IBM Wednesday introduced a significant overhaul to its WebSphere J2EE application server, with new support for standards-based messaging protocols, better management features and enhancements to improve availability of applications, according to an IBM executive.
IBM, Armonk, N.Y., has been chanting the mantra of open standards in its software for several years. But critics have long charged that IBM's WebSphere stack is far from being an integrated software infrastructure. Instead, they say, it merged a bunch of software written on disparate code bases under one brand.
The next version of the application server--the foundation of the WebSphere stack--is expected to solve some of those technical issues with an improved messaging framework and other technologies that will lend greater support for open standards.
WebSphere Application Server version 6.0, which is scheduled to ship by the end of the year, also will support the latest enterprise Java standard, J2EE 1.4, said Bob Sutor, director of WebSphere foundation software at IBM. Pricing will be available when the software is closer to being released.
The software's new, modular messaging engine allows support for any messaging standard to be included as a plug-in rather than built in by IBM, Sutor said. Previously, IBM would add support for various messaging protocols, such as TCP/IP or Java Message Service (JMS), in specific versions of the app server, he said. The messaging engine also has been rewritten completely in Java, whereas before it was based on a combination of Java and other technologies.