IBM Support

Web Server Plug-in policy for WebSphere Application Server



Which version of the WebSphere WebServer Plug-in can be used with which version of WebSphere Application Server?

Resolving The Problem

Supported combinations of IBM HTTP Server, WebSphere Application Server, and the WebSphere WebServer Plug-in

There are a variety of issues surrounding support of mixed releases of IBM HTTP Server (IHS), WebSphere Application Server (WAS), and the WebSphere Web Server Plug-in (WAS Plugin). This document only refers to the IBM HTTP Server (powered by Apache) on AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, Windows, and z/OS (not "IBM i").

In general, the recommended configuration is to use all three components from the same release.  Barring that, the IHS and Plugin release should match and preferably be newer release then the Application Server. 

There is no requirement to match operating systems or architectures between the web server tier and the application server tier.

Supported combinations of the Application Server and WebServer Plug-in

A release (such as 9.0, 8.5, 8.0, or 7.0) of the WebServer Plug-in can be used with the corresponding release and any previous releases of the application server, as long as the application server version (V7, V8, V9)
is no more than two versions older than the WebServer Plug-in.

Any release of WebSphere Application Server Liberty ("Liberty Profile") is supported with any release of the WAS Plug-in from 8.5.5 or later. This include Liberty Profile continuous delivery releases (such as 16.0.0.x or 17.0.0.x) as well as Beta releases.

  • Examples of N-2 Version support:
    • WAS Plugin 9.0: WAS 7.0, WAS 8.0, WAS 8.5, WAS 8.5.5, WAS 9.0
    • WAS Plugin 8.5.5: WAS 6.0, WAS 6.1, WAS 7.0, WAS 8.0, WAS 8.5, WAS 8.5.5
    • WAS Plugin 8.0: WAS 6.0, WAS 6.1, WAS 7.0, WAS 8.0
    • WAS Plugin 7.0: WAS 5.0, WAS 5.1, WAS 6.0, WAS 6.1, WAS 7.0

  • Refer to the following URL for considerations and frequently asked questions related to using the version 8 WAS Plug-in with a version 7 application server:
  • As a special case, the 8.5.5 WAS WebServer Plugin is supported  in front of WAS 9.0 when 32-bit IHS 8.5.5 is required.

Supported configurations of Web Servers and the WAS Plugin

Given a compatible Plugin has been selected based on WAS release requirements, The release (V.R.M.F) of IBM HTTP Server used must match the Plugin release exactly.

Third-party web servers are only a supported configuration if they are explicitly listed in the supporting software documentation for the WAS release.


  • IBM HTTP Server 8.5 used as part of z/OS Ported Tools is additionally supported with the 8.0 Plug-in. While this combination is supported, using the corresponding release is strongly recommended.
  • IBM HTTP Server 9.0 included with z/OS V2R2 (and later) is additionally supported with the 8.0 and 8.5 Plugins. While this combination is supported, using the corresponding release is strongly recommended (when available).
Special note for z/OS:
Now that IBM HTTP Server is provided as part of z/OS, there is no reason to separately install the IBM Installation Manager packaging of IHS on this platform.  Recent levels of IHS 9.0 even include the WAS WebServer Plug-in when installed via SMPE.

Unsupported combinations

These are combinations with known technical problems.

  • IHS 8.0 or later cannot be used with Plugin 7.0 or earlier (distributed platforms, incompatible GSKit major release)
  • IHS 7.0 or earlier cannot be used with Plugin 8.0 or later (distributed platforms, incompatible GSKit major release)

Other configurations
Any combination not explicitly addressed above is an "other configuration". These configurations are not tested or recommended.
  • If WAS is a higher releases than the Plugin, the generated XML might trigger warnings at startup.

Other recommendations
There is no required relationship between IHS, Plugin, and WAS fixpack (V.R.M.F) levels, but staying current is strongly recommended. Furthermore, using levels contemporary (but not necessarily identical) with one another is also strongly recommended.

  • 20150812: Clarify V7 transitional support and "VRMF" terminology
  • 20150511: Previous versions of this document were ambiguous with respect to mixed cells vs cells from a previous release.
  • 20150511: Previous versions of this document permitted future releases of IHS + Plugin only under specific enumerated circumstances.
  • 20150511: Permit IHS on z/OS to use previous releases of the WAS Plug-in.
  • 20160316: Emphasize Version as the differentiator, provide examples of N-2 versions.
  • 20160624: Mention relationship to Liberty.
  • 20200417: Simplify and summarize up front

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Document Information

Modified date:
19 August 2021