Mainframe Websphere will have common code base

New version optimizes Java workloads

IBM later this week will unveil a version of Websphere Application Server Version 6.0 with new capabilities designed to take advantage of the company's zSeries of mainframes. The new version, for the first time, will have a common code base with versions of Websphere for distributed platforms, according to developers familiar with the company's plans.

Websphere Application Server Version 6.0 for z/OS eServer zSeries is written to take advantage of the Application Assist Processor already embedded in Big Blue's existing zSeries mainframes. One of the benefits of this added software capability is that it allows corporate IT shops and third party developers to better optimize Java-based workloads hosted on IBM mainframes.

A version of Websphere for mainframes with the same code base as other versions for distributed platforms may simplify life for corporate developers that want to create applications that work transparently across all of IBM's strategic operating environments, including Unix and Linux, in order to share mission-critical data.

"I think what they are trying to complete here are the last application bridges between large host-based systems and all the other distributed platforms they have in play right now as a way to lower costs and allow [IT] shops to more easily create enterprise-wide apps strategies," said one mainframe software developer who wanted to remain anonymous.

Another advantage to offering a mainframe-based version of Websphere with a common code base is that corporate users can salvage the training investments they have made in programmers already expert in developing for Websphere on a number of distributed platforms.

"IBM's thinking is they know the code base for Websphere on Unix; now they will know it on mainframes as well," said another developer.

Another one of the IBM's goals with the new version, according to sources, is to help larger IT shops lower their overall host-based development costs as well as hasten deployment on server environments. IBM released Version 6.0 of Websphere Application Server 6.0 for distributed platforms last December.

An IBM spokesman declined to comment on the new version.