IBM defines WebSphere as Internet infrastructure software or middleware. Web Sphere is a server product that enables companies to develop, deploy and integrate e-business applications, such as those for business-to-business e-commerce. WebSphere supports business applications from simple Web publishing through enterprise-scale transaction processing.
On March 14, 2001 IBM announced the newest version of WebSphere. IBM is dubbing this new version, "industry's first software enabled for Web services". IBM defines web services as "emerging e-business applications that can connect and interact with one another on the Web more easily and efficiently, eliminating much of the time-consuming custom coding currently required in, for example, B2B environments."
The more efficient integration is being driven by a wide range of new open Internet standards, which IBM helped develop and has incorporated into its new software. The new standards will allow software developers to create new e-business applications that will be able to navigate, discover and interact with other applications on the Internet similar to the way people navigate, discover and interact with Websites today. In other words, Web services are leading to a new phase in e-business in which the Internet will be driven increasingly by applications, which will lead to new levels of efficiency and productivity.
WebSphere Technology for Developers is the first software in the industry that supports the variety of open standards necessary to develop and securely deploy Web services, including:
Universal Description Discovery and Integration (UDDI), which enables businesses to describe themselves, publish technical specifications on how they want to conduct e-business with other companies and search for other businesses that provide goods and services they need all via online UDDI registries. IBM led the development of UDDI with Microsoft and Ariba.
Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), which is a standard for reliably transporting electronic business messages from one business application to another over the Internet. IBM is the first to implement and integrate HTTPS, HTTP Authentication and SOAP security, including digital signatures, enabling end-to-end authentication, integrity and non-repudiation for SOAP messages. IBM and Lotus co-developed SOAP with Microsoft.
Java2tm Enterprise Edition (J2EE)*, which is technology that enables software developers to write the "guts" of business applications (i.e. connections to databases, handling transactions, etc.) that will run across different computing systems. IBM contributed to most of the J2EE technology working with Sun Microsystems. WebSphere passed the J2EE compatibility test suite (CTS) and is fully J2EE compliant.
Web Services Description Language (WSDL) , which describes programs accessible via the Internet (or other networks) and the message formats and protocols used to communicate with them. WSDL is important because it enables Web services to describe their capabilities in a standard way, which allows for easier interoperability among Web services and development tools. IBM co-developed WSDL with Microsoft.
Enhanced integration of leading XML technologies. IBM has been incorporating XML into its software since 1997. XML enables software developers to describe business data and content to a high degree of specificity and automatically exchange it.
WebSphere Technology for Developers supports what Gartner calls Services Oriented Development of Applications (SODA) and is IBM's Web application server software enabled with these standards. In addition, the IBM WebSphere Studio Technology Preview for Web Services is the first set of software tools that enables developers to create new Web services and provide existing e-business applications with Web services capabilities. Using the software tools, Web developers can create, test and deploy Web services with minimal knowledge of Java technology, XML or SOAP. It is available at www.alphaworks.ibm.com.
"A key part of IBM's e-business strategy has been to embrace the development of open standards and compete based on implementation," said Daryl Plummer, Group Vice President at Gartner. "For that reason, IBM has been working across the industry the last few years to develop open Internet standards that span from XML to Java technologies. And it will deliver the value of those standards to its customers through its middleware software like WebSphere." "WebSphere provides us with Internet infrastructure software and development tools that incorporate the broadest range of open Internet standards in the industry," said Greg Olsen, Chief Technology Officer, Extricity. "Because WebSphere is enabled with these open standards, it will enable Extricity to develop new Web services applications for B2B relationship management, which will take our customers to new levels of efficiency in e-business." WebSphere Technology for Developers is available at no charge on a limited basis today from IBM sales representatives and business partners.
The new WebSphere software runs on IBM's z/OS and OS/390 operating systems for the eServer z900** as well as S/390**. In addition, it includes support for Java2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE)* The new software products include WebSphere Application Server for z/OS** and OS/390 and CICS Transaction Server V2.1.
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On March 14th, IBM also announced a number of other software products for mainframe developers:
WebSphere Asset Analyzer Version 1.0 -
The WebSphere Asset Analyzer Version 1.0 analyzes software code and provides a "skeleton" of the application layout (database calls, connection points to other applications, libraries and sub-routines, etc.). About 40 percent of the cost of an application can be in the early work to define business needs, analyze the integration required and create the design. Asset Analyzer can lower total cost of development, make developers more efficient during the coding phase, and get the application into production sooner.
VisualAge Enterprise Suite Version 2.0 -
VisualAge Enterprise Suite Version 2.0 is a software development tool package offering of VisualAge for Java, VisualAge for COBOL, VisualAge for PL/1, VisualAge Generator and WebSphere Studio. The package supports WebSphere, CICS, MQSeries and IMS and providing Java technology as well as traditional transactional capabilities.
MQSeries Workflow -
MQSeries Workflow V3.3 and MQSeries Link for SAP R/3 for OS/390 V1.2 were also announced. IBM's MQSeries family -- MQSeries, MQSeries Integrator and MQSeries Workflow -- is a complete portfolio of messaging software for business integration.
* Java and all Java-based trademarks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and othercountries.
**The IBM e-business logo, zSeries, S/390, OS/390 and z/OS are all trademarks of IBM Corporation. All others are trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.