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WebSphere 8 Migration

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This time it's different

The last two Java EE versions are probably two of the biggest ever, so WebSphere has gone through a lot of change in version 7 and now version 8. With support for WebSphere 6 dropping, companies going from 6.x to 8 may have more challenges in performing the code migration than first expected. As much as the goal is to minimize code changes and risk during the migration, we’re finding more issues to deal with when companies compile code against WebSphere 8 API and JDK creating the need for more troubleshooting.
Our team works through three major stages of setting an effective foundation for WebSphere 8 migration (which includes activities like planning, training and setting business priorities), conducting the core migration, then conducting a value migration through code or administrative enhancement.

However, you still need to make the migration happen first, so here's what we bring to the table:

  • Setting Business Priorities: Companies also need to establish priorities for topology changes like adopting cloud or clustering and failover or other administrative changes like performance or scripting or packaging, and think through how they might like to use the new features of WebSphere 8 for Java persistence or dependency injection. All of these are part of developing a migration strategy which brings value and we need to look at where in an overall plan these activities best take place.
  • Migration Planning: We help your team understand what's new in WebSphere 8 and features that will impact the migration process. If you are migrating from 6.x, we can help you jump forward. We help you plan the migration environment, plan and migrate the development IDE and project structure, help you understand what is needed to drive the migration through each of your dev/test/staging environments and execute the emergency roll-back procedures to ensure you are ready to move into production.
  • Skills: We'll do step-by-step training for your team, and enable your team to make the transition seamlessly.
  • Core Migration to WebSphere 8: This is where the rubber starts to meet the road. The objective of core migration is to get your existing applications to work within WebSphere 8 with little or no code change. The goal is to get you up and running as quickly as possible while at the same time ensuring minimum downtime and optimum reliability. After core migration is complete, you can optionally choose to perform coding enhancement and administrative enhancements. These topics are described in details below.

Some companies want to migrate simply and at the lowest cost, others want to find ways to further reduce long term cost and make better use of WebSphere. In these cases, especially in this version of WebSphere, if the company has not yet looked at its applications, it’s a good idea AFTER the migration to look at the application architecture to see if it can be simplified or improvements made which improve the service level of the application by making:

Administrative enhancements:

  • Clustering and failover
  • Application performance
  • Automation through scripting
  • Take advantage of new features in Websphere 8
    • Optimize troubleshooting through HPEL logging
    • Batch model and offline processing
    • OSGi application packaging

Code Enhancements:

Optionally, start to use Java EE 6 API in application code for easier development and better manageability:

  • Java Persistence API (JPA)
  • JavaServer Faces (JSF)
  • Dependency injection
  • Web Service using JAX-WS and JAX-RS
  • Simplified EJB3

This final process is we call the 'value migration'�because it's here that companies begin to simplify since once the upgrade is done, you need to drive value. This comes from looking at the way development is done and re-crafting the development playbook. Beyond uncovering features, teams need to internalize the use of features and demonstrate business value. It’s a process of facilitation, revisiting development processes, and looking closely at where feature sets can be deployed within in the portfolio to do administrative enhancements like:

  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Simplify applications
  • Standardize development in a way that takes advantage of the new features of the tool, and,
  • Look at the general approach to architecture.

We're not sure if your management also feels the pain, but we'd like to follow-up. Please advise.

 

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