WAS is certainly complex - although I'm told by non-IBMers that the latest
Express wizards make setting it up pretty easy.  My biggest problem with WAS
is not so much set-up (I can always pay to have that done) but rather
working out what the *^%$ is up with it when it falls over.


I'm going through a WebSphere upgrade right now (3.5 Standard to 5.1 Express) 
and yes, the wizard (which is part of the gui you use for HTTP admin) does make 
it pretty easy to configure a new server. However, there are some big issues 
with using this beast. The first one is that it doesn't read configuration 
information from the WAS repository all the time. It also maintains several 
temporary files with configuration information in it and it's amazingly simple 
to clobber it. Once it's clobbered, it's not obvious how to fix it (basically, 
there's a directory in /tmp you have to delete).

The second issue I have is in performance. Granted, I'm messing around with a 
720 with 1 gig of memory that also has several WAS 3.5 servers running but the 
full blown console performs much better and really isn't all that difficult to 
use. The only things missing from the console are the ability to stop and start 
servers but that's pretty easy to do from a command line.

There are a bunch of other little things that I don't care for in it's console 
that could largely be resolved with a few additional links and a lot more 
thought to usability (WebLogic 8 wins in a usability contest). I'm talking 
about things like direct links to data sources, taking you back to the screen 
you were on before you save changes, and, most importantly, remembering context 
names for apps that are deployed out of WAR files (which is the root of the WAS 
clobbering I went through this week). It's very clear that the console reflects 
how things work under the covers instead of being task oriented.


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