The Liberty Profile: A Lightweight, Flexible, and Extensible Application Server
Laura Cowen 270000EU9W firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  application_development devops websphere_application_ser... liberty_profile continuous_integration websphere java_ee
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If you're an application developer, you're probably aware of WebSphere Application Server, with its 16 years at the leading edge of Java application hosting...but what do you know about the developer-friendly WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile?
Both the Liberty profile and the Full profile (the original WebSphere Application Server) can provide reliable, resilient, and secure environments for running your web and mobile applications. The Full profile supports a wide range of programming models and highly available deployment configurations; the Liberty profile is optimized for lightweight development and production scenarios that don't require the full Java EE platform.
Why the Liberty profile?
Application developers often don't need all the technologies in a full Java EE platform to develop applications that meet the business's needs. What they need more is an application server that is quick to start, easy to manage, and fast to redeploy to, enabling rapid application development.
The Liberty profile is only about 50 MB to download but is certified to the Java EE Web Profile specification. If the supported technology a developer needs is not in the core installation, they can download it as a separate product feature and add it in. These product features are properly integrated with the server, providing consistent debug and monitoring capabilities.
Not including unnecessary features means that a Liberty profile server is quick to start, and minimizes the hardware resources required. Moreover, after the first deployment of an application to a Liberty profile server, updates to the application are automatically redeployed. Similarly, if the server configuration is changed, such as adding a new feature, the server is updated dynamically and doesn't need to be restarted. So your developers aren't wasting time constantly restarting the server and breaking their flow of concentration. Developers just want to be productive.
An important part of developer productivity is the Continuous Integration (CI) of code into frequent builds and automated testing. The fast startup times, small footprint, and simple configuration supports this. The server configuration is in a simple XML file which is easy to edit, can be shared across the development team, and can be stored in version control as another development artifact just like your source code. The Liberty profile provides simple build tools for packaging the runtime server configuration and application into a single archive. This makes it easy to deploy into QA and production environments, supporting both CI and devops. In addition, the Liberty profile Chef cookbooks, which are being developed in the open at GitHub, support the use of the Chef devops framework.
WAS Liberty profile and WAS Full profile
Applications developed on the WAS Liberty profile are fully compatible with the WAS Full profile. So the applications can be deployed into production on either a Liberty profile server (Java EE 6 Web Profile) or a Full profile server (full Java EE platform).
Try the Liberty profile
Your application developers can download and use Liberty profile in their development environments for free, for an unlimited time, from WASdev.net. If you want to try the Liberty profile in testing or production environments, the WebSphere Application Server Liberty Core Trial is free for 60 days.
If you have applications that are already running on non-WAS application servers, try running our migration tools against them to see whether anything in the application needs changing to make it run on WAS--using either a Full profile or Liberty profile server.
Find out more and get help
Visit WASdev.net for more information, how-to articles, videos, and links to our forums.