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All Things WebSphere

Concerns and issues relating to all versions of WebSphere Application Server

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


IBM WebSphere Application Server Licensing update

Today IBM announces some license update that will help reduce customers cost . 
We announced two things:

1- IBM WebSphere Application Server removed the restriction on how many servers one can load balance and failover on Express, Base, Liberty Core.

2- IBM WebSphere Application Server offers new Fixed Term License option

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Deep dive into IBM JDK -Xtrace

-Xtrace Walkthrough

Thanks to Tom Bitonti for this blog post
The goal is to generate trace for an IBM WebSphere Application Server process using the extended java command line option "-Xtrace". The trace is to include entry and exit trace for one constructor and for two methods, including a listing of parameter values, and is to include stack trace the constructor and for one of the methods.
Documentation for the "-Xtrace" java command line option is available here:
Some samples are provided here:
While specified for Linux JVMs, this documentation applies to other platforms which use an IBM JDK.
These notes are intended as an addition to the IBM WebSphere Application Server DynaCache Blog:
  1. "-Xtrace", a command line option to JVM's, is not to be confused with "X-Trace", which is a network diagnostic tool (http://x-trace.net/wiki/doku.php).
  2. The "jstacktrace" trigger action is available in the IBM JVM since IBM Java 6 SR5.
  3. This documentation in for "-Xtrace" in side IBM JVM's. Options for non-IBM JVMs may differ substantially from those described by this documentation.


Generate trace for an IBM WebSphere Application Server process using the extended java command line option "-Xtrace". Include entry and exit trace for one constructor and for two methods, including a listing of parameter values. Include stack trace the constructor and for one of the methods.
The target constructor is of class:
The target methods are:

Tracing Method Entry and Exit

Using the "-Xtrace" syntax, entry and exit trace is generated using the "methods" option, while stack trace is generated using "trigger" options. Following the "-Xtrace" documentation:
  • To generate method trace to standard output, "print=mt" must be specified together with method specifications of the target constructor and methods.
  • The method specification places "/" between package names and between a package name and a class name, with "." between a class name and a method name.
  • To include parameter values in the trace, the method specifications are specified with a "()" suffix.
  • A wild card syntax is available, but since specific methods are targetted, this example does not use wild cards.
Following these guidelines, the target constructor and methods are specified as:
Combining these method specifications with the "print=mt" constant value and with "-Xtrace" and "methods" option generates:
  1. A constructor is specified the same as a method, but using "<init>" as the method name.
  2. No syntax is available to select among multiple constructors for the same class, nor to select among several methods having different parameters.
  3. No syntax is available to restrict a method to invocations on a subclass. In the example, the interest is in "setName" on "EClassifierImpl" instances, but "setName" is implemented on "ENamedElementImpl".
  4. No syntax for selecting static methods or static initialization is currently known.

Displaying Stacks

Stack trace is generate using the "trigger" option and specifying "jstacktrace" as the trigger action. Combining the method specifications with these options generates:
For simplicity, the method specifications are presented using two distinct -Xtrace command line stanzas.

Completed Command Line Options

The completed command line options are:
  1. These options may be combined into a single -Xtrace stanza.
  2. The rules for the use of "print=mt" are unclear. Available documentation presents this as required text when outputting to Standard Output.
    1. The option "iprint=mt" may also be used when outputting to Standard Output. "iprint=mt" adds indentation to the output.
  3. To redirect output to a file, the option "output" may be used. This writes to a binary format which must be decoded, for example, using "com.ibm.jvm.format.TraceFormat" which is provided with the JDK. See the linked documentation for additional details on using "output" and on displaying the binary encoded output.
  4. The -Xtrace syntax must be followed exactly. Errors in the -Xtrace options can cause the JVM to fail to start. An error will be displayed. The error might describe the -Xtrace syntax. The error might indicate that the JVM initialization failed, with no clear tie to the fautly -Xtrace stanza.

Setting the Server Configuration

These are specified to the IBM WebSphere Application Server process through the generic JVM arguments attribute, using either the Administrative Console (admin console), or using the Administrative Scripting Client (wsAdmin). This attribute is specified through a "JavaVirtualMachine" entry within a "ProcessDefinition" entry. With no other generic JVM arguments specified, the XML text shows as:
genericJvmArguments="-Xtrace:print=mt,methods={org/eclipse/emf/ecore/impl/EClassifierImpl.<init>(),org/eclipse/emf/ecore/impl/ENamedElementImpl.setName(),org/eclipse/emf/ecore/sdo/util/SDOUtil.adaptType()} -Xtrace:print=mt,trigger=method{org/eclipse/emf/ecore/impl/EClassifierImpl.<init>,jstacktrace} -Xtrace:print=mt,trigger=method{org/eclipse/emf/ecore/sdo/util/SDOUtil.adaptType,jstacktrace}"
For example, the XML text within the JVM entry shows as:
<jvmEntries xmi:id="JavaVirtualMachine_1183122130078"
genericJvmArguments="-Xtrace:print=mt,methods={org/eclipse/emf/ecore/impl/EClassifierImpl.<init>,org/eclipse/emf/ecore/impl/ENamedElementImpl.setName(),org/eclipse/emf/ecore/sdo/util/SDOUtil.adaptType()} -Xtrace:print=mt,trigger=method{org/eclipse/emf/ecore/impl/EClassifierImpl.init,jstacktrace} -Xtrace:print=mt,trigger=method{org/eclipse/emf/ecore/sdo/util/SDOUtil.adaptType,jstackTrace}">
<systemProperties xmi:id="Property_1" name="propertyName_1" value="propertyValue_1" required="false"/> <systemProperties xmi:id="Property_2" name="propertyName_2" value="propertyValue_2" required="true"/>

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Cloud Foundry track at SpringOne 2013 Notes

The cloud foundry track at SpringOne 2013 had a number of excellent sessions on cloud foundry

Building Spring Applications on Cloud Foundry
Joshua Long & Andy Piper

Build Your Very Own Private Cloud Foundry
Matt Stine

Inside Cloud Foundry: An Architectural Review 
Christophe Levesque, Scott Motte, &  Dekel Tankel

Free Yourself with CloudFoundry:  A Private Cloud Experience 
Mike Heath, Shawn Nielsen, & Mike Youngstrom

Extending Cloud Foundry  with Custom Integration
Cornelia Davis & Scott Frederick

I have uploaded the notes taken at these sessions by John Mackoy who did an excellent job capturing all the information and subtext provided at these sessions

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Liberty and Cloud Foundry - a union made in heaven

Recently I had a chance to visit Santa Clara and participate in the Cloud Foundry platform summit. http://www.platformcf.com/ One of the major announcements in the summit was the adoption of CF as IBMs open PaaS platform. We also introduced and open sourced the Liberty buildpack that allows cloud foundry developers to push their applications to WebSphere Application Server Liberty profile see http://blog.cloudfoundry.com/2013/09/09/ibm-websphere-liberty-buildpack-contributed-to-cloud-foundry/ The blog post does a very nice post of explaining why we chose cloud foundry and specifically why Liberty is such a good fit for deployment of apps in CF. It also provides guidance on future direction for evolution of the buildpack.

I have collected a bunch of links that explain the goings-on at the conference. So if you want to get caught up on what happened go to -

All the presentations made at the platform cloud foundry conference can be found here ...

Comprehensive notes on all the platform cf sessions taken by John Mackoy can be found here


Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Getting IBM JDK -Xtrace option to work in the Eclipse IDE

Courtesy WebSphere Serviceability guru Ann Paungam  ...

When doing eclipse RCP development with the IBM JDK or simply when you are running eclipse it is necessary to understand the complete stacktrace of a particular exception. In order to make this happen you will need to add the -Xtrace options to the eclipse.ini file of your eclipse client like so




These will capture all java stack traces when InstanceScope.getNode method InstanceScope.InstanceScope constructor and ResourcesPlugin.getWorkspace are called. This will only work with the IBM JDKs or JREs and is extremely useful when developing in eclipse or developing RCP applications for eclipse. 

By default, the javacores are generated to the Eclipse Home directory (eg: where the Eclipse.exe is located). The value "5" in the last parameter for the example above is to limit the number of javacores that are generated to just 5. Refer to the official JDK documentation applicable to your release, such as the link below, for the various options that can be used to control your jvm tracing:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


DynaCache in WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile 8.5.5

Thursday, May 2, 2013


IBM WebSphere Application Server V8.5.5 enhanced Liberty profile

Delivers enhanced Liberty profile capabilities and introduces a new lightweight Liberty only offering for Web Profile applications

Introduces a new Liberty profile-only solution. The WebSphere Application Server Liberty Core edition is built to leverage the lightweight and dynamic aspects of the Liberty profile. Scoped to the capabilities of Web Profile applications, the new edition is ideal for lightweight production servers.

Enhancements to the Liberty profile are as follows:

• Certification to the JEE 6 Web Profile, providing the assurance that applications leverage standards-compliant programming models
• Additional programming models such as web services that enable the expansion of Liberty profile applications beyond web applications
• New messaging capabilities, including support for JMS and message-driven beans, and a new single server message provider
• Ability to add Liberty features through a new system programming interface, enabling the customization of Liberty profile capabilities to meet your business needs through insertion of custom Liberty features
• Support for the NoSQL database MongoDB, a scalable, well-performing, and easy-to-use document-style NoSQL database
• Enhancement to security support, such as federated repositories, custom user registry, trust association interceptor, password hashing, and encryption of passwords in server configurations, which improves security for Liberty application deployments
• High Performance Extensible Logging (HPEL) for Liberty servers, which enables better administration and serviceability
• New Liberty administration features
• Clustering of server instances
• Support for caching via the WebSphere Web Cache (DynaCache) and distributed caching with WebSphere eXtreme Scale
• Ability to install the entitled WebSphere Application Server edition on developer
machines for development and unit testing purposes•
• WebSphere Application Server V8.5.5 tooling bundles updated with Rational®
Application Developer (RAD) V9 and the WebSphere Application Server Developer
Tools (WDT) V8.5.5

For details see http://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=AN&subtype=CA&appname=gpateam&supplier=897&letternum=ENUS213-137&pdf=yes


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