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WebSphere Gen 7 Redefines Java Platforms

The recently published report from Forrester Research on the future of Java under Oracle is getting a lot of attention, as well it should. (We covered it in "Future of Java 'Constrained by Oracle's Business Model,' Analysts Say." But another new Forrester report not in the spotlight shouldn't go unnoticed.

In "WebSphere 7 Reaffirms IBM's Java Platform Lead," Forrester analyst John R. Rymer (who co-authored the aforementioned paper) declares, "With the seventh generation of its WebSphere software, IBM redefines the state of the art in Java platforms."

A strong statement, but Rymer backs it up. He observes that WebSphere Application Server (WAS) 7 was "years in the making" as IBM worked out the kinks in the app server specs, and then integrated the app server into WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Commerce and other high-level platforms.

The result, he says, is a WebSphere 7 product family that provides developers with "new ways to optimize their application architectures; more development frameworks; automatic transactional reliability; simpler configuration and management; and improved stack integration for BPM, portal, and eCommerce projects."

Big Blue has set its core app server on a path to become a Java transaction monitor, Rymer notes, adding "WAS's reliability features now provide a foundation for highly reliable Java distributed systems, just as IBM's Customer Information Control System (CICS) did for an earlier technology generation."

For development organizations that are struggling with scale, complexity and high performance in their Java applications, Rymer says, WebSphere 7 "may offer both relief and a simpler, easier-to-manage stack."

The report, which includes contributions from Forrester analysts Mike Gualtieri, Jeffrey S. Hammond, Mike Gilpin, and Alissa Anderson, is available here but it isn't free. Fortunately, Rymer offers a useful summary of his conclusions on his blog. And that's a freebie.

Posted by John K. Waters on February 1, 2011