Oracle Rides WebLogic Server 12c to the Cloud
Oracle announced a new version of its Java application server, Oracle WebLogic Server, 12c, which enables enterprises to better integrate cloud computing into their IT mix.
As the center piece of Oracle's Cloud Application Foundation, and a core part of the Oracle Fusion Middleware product family, Oracle WebLogic Server continues to deliver innovative capabilities for building, deploying and running Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) applications. It also features enhancements to help customers and partners lower their total cost of ownership and derive more value from their current application infrastructure, while accelerating the development cycle and reducing time to market for their applications.
The new version provides a seamless upgrade from Oracle WebLogic Server 11g, Oracle said. Oracle WebLogic Server is also a key component of the new Oracle Java Cloud Service, an enterprise platform for developing, deploying and managing Java EE applications, which supports development and deployment from multiple Java-based integrated development environments (IDEs), including Oracle JDeveloper, NetBeans IDE and Eclipse.
"With Oracle WebLogic Server 12c, customers can leverage the No. 1 application server to get more out of their existing infrastructure, dramatically simplify application deployment and management, and accelerate time-to-market with developer efficiency innovations," said Cameron Purdy, vice president of development at Oracle, in a statement. "In addition, with Oracle WebLogic Server 12c, customers are better positioned to adopt cloud computing and can leverage their existing infrastructure to create private or public cloud architectures and then easily move back and forth between on- and off-premise infrastructure as their requirements change. Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud provide an ideal cloud application foundation with maximum performance, scalability and reliability."
IDC analyst Al Hilwa said the new version of WebLogic is important because WebLogic is Oracle's flagship Fusion middleware solution, and there are some important cloud-centric capabilities being delivered as well as some interesting touch points that cross multiple Oracle products leveraging the capabilities of Oracle's rich software stack.
"First of all, this finally delivers Java EE 6 technology in commercial form to the huge installed base which will begin adopting it over the next couple of years," Hilwa said. "And secondly, it brings some innovative new stack integration capabilities that give Oracle database users the incentive to use Oracle's middleware if they are not using it already. Tie-ins in manageability and performance to Oracle RAC and Active Data Guard will stimulate some interest and good rationalizations to use the commercial product for some users. I also think the new cloud capabilities for managing and deploying groups of servers will help stimulate cloud adoption and lower the cost for anyone who wants to deploy this technology as a service provider, including Oracle."
Mike Lehmann, senior director of product management at Oracle, said WebLogic Server 12c is now certified for the full Java EE 6 platform specification, which enables higher developer productivity with standards-based, modern APIs, including Servlet 3.0, JAX-RS 1.1, Java Server Faces 2.1, EJB 3.1, Context and Dependency Injection for Java, and many others. And Oracle WebLogic Server developers can now leverage Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) 7 features to create cleaner, more maintainable code.
In addition, Lehmann said Oracle WebLogic Server provides out-of-the-box support for dependency management and a uniform build process via an updated Oracle WebLogic Server plug-in for Apache Maven.
Moreover, the new Fusion Middleware component Oracle Traffic Director (OTD) integrates with Oracle WebLogic Server 12c to add high-performance and high-availability traffic routing capabilities, along with dynamically configurable caching, load balancing and proxy support for HTTP-based applications. And leveraging graphical tooling and open, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) Web Service APIs, Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder enables simplified configuration and packaging of multi-tier enterprise applications on environments virtualized with Oracle VM, Lehmann said.
"Choice Hotels International, one of the world's largest lodging franchisors, with over 6,000 hotels worldwide, uses Oracle WebLogic Server as a strategic platform," said Rain Fletcher, vice president of applications development and architecture at Choice Hotels, in a statement. "Our Oracle WebLogic Server infrastructure handles over 3.2M requests each day, serving thousands of franchised properties, in a 24/7 environment with zero-downtime application deployments. We are excited about many of the innovations in Oracle WebLogic Server 12c, including full Java EE 6 support, faster application development and better performance. With the new Oracle WebLogic Server 12c and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, we are excited to see new capabilities around automated configuration management, performance monitoring and diagnostics, and out-of-the-box monitoring, which increases our staff productivity and further improves our quality of service by minimizing downtime."
Meanwhile, Lehmann said improved integration between Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) can auto detect and correct database node failures to help drive higher performance and simplify management. And the new disaster recovery capabilities allow customers to store data in either a file store or a database, including the option to store transaction logs in a database, he said. It enables the use of consistent replication such as Oracle GoldenGate and Oracle Active Data Guard for all dynamic application data, including online, Java Message Service (JMS) and transaction logs.
Lehmann said integration with Oracle RAC enables customers to achieve two to three times faster data speeds. And Oracle Traffic Director can deliver a 300 to 400 percent performance boost to applications running on Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Fusion Middleware, compared with traditional Web-based architectures. It is delivered on Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, where it has been optimized for extreme performance, taking advantage of Intel's Advanced Encryption Set and Integrated Performance Primitives to deliver maximum compression and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) performance. WebLogic Server 12c also features improved application security with the Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2, the successor to SSL.
In addition, Lehmann said Oracle WebLogic Server is optimized to run as a high-performance, mission-critical, elastic cloud infrastructure on Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud. Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud is tested and tuned by Oracle to provide the best foundation for Java applications, Oracle applications and other enterprise applications with blazing performance, the company said.
"Oracle WebLogic Server 12c is exactly what I have been waiting for," said Markus Eisele, a German software architect and consultant. "Developing Java EE 6 applications for Oracle WebLogic Server has never been easier. Development, deployment, management and productivity have now been taken to the next level, which makes Oracle WebLogic Server 12c, in my opinion, the most reliable Java EE application server ever."