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Developing Java and Web Services Applications on Rational Application Developer V6

How to Use Rational Application Developer 6

Question: Can we use Rational Software Architect 6.0 in place of RAD V6 for all the requirements, right from developing UML designs to other J2EE-based solutions?

Answer: Rational Software Architect (RSA) is a superset of Rational Application Developer. So yes, you can use it in place of RAD. RSA is the next generation of modeling tools. You can import Rational XDE and Rose models and do full design to implementation development.

A product like Rational Rose has years of maturity, so not all functionality in Rose will be immediately part of RSA. However, over time RSA is the strategic direction for design and modeling. In addition, RSA contains support for UML 2 and transformations (some specific for J2EE) that do not exist in any of its predecessors.

Question: Agent.jar and apc.jar are specified for the BOOTCLASSPATH system property. What role do these jar files perform while the server is getting initialized?

Answer: I'm not exactly sure what product you are referring to. These jars are not part of WebSphere Application Server or Rational Application Developer. It is possible this is a jar that is part of an older version of the IBM Agent Controller used for profiling. It could possibly be something to do with a third party product that integrates with WebSphere Application Server, such as Site Minder. Use caution when adding and removing jars from your classpath without knowledge of their use.

Question: How is it possible for RAD in WebSphere 6.0? What is FFDC? FFDC works for Windows.

Answer: I'm not exactly sure what you mean by the first part of the question. RAD is an acronym for Rational Application Developer, which is the main IDE to support development for Rational Application Developer V6. RAD is also an acronym for rapidly developing applications. It is possible to support several styles of development with WebSphere Application Server. You can support automated development with a combination of ANT and build scripts. You can use any J2EE IDE. We also have WebSphere Rapid Deploy, which is a hot deployment tool and annotation processor. See the question on hot deployment for more issues.

FFDC stands for First Failure Data Capture. It preserves the information that is generated from a processing failure and returns control to the affected engines. The captured data is saved in a log file for analyzing the problem. FFDC is intended primarily for use by IBM Service. FFDC instantly collects events and errors that occur during the WebSphere Application Server runtime. The information is captured as it occurs and is written to a log file that is analyzed by an IBM Service representative. For more information, see the Information Center.

Question: As I am new to WebSphere, I want to know the following:

  1. What is the file structure of WebSphere?
  2. How will I deploy EJBs in WebSphere?
  3. Can I directly copy *.ejb to WebSphere, or do I need to make *.war for that?
Answer: I suggest you pick up our book, IBM WebSphere: Deployment and Advanced Configurations, which answers all these questions directly.

1.  WebSphere Application Server is designed to try to shield developer and administrators. The Admin Console and scripting language give you a full range of coverage. There are several underlying files and directories that get updated for various actions. In addition, if you use WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment, multiple sets of directory structures get replicated.

Figure 3 illustrates some of the important elements to keep in mind.

Probably the most interesting portion of the WebSphere Application Server directory structure is the config directory under a specific profile. WebSphere Application Server supports various scopes of configuration visibility relative to where the application is deployed. The configuration for the scope is defined within several XML files under the directory of the scope. Update the configuration through one of the WebSphere Application Server administrative tools and not by hand editing XML files. XML file editing should only happen if there is some configuration that has caused severe errors. If anyone makes any changes, that person should have a deep understanding of WebSphere Application Server. WebSphere also has a backup and restore capability of configuration that allows you to restore configurations. Use these features religiously instead of hand editing.

2.  The J2EE specification requires that you package EJB applications in an EJB jar file and follow the EJB directory structure. In addition, J2EE applications are packaged into EAR files that can contain several EJB Jar files. You can deploy EJB applications as EAR files or as standalone EJB jar files, although the EAR approach is recommended for portability. WebSphere Application Server supports several tools for deploying applications:

  • WebSphere Application Server admin console
  • Wsadmin scripting language
  • Specialized ANT tasks
  • Rational Web Developer, Rational Application Developer, Rational Software Architect, or the Application Server Toolkit
  • WebSphere Rapid Deploy (allows the deployment of unpackaged annotated java classes directly into WAS)
3.  I am not sure what you mean by *.ejb. EJB applications are made up of several Java files and XML deployment descriptors that are packaged into an EJB jar file and deployed as a module.

Question: I have installed WebSphere Application Server 6 and now I want to change the hostname (and IP address) for deployment. How do I do that?

Answer: There are several places where the hostname and IP need to be updated. We provide scripts that enable you to do this. You can download the sample scripts.

Question: How is it possible for hot deployment in WebSphere 6.0? Is there any ANT task that supports hot deployment for WebSphere 6.0?

Answer: Yes, we provide a new feature in version 6 of WebSphere Application Server called WebSphere Rapid Deploy (WRD). WebSphere Rapid Deploy enables you to setup a special directory for automatic deployment of J2EE modules or loose annotated Java classes (see Figure 4). There are two modes supported:

  • AuotAppInstall: Deployment of J2EE modules
  • Free Form: Deployment of annotated Java files
AutoAppInstall: You can use WRD to create a style that automates the installation, modification, and de-installation of J2EE compliant applications or modules. Instead of taking an EAR file and using wsadmin or the Web Admin UI to install that application through a multi-step wizard, you can use WRD to create a monitored directory in which you can simply place the EAR. Upon placing the EAR in the directory, WRD detects the addition of the new file and builds of the project Of course, WRD would, in addition to handling EAR files, consume individual J2EE modules (WARs, EJB jars, RARs) and construct EARs as part of its execution.

There is also the option of enhancing the EAR file. This enhanced EAR file contains information to allow WRD to automatically create the resources. Here is an example of using AutoAppInstall:

  • Configure the WRD workspace
  1. export WORKSPACE= C:\WRDAutoInstall
  2. $WAS_HOME/bin//wrd-config -project DeployProject -style AutoAppInstall -runtime "was60" -runtimePath "D:/WebSphere_60/AppServer" -monitor
  • Start the WRD daemon: $WAS_HOME/bin/wrd -monitor
  • Copy EAR into directory

More Stories By Roland Barcia

Roland Barcia is a consulting IT specialist for IBM Software Services for WebSphere in the New York/New Jersey Metro area. He is the author of one of the most popular article series on the developerWorks WebSphere site, www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/websphere/techjournal/0401_barcia/barcia.html, and is also a coauthor of IBM WebSphere: Deployment and Advanced Configuration. You can find more information about him at http://web.njit.edu/~rb54

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Most Recent Comments
babu 05/08/06 04:06:40 AM EDT

I need web service tutiroal for Rational application developer tool

Raksha 03/21/06 01:18:15 AM EST

Really usefull tips. But this answers very specific questions only. I am currently trying to gather all the information regarding problems i am going to face to migrate applications currently running on WAS5 to WASv6. so all the changes in coe and configurations i will need to make to these apps before i can see them running properly on the WAS v6.
summary of problems people faced while doing this. If anyone can help me, kindly mail me at rakshams@rediffmail.com
any links and suggestions are welcome

SYS-CON Italy News Desk 01/19/06 12:37:35 PM EST

In this article, WebSphere consultant Roland Barcia answers questions on developing J2EE and Web services applications on IBM Rational Application Developer V6 and deploying and testing those applications on WebSphere Application Server V6. Topics include using the various wizards, perspectives, and tools in Rational Application Developer to develop different types of J2EE applications, using the new Service Integration Bus Messaging Platform in WebSphere Application Server V6, differences from V5 of WebSphere Studio or WebSphere Application Server, using the default WebSphere Application Server V6 in Rational Application Developer, and deploying to full WebSphere Application Server V6 Network Deployment.

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