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WebSphere and the J2EE: Thinking outside the box

Bob Cancilla concentrates on J2EE and its components, providing links to resources to help you understand this technology.

iSeries (AS/400) customers are accustomed to being fully supported by the iSeries division of IBM. We have grown accustomed to Manuals, Redbooks, white papers, sample code and tons of support for everything from languages (RPG, Cobol, PL1, C, C++, CL) to built-in OS/400 facilities (DDS, APIs).

As we enter the world of Java on the iSeries, WebSphere, and the J2EE that is the facility that is actually implemented by WebSphere, we must change the way we think. We must look outside the box and often outside IBM itself for assistance and support. In this and future articles, I will focus on the J2EE and its components. I will provide links to resources to help you understand and learn the underlying technology that IBM has implemented under the umbrella called WebSphere.

WebSphere is an operating system that sits on top of an operating system (OS/400 in our case) and provides a number of Java APIs (application program interfaces) that do things for you.

First of all, home base for Java is IBM assumes that you know and understand the Java language when you begin working with WebSphere. To get started, take Sun?s Java tutorial at This will give you a starting point.

Next visit Sun's J2EE Web site at J2EE stands for Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition. You MUST understand the basics of the J2EE before you can utilize WebSphere effectively. The J2EE is virtually identical whether you choose to implement with WebSphere, BEA's WebLogic, JBOSS or many other J2EE platforms (many of which run on the iSeries). The only real requirement is that the Java 1.2 virtual machine be installed on your iSeries. In future articles, we explore the components of the J2EE, what they are, where they are used, and how to find docs and sample code for them. One last tip, be sure to check out for a vast resource of samples and articles.

About the author: Bob Cancilla is managing director of IGNITe/400, an electronic iSeries 400 Internet users group. He is also author of the book Getting Down to e-business with AS/400.

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