Taking the WebSphere Liberty Profile for a spin, using Intellij on the iMac

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I've mainly worked at companies which are "IBM shops" - you know, those that use RAD as their IDE and WebSphere as their Application Server. Irrespective of the version working iteratively with JEE web applications has never been a joyous experience - sometimes the code is hot swapped, sometimes I have to restart the server, sometimes the server stops responding and I have to kill the process. Always the server is slow to start. Of course, the hardware makes a difference, but not enough - development should be quick, responsive and I should get instant feedback on my changes.

Having recently purchased a Mac, Intellij 12 in their "Doomsday Sale" and having my interest perked by the WebSphere liberty dev team giving an IAMA on Reddit, I thought I'd see how this setup compared to my usual setup i.e. Windows, RAD and WebSphere server with all its bells and bloat.

In this first post I walk through installing the WAS Liberty Next Profile and setting up a simple JEE6 project, via a Maven archetype. Full conclusions I'll leave for another post, when I've done some "proper" work, as opposed to the Mickey Mouse example described below.

Configuring the WebSphere Next Liberty profile (beta)

I've gone for the early access / beta version, which offers CDI, EJB Lite and Managed Beans support. This is called Next by the WebSphere team.

Unfortunately Intellij is unable to recognise the new Next Profile, but copying 3 folders: /dev/api/ibm, /dev/api/spec and /dev/api/third-party into /dev/ seems a fair workaround until Intellij adds support. Note: I'm not sure why a profile where speed is the main concern, needs to be installed and a new instance created - unzipping it and being ready to go, would be easier.

Creating a skeletal project in Intellij