Application infrastructure middleware (AIM) is software that acts as an intermediary between other applications or devices. AIM is used in the context of public, hybrid, or private cloud computing for cloud enablement of existing and new applications. For example, it is possible to turn existing custom applications into Software as a Service applications with all the complex software architecture handled by platform middleware. One of the best ways to understand middleware is to look at specific examples that weren’t built for the cloud, but which many cloud services currently incorporate.
IBM® WebSphere Application Server for IBM® Bluemix® is a service that facilitates quick setup on a pre-configured WebSphere Application Server Liberty, Traditional Network Deployment, or Traditional WebSphere Java EE instance in a hosted cloud environment
WebSphere Application Server for Bluemix provides consumers with pre-configured Traditional WebSphere and Liberty Profile servers. It is hosted on virtual machine guests with root access to the guest operating system. When you are creating your service, choose between Liberty, Traditional ND, or Traditional WebSphere.
Note: Consumers are now able to choose between V8.5 and V9.0 when you create a new Traditional ND or Traditional WebSphere instance.
The WebSphere Application Server for Bluemix Network Deployment Plan consists of a WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment cell environment with two or more virtual machines. The first virtual machine contains the Deployment Manager and IBM HTTP Server and the remaining virtual machines contain custom nodes (node agents) federated to the Deployment Manager. Use your existing wsadmin scripts to create your WebSphere configuration or use the WebSphere Admin Console to manually configure the environment. These new capabilities allow users to set up a clustered environment, which is a critical aspect of any middleware enterprise application. Clients can now elect to cluster a topology to load balance requests across two or more Instances.
The WebSphere Application Server for Bluemix Liberty Core Plan includes the use of a Liberty Collective. The Liberty Collective is an administrative domain for a group of Liberty profiles (servers) and consists of two or more virtual machines. The first virtual machine contains the Collective Controller liberty server, which is a control point for the Liberty Collective. In addition to the liberty collective, this virtual machine also contains the IBM HTTP Server, which allows access to your applications from a web browser. The remaining virtual machines are the collective hosts where the collective members reside (liberty profile servers). The Liberty Admin Center feature is also enabled on the liberty controller server.
WebSphere is a set of Java-based tools from IBM that allows customers to create and manage sophisticated business Web sites. The central WebSphere tool is the WebSphere Application Server (WAS), an application server that a customer can use to connect Web site users with Java applications or servlets. Servlets are Java programs that run on the server rather than on the user’s computer as Java applets do. Servlets can be developed to replace traditional common gateway interface (cgi) scripts, usually written in C or Practical Extraction and Reporting Language, and run much faster because all user requests run in the same process space.
In addition to Java, WebSphere supports open standard interfaces such as the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) and is designed for use across different operating system platforms. One edition of WebSphere is offered for small-to-medium size businesses and another edition for larger businesses with a higher number of transactions. WebSphere also includes Studio, a developer’s environment with additional components that allow a Web site’s pages to be created and managed. Both editions support Solaris, Windows NT, OS/2, OS/390, and AIX operating systems.
WebSphere Studio includes a copy of the Apache Web server so that developers can test Web pages and Java applications immediately.
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