New Author – Gaby Telerman

Folks, some good news. After recently deciding to mothball this blog, Gaby Telerman has stepped up to the plate and offered to write some new articles on WebSphere Process Server. He doesn’t have a definite posting schedule, but watch this space… more content to come! Thanks, Gaby.

SOA Tips ‘n’ Tricks – Being Mothballed

Folks, I’ve recently taken on a new role working with IBM customers on Dojo (and if that interests you, I’ve launched a great new blog I’m very excited about at, so please go check that out), so there aren’t likely to be any new posts on this blog. However, I’ll leave it in place for some time – hopefully there’s still some useful content on here for those working with WebSphere ESB, Process Server, and the other things I’ve written about over the past few years. Thanks for your attention!

Application Development for IBM WebSphere Process Server and Enterprise Service Bus 7.0

I was recently given a copy of the new book Application Development for IBM WebSphere Process Server 7 and Enterprise Service Bus 7 to review. In general, I’m very impressed. The authors do a good job of explaining general SOA concepts, and the components of the respective IBM products which are used in implementing these concepts, right down to the nitty-gritty of how to implement a sample scenario (with thorough walk-through steps and screenshots). They cover both the key concepts of mediation flows and BPEL-based business processes. The book is light on a few subjects (it doesn’t really discuss the WebSphere Adapters, for example, and the chapter on deployment is a bit light – see the Production Topologies Redbook for more detail), and the hints ‘n’ tips chapter seems messy, but generally, it seems excellent for a beginner trying to learn these products.

(In the interests of disclosure, I received only a free copy of the book for this review).

DynaCache Cache Replication with WebSphere Process Server and ESB

As I blogged about previously, there is a useful technique which involves inserting Java components into SCA modules to cache the results of services using the DynaCache mechanism of WebSphere Application Server. See Gabriel Telerman’s excellent article for more information.

However, if you deploy applications using this technique across a WebSphere cluster, which is fairly typical of a production WebSphere environment, you’ll most likely want to look into WebSphere cache replication (using DRS – the data replication service). This means that rather than having an independent caches on each cluster member (i.e. each server), you’ll have caches that replicate data between each other when it is invalidated or updated in the cache.

This is documented in detail towards the bottom of this InfoCenter page, but broadly speaking you’ll want to modify the properties of the object cache you’re already using. In the article referenced above, the default cache services/cache/distributedmap is used, but to extend this with replication across a cluster, it’s probably appropriate to create your own object cache first if you haven’t already. You then need to specify a “replication domain” for that cache (you’ll need to create one if you don’t already have one), and the replication type. Often “Push only” is suitable for most performance requirements – this pushes new cache entries across the cluster when they are created, modified, or invalidated.

Some other points to be aware of:

  • The Data Replication Service doesn’t always start up straight away on server startup – sometimes it will take a few minutes.
  • It’s primarily intended for internal IBM use, but you may find that the tracing string*=all is useful for figuring out what’s going on inside the cache if it’s not behaving as you expect. It will show cache hits, misses, and replication.

Increasing WebSphere Integration Developer’s Heap Size

Sometimes, when working with WebSphere Integration Developer, you may find that you run out of heap space for its JVM – this will typically result in sudden crashes, and often happens when you have a lot of projects loaded or you’re doing a lot of intensive activity.

In this case, you may want to consider increasing the maximum heap size. Because WebSphere Integration Developer is based on Eclipse, you can do this using the standard Eclipse approach, which is documented on the Eclipse wiki.

Broadly, you’ll want to add some command-line arguments to the WebSphere Integration Developer shortcut. Open the properties of the shortcut from your start menu, and append the following:

-vmargs -Xms512M -Xmx1536M

This will set the initial heap size to 0.5GiB and the maximum heap size to 1.5GiB, for example. You can adjust the value for your needs.


WebSphere Business Process Management v7 Production Topologies Draft Redbook Available

This post is a bit of a personal plug, but I’ve just returned from a Redbook Residency writing the book WebSphere Business Process Management (BPM) V7 Production Topologies Redbook, which illustrates how to set up various BPM products for production, including WebSphere Process Server. It’s a fully updated version of the previous book in the series, which was for V6.2 of the BPM products. The book is now available in draft, so please feel free to take a look – you can send feedback via the feedback e-mail address on that page. I’d also encourage you to rate the book, especially if you think it’s good!

Review: WebSphere Application Server Administration Using Jython

Recently, I was asked to review the book WebSphere Application Server Administration Using Jython.

First impressions are excellent – the book is thorough, first introducing the Jython language itself (which is essentially Python running on a Java Virtual Machine – and very easy to learn), then moving to talk about the wsadmin tool, which is used to execute administrative scripts or command in Jython with WebSphere. It’s worth pointing out that WebSphere currently supports two scripting languages – Jython and JACL, and Jython is the strategic direction forward for WebSphere, so it’s good that the book focuses on this (also, in my humble opinion, Jython is much easier to learn).

The book then moves on to the meat of the subject, discussing each of the four primary WebSphere administrative objects in turn. There are dedicated chapters for various important and frequently-used topics, such as security, databases, and messaging. In general, these are thorough and of high quality.

The only minor point against the book is that it covers only WebSphere Application Server, not any of the stack products that build on top of it (such as WebSphere ESB and Process Server, which is the primary focus of this blog). However, this is expected – it’s in the title – so is hardly a criticism.

Generally speaking, this is a thorough and useful technical book for anyone wanting to do scripting with WebSphere Application Server.

Disclosure: I recieved a free copy of the book in exchange for this review – that’s all.