In this podcast Joe Chacko, an IBM developer, introduces the WebSphere Application Server 8.5 Alpha Liberty Profile, explaining why he thinks it’s even better than sliced bread and why you should try it.This includes a brief discussion of the tools and the server runtime, and how well integrated they are.He really is quite excited but being quintessentially English he tries not to let it show.

by Joe Chacko


Hello my name is Joe Chacko and I’m a developer working on WebSphere Application Server. I’m pleased to be able to tell you about our new Alpha, WebSphere Application Server 8.5 Alpha Liberty Profile. We’ve been working on it for a while but until now I’ve had to bite my tongue about the cool new things we’ve been doing. If you’re a Java developer, you’ve probably installed Eclipse. You can get the Eclipse development tools directly from our update site, or just start up Eclipse Marketplace and search for WebSphere. Install the tools and create a new server and the tools will offer to download our runtime for you. That’s just one example of how we’ve been trying to make things easier and smoother for you to develop with and for WebSphere Application Server.

Now, I’ve just created a server, let me try starting it. …1000… 2000… 3000… it’s started. That was less than 3 seconds. Ok, ok, so I haven’t put any applications on the server yet, but that is part of what is so cool about this Liberty Profile – it only does what you tell it to, so you don’t have to wait around for lots of stuff you don’t need. When I created that server using the tools, the server configuration was generated. This is an xml file – you can use the nice GUI our tools guys have created to edit it, or you can edit the source directly with Eclipse’s completion and validation, but you can also edit it with any editor you want. Whenever you save, if the server is running it will notice the changes and pick them up, so if you need a feature that wasn’t loaded when you started the server, you don’t even need to restart the server – just edit the configuration and save it, and the server should pick up the new feature as soon as it notices.

Oh, and guess what? I can do this on my MacBook Pro too. And I don’t mean in VMware or Parallels or VirtualBox (although they should work), I mean OSX. WebSphere Application Server running from Eclipse on your Mac, starting in just a few seconds. Be careful who you show this to, because they might get jealous.

In fact, I need to give you a health warning here too. If waiting for servers to start was your cue to take a break from work, you need to find a new cue. Even when you load up the server with applications you just won’t have to to go and get a coffee unless you slip in a call to Thread.sleep() somewhere. So, find a new cue to take a break. You’ve been warned.

Now let me tell you a little bit about what’s available in the server. We have a web container with JSP, JSF, JPA and JDBC. We have SSL, security and transactions. We’re working on a host of other features too, but please take a moment to try out what we have now, I think you’ll be impressed. The applications you develop and run using this Alpha release should work exactly the same when you deploy then on WebSphere Application Server v8.0. The work we have been doing it so trim down the server runtime so it works really well for developers. You will be using the same server componentry in development as you would in production. In case the advantage of that is not clear, let me rephrase it – no more developing applications on one platform and then finding all sorts of problems when you move to another platform for production.

Of course, this is an Alpha release but I think we’ve made something that you should find useful. Before we even announced this release, one of our other development teams inside IBM adopted our tools as their primary development platform, so I know this release is a useful one. Give it a try, after all, what have you got to lose?

We want to know how you get on with our Alpha, so we’re building a development community around WebSphere Application Server to support you. It’s not just for support though, it’s also for you to tell us what you want – we want happy developers using WebSphere tools and runtimes, so tell us what makes you happy.

Thank you for listening. It’s been my pleasure to talk to you about the WebSphere Application Server 8.5 Alpha Liberty Profile and I look forward to hearing or reading what you think.

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