Why I dislike Websphere

At work, I’ve been working on a project that uses Websphere Application Server (WAS) 5.1. Part of the development setup is to use Websphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD) 5.1, because it is tightly integrated with WAS.

One of the problems this represents is that WSAD 5.1 is based on Eclipse 2.1.3. After working with Eclipse 3.x for so long, I find it really hard to use an older version, that doesn’t provide many of the features I’ve come to expect, like showing a list of defined keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl-Shift-L), or getting the latest plug-in for subversion (Subclipse).

Another problem is that Websphere uses its own JVM, made by IBM, which although it’s supposed to be 100% compatible, I still think there are some ‘hidden features’. And I’ve never seen eclipse (or other java programs running with Sun’s JVM) give me this kind of error:

There’s no stack trace, no reason given. It’s almost as bad as a Microsoft product.

6 thoughts on “Why I dislike Websphere

  1. While I’m not a WebSphere zealot or anything I have used 5.1 an awful lot within the past two years. I’ve never experienced one of these JVM errors before and if I had I would simply look to IBM’s site for a fixpack. I’m sure there is also a way to change the JVM WebSphere runs on in the Admin console but I have never done that before so I’m not sure. As far as WS being tied to WAS goes I use IntelliJ as my IDE. With ANT I build my WAR files and deploy them to WS with no problems. I’m sure that won’t make you feel better about the product but I thought I’d give my opinion.

  2. We use WAS also in some of our projects but together with RSA (Rational Software Architect). With this we have the eclipse 3.0 support and no problems with the JVM since more than 1 year.

  3. Some of the crashing problems are caused by the IBM J9 JIT and SWT combination on Windows. You can disable J9 JIT within wsad.ini, but that will hurt performance. Usually you get a trace in the logfile which is located in WORKSPACE/.metadata/.log

  4. You could choose to use Rational Application Developer instead, which is based on Eclipse 3.x and is integrated equally well with WAS 5.1.

    As for the stack trace, it is worth checking the log file, which as one of the other posters mentioned should be in the .metadata directory of your workspace

  5. Using Websphere/RAD 6.0.1 (updated) on WinXP we got JIT crashes several times a day until we disabled JIT.
    ..and: some “complex” JSPs (with) includes within :iterate’s won’t compile until we downloaded Websphere fixpacks. The same app runs with no problem and even fasted on Tomcat 4 and 5!
    Resume: I hate ’em, too.

  6. I totally agree that websphere is just plainly sucks. The exception stacktrace is just not very informative. I wonder why large enterprise waste their money on websphere.

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