IBM provides downloadable preview of WebSphere V6

By Rich Seeley

IBM is providing a 'technology preview' of WebSphere Application Server, V6, which will provide a J2EE 1.4-certified runtime and support for JCA 1.5 for building asynchronous as well as synchronous communications adapters.

A key new WebSphere feature, said Bob Sutor, IBM's director of e-business standards strategy, is support for adapters built on J2EE Connector Architecture (JCA) 1.5. This will now allow asynchronous as well as synchronous communications between Java applications and enterprise software systems, such as SAP, Siebel and PeopleSoft, he noted.

While a synchronous communication requesting a list of one sales rep's contacts will tie up a Java thread, it is rarely a problem, Sutor said, because the query is usually completed quickly. But when a request is for something like a detailed sales report for an entire year, asynchronous is the way to go, he explained. JCA support in the coming version of WebSphere will allow developers to create adapters that meet both needs, he said.

'This offers a tremendous amount of flexibility in terms of writing adapters,' Sutor told This Week in Java. 'We think the general support for JCA is going to provide a lot of first-class adapters for the big package applications -- SAP, Siebel and PeopleSoft -- beyond what we have today.'

The upcoming WebSphere release will also feature JMS 'plugability,' according to the IBM announcement of its preview download. This plugability allows customers to use existing database software such as IBM DB2, rather than the current practice of using 'closed, proprietary software to store and access information about messages or transactions in the event of hardware or software failure,' according to the IBM documentation.

The no-cost download from IBM's developerWorks site allows Java developers and ISVs working on WebSphere applications to familiarize themselves with the features of the new version, Sutor said. It will allow developers to hit the ground running when WebSphere Applications Server V6 is released, which is currently scheduled for the second half of this year, he said.


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