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IBM WebSphere Application Server OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM WebSphere Application Server is #2 ranked solution in top Application Server tools and #4 ranked solution in top Application Infrastructure tools. PeerSpot users give IBM WebSphere Application Server an average rating of 7.8 out of 10. IBM WebSphere Application Server is most commonly compared to JBoss Enterprise Application Platform: IBM WebSphere Application Server vs JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. IBM WebSphere Application Server is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 72% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a financial services firm, accounting for 24% of all views.
IBM WebSphere Application Server Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM WebSphere Application Server Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2022

What is IBM WebSphere Application Server?
IBM WebSphere Application Server provides a range of flexible, secure, Java EE 7 runtime environments available on premises or across any public, private or hybrid cloud.

IBM WebSphere Application Server was previously known as WebSphere Application Server.

IBM WebSphere Application Server Customers
TalkTalk, Property management group, E.SUN Bank, Ohio National Financial Services, Aviarc, Cincom Systems, FJA-US, D+H, Staples, Michigan Municipal League
IBM WebSphere Application Server Video

Archived IBM WebSphere Application Server Reviews (more than two years old)

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System and Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Easy to install and the GUI is intuitive and easy-to-use
Pros and Cons
  • "This solution is easy to use with a GUI that is intuitive and very helpful."
  • "Some things are very difficult to do, so the interface and usage could be more intuitive for those."

What is our primary use case?

This solution is normally used on the front-end of applications that we have in DB2 for IBM i. Our customers are in a variety of industries including insurance, financial, and retail. They use the WebSphere Application Server as part of their portal that talks with the database.

We have installed this application under several different operating systems including Red Hat Linux, IBM i  and IBM AIX.

What is most valuable?

This solution is easy to use with a GUI that is intuitive and very helpful.

You have the ability to do a lot of things with the commands.

What needs improvement?

Some things are very difficult to do, so the interface and usage could be more intuitive for those.

The main complaint that my customers have about this product is the price.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with WebSphere Application Server for between five and ten years.

Buyer's Guide
IBM WebSphere Application Server
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about IBM WebSphere Application Server. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
632,779 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

My customers have told me that this solution is very stable and it is working well.

How are customer service and support?

I have dealt with IBM's technical support on a variety of issues and normally it is pretty good. The response time is good and depending on the area, some support is more diligent and more effective than others. In general, I would say that they are above average, but the support could be improved in certain areas.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite easy. You don't necessarily need to be a technical person. The configuration can be a little more demanding, but the initial installation is not difficult.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price of this product is higher than that of competitors.

What other advice do I have?

IBM WebSphere Application Server works well and fulfills all of the requirements that are demanded of it, so it is a product that I recommend.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Sen. Fab Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Good data consistency and decent scalability but needs to be more customizable
Pros and Cons
  • "The scalability of the product is quite good."
  • "The availability of the solution needs improvement."

What is most valuable?

The solution's data consistency is great. It's very reliable. This is important for a transitional scenario. It is critical for us, so data consistency is the most important feature that we count on.

The user interface is reliable.

The scalability of the product is quite good.

What needs improvement?

The availability of the solution needs improvement.

The product should be more enhanced and responsive. We need to have the capabilities to customize it a bit more.

Their pricing is always too high.

The user interface isn't too impressive.

The stability of the solution could be much better.

The solution's technical support could be improved. They can be too technical and too detailed.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is okay. I'd rate it overall seven out of ten. It's mostly reliable, however, I believe it could use some major improvements.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is pretty good. I'd rate it seven out of ten. It's possible to scale a bit if you need to.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've dealt with technical support in the past. It's not the best. It could be improved.

How was the initial setup?

The initials setup is not straightforward. It's quite complicated. An organization needs some pretty good experience. They need a high skill level.

For us, deployment took half a year.

What other advice do I have?

We're just users. We don't have a business relationship with IBM.

I'd rate the solution seven out of ten. I'd rate it higher if they offered more customization capabilities and was more responsive.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
IBM WebSphere Application Server
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about IBM WebSphere Application Server. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
632,779 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Service Relationship Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Has a lot of native connectors with legacy sistems and so for complex systems, it simplify a lot integration tasks.
Pros and Cons
  • "We needed this type of integration and WebShepere is the best tool for it."
  • "I think that this is a good product but I think that the cloud environment could be improved. I think that the future is in the utilization of the product in a product as a service way which is something that is lacking at this moment."

What is our primary use case?

We have used it for the implementation of a web interface on very old mainframe system.

How has it helped my organization?

We've avoided the remake of mainframe application logics.

What is most valuable?

WebSphere connects with old legacy systems, like CICS and TX Series that typically run on the mainframe environment and that must be integrated with open systems.

What needs improvement?

Cloud service offering should be improved because the future is in the utilization of the PaaS provided by principal cloud providers; I mean that it would be very useful to have the possibility to use WebSphere as a service like many other tools has already done.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this system for ten years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think the stability of the product is very good. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The main problem is the licensing cost of the product. The product can scale but the budget cannot. We pay for core utilization and so we have to consider and manage peaks in resources utilization. 

How are customer service and technical support?

IBM is our mail provider for DC facilities, system integration and AMS.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very complex due to the complexity of the already existing business logics.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented the solution with IBM services.

What was our ROI?

The system is very old so it is not so easy to calculate. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The product is very expensive because PVU has to be calculated on maximun virtual cores and there is no difference between production and non-production environments.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No

What other advice do I have?

If you need a small system that needs to be exposed on the web for simple transations, or if you are considering a cloud environment you should consider a different solution. 

I would rate it an eight out of ten because for complex system development, it is the best solution at this moment. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
SherifHassan - PeerSpot reviewer
Application Integration Engineer at EFG-Hermes
Real User
Has a variety of configuration database certificates and good stability
Pros and Cons
  • "It has good stability of the application server in the long term compared to other solutions."
  • "It should be able to serve more concurrent requests like Oracle. Oracle has more powerful stability, availability, and real-time serving."

What is our primary use case?

We use it as a gateway for our payment application. It receives requests and processes it. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the configuration of the application server. It has a variety of configuration database certificates and connection pools. It has good stability of the application server in the long term compared to other solutions. 

What needs improvement?

It should be able to serve more concurrent requests like Oracle. Oracle has more powerful stability, availability, and real-time serving. 

WebSphere is not light enough to implement high available applications like gateways. But WebSphere has more configuration abilities and customizability.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for three months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is frustrating. It goes down after a specific number of user connections. It does not have high availability. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have contacted their technical support. They offer good help to help resolve the issue. They were efficient and helpful. They have good documentation. 

How was the initial setup?

I deployed it from scratch. It was not complex. It's easy to implement compared to other application servers. 

The implementation took eight hours. 

We require three engineers who do maintenance. We have an unlimited amount of users.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There aren't any additional costs besides for the standard licensing. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it an eight out of ten. 

It has a sensitive implementation. If you do a wrong step, it will destroy the whole thing and you will need to start from scratch. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Principal Architect with 1-10 employees
Real User
Valuable connection management and scalability but is quite expensive
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is robust. The connection management and the scalability, which IBM provides to the Stack, are also valuable."
  • "They should make the solution more lightweight and not bundle everything into a single product."

What is our primary use case?

We have some services which are doubled up using Java. To deploy this research we are using the WebSphere Application Server. A lot of channel applications are consuming these services in particular.

What is most valuable?

The solution is robust. The connection management and the scalability, which IBM provides to the Stack, are also valuable.

What needs improvement?

Nowadays the industry is moving towards a more open-source operating framework.

The cost factor is huge. It's very pricey compared to other open-source stacks. In the future, we'll deal with the IBM Stack so we might move to a compact server and other open-source alternatives which are comparatively less in terms of cost.

They should make the solution more lightweight and not bundle everything into a single product.

The solution would benefit from having a different licensing model.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 12 to 14 years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution's scalability is good, but there is a cost factor, which is a disappointing element. If you want to go for another node then you have to go pull up that code license model, and that produces another licensing cost.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've reached out to technical support. I find them good, but not excellent. They aren't very quick to respond.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using WebLogic BL as our stack. Now we use an IBM Stack. It was about eight years ago when we switched, so we've been using IBM for a while now.

How was the initial setup?

Depending on which platform you are on, the initial setup isn't too complex.

Currently, it is all straightforward, but it should be where the next generation of container-based, docker-based is and it's not there yet. Everyone wants that type of compatibility.

Deployment takes about two to three hours.

What about the implementation team?

We have our in-house team who are trained in the deployment of IBM WebSphere Application Servers, so we didn't need outside assistance. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution is very expensive compared to an open-source stack.

What other advice do I have?

The solution is deployed in the UX operating system.

Although the solution is good, open-source options keep getting better and better, so I'd recommend others to look into that. This solution is expensive. So is Oracle. I find open-source more innovative and they often have a good community around them that offers helpful support.

I'd rate the solution seven out of ten. I'd rate it higher, but there are basic features that have minimum capabilities that can be very dissatisfying. Apart from that, they provide good support, offer a good clustering model that's reliable, and it's properly tested with certified code.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Akkari Fay - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of Operations at ufi
Real User
A stable solution with good technical support and includes Portal Virtualization

What is our primary use case?

I am a specialist in content management solutions, especially IBM and other open-source products. I am the director of my team, and we specialize in this solution.

We use this in many areas including banking, insurance, and public administration.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is Portal Virtualization.

What needs improvement?

In the next release of this solution, I would like to see support for the Arabic language.

Better and easier integration with other solutions, such as DB2, would be an improvement. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about fourteen years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very good in terms of stability. It is one of the stablest solutions that exist.

How are customer service and technical support?

The IBM technical support for this solution is good. I have had experience with them going back to 2003-2004, and they are reactive.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is easy.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Gurvijay Bhatti - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Solutions Architect at Department of Justice
Real User
The high availability on this application has reduced the downtime, leading to increased productivity and efficiency
Pros and Cons
  • "High availability, alert management, and deployments are the most valuable features for us. We have the ND version so we can do deployments."
  • "The footprint could be reduced so that we can use a smaller virtual machine to run the application. We could also use more scripts. I would like this solution to be more script oriented, rather than GUI oriented."

What is our primary use case?

We use on-premise model, primarily for hosting a case management system.

How has it helped my organization?

We have about 3,000 users concurrently using this application. This application has achieved more than 99.9% up time which has resulted in increased productivity and efficiency.

What is most valuable?

Stability, high availability, alert management, and deployments are the most valuable features for us.

What needs improvement?

The computing resources required to run WAS could be reduced so that we can use a smaller virtual machine to run the application.

I would like WAS administration tasks to be completed via scripts, rather than GUI.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using this solution for more than ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very highly available and very stable. We don't have any issues. We only need to restart VMs when we upgrade OS, apply WAS patches or deploy newer versions of our applications.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable to more number of concurrent users. Its ND version allows us to add more VMs. We have 3,000 users and we only need two WAS administrators. We don't have any plans to increase usage, but it's been very stable for long time.

How are customer service and technical support?

Good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. We needed an expert WAS administrator. We took iterative steps to achieve higher efficiencies.

What about the implementation team?

In-house with experts from IBM.

What was our ROI?

Can't comment on the ROI, it has been very stable and provides very high availability. I guess ROI would be very high.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I don't remember the price, but there were no additional costs.

What other advice do I have?

Use an expert WAS Admin to set up the deployment scripts and automating as much as possible. Implement DevOps concepts by working in conjunction with administrators and developers

I would rate this solution as eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Enterprise Solutions Architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Enables us to to integrate with IBM MQ and IBM Integration Bus, in a mixed Windows/AIX environment
Pros and Cons
  • "Starting with version 8, WAS provides a special folder called monitor deployment. Once you put the .war or .ear file in there, it is deployed automatically without human intervention. This greatly helps us in our continuous integration server. Once the deployment binary is ready, we write a script to copy it to that folder and then, voila! The application is up and running and accessible from its context root."
  • "Ease of administration: It has an Integrated Solutions Console, what we call the administrative console, with very detailed configurations and Help pages for each configurable item."
  • "Security: It is compatible with the latest Java 8 security features, supports FIPS 140-2 and NIST SP 800-53 with strong ciphers and cryptography keys, and supports TLS 1.2 completely. Also, configuring client and server certificates is relatively easy."
  • "IBM needs to pay attention to market changes more quickly. We now have Java 9 and very soon Java EE8. We do not want to wait for two or three years after their release until they are supported by the new version."
  • "Installing or configuring a WAS server instance as a Windows Service causes a lot of problems, especially when the server needs credentials to stop."

How has it helped my organization?

We use IBM WAS Developer Edition in our development machines for free.

There is an Eclipse Plugin provided by IBM, so no need to buy IBM Rational Application Developer or Rational Software Architect tools.

Starting with version 8, WAS provides a special folder called monitor deployment. Once you put the .war or .ear file in there, it is deployed automatically without human intervention. This greatly helps us in our continuous integration server. Once the deployment binary is ready, we write a script to copy it to that folder and then, voila! The application is up and running and accessible from its context root.

What is most valuable?

  • Stability: Once you deploy your application, it will be very stable with no issues at all.
  • Ease of administration: It has an Integrated Solutions Console, what we call the administrative console, with very detailed configurations and Help pages for each configurable item.
  • Up to date: Once a security vulnerability has been discovered, IBM patches it quickly, and later includes it in a bigger fix or update.
  • Security: It is compatible with the latest Java 8 security features, supports FIPS 140-2 and NIST SP 800-53 with strong ciphers and cryptography keys, and supports TLS 1.2 completely. Also, configuring client and server certificates is relatively easy.

What needs improvement?

IBM needs to pay attention to market changes more quickly. We now have Java 9 and very soon Java EE8. We do not want to wait for two or three years after their release until they are supported by the new version, say WAS 10 in our case.

Installing or configuring a WAS server instance as a Windows Service causes a lot of problems, especially when the server needs credentials to stop.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No stability issues at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No scalability issues at all.

How are customer service and technical support?

Very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used Oracle GlassFish and Apache Tomcat but found them good only for small applications. Also, they need a lot of XML configuration and are not really production-ready.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and, thanks to Java and its platform independency, it requires almost the same steps in all operating systems.

You just have to install IBM Installation Manager, define your repositories, and click Install or Update.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If your application is just a web app that does not need to scale big, you can obtain a single core license of WAS Express edition, which has almost the same features with limited processing cores.

If you manage a very big application farm (i.e. need to run 10 or more WAS servers) it is better to get IBM WAS Hypervisor Edition.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluated Red Hat JBoss EAP, but since we need to integrate with IBM MQ and the IBM Integration Bus, all in a mixed Windows/AIX environment, we found that IBM WAS was the winner.

What other advice do I have?

IBM products, in general, need a lot of experience. They are very similar, have much in common, but to avoid getting into trouble and strange issues, it's important to read within the IBM Knowledge Center before starting. Also, do not skip any step in the installation/migration/configuration section, as it may stop you later, even without your knowing it.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: IBM Platinum Business Partner.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
FileNet Technical Architect at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Admin Console allows us to configure the app server as middleware for our ECM stack
Pros and Cons
  • "IBM WAS is the backbone for our enterprise content management suite which delivers the primary processes for our customers. Without a good application server, it would be hard to provide a secure layer of midddleware upon which the other applications run. IBM WAS improves the stability of the entire solution and provides a high quality platform for running web-based solutions."
  • "Without the Admin Console it would be very hard to configure JVM settings, JDBC datasources, mail session settings, and security providers."
  • "IBM WAS is extremely scalable. It is easy to add additional servers and to divide the load over servers in all kinds of ways."
  • "Initial setup is very simple. Just use the IBM Installation Manager and add the packages. The install wizard takes care of the rest. The only thing that can be difficult is to find the right packages on the IBM website, because of all the changes that IBM does on its website(s)."

How has it helped my organization?

IBM WAS is the backbone for our enterprise content management suite which delivers the primary processes for our customers. Without a good application server, it would be hard to provide a secure layer of midddleware upon which the other applications run. IBM WAS improves the stability of the entire solution and provides a high quality platform for running web-based solutions.

What is most valuable?

The Admin Console is most valuable to us since we have to use it to configure the application server for using it as middleware for our IBM FileNet, IBM Content Navigator and IBM Case Manager software stack. Without the Admin Console it would be very hard to configure JVM settings, JDBC datasources, mail session settings, and security providers.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

IBM WAS is a stable product. No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

IBM WAS is extremely scalable. It is easy to add additional servers and to divide the load over servers in all kinds of ways. If you want true scalability with persistence of EJB sessions then you have to purchase IBM WAS ND which can be more expensive than most companies are willing to pay for.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never had a need to file a PMR (Problem Management Record) for IBM WAS, so I have no experience with technical support for this product.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used BEA WebLogic before using IBM WAS. The reason we switched was because of the licensing. BEA WebLogic has to be purchased separately, while IBM WAS base is part of the deal when you purchase IBM FileNet P8 Content Engine. Both products work fine by the way.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is very simple. Just use the IBM Installation Manager and add the packages. The install wizard takes care of the rest. The only thing that can be difficult is to find the right packages on the IBM website, because of all the changes that IBM does on its website(s).

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Room for improvement would only be in the licensing. As with all IBM products the licensing can be complex and expensive. Bargain well and try to get as much discount as possible. Discounts of 85% are possible. Without the discount, I think the product is overrated.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have evaluated other products, like BEA WebLogic and JBoss. 

What other advice do I have?

Get a good feeling for how many users your system has and work out a system architecture before starting to implement IBM WAS. It is a product that can be implemented in many ways. Making a wrong choice in implementation can cause a lot of headaches later on.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a business partner for IBM. We use the IBM software stack exclusively for developing enterprise content management solutions for the Dutch government.
PeerSpot user
it_user632679 - PeerSpot reviewer
Systems Analyst 4 at Utmb heath
Vendor
It's scalable and reliable. The support that we get is important.

What is most valuable?

It's scalable and very reliable.

How has it helped my organization?

The incredible support that we get from IBM is of primary importance, that I see, because anytime we have a problem, help is just a phone call away.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see the ability to build clusters made a little bit easier. It is kind of a manual process right now and this would just help save time and reduce resources.

The process is only partially automated and still requires significant manual effort to complete the configuration of an operational WebSphere cluster.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have yet to max out the IBM MQ cluster. We have not been able to find the limits of the scalability yet.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used the technical support several times, successfully. It was great.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

This solution was already in place when I was hired, so I didn't have a choice.

How was the initial setup?

It wasn't easy, but nothing in IT is. The setup was pretty straightforward and any problems that I had, I was able to find the answers on the IBM Website.

What other advice do I have?

It's an awesome solution. Compared to everything else that's out there in the market right now, IBM MQ is hands down the best solution available and that's based on 40 years of IT experience.

Invest in training. It's a complex product, but once you learn how it works, it's fantastic.

Reliability and the use of cutting-edge technology are important factors while selecting a vendor. Everything that's already in IBM MQ is state-of-the-art technology.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free IBM WebSphere Application Server Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: September 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free IBM WebSphere Application Server Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.