Java SDK Upgrade Policy for the IBM WebSphere Application Server

Technote (FAQ)


Question

What is the Java™ SDK upgrade policy for the IBM® WebSphere® Application Server?

Cause

Updating to the latest compatible Java SDK could help you resolve problems more quickly.

Answer

The IBM WebSphere Application Server Java SDK can be upgraded to the latest service release for the same Java SDK version.

List of WebSphere Application Server fix packs and the corresponding Java SDK versions

Policy Summary by WebSphere Application Server release:

WebSphere Application Server V8.0, V8.5, V8.5.5
Starting with V8.0 and applicable to all subsequent releases and fixpacks, there is one install package that contains updates for both WebSphere Application Server and Java SDK. Applying fixpacks of WebSphere Application Server also upgrades the SDK that is packaged and bundled within the fixpack. Additionally, separate Java SDK fixpacks are also available that contain just the SDK updates which can be applied to upgrade the SDK.

WebSphere Application Server V7.0
Any V7.0 fix pack can upgrade to the latest Java SDK 1.6.0 service release packaged for WebSphere Application Server.

WebSphere Application Server V6.1
Any V6.1 fix pack can upgrade to the latest Java SDK 1.5.0 service release packaged for WebSphere Application Server.

WebSphere Application Server V6.0
Any V6.0 fix pack can upgrade to the latest Java SDK 1.4.2 service release packaged for WebSphere Application Server.

WebSphere Application Server V5.1
Any V5.1 fix pack can upgrade to the latest Java SDK 1.4.1 and any V5.1.1 can be upgraded to the latest Java SDK 1.4.2 service release packaged for WebSphere Application Server.

WebSphere Application Server V5.0
Any V5.0 fix pack can upgrade to the latest Java SDK 1.3.1 service release packaged for WebSphere Application Server.



Details of Java SDK Upgrade Policy

WebSphere Application Server leverages the Java SDK as a base component. This results in unique support issues, including:

  • Matching Java SDK service releases to Application Server releases and fix packs

  • Delivering updates and fixes associated with the Java SDK on any given Application Server release.

In an effort to resolve customer Java SDK situations as quickly as possible, WebSphere Application Server Support has done a quickest-path-to-resolution analysis, determining the most direct way to collect problem information.

In some cases, problem resolution might include finding shortcuts to resolve symptoms. One shortcut is an immediate upgrade to a newer compatible Java SDK service release, before gathering detailed problem determination data.

There are multiple advantages to performing an immediate Java SDK upgrade as a quicker path to resolution over a full Problem Determination (PD) process:
  1. There is a continuous stream of fixes going into the Java SDK. Many problems encountered by customers are resolved by these fixes.

  2. When a new problem is encountered, applying the latest Java SDK is a quick way to determine if related fixes change the symptoms or correct the problem.

  3. Many documented Java SDK fixes have common symptoms. Frequently, limited PD data does not isolate the problem to a single root cause.

These factors highlight the advantage of applying a newer Java SDK before working through a full PD cycle.

Java SDK and WebSphere Application Server software are updated frequently. To avoid compatibility issues for customers, WebSphere Application Server Support maintains this Java SDK Upgrade Policy.

Identifying compatibility limitations between WebSphere Application Server releases and Java SDK service releases that have not been tested together reduces risk.

Important: Using a Java SDK not specifically packaged with WebSphere Application Server and supplied by IBM, or in violation of the Java SDK Upgrade Policy, is not supported by IBM WebSphere Application Server Support for Java SDK problems.

Related information

Verify Java SDK version shipped with WebSphere fix pack


Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Application Servers Runtimes for Java Technology Java SDK

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Document information


More support for:

WebSphere Application Server
Java SDK

Software version:

5.1, 5.1.1, 6.0, 6.1, 7.0, 8.0, 8.5, 8.5.5

Operating system(s):

AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, Windows

Software edition:

Advanced, Base, Express, Network Deployment, Single Server

Reference #:

1138332

Modified date:

2014-08-26

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