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Tutorial - 01/16/2002

Tutorial : Migrating Web Applications from WebSphere 3.5 to WebSphere 4.0

WebSphere Application Server 4.0 is now J2EE 1.2 compliant. It's a good new because J2EE is a standard supported by multiples application servers vendors (BEA, SUN ...).
Web applications structure and deployment descriptor are standardized as follows :

WAR Structure
Figure 1 - myWebApp sample.

WEB-INF/ folder is not accessible by end user. This folder includes all JAVA classes (Servlets, JavaBeans...) and all libraries needed to run the web applications. Deployment information (Servlets parameters, URL mappings ..) are included in web.xml. This XML file has to follow the standardized grammar defined into "SUN's Web application 2.2 DTD".
/ folder is the document root of the web application, it is accessible by end user. It includes static resources (HTML, JavaScript, CSS, GIF ...) and dynamic resources (JSP). It's not a flat structure, you could have many folders and subfolders in.
WAR file is a JAR (like ZIP) file of the above structure. myWebApp.WAR becomes a standardized web application that could be easily deployed under any J2EE 1.2+ compliant application servers or any SERVLETS 2.2+ engines (Tomcat, Resin, JRun ...).

With WebSphere Application Server 4.0 (WAS4) comes a new tool : AAT (Application Assembly Tool). It allows to create WAR files from non-standard web applications resources through a few wizards.
Let's show how to migrate a web application (without EJB) from WebSphere 3.5 to 4.0 with the following tutorial :

For this tutorial we use jChatBox web application (running under WAS3.5), it's a chat solution with JSP, JavaBeans, JARs, HTML, CSS, GIF, Applets, TXT and XML resources.

First of all, download and unzip all files from (1.6 MB) to a jchatbox/ folder. All JAVA classes and JavaBeans are included into jchatbox.jar (do not extract them yet). Most JSP, HTML, CSS, Applets and GIF files are under skin_*/, admin/, xml_connector/, applet/, documentation/ folders. Configuration files (XML, TXT) are under conf/ folder. A dependant library for XML parsing (Xerces) is included into xerces.jar (do not extract them).

  • Step 1 : Launch WAS4 Application Assembly Tool : AAT 
    and create a new Web Module Wizard : Web module Wizard 

  • Step 2 : Specify Web Module properties : Display name, File name, Description.

    Web Module Properties
    Wizard 1.

  • Step 3 : Add JAVA classes (JavaBeans, Servlets, ...), dependant libraries, JSP and static resources (HTML, CSS, GIF ...).

    Web application files

    Wizard 2.

    Click "Add Class Files" and "Browse" to select jchatbox.jar. Then select jChatBox entry in the right panel and click "Add". All class files will be selected (see bottom panel). These classes will be extracted to WEB-INF/classes/ folder.

    Wizard 3.

    Go back to wizard 2. Click "Add Jar Files" and "Browse" to select jchatbox/ folder :

    Wizard 4.

    Then select xerces.jar in the right panel and click "Add" (xerces.jar will be moved to WEB-INF/lib/ folder).

    Wizard 5.

    Go back to wizard 2. Click "Add resources Files" and "Browse" to select jchatbox/ folder. Then select all files and directories except jchatbox.jar and xerces.jar. These files will be moved to web application document root.

    JSP, HTML, CSS ...
    Wizard 6.

  • Step 4 : Optional properties.
    Dot not select "Distribuable" and click "Next".

  • Step 5 : Web icons.
    You can select some icons (16x16 or 32x32) for the web application. They will be displayed by the WebSphere console. It's not really useful. Do not select any icons and click "Next".

  • Step 6 : Web components.
    You can define here Servlets and JSP parameters (Name, Class, Init Parameters). However jChatBox only uses JSP without any parameters.
    Click "Next".

  • Step 7 : Role list.
    You can define role list that will be used later to protect web resources. For instance a role could be accountant, reseller, manager, administrator ... The users/roles mapping is done when you install the web application under WAS4.
    jChatBox doesn't need role. Click "Next".

  • Step 8 : Servlets mapping.
    You can define URI mapping for servlets. For instance, an HelloWorld servlet accessible from /servlet/test.HelloWorld URI could be mapped to /helloworld URI.
    jChatBox only uses JSP. Click "Next".

  • Step 9 : Resource references.
    Defines a reference lookup name to an external resource. This allows the web application code to look up a resource by a 'virtual' name that is wired to the actual location at deployment time. jChatBox doesn't need this feature.
    Click "Next".

  • Step 10 : Context parameters.
    You can setup context parameters here. jChatBox doesn't need one.
    Click "Next".

  • Step 11 : Error pages.
    You can define specific error pages matching to HTTP error codes (404, 405 ...). We don't need this feature.
    Click "Next".

  • Step 12 : MIME mapping.
    You can map a file extention with a mime type. For instance Microsoft word file extension : "doc" could be mapped to "application/msword" mime type. Usually you don't need to add one, the web server should be already setup for MIME.
    Click "Next".

  • Step 13 : Tag librairies.
    You can define Tag Librairies used in the web application. jChatbox doesn't use taglibs.
    Click "Next".

  • Step 14 : Welcome file.
    Welcome file will be displayed when you try to access document root of the web application. (e.g. :
    Click "Add".

    Wizard 7.

    Browse the web application to select documentation/index.html

    Wizard 8.

  • Step 15 : EJB References.
    EJB Home interfaces could be referenced to be accessed through "java:comp/env/" JNDI. jChatBox doesn't use EJBs.
    Click "Finish".

  • Final step : Save the WAR file.
    File -> Save As : jchatbox.war


    Wizard 9 : AAT.

    You can open jchatbox.war with WinZip to check that the web application structure is standard. In addition to web.xml, you should notice two non-standard files : ibm-web-bnd.xmi and ibm-web-ext.xmi. These XML files are IBM WAS4-specific, they will be ignored if you deploy your WAR file in another web container.

    You're now ready to deploy jchatbox.war into WebSphere Application Server 4.0.
    If you want to learn more about jChatBox (Configuration, Guides ...) then have a look to the online documentation.

    JavaZOOM Team









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