WebSphere FAQs… you don’t ask because they might think you don’t know basics: Part-1

Many times you don’t ask your doubts, because that question may make other people think that you are dumb or don’t know something. Here are some of the questions from that category

1. What is websphere?

The moment you ask this question, the first question that comes to mind is WebSphere application server. In reality, WebSphere is the name of a product family. IBM has many more products under the brand name WebSphere. WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere MQ, WebSphere Message broker, WebSphere business modeler, WebSphere process Server, WebSphere business monitor, WebSphere integration developer, WebSphere partner gateway are some of the products under this brand name.

2. What is a profile in websphere Application Server?

When you install WebSphere application server, executable files and configurations files are separated. This allows you install the product once and create multiple sets of configurations which use the same underlying core executables of the websphere application server installation. These are the profiles in websphere application server. As you know, there are many types of profiles and you can create multiple profiles.

3. What does nodeagent do in websphere Application Server?

We will have one nodeagnet per one node. The node agent acts as an mediator between the Deployment manmager and the node.

4. What is Sync in websphere Application Server?

WebSphere application server stores all the configuration data in one central location knows as ‘Master repository’. And every node/server will have the local configuration repository. The sycn process makes sure that the configuration in both local and master repositories are same and in-sync. The sync is a one dimensional process means; it will sync the configurations only from Master repository ==> local repository.

5. What is websphere plug-in for web server and where do i need to install the plug-in?

It is common practise to have web and app servers on different machines. WebSphere provides a plug-in which enables web server to talk to application server, this is known as web server plug-in. Web server plug-in will have a configuration file named plugin-config.xml which will have references to all the servers, clusters, applications, virtual hosts of the websphere application server. You can generate this configuration file from administration console, servers –>web servers. Select a web server and click generate plugin configuration file and then propagate the plugin. This plug-in needs to be installed on the web server machine

6. I don’t have WebSphere installed on my web server how do i add to the websphere administration console ?

If you like to add your web server to that WebSphere administration console, you can do that by creating a unmanaged node and then add from servers–>web servers

7. Do i need a web server if i have a websphere application server?

Web Server and WebSphere application server provide two different functionalities. WebSphere application server do has an inbuilt web server functionality but it is recommended to use a separate web server for many reasons. Some of them are: 1. By seperating web and application server activities, your application serving environment is more secure. 2. Using the webserver you can load balance the requests between multiple application servers.

8. How do edit/modify the property/configuration files?

It is recommended to modify all the configurations using the administration console. When you need to make any configuration changes, you need do the apply changes and sync them. Any changes you do at local repository level are discarded upon the next restart of that server because the sync is always from DMGR to local repository and changes are not saved to master repository. For example, if you edit a configuration file of server1 and restart it… the changes are lost. When the server starts it syncs the configuration from master repository.

9. What happens if my DMGR is not running?

DMGR is the single point of failure in WebSphere network deployment model. Even if DMGR is down, rest of the server will continue to run and serve the applications. However, any changes you make in this situation are not saved to master configuration repository.

10. I installed a new application, what do i need to do before i can access it from the web server URL?

When you install a new application or update an application, your web server needs to be aware of the changes. Which means you need to update the web server plug-in configuration file. So after a successful installation of an application with mapping to web server, you need to regenerate the plug-in configuration file and propagate it to web server.


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