IBM WebSphere is an application server. IBM WebSPhere is the the leading software for e-business on demand providing comprehensive e-business leadership. WebSphere is architected to enable you to build business-critical applications for the web. WebSphere includes a wide range of products that help you to develop and serve the Web applications. They are designed to make it easier for the clients to build, Deploy and Manage dynamic web sites more productively.
WebSphere provides solutions for connecting people, systems, and applications with internal and external resources. WebSphere is based on infrastructure middleware service designed for e-business.It delivers a proven, secure and reliable software portfolio that can provide an excellent return on investment.
WebSphere is developed based on JAVA/J2EE technologies. So it can support Java/J2EE applications. IBM WebSphere Administration has the responsibility to define the Environment for an application and Configuring the Servers, machines and Data Base. It has the responsibility to deploy and manage the application. It has the responsibility to support the application and monitoring the performance of the application and servers and improve the performance of the application servers. If any issues come solving that issues.
Before application servers we have the web servers like apache, sun one, I planet, IIS etc. Web Servers have the web container will provide the runtime environment to the Web applications nothing but will execute only Servlets and JSP?s and It will generate static web pages.
When you are using the web servers can only server static content. When you are using web servers we can only fetch the data from the Data Base, but we can?t update the data to the Data Base. If you want to interact with Data Base you need to write set of lines of code in java. Web servers will not provides the service like JDBC, JMS, and Security. Web servers does not give support to the EJB?s. The Web servers will not give the transaction support also. Web server can also process the requests coming from the HTTP only. Web servers will not give the full support the J2EE.
While coming to the Application Server (WebSphere, WebLogic, OracleAppServer), Any Application Server have an embedded web server (Web container), which give support to the Web applications. In Addition to that Application server have an EJB container, will provide the runtime environment to the EJB?s. Application server will provide the services like JDBC to interact with Data Base, with out writing set of lines of code to interact with Data Base and JMS service to process message oriented requests and It will provide the security also. Application server will have support for transactions. It can process the requests coming from HTTP, TCP/IP, FTP, UDP etc.