Introduction: Variables

Variables come in many varieties. They are used to control settings and properties relating to the server environment. The three main types of variables that you should understand are environment variables, WebSphere variables, and custom properties.

Environment variables

Environment variables, also called native environment variables, are not specific to WebSphere Application Server and are defined by other elements, such as UNIX, Language Environment (LE), or third-party vendors, among others. Some of the UNIX-specific native variables are LIBPATH and STEPLIB. These variables tend to be operating system-specific.

(iseries)(dist) Environment variables can also be specified as an application server environment entry. To specify an environment variable as an environment entry, in the administrative console, click...

(zos) Environment variables can also be specified as a servant custom property. To specify an environment variable as a servant custom property, in the administrative console, click...

Select either Control, Servant, or Adjunct, and then click Environment entries. This path is also used to set environment variables that control the collection of application server and Web container information in z/OS System Management Facility (SMF) records.

WebSphere variables

WebSphere variables are name and value pairs used to provide settings for any of the string data type attributes contained in one of the XML formatted configuration files that reside in the product repository. After a variable is defined, the value specified for the variable replaces the variable name whenever the variable name is encountered during configuration processing.

WebSphere variables can be used to configure:

To create or modify a WebSphere variable, in the administrative console click Environment > WebSphere variables.

A variable can apply to a cell, a cluster, a node, or a server.

How the variable is set determines its scope. If the variable is set:

Custom properties

Custom properties are property settings meant for a specific functional component. Any configuration element can have a custom property. Common configuration elements are cell, node, server, web container, and transaction service. A limited number of supported custom properties are available and these properties can be set in the administrative console using the custom properties link that is associated with the functional component.

For example, to set web container custom properties, click Servers > Server Types > WebSphere application servers > server_name, and then, in the Container settings section, click Web container > Custom properties

Custom properties set from the web container custom properties page apply to all transports associated with that web container; custom properties set from one of the web container transport chain or HTTP transport custom properties pages apply only to that specific HTTP transport chain or HTTP transport. If the same property is set on both the web container page and either a transport chain or HTTP transport page, the settings on the transport chain or HTTP transport page override the settings defined for the web container for that specific transport.

Related tasks

Change time zone settings
  • Configure transport chains
  • Session management custom properties
  • Web container custom properties
    (zos) Use the administrative console to enable properties for specific SMF record types
    (zos) Trace control settings
    (zos) Trace controls for IBM Support
    (zos) Dump controls for IBM service
    (zos) Repository service custom properties
    (zos) Application server custom properties for z/OS