Using WebSphere 8.5.5 with Eclipse

IBM recently released the WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Developer tools for Eclipse. This Eclipse plugins enables to build and deploy applications directly on your local WebSphere instance without the need of IBM Rational Application Developer (RAD).

Install Eclipse 

The support for newer versions is kind of dull. When new eclipse versionsa released it could take a while till the WAS Developer Tools support this eclipse version.
Currenty Eclipse versions up to Eclipse Luna (Java EE Developer Edition) are supported.
Download the approperiate Eclipse package from
Unzip the zip-File and launch Eclipse by clicking the eclipse.exe and choose a workspace location.

Install WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Developer Tools

In Eclipse go to Help > Eclipse Marketplace

Search for "websphere"

and locate "IBM WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Developer Tools for <your Eclipse version>" in the search results and click "Install".

Eclipse will calculate some dependencies - which can take a while.

After that click "Confirm" and Eclipse starts downloading and installation die WAS Developer Tools. Before the installation goes active you have to Confirm the licence agreements.

After the installation process finishes, restart Eclipse.

Setup WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Developer Tools

Go to the "Server-View" and right click > New > Server

Select IBM/WebSphere Application Server v8.5 > Next

Specify the WebSphere installation root (not the profile root) and choose the jdk level.

Select the WebSphere profile to use. Deselect "Run server with resources within the workspace" - this option causes trouble sometimes.

If you have security enabled specify the approperiate credentials.
Click Finish.
Eclipse now generates a new server entry. By double clicking it, the properties can be edited later.

Run an application on your WebSphere

WAS Tools only accept EAR-Projects as deployable artifactes - so you have to wrap plain war-projects into a "Enterprise Application Project". In the Enterprise Explorer click New > Project > Other. Search for "Enterprise Application Project" (under Java EE).

Specify a new for the EAR-Project and select the Target runtime (aka server). The WAS Developer Tools will automatically "optimize" the packing if you chose the WebSphere options here. Click Next.

Select the project which will be wrapped into the EAR-Project and click Finish.

 Eclipse generates the new project. The project can be added to the WebSphere server by right clicking the Server in the server pane and selecting "Add and Remove".