Saturday, November 1, 2003

Managing multiple workspaces with WebSphere Studio


By Dan Velasco

Do you not want to mix your chocolate with your peanut butter? Or, rather, do you want to keep projects you're working on for one company or department completely separate from projects you're working on for other companies or departments? Well, you're in luck, because you can do just that using WebSphere Studio's ability to work with and manage multiple workspaces.

By default, when you install WebSphere Studio you have a default workspace, which is typically a directory called "workspace." You can, though, create multiple workspaces and use them to contain their own sets of projects. There are basically three different ways to then choose which workspace you want to use when you start WebSphere Studio. Note that all of the following information is directed at using the Windows version of WebSphere Studio.

The first option is probably the best and involves having WebSphere Studio prompt you for what workspace you want to use every time you start it. There is a great tip that's already been done by The Learning Continuum Company (at that beautifully describes how to use this feature, and you can find it at You can find other WebSphere tips interspersed with Notes/Domino tips on TLCC's website at

Now, in the true Java tradition, let me "extend" the TLCC tip by letting you know about a couple of other ways to launch WebSphere with a workspace of your choosing.

The remaining ways to choose which workspace to use when launching WebSphere are described in the book "WebSphere Certification Study Guide: An Introduction to Web Application Development with IBM WebSphere Studio (Test 285)," which you can buy from (my favorite bookstore) at Rather than make you buy the book, however, I'll describe the basics below.

You can choose which workspace to use by creating a shortcut icon for WebSphere Studio and then dragging and dropping different workspace directories onto it. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the directory where WebSphere is installed, which on Windows is typically something like C:&#92Program Files&#92IBM&#92WebSphere Studio. Find the file called "wsappdev.exe" and right-click on it and select Create Shortcut. Then drag or cut the shortcut and place it on your desktop or a similar easy-to-find location.
  2. Right-click on the shortcut icon and rename it something that makes more sense, such as WebSphere Studio.
  3. Right-click on the shortcut icon and choose Properties. In the Target box, place your cursor at the end of the line, type a space character, and then type "-data" (without the quotes) at the end. You can see an example of this in Figure A. Press OK when done.
  4. Now you can drag-and-drop a workspace directory from Windows Explorer onto this modified shortcut icon.