IBM Support

Using the WebSphere Application Server documentation offline



Is there an alternative method for accessing the documentation for IBM WebSphere Application Server offline?


The online version of the product documentation is the supported version. The online versions of the product documentation are found in the IBM Knowledge Center. However, the WebSphere Application Server documentation is also provided as an information center in a format for offline use in local Eclipse environments, for your convenience. You can obtain the downloadable information center .zip file for the desired version and edition of the product information center and setup your local system to display the information centers in a local Eclipse instance.


  •  These steps require Internet access and a machine that is running on a Microsoft Windows 7 or higher operating system.
  • Before you can use the Eclipse application, you must have a compatible level of Java runtime environment for Eclipse installed on your machine and configured to run from the command-line. See the Eclipse website for details.
  • If you want to view documentation offline with different tools or with other operating systems, see the Viewing documentation offline topic in the WebSphere Application Server and Liberty documentation.

Complete the following steps to create your own offline version of the WebSphere Application Server documentation:




  1. Go to the Eclipse website ( to the downloads page:
  2. Download the most current version of the Eclipse Classic application.
  3. Create a directory on your local system for the Eclipse Classic application.
    For example:
  4. Install the contents of the zip file.
    1. Open the zip file.
    2. Extract the eclipse directory in the zip file to your c:\eclipse_offline directory. Your c:\eclipse_offline directory now has a c:\eclipse_offline\eclipse subdirectory.
  5. Within the C:\eclipse_offline directory, create command files to start and stop the Eclipse application.
    1. Locate the file within the C:\eclipse_offline\eclipse\plugins folder where N.N.N.vNNN refers to the Eclipse Classic version that you downloaded.
    2. Use a text editor to create the file, ic_start.cmd.
      1. Add the following statements into the file:
        java -classpath eclipse\plugins\ -eclipsehome eclipse -port 8680 -command start -noexec -clean
      2. Ensure that you use the correct name of the jar file. You must also specify the listener port for Eclipse. In this example, the port number is 8680.
      3. Save the ic_start.cmd file.
    3. Use a text editor to create the file, ic_end.cmd.
      1. Add the following statements into the file:
        java -classpath eclipse\plugins\ -eclipsehome eclipse -command shutdown
      2. Ensure that you use the correct name of the jar file.
      3. Save the ic_end.cmd file.
  6. Go to the FTP server for WebSphere Application Server documentation.
  7. Select the WebSphere Application Server version and edition of the documentation plug-ins that you want to use.
    1. Click the tab on the library page to choose the version of the information center that you want to use in an offline mode.
    2. Click the view page link for the edition of the product documentation that you want to use.
    3. From the information centers subpage, download the downloadable information center documentation plug-in (.zip file) to the plugins subdirectory on your local system.

      Note: You can have multiple editions of the documentation plug-ins for a single Websphere Application Server version within a single instance of Eclipse. For example, you can have the Network Deployment - distributed platforms edition and the WebSphere Application Server Samples edition for WebSphere Application Version 8.5 in a single Eclipse instance. However, you must have a separate Eclipse instance for each different version of the information center.
  8. Extract the documentation plug-ins within the plugins subdirectory.
  9. Run the ic_start.cmd file by double-clicking the filename or run the command from the command-line. This results in a command window that stays open until you run the ic_end.cmd file.
  10. When the ic_start.cmd file is running, point your browser to http://localhost:[port_number]/help/index.jsp to launch the offline WebSphere Application Server documentation on your local system. In this example, the URL is: http://localhost:8680/help/index.jsp
  11. To stop the offline information center, run the the ic_end.cmd file.
  12. (optional) You can update the Eclipse instance with additional documentation plug-ins for the same version of WebSphere Application server or create a new instance of Eclipse for a different version of the WebSphere Application Server documentation plug-ins.




Cross reference information
Product Component Platform Version Edition
WebSphere Application Server for z/OS General z/OS 8.5, 8.0, 7.0, 6.1

Document information

More support for: WebSphere Application Server

Component: General

Software version: 6.1, 7.0, 8.0, 8.5, 8.5.5

Operating system(s): Windows

Software edition: Base, Express, Feature Pack for EJB 3.0, Feature Pack for Web 2.0, Feature Pack for Web Services, Network Deployment

Reference #: 1468405

Modified date: 12 November 2018