IBM Developers Works: New to WebSphere

What is WebSphere?

WebSphere provides software for SOA environments that enables dynamic, interconnected business processes, and delivers highly effective application infrastructures for all business situations. WebSphere is IBM’s application and integration software platform, and includes the entire middleware infrastructure, including servers, services, and tools, needed to create, deploy, run, and monitor round-the-clock, enterprise-wide web applications and cross-platform, cross-product solutions.

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What can WebSphere do for me and my company?

An agile business is one whose business processes, integrated end-to-end across the company and with key partners, suppliers, and customers, can respond with rapidly and flexibly to customer demands, market opportunities, or external threats. You can use WebSphere to build and monitor an agile business infrastructure, and to develop and extend applications that run on that infrastructure.

How you work with WebSphere depends on your role in the business?

IBM provides extensive tools and facilities to help you build, run, manage, and optimize your business applications. These tools are based on industry open standards, such as J2EE and Eclipse, and they use common installation, administration, security, and programming models.

Some examples of ways you can use WebSphere are:

  • If you’re an administrator who manages the infrastructure, you can use the administrative tools provided by WebSphere Application Server.
  • If you’re developing an application to run on WebSphere software, you can use Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software or WebSphere Developer for Z-series.
Application infrastructure

IBM WebSphere Application Server, which provides the runtime environment for enterprise applications, is at the heart of several unique packages designed to meet a wide range of user requirements. WebSphere Application Server offers industry-leading support of programming models and open standards to accelerate the delivery of new applications and services.

WebSphere application infrastructure focus areas include:

  • Application Foundation
  • Intelligent Management
  • Extreme Transaction Processing
  • Application acceleration
Application integration

WebSphere application integration products provide a wide variety of services to support this reliable and flexible flow of information, to increase collaboration, business insight, and cost-effective reuse of data and knowledge within your enterprise.

WebSphere application integration includes three focus areas:

  • Enterprise service bus (ESB) messaging and enrichment
  • Service visibility and governance
  • Extending connectivity to suppliers, partners, and customers
Business process management

Business process management is all about collaborating between business and IT to build better processes to increase business agility and improve customer satisfaction. With IBM BPM solutions, you can optimize business performance by documenting, deploying and continuously improving end-to-end business processes.

IBM BPM includes four focus areas:

  • Business monitor,
  • Process automation,
  • Decision management,
  • Process discovery and design

The WebSphere Commerce family of products automates and integrates online marketing and sales processes across multiple channels that can be used by companies of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises, and for many different industries. WebSphere Commerce is a single, unified platform that offers the ability to do business directly with consumers (B2C), with businesses (B2B), indirectly through channel partners (indirect business models). WebSphere Commerce is a customizable, scalable, and high availability solution built to leverage open standards. 

Cloud and virtualization

Cloud and virtualization technologies from WebSphere focus on evolving your application infrastructure onto a more dynamic platform. They help you leverage the cost benefits and time-to-value benefits of cloud computing, build your own clouds, and take advantage of traditional WebSphere technologies delivered on the cloud. 

Other WebSphere solutions 

WebSphere Portal products deliver a point of personalized interaction with applications, content, processes and people. Read technical articles and tutorials on WebSphere Portal.

Mobile and speech middleware

With WebSphere mobile and speech middleware, you can connect mobile people to the information and applications they need — anytime, anywhere, on demand. Enable users of telephones, wired or wireless, to conduct business transactions or access information simply by speaking. Read technical articles and tutorials on WebSphere mobile and speech middleware.


Visualization software from IBM provides the industry’s most comprehensive set of graphics products for creating highly graphical, interactive displays. User interface developers reduce development time and risk. End users understand their information better, and can react faster. For more information, check out the developer Works IBM ILOG Visualization zone.