3. Many documented Java SDK fixes have common symptoms. Frequently, limited PD data does not isolate the problem to a single root cause.

These factors highlight the advantage of applying a newer Java SDK before working through a full PD cycle.

Java SDK and WebSphere Application Server software are updated frequently. To avoid compatibility issues for customers, WebSphere Application Server Support maintains this Java SDK Upgrade Policy.

WebSphere Application Server Support details:

Identifying compatibility limitations between WebSphere Application Server releases and Java SDK service releases that have not been tested together reduces risk.

Important: Using a Java SDK not specifically packaged with WebSphere Application Server and supplied by IBM, or in violation of the Java SDK Upgrade Policy, is not supported by IBM WebSphere Application Server Support for Java SDK problems.

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Document Information

Modified date:
17 May 2022