General diagnostic process for WebSphere problems

General diagnostic process for WebSphere problems

General diagnostic process for WebSphere problems

To analyze problems running a WebSphere application, I do agree with the "ugly" IBM support first response "have you applied all the PTFs you need for: OS/400, the HTTP server, WebSphere and Java?" Now that you've checked and the answer is yes, where do you go from here?

The basic questions to ask in order are as follows:

  1. Is your HTTP server running and processing requests?
  2. Is your WebSphere server running and processing requests for Web pages?
  3. Is your WebSphere server running and processing requests for JSP pages?
  4. Is your WebSphere processing requests for Web pages in YOUR application?
  5. Is your WebSphere processing requests for JSP pages in YOUR application?

Other errors occurring after this point are usually application specific -- a class isn't found, a file is locked, etc. The steps below use these items for testing:

IBM SnoopServlet
SnoopServlet shows useful configuration information about your current WebSphere environment, including: HTTP server information (host name, server address and port) and WebSphere server information (server name). It also proves that both the HTTP server and the default WebSphere application server are running.

ebtnow1.jsp and ebtnow1.html
Simple JSP and HTML pages can be placed in the default application and, later, your application for testing to show that the JSP compiler works, the Java compiler and runtime work, the classpaths are configured correctly and that applications can serve resources by name.

Click here for the code for ebtnow1.jsp. Save the file twice -- once as ebtnow1.jsp and once as ebtnow1.html.

Is the HTTP server running and processing requests?

1. Run WRKACTJOB and check for your HTTP server jobs running under QHTTPSVR subsystem.

Is your WebSphere server running and processing requests for Web pages?

1. Run WRKACTJOB and check for your WebSphere server jobs running under QEJBSBS subsystem.

2. From a Web browser, enter a URL to run the IBM SnoopServlet to see some configuration information: http://yourserver/servlet/SnoopServlet.

3. See if WebSphere can serve a standard html page from the Default_app.
a. Follow instructions at this link to create ebtnow1.html
b. Copy ebtnow1.html to your default application Web folder (document root)
c. From a Web browser, call the page: http://yourserver/ebtnow1.html

If this html page fails, WebSphere is either not receiving requests from the HTTP server (a WebSphere plugin configuration problem) or it isn't handling requests (a WebSphere configuration problem).

Is your WebSphere server running and processing requests for JSP pages?

1. See if WebSphere can serve a standard JSP page from the Default_app.
a. Follow instructions at this link to create ebtnow1.jsp
b. Copy ebtnow1.jsp to your default application Web folder (document root)
c. From a Web browser, call the page: http://yourserver/ebtnow1.jsp

If this JSP page fails to run, WebSphere is either not compiling JSPs correctly or it isn't invoking servlets by name. (Those are both WebSphere configuration problems. The former may be problems with WebSphere's Java Runtime Environment setup.)

Is your WebSphere processing requests for Web pages in YOUR application?

1. See if WebSphere can serve a standard html page from YOUR application.
a. Follow instructions at this link to create ebtnow1.html
b. Copy ebtnow1.html to your application Web folder (document root)
c. From a Web browser, call the page: http://yourserver/myapp/ebtnow1.html

If the Web page request fails, your application configuration is not correct. Most likely, your document root for the application OR the Web path is incorrect. The document root is the correct location for all your html files. The Web path is the prefix added to a URL request for all your html and JSP pages (e.g., masonlt3/myapp/mypage.html where myapp is the configure Web path for this application).

Is your WebSphere processing requests for JSP pages in YOUR application?

1. See if WebSphere can serve a standard JSP page from YOUR application
a. Follow instructions at this link to create ebtnow1.jsp
b. Copy ebtnow1.jsp to your application Web folder (document root)
c. From a Web browser, call the page: http://yourserver/myapp/ebtnow1.jsp

If the JSP request fails, your application configuration for the Java environment may not be correct. There are numerous potential problems here, but you should look at any error page displayed first for clues and then the WebSphere logs. In order, check to see the JSP compiler produced a Java source file for the generated servlet, check to see a Java servlet class file was compiled from the Java source and, finally, that the servlet class was invoked by WebSphere.

Checking your application's Web configuration in WebSphere

At this point, usually we know the problem is limited to your application configuration in WebSphere. If you copy the ebtnow1 html and jsp pages to your application Web folder and repeat the tests above, you can eliminate Web configuration problems for your application as well.

Other sources of help for WebSphere

  • WebSphere documentation
    The installed documentation by default is usually only a small subset of the full documentation. You can download the full Documentation center for free from the appropriate IBM WebSphere site for your version of WebSphere.
  • IBM iSeries Web site for WebSphere
  • IBM Rochester WebSphere support
    IBM has a FREE 'first customer install' service for assisting on iSeries WebSphere. The e-mail address is rchfica@us.IBM.com
  • IBM support line -- check with IBM -- you may already have a contract.
  • IBM iSeries third-party WebSphere consultants such as ebt-now.com.

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