Pay Attention To JDK And WebSphere Release Support
April 2, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM i shops don’t have to use Big Blue’s WebSphere Application Server middleware to create Java, since some of the Java functions are built into the Apache Web server built into the operating system and open source programs like the Tomcat server, while not still supported, are nonetheless sometimes still used. Still other shops don’t go for the full-on WebSphere Application Server, but use the Express Edition that is bundled on the machine to provide a certain level of automation for Java workloads.
IBM has been warning customers that they have to keep current on Java Development Kit (JDK) releases, and in an announcement sent out to business partners last week, IBM said that starting with the WAS v126.96.36.199 Fix Pack level, this WebSphere Application Server v8.5 will no longer support JDK v6.0/6.2.6 to be configured for WAS profiles, command and new profile defaults, and used for installation of the product. All WAS v8.5 profiles and defaults will need to be updated to JDK 7.0 or later before the 188.8.131.52 fix pack can be installed. JDK 7.0, 7.1, and 8.0 are supported on IBM i 7.1 and higher releases of the platform.
You can read the notices relating to this JDK removal for each current IBM i release below:
- IBM i 6.1 WAS v8.5 JDK v6.0 statement
- IBM i 7.1 WAS v8.5 JDK v6.0 statement
- IBM i 7.2 WAS v8.5 JDK v6.0 statement
It is hard to keep track of the bevy of operating system releases, Technology Refreshes for those releases, WebSphere Application Server Editions, and JDK releases and what the support matrix looks like as it changes. To that end, IBM has put together this tidy document to help you figure out where you need to be to stay current or at least supportable if you don’t want to be current.
To cut to the chase scene, WAS v7.0.x, v8.0.x, v8.5.x, and v9.0.x are supported on IBM i. However, WAS v7.0.x and v8.0.x are not going to be supported after April 30, 2018. For those customers who are stuck on older IBM i releases, such as i5/OS 5.4 or IBM i 6.1, WAS v6.2.1.x Express is still available for those customers who have extended support contracts for those operating systems, as well as on the much more current IBM i 7.1. WAS v6.0.x Express is still supported on i5/OS 5.4 or IBM i 6.1, again if customers have extended support contracts. WAS v5.1.x and earlier versions of the application server are no longer supported by IBM in any fashion.