WebSphere Application Server & Liberty

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Migration Tools for WebSphere Applications

By Cindy High posted Tue April 06, 2021 04:26 PM


You were recently introduced to What's New for Application Modernization in WebSphere Hybrid Edition which gives you an overview of our full set of application modernization tools. This article focuses on a subset of the tools, the WebSphere Application Server migration tools, available with WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Hybrid Edition. These tools are listed on the right side of the tools comparison chart: the binary scanner, the source scanner, and Liberty readiness in the Admin Console.  They help you understand and assist with the code changes needed during application modernization. You can use them on their own or as a compliment to the insights gained from Transformation Advisor and Mono2Micro.

 Application transformation tools comparison


The Migration Toolkit for Application Binaries (or binary scanner) is used to scan Java EE EAR, WAR, and JAR files. It is an application analysis tool you can use from the command line to quickly get analysis, inventory, and technology evaluation reports for your applications. When you scan your application from a WebSphere deployment, it can also create application-centric configuration for Liberty or traditional WebSphere Base. 

The binary scanner is built into Transformation Advisor and the WebSphere Application Server admin console, so you can get the same great analysis multiple ways.  If you want to get the whole picture of your application estate including classifications and development costs, I recommend you start with Transformation Advisor to get the most information, but the binary scanner allows you to run additional scans and re-evaluate applications especially if you don't use the Eclipse source scanner tool. 

By running an easy command, you get a consolidated migration report:

java -jar binaryAppScanner PlantsByWebSphereV8.ear --sourceAppServer=was80 --targetAppServer=openLiberty

 Binary scanner report


The WebSphere Application Server Migration Toolkit (source scanner) is used to focus on application analysis using your code in an Eclipse IDE. The source scanner is for developers making code changes. It allows you to get the analysis close to the source code that needs updating with easy access to the rule help. Where possible, it provides quick-fix code changes. While it can also produce the technology evaluation report, it does not include the inventory report.

 Source scanner IDE


The binary scanner and the source scanner are developed together and kept in sync with very similar rules and consistent analysis and help.  They analyze Java or class files, XML files, property files, JSP files, manifest files, and more. Both tools help you move applications 

  • from WebSphere Application Server traditional to the lightweight, container-ready Liberty runtime 
  • to a later Java EE version in Liberty
  • to a later Java SE version
  • from one version of WebSphere Application Server traditional to a later version
  • from WebLogic, JBoss, or Tomcat to Liberty or WebSphere traditional. 


You can also access Liberty readiness analysis from the WebSphere Application Server Admin Console from and where you can scan any deployed application without installing additional tools. The console shows you a high level overview of issues, and you can view and export the report. WebSphere Application Server fix packs update the embedded binary scanner on a regular basis.  The first releases just included feature list configuration but by and configuration generation was included and continues to be improved in subsequent fix packs.

Liberty readiness in the Admin Console


I also want to remind you of the traditional version-to-version configuration migration tools that ship with WebSphere Application Server. The WASPreUpgrade and WASPostUpgrade commands help you capture configuration from one node and move it to your new installation. WebSphere Application Server V9 introduces a new clone option that makes it even easier to create your new environment while leaving your old cell operational.  Since upgrading to a later version of WebSphere often involves upgrading Java EE versions, the binary and source scanners are useful in planning and running these migrations. 

Here are more useful links, and don't hesitate to reach out if we can help!

See the IBM Developer learning path Modernizing applications to use WebSphere Liberty to discover all the application modernization tools available with WebSphere Hybrid Edition.  

Also, check out the other articles in this app modernization blog series.