New Web Server Support in WebSphere Application Server V6

Abstract

WebSphere Application Server V6 has new Web server support that improves the integration between Web servers, the HTTP plug-ins, and WebSphere Application Server administration tools. This technote is a brief description of these new features.

Contents

For earlier versions of IBM WebSphere Application Server, traditional support for Web servers was an HTTP plug-in installed on the Web server and the generation of the plug-in configuration file from the WebSphere Application Server administrative tools based on installed applications and defined application servers. The plug-in was used to determine whether an incoming request was for the Web server or the application server. When a request reached the Web server, the URL was compared to those managed by the plug-in. If a match was found, the plug-in configuration file contained the information needed to forward that request to the Web container. This support is still available with WebSphere Application Server V6, but it has been enhanced to improve the integration between the Web server, the HTTP plug-in, and the WebSphere Application Server administration tools.

The following new features are available with WebSphere Application Server V6:

  • Web servers can now be defined to WebSphere Application Server. This definition can be done manually (for network deployment only) or using a script generated during the installation of an HTTP plug-in.
  • Web applications are mapped to the defined Web servers during the installation of an application install so that routing information is generate at the same time as the HTTP plug-in configuration.
  • IBM HTTP Server V6 is bundled with WebSphere Application Server V6. The administrative functionality is integrated into WebSphere Application Server to provide remote administration through a console. This enhanced administrative function is only available for IBM HTTP Server.

For a current list of supported Web servers and their versions, see http://www.ibm.com/software/webservers/appserv/doc/latest/prereq.html.

Managed node versus unmanaged node
A Web server is defined to WebSphere Application Server on a managed node or an unmanaged node, depending on the environment. WebSphere Application Server V6 supports basic administrative functions for all supported Web servers, but there are some differences between the support for a managed node and that for an unmanaged node.

A managed node has a node agent for managing Web servers and the WebSphere administrative tools use it to communicate with the Web server. A managed node requires network deployment in distributed server environment. Also, WebSphere Application Server and the Web server must be installed in the same system, with the node agent defined to the Web server. In a managed node, you can:
  • Check the status of the Web server.
  • Generate a plug-in configuration file for that Web server.
  • Propagate the plug-in configuration file after it is generated (using node synchronization).

An unmanaged node does not have a node agent for managing Web servers. Web servers in a standalone server environment and Web servers installed with WebSphere Application Server that is not in a distributed server environment use unmanaged nodes. In an unmanaged node, you can:
  • Check the status of the Web server.
  • Generate a plug-in configuration file for that Web server.
  • As a special case, if the Web server is an IBM HTTP Server, propagate the plug-in configuration file after it is generated.

WebSphere Application Server supports additional administrative console tasks for IBM HTTP Servers on managed and unmanaged nodes. For example, you can start IBM HTTP Servers, stop them, terminate them, display their log files, and edit their configuration files.

How to define a Web server to the WebSphere Application Server environment
Basically, there are two ways to define Web servers to WebSphere Application Server. One is using the batch script created when the plug-in is installed. The other is using the administrative console.

The plug-in installation generates a script to define a Web server. At the end of the plug-in installation, the script is in <plug-in_home>/bin/configure<web_server_name> on the Web server machine. Copy the script to <was_home/bin> in the WebSphere Application Server system and execute. In a standalone server environment, the application server must be started to run the scripts. In a distributed server environment, the deployment manager must be active. Note that when you are installing the HTTP plug-in in the same system as the application server (that is, a local install in a standalone environment), the Web server is defined automatically and you do not have to run the scripts.

In distributed server environment, you can define a Web server using the administrative console. First, define the node for the Web server by selecting System Administration -> Nodes from the menu. Once the node has been defined, you can add the Web server definition by selecting Servers -> Web servers from the menu.

More information can be found about the new Web server functions in WebSphere Application Server V6 System Management and Configuration HandbookSG24-6451 at http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg246451.html.

Special Notices

This material has not been submitted to any formal IBM test and is published AS IS. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. IBM assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a client responsibility and depends upon the client's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the client's operational environment.

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Publish Date
15 April 2005


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TIPS0552