How to version control an application in WebSphere (editions)

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When manually deploying an application using the WebSphere web console, at Step 1, you can specify a unique application edition. In this example, "1.0" and "Original Deploy" are specified as the application edition.


When you specify an edition, the edition will be displayed in the applications page. In this example, since we gave testing_war an edition, "1.0" is displayed. "Base edition" will be displayed if an edition is not specified during the deployment of the application.


When deploying a new version of the application, a higher edition can be specified, such as "2.0'. In this example, there are two versions of the Delta application, Base Edition and 2.0, and 2.0 is inactive. An edition must be activated before it can be started.


Validate an edition

When deploying the application, if "Unmanaged Web Applications" was selected, you will not be able to validate the edition.


At ApplicationsEdition Control Center, information about the editions will be displayed, such as the number of editions, the number of active editions, and if the edition has been validated. You must have the configurator or administrator role to be able to make changes using the Editor Control Center, such as activating or validating. If you have the monitor or operator role, you can view the Editor Control Center, but cannot make changes. 


In Edition Control Center, an inactive edition can be validated by selecting the inactive edition and selecting Validate. Active editions cannot be validated.


If the validation is successful, text similar to the following will be displayed.


Upon successful validation an edition, the state will update to display VALIDATE.


Activate an edition

Activation of an edition is nearly identical to validation, with the exception that you select "Activate" instead of "Validate".

It is possible to have two or more editions of the same application active at the same time (concurrent activation). For example, both editions 1.0 and 2.0 can be active at the same time. You would then set up routing rules to route certain users or groups to edition "a" and to route certain users or groups to edition "b".


Upgrading application from lower to higher edition (rollout)

Rolling out an application is a way to replace an active edition with a new edition. In Editon Control Center, select the higher version of the application and select Rollout.

You will be prompted to select a rollout strategy (atomic or grouped), a reset strategy (hard or soft), and a drainage interval (30 seconds by default).

  • Rollout strategy - A group rollout pushes the new edition to every application server in the cluster, whereas an atomic rollout pushes the new edition to half of the application servers in the cluster at a time. An atomic rollout guarantee's that all requests will be sent to the new edition of the application. If requests are submitted while the new application is being rolled out, the requests will be queued until the rollout is completed, and then the requests will be served by the new edition of the application.
  • Reset strategy - Both a soft and hard reset will restart the application servers the application is being rolled out to. With a soft reset, process memory and any native libraries used by the application will not be refreshed. With a hard reset, process memory and any native libraries used by the application will be reset.
  • Drainage Interval - The drainage interval is the number of seconds to wait before the reset strategy is kicked off, to give time for HTTP sessions to complete.

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