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Depending on where you go, the release date is either in June, or in late July. But let’s just stick for the moment with IBM’s (news, site) own version of things, which says the release of Java application server WebSphere 8 (WAS) will be soon.

WAS 8

That established, WebSphere 8 aims to ease the development, deployment and management of new applications that span platforms as diverse as mainframes, or mobile devices.

According to Big Blue, WAS 8 will also give better security and control to application developers as well as offering automated enhancements for the installation of applications.

In fact, WebSphere is IBM’s bottom-line middleware between web applications and operating systems. It has gone through a number of changes to support different kinds of computing as they evolved.

It is no surprise, then, that this release is looking towards the cloud computing market.

Currently, by IBM’s figures there are more than 100,000 WebSphere users around the world, with a number of them already testing the new release.

New Functionality

And it is quite substantial, even if a lot of it looks familiar in some respects. There are more than 50 new products and services added to the WAS 8 portfolio including:

  • IBM Workload Deployer: Enables enterprises build customized cloud services using templates
  • IBM WebSphere Virtual Enterprise: Enables the consolidation of servers
  • IBM WebSphere DataPower XC10 Appliance: Lowers the risk of data loss and improves response times
  • IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS: Offers an environment for high volume business transactions

If we say that some of this looks familiar, we do so in light of the recent release of IBM’s SmartCloud platform that is designed to take businesses into the cloud and to take IBM’s cloud development out of the laboratory and place it at the heart of the enterprise.

This release of WebSphere complements the SmartCloud by offering enterprises more control of their own cloud deployments. Once WebSphere is finally released -- on whatever date it happens to be -- we’ll be taking a closer look at this.