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I have a iseries database and I want to build webpages on top ot it. I want to use the Java platform and would like to have recommendations on the benefits of Apache vs Websphere as the best platform of choice. I do not have either at this point. I am really confused about all of the components of Websphere.

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If you're using servlets, you probably want apache tomcat (or possibly, apache proxying to apache tomcat) rather than apache itself. –  Cian Aug 25 '09 at 20:53

4 Answers 4

Websphere is a java application server, for running java applications. If you have applications like that, then you need websphere, apache won't be able to run them.

It is recommended to proxy connections to websphere via a standard http server, which would also serve static content. The IBM http server is provided for this purpose, but it's just apache 2.0 with some tweaks. There's no reason you can't run apache in front of websphere.

Websphere is a fairly large and complicated beast, if you're just writing a small amount of java then something like tomcat might suit your needs better.

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As others have said, you can't really compare Apache to Websphere as they do two different jobs, although Apache can work alongside WS/Tomcat/etc.

One thing to watch out for if you're using Tomcat is that it doesn't support J2EE (I think Websphere does). If you want to use the J2EE extensions without paying for a WS license you'll need something like Glassfish, instead of Tomcat.

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You can use Jboss with tomcat either, I believe. Although I've never managed to get through the marketing drivel on the Jboss page. –  Cian Aug 25 '09 at 21:54

Depends what you mean by Websphere and Apache? As mentioned by other posters, there are web servers and application servers. Websphere is a product family from IBM, but mostly the websphere application server (WAS) is referred to as websphere.

You need to decide if you want a company supported web and/or application server or if want to go with a community based combo. It needs to be mentioned that IBM also has a free WAS (community edition). The community addition is a different technology and is, I think, based on Apache tomcat. The IBM HTTP server is an Apache webserver.

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Although Apache is not a java app server (its a web server), you can use Apache with the Play framework (which is java based).

Details of how to setup play with apache is very very simple:

http://www.playframework.com/documentation/2.0/HTTPServer

Of course all Apache is doing is taking http request from the web and passing them onto the Play server (similar to a HTTp web server to websphere setup). But the advantage is that play is alot simple than Websphere.

As for the iseries db I am not sure. But I think its assessible via java persistence api (JPA). which i believe Play supports.

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