Network Deployment (Distributed operating systems), v8.0 > Tune performance > Plan for performance

Application design consideration

This topic describes architectural suggestions for the design and tuning of applications.

The designing applications information contains the architectural suggestions and the implementation of applications. For existing applications, the suggestions might require changing the existing implementations. Tuning the application server and resource parameters can have the greatest effect on performance of the applications that are well designed.

Use designing applications considerations in this topic for tips to ensure the applications are thoughtfully designed and tuned. These considerations include websites and other ideas for finding best practices for designing WebSphere applications, particularly in the realm of WebSphere extensions to the Java EE specification.

Use the following information as an architectural guide when implementing applications:


Java EE applications load, store, create, and remove data from relational databases, a process commonly referred to as persistence. Most enterprise applications have significant database access. The architecture and performance of the persistence layer is critical to the performance of an application. Therefore, persistence is a very important area to consider when making architectural choices that require trade-offs related to performance. This guide recommends first focusing on a solution that has clean architecture. The clean architecture considers data consistency, security, maintenance, portability, and the performance of that solution. Although this approach might not yield the absolute peak performance obtainable from manual coding a solution that ignores the mentioned qualities of service, this approach can achieve the appropriate balance of data consistency, maintainability, portability, security, and performance.

Multiple options are available in Java EE for persistence: Session beans using entity beans including container-managed persistence (CMP) or bean-managed persistence (BMP), session beans using JDBC, and Java beans using JDBC. For the reasons previously mentioned, consider CMP entity persistence because it provides maximum security, maintenance, and portability. CMP is also recommended for good performance. Refer to the Tune the EJB container section of the tuning application servers topic on tuning enterprise beans and more specifically, CMP.

If an application requires using enterprise beans not using EJB entities, the persistence mechanism usually involves the JDBC API. Because JDBC requires manual coding, the Structured Query Language (SQL) that runs against a database instance, it is critical to optimize the SQL statements that are used within the application. Also, configure the database server to support the optimal performance of these SQL statements. Finally, usage of specific JDBC APIs must be considered including prepared statements and batching.

Regardless of which persistence mechanism is considered, use container-managed transactions where the bean delegates management of transactions to the container. For applications that use JDBC, this is easily achieved by using the session fa├žade pattern, which wraps all JDBC functions with a stateless session bean.

Finally, information about tuning the connection over which the EJB entity beans or JDBC communicates can be found in the Tune the data sources section of the tuning application servers topic.
Model-view-controller pattern

One of the standard Java EE programming architectures is the model-view-controller (MVC) architecture, where a call to a controller servlet might include one or more child JSP files to construct the view. The MVC pattern is a recommended pattern for application architecture. This pattern requires distinct separation of the view (JSP files or presentation logic), the controller (servlets), and the model (business logic). Using the MVC pattern enables optimization of the performance and scalability of each layer separately.

Implementations that avoid storing the client user state scale and perform the best. Design implementations to avoid storing state. If state storage is needed, ensure that the size of the state data and the time that the state is stored are kept to the smallest possible values. Also, if state storage is needed, consider the possibility of reconstructing the state if a failure occurs, instead of guaranteeing state failover through replication.

Specific tuning of state affects HTTP session state, dynamic caching, and enterprise beans. Refer to the follow tuning guides for tuning the size, replication, and timing of the state storage:


Most Java EE application workloads have more read operations than write operations. Read operations require passing a request through several topology levels that consist of a front-end web server, the web container of an application server, the EJB container of an application server, and a database. WAS provides the ability to cache results at all levels of the network topology and Java EE programming model that include web services.

Application designers must consider caching when the application architecture is designed because caching integrates at most levels of the programming model. Caching is another reason to enforce the MVC pattern in applications. Combining caching and MVC can provide caching independent of the presentation technology and in cases where there is no presentation to the clients of the application.

Network designers must consider caching when network planning is performed because caching also integrates at most levels of the network topology. For applications that are available on the public Internet, network designers might want to consider Edge Side Include (ESI) caching when WAS caching extends into the public Internet. Network caching services are available in the proxy server for WAS, WebSphere Edge Component Caching Proxy, and the WebSphere plug-in.
Asynchronous considerations

Java EE workloads typically consist of two types of operations. We must perform the first type of operation to respond to a system request. We can perform the second type of operation asynchronously after the user request that initiated the operation is fulfilled.

An example of this difference is an application that enables you to submit a purchase order, enables you to continue while the system validates the order, queries remote systems, and in the future informs you of the purchase order status. This example can be implemented synchronously with the client waiting for the response. The synchronous implementation requires application server resources and you wait until the entire operations complete. If the process enables you to continue, while the result is computed asynchronously, the application server can schedule the processing to occur when it is optimal in relation to other requests. The notification to you can be triggered through email or some other interface within the application.

Because the asynchronous approach supports optimal scheduling of workloads and minimal server resource, consider asynchronous architectures. WAS supports asynchronous programming through Java EE JMS and message-driven beans (MDB) as well as asynchronous beans that are explained in the Tuning JMS and Tuning MDB topics.
Third-party libraries

Verify that all the libraries that applications use are also designed for server-side performance. Some libraries are designed to work well within a client application and fail to consider server-side performance concerns, for example, memory utilization, synchronization, and pooling. IBM recommends that all libraries that are not developed as part of an application undergo performance testing using the same test methodologies as used for the application.

Additional reference:
IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal: The top 10 (more or less) Java EE best practices
Improve performance in your XML applications, Part 2
Tune the application serving environment
Design applications
Tune application servers
Tune dynamic cache with the cache monitor



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