Oracle updates WebLogic for cloud usage

Oracle has integrated WebLogic with a number of its other products, including the Exalogic appliances, and Oracle RAC servers

For the new release of its WebLogic, Oracle has tailored the enterprise Java application server so that it can be used more easily in cloud deployments.

"Many of our customers are running in traditional data centers but they are interested in moving to the cloud. We designed WebLogic 12c to make that happen," said Mike Lehmann, Oracle senior director of product management, noting that the "c" in the name of the new version stands for "cloud."

WebLogic 12c will be available for use within the next few weeks, the company announced Thursday. This edition is the first major update to WebLogic since WebLogic 11g, released in 2009.

With this release, Oracle has updated the software to meet the latest set of Java standards. It runs the latest version of the core Java runtime environment, Java SE (Standard Edition), version 7, released last July.

WebLogic 12c is also the first version to comply with the full Java Enterprise Edition 6 platform profile, including the APIs (application programming interfaces) and libraries for Java EE 6 components such as Java Servlets, JAX (Java API for restful XML Web services), JSF (Java Server Faces) and Enterprise JavaBeans. Java EE 6 also brings Context Dependency Injection, a feature long requested by developers for easily injecting components into applications.

Much of the work Oracle did getting WebLogic ready for the cloud involved integrating the server software with other Oracle and non-Oracle applications.

For instance, WebLogic has been tweaked to run with Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder, which provides a way for an organization to package into a single container all the components in a multitier application. Typically, enterprise Java application components, which include a Web server, traffic management software, the application server and a messaging tier, tend to be spread out across multiple servers. This software packages all of them into a single virtual container, which then can be moved from server to server and managed as a single identity.

The company also paired WebLogic with Oracle Traffic Director, a load balancer that routes inbound traffic across a number of duplicate WebLogic instances. "As they cloud-enable their environment, customers start getting a proliferation of virtual machines. Virtual Assembly Builder minimizes that by collecting them up into assemblies. And Traffic Director then allows them to tailor their network traffic much more cleanly into their back-end infrastructure," Lehmann said.

The software also has been engineered to work more easily with the Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) database clustering software. The application server can pick the best database server to work with at any given moment, and, as a result, can enjoy up to a threefold performance boost, Lehmann said. Other application servers will poll the database for new events to act upon, whereas, for WebLogic, Oracle set up a messaging system that can alert the application server immediately when new information has been ingested into the database. Oracle engineered similar performance enhancing shortcuts wth its Exalogic appliance, which is based on WebLogic.

At the behest of users, Oracle also integrated WebLogic with Apache Maven, which aids developers in managing their applications' dependencies, or the libraries and classes needed for that program to operate. "This makes it easy for our customers to integrate WebLogic into their standard build environment," Lehmann said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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