Configuration documents

WebSphere Application Server stores configuration data in several documents in a cascading hierarchy of directories. Most configuration documents have XML content.

The configuration documents describe the available application servers, their configurations, and their contents.

Hierarchy of directories of documents

The cascading hierarchy of directories and the documents' structure support multinode replication to synchronize the activities of all servers in a cell. In a WAS Network Deployment environment, changes made to configuration documents in the cell repository, are automatically replicated to the same configuration documents stored on nodes throughout the cell.

At the top-level of the hierarchy is the cells directory. It holds a subdirectory for each cell. The names of the cell subdirectories match the names of the cells. For example, a cell named cell1 has its configuration documents in the subdirectory cell1. The name of the cell must be different from the cluster name pair.

On the WAS Network Deployment node, the subdirectories under the cell contain the entire set of documents for every node and server throughout the cell. On other nodes, the set of documents is limited to what applies to that specific node. If a configuration document only applies to node1, then that document exists in the configuration on node1 and in the WAS Network Deployment configuration, but not on any other node in the cell.

Each cell subdirectory has the following files and subdirectories:

An example file structure is as follows:

     cell.xml resources.xml virtualhosts.xml variables.xml security.xml
           node.xml variables.xml resources.xml serverindex.xml
              server.xml variables.xml
              server.xml variables.xml
           node.xml variables.xml resources.xml serverindex.xml
              application.xml ibm-application-ext.xml ibm-application-bnd.xml
              application.xml ibm-application-ext.xml ibm-application-bnd.xml

Change configuration documents

We can use one of the administrative tools (console, wsadmin, Java APIs) to modify configuration documents or edit them directly. It is preferable to use the administrative console because it validates changes made to configurations. " Configuration document descriptions" states whether we can edit a document using the administrative tools or must edit it directly.


For transitioning users: The following z/OS variable definitions no longer exist in Version 8.x configuration documents:

In Version 8.0, we do not see AMODE=64 in Start command arguments for the server process. To see the current bit mode of the server:


Transformation of configuration files

The WebSphere Application Server master configuration repository stores configuration files for all the nodes in the cell. When you upgrade the deployment manager from one release of WAS to another, the configuration files stored in the master repository for the nodes on the old release are converted into the format of the new release.

With this conversion, the deployment manager can process the configuration files uniformly. However, nodes on an old release cannot readily use configuration files that are in the format of the new release. WebSphere Application Server addresses the problem when it synchronizes the configuration files from the master repository to a node on an old release. The configuration files are first transformed into the old release format before they ship to the node. WebSphere Application Server performs the following transformations on configuration documents:

Related tasks

  • Work with server configuration files

    Configuration document descriptions