Weblogic 12c – Plug into the Cloud

On December 1st, Oracle has held an online event to launch the new Weblogic Server 12c, the foundation for the future generation of Fusion Middleware products. Along with 200 new features, this release brings cloud computing capabilities, hence the “c” in 12c, an even tighter integration with the Oracle Database and integration with some new Oracle products, that have just been announced.

Oracle WebLogic Server 12c New Key Capabilities

  • Java EE 6 Support & Development
  • Simplified Deployment & Management with Virtualization
  • Integrated Traffic Director (Exalogic)
  • Enterprise Manager 12c
  • Higher Performance and Failover
  • Increase Scalability with Oracle Coherence
  • Enhance Cluster Performance with Active GridLink for RAC

Java EE 6 Support & Development

The new Oracle WebLogic 12c implements the Java EE 6 standards, which supports all kinds of Java EE 6 specifications implemented such as Java EE 6 features and development features:

Java EE 6 features
The new features and specifications are listed as follows:

  • JSF 2.0
  • Java Servlets 3.0
  • JPA 2.0
  • EJB 3.1
  • JAX-RS
  • Managed Beans 1.0
  • Support for Java SE 7 (and Java SE 6) which includes:
    • Java language optimizations and internationalization
    • Client and server support
    • SSL/TLS 1.2 in JSSE to support JAVA socket transport security
    • JVM Converge

Development features
WebLogic 12c has support for many IDEs. WebLogic already supports JDeveloper, but will come out with later on. However, anyone developing applications using WLS can deploy them to WLS 12c.
Also supported are Eclipse and NetBeans 7.1 IDE. As said, the JDeveloper and IntelliJIdea IDE will be supported in a later timeframe. The following is the screenshot of the IDEs already supported by WebLogic 12c:

The following screenshot shows the IDEs that will be supported later in 2012.


Simplified Deployment & Management with Virtualization

WebLogic Server 12c simplifies application server deployments while automating monitoring and
maintenance activities. It provides the foundation for building and deploying a modern infrastructure with a reduced hardware footprint that can be expanded and contracted easily. Virtualization is at the heart of these architectures—both convention and cloud-based—and WebLogic Server 12c accelerates middleware deployments with its open, standards-based virtualization services.

  • New enhanced WebLogic Maven plugin.
  • Lightweight development with WebLogic server. The ZIP distribution file does not contain any  installers and can be used to configure a domain when unzipped.
  • Built-in GlassFish descriptor recognition for easy re-deployment to Oracle WebLogic Server. GlassFish Server supports the weblogic-application. xml, weblogic.xml, and weblogic-webservices.xml deployment descriptor files.
  • Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder designed to help organizations quickly create and configure entire multi-tier application topologies and provision them onto virtualized resources.

Integrated Traffic Director

IT departments must continually scale their infrastructure to accommodate increased traffic to enterprise applications. Many organizations employ load-balancing technology to distribute their application workloads across multiple physical and virtual servers. Load balancing helps to improve resource utilization, maximize throughput, and minimize response time.
Oracle Traffic Director (OTD) provides highly-available, extreme-performance traffic shaping and routing capabilities, along with dynamically configurable caching, load-balancing and high-performance proxy support for HTTP-based applications running on Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Fusion Middleware.

  • Local Traffic Manager and Load Balancer
  • Uses the application network layer 7
  • Can act as a reverse proxy
  • Supports SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0. You can configure SSL/TLS-enabled
  • HTTP listeners
  • Will be the replacement for Oracle Web Cache
  • Is not a built-in feature of WebLogic 12c
  • Supports Integrated traffic management such as routing, load balancing, request-routing and caching, and SSL crypto acceleration

Enterprise Manager 12c

Oracle Enterprise Manager is Oracle’s integrated enterprise IT management product line and
provides the industry’s first complete cloud lifecycle management solution. Oracle Enterprise
Manager’s Business-Driven IT Management capabilities allow you to quickly set up, manage
and support enterprise clouds and traditional Oracle IT environments.
Some of the features are as follows:

  • Navigate the middleware routing topology
  • Customize middleware performance summaries
  • End-to-end performance management
  • Use the middleware diagnostics advisor to size the JDBC connection pool
  • Diagnose WebLogic performance bottlenecks
  • Capture diagnostics snapshots
  • Clone an Oracle WebLogic domain from the software library
  • Deploy a Java EE application
  • Manage SOA suite
  • Manage Coherence

Higher Performance and Failover

As WebLogic 12c is part of the Cloud foundation, it will run on conventional systems, and also on utilized hardware or better called engineered systems or Exalogic. To meet the requirements of these new hardware techniques, WebLogic 12c has better performance and failover features.
Some of these features are:

  • Higher Performance accomplished with different kinds of techniques such as the following:
  • Parallel muxers with Java NIO APIs for low-level I/O-based operations
  • An optimized work scheduler providing improvements to the Increment Advisor used to manage the size of WebLogic Server’s self-tuning thread pool
  • Lazy de-serialization of session data on the replica server until required
  • Multiple replication channels for synchronous in-memory session replication between servers in a WebLogic cluster
  • WebLogic 12c has Active GridLink—This is an optimization for RAC Databases. GridLink uses Fast Connection Failover for faster RAC failure detection.
  • Enhanced high availability and disaster recovery

Increase Scalability with Oracle Coherence

Oracle Coherence is the industry’s leading in-memory data grid solution for distributed applications and application servers. With support for Java, .NET, C++ and REST clients, Coherence provides data caching, data replication, and distributed computing services to improve scalability, availability, reliability, and performance. It relieves overloaded data sources, simplifying management and improving performance for queries, transactions and events.
A new Elastic Data feature makes it possible to gain near-memory-speed access to data regardless of the storage medium—enabling Coherence to handle four times as much data as before.
Customers can also use the Coherence*Web module to achieve linear scalability for HTTP Session Management in clusters of hundreds of production servers based on Oracle Coherence’s dynamic partitioning capability. Another option is to use ActiveCache to provide replicated and distributed caching services that make an application’s data available to all servers in a Coherence data cluster.

Enhance Cluster Performance with Active GridLink for RAC

GridLink datasources were introduced in WebLogic 11g (10.3.4) to enhance integration between WebLogic and Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) environments.  They are a definite improvement over the Multi-Datasource feature as they allow for:

  • Better load balancing across RAC nodes as the Gridlink datasources can react to Oracle Fast Application Notification (FAN) events issued by the Oracle Notification System (ONS)
  • Fast Connection Failover when RAC node outages occur
  • XA Affinity so that database operations within a global transaction are directed to the same RAC node

For example, a leading health insurance firm in the UK uses Oracle WebLogic Suite with Oracle RAC to support 800 agents in four call centers. In order to handle approximately 2,700 Enterprise Java Bean calls and 1,100 page requests per minute, the company relies on Active GridLink for RAC to manage instance shutdown and structure rolling software upgrades, helping the company to maintain strict service level agreements.

Upgrade to Weblogic 12c

Upgrades are available for WebLogic 8.1 up to the latest version 10.3.5. You can do the upgrade by using the patchset assistant or upgrade wizard. Also upgrades from IAS, GlassFish, and JBoss are supported.
Available upgrade strategies are:

  • Internet Application Server: Automated tooling.
  • WLS11g: simple upgrade. Use domain upgrade wizard if you are an existing
  • Glassfish: simple redeploy.
  • JBoss: migration services.

New configuration features in WebLogic 12c:
At the launch of WebLogic 12c, Oracle told us there would be more than 200 new features available in this release. We won’t discuss all 200 features but here are the most important ones. Except for supporting all the new JAVA EE6 features, the following features are also added or changed

  • ZIP Distribution with 164 Mbytes only
  • JDBC store (non XA) for JTA TX logs is now possible
  • Improved Maven plugin which was introduced with WLS 10.3.4 Supports install, start and stop servers, create domains, execute WLST scripts, and compile and deploy applications

WebLogic 12c DEPRECATED Features

  • UDDI v2 registry and explorer removed (most OFM products need v3 anyway)
  • -D weblogic.management.username is deprecated now (still working in devel mode).
  • The WebLogic Server 8.1 Web services stack has been removed in the WebLogic Server 12.1.1 release
  • As of WebLogic Server 10.3.3, the following internal methods of the weblogic.jms.extensions.WLMessage interface have been removed

Make Sure to consider these features when upgrading

  • WLS12c does not include proxy plugin for web server load balancing.
  • Manually set the location of the Java endorsed directory (JRE_HOME/lib/endorsed) or directories.
  • Manually increase the permgen space and maximum permgen space
  • In WebLogic Server 12.1.1, UCP and ONS are no longer included in your installation
  • WebLogic Type 4 JDBC driver for Oracle was deprecated in WebLogic Server 10.3 and is now removed
  • The default messaging mode has been changed from multicast to unicast
  • When planning a WebLogic Server version upgrade, you should review the Fusion Middleware Supported Systems Configurations page at http://www.oracle.com/technology/software/products/ias/files/fusion_certification.html

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