Friday Jul 17, 2015

Accessing WebLogic Logs via REST

One of the most significant changes in the WebLogic 12.1.3 release is improvements in the REST management interface. Oracle ACE Director and WebLogic expert Dr. Frank Munz does a very nice job summarizing the changes on his blog. The REST management capability is really quite a nice addition to the existing DevOps oriented capabilities such as WLST and of course the admin console. One of the very interesting things you can do via the REST management interface in WebLogic 12.1.3 is easily access all WebLogic logs. Dr. Frank Munz explains nicely step by step how to do this via another excellent blog entry well worth a read.

The best way to learn the details of the REST management capabilities is of course always the WebLogic documentation.

Tuesday Jun 30, 2015

Oracle Cloud Application Foundation Innovation Awards Now Open for Nominations!

Is your organization using Oracle Cloud Application Foundation that includes Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle Coherence and Oracle Tuxedo to deliver unique business value? The Innovation Awards awards honor our customers and partners for their cutting-edge solutions. Winners are selected based on the uniqueness of their business case, business benefits, level of impact relative to the size of the organization, complexity and magnitude of implementation, and the originality of architecture.

The 2015 awards will be presented during Oracle OpenWorld 2015, October 26-29, in San Francisco.

Submit your nomination for WebLogic/Coherence/Tuxedo by July 31!

Award winners receive:

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation Award for WebLogic trophy
  • One free pass to Oracle OpenWorld 2015
  • Priority consideration for placement in Profit magazine, Oracle Magazine, or other Oracle publications and press releases
  • Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation logo for inclusion on your own website and/or press release   

All nominees receive consideration for:

  • Participating in OpenWorld panels and speaking opportunities
  • Featured Customer Success Story on Oracle.com
  • Placement in Profit magazine and/or Oracle Magazine
  • Placement in an Oracle press release or Oracle Fusion Middleware podcast
Nomination deadline: 5:00 p.m. PT July 31, 2015
All nominated solutions should be in production or in active pilot phase

For additional information, please email Innovation-Middleware_us@oracle.com

Thursday Jun 18, 2015

Managing Logs in WebLogic

Logging is your first line of defense in terms administering, debugging and monitoring any part of the data center and especially the application server. WebLogic generates a number of very helpful log files for that reason. In addition WebLogic also provides ways to robustly manage these log files in terms of tuning things like log rotation and filtering. Ahmed Aboulnaga introduces some of these capabilities in a recent article on OTech Magazine (his article is mostly focused on the admin console).

The most detailed and up-to-date way to learn about WebLogic logging is always of course the WebLogic documentation. For example a couple of important logging aspects the article does not get into include configuring the logs themselves as well as easily viewing the logs through the WebLogic console.

Tuesday Jun 09, 2015

Your Spring application takes longer to deploy? Think again!

Uday Joshi of the WebLogic Team was recently asked to understand why a large Spring based application took longer to deploy on WebLogic than on Tomcat. And to do that, Uday only had one constraint, i.e. he was not given access to that Spring application! The only thing Uday had at his disposal was the deployment-time thread dumps of that application, nothing else.

In this detailed article, Uday describes how he mimicked the 'suspicious' application to understand what was going on. He also shares some of his findings and some recommendations like using filtering classloader. This article is based on a large Spring application but those recommendations also apply to any large application. 

Friday Jun 05, 2015

A Gentle Introduction to the WebLogic Diagnostic Framework (WLDF)

The WebLogic Diagnostic Framework (WLDF) is a powerful feature that has been around since WebLogic 9. It is an extremely robust way of live monitoring and diagnostics for the server, the underlying JVM, deployed applications and configured resources. Few if any other Java application servers can match the capabilities offered by WLDF. If you using WebLogic in production and don't know about WLDF, you are doing yourself a serious disservice.

Because of the power and flexibility offered by WLDF, it is not trivial to pick up and for some can be daunting. Fortunately Mike Croft of Oracle partner C2B2 consulting can help us out. He wrote up a very nice series of blog entries as a gentle introduction to WLDF. He provides a high level overview and discusses watches, notifications and the monitoring dashboard. The definitive way to learn about WLDF is of course always the latest WebLogic documentation :-).

Friday May 29, 2015

Your Opinion Wanted - What Would You Like to See in OTN Virtual Summits?

If you don't know about the OTN Virtual Technology Summit yet, you are doing yourself a serious disfavor. The summit is a set of free online events covering various technical topics such as Java SE and Java EE but also WebLogic, Coherence, Middleware, Database and so on. Each topic is presented by a subject matter expert coming either from Oracle or from the community (Java Champions, Oracle ACEs and so on). During each session a live chat lets participants ask questions and clarifications on the presented subject. The summit is held four time a year!

Now you can chime in to tell us exactly what you would like to see in terms of middleware content in the summit. Of course we not-so-secretly hope you will ask for more Java EE, WebLogic or Coherence content! You can voice your opinion at any time using this public page on the Oracle Community site. Beyond simply asking for a topic, you are also most welcome to nominate yourself or someone else you know as a speaker. It's a great way of sharing your knowledge and getting some recognition, so don't be shy!

Monday May 18, 2015

WLS Tip: Getting started with Arquillian on WebLogic Server

Arquillian is a popular open-source testing framework for Java EE containers. In this short video, Phil Zampino of the Oracle WebLogic Server Development Team shows how to get started with Arquillian to test applications running in WebLogic Server. For a more details on using Arquillian with WebLogic, you can then check this article.

For your convenience, you can also download this archive that contains the test application and the configuration files (pom.xml & arquillian.xml) used in the video.

Wednesday Apr 15, 2015

WLS Tip: Installing WebLogic with Chef

Chef is a popular open source infrastructure automation framework that has been popularized with the whole DevOps movement. In a nutshell, Chef has the notion of Recipe and Cookbook. A Recipe is written using a Ruby based DSL to describe how to install and configure software(s) on a host. And as the name suggest, a Cookbook is a collection of related Recipes.

This article explains how to create a simple WebLogic Cluster (on a VM) with two Managed Servers using Chef. The Cookbook described in the article can obviously be used as the basis for more advanced scenarios involving WebLogic.

Thursday Apr 02, 2015

An Introduction to WLST Script Profiles

In case you are not familiar with WLST (the WebLogic Scripting Tool), it is a powerful scripting runtime for administering WebLogic domains. Jython is used as the scripting language. Although other application servers now boast similar capabilities, WebLogic was one of the earliest to innovate this feature around 2006 with WebLogic 9. In fact, WLST maintains the most impressive set of features compared to competing offerings.

WLST is of course just one way of administering WebLogic. You can also work with WebLogic domains using Ant, Maven, the command line and of course the user-friendly admin console depending on your needs and preferences. WLST is particularly useful for automating entire deployment environments or complex administration scenarios. Matt Brasier of C2B2 Consulting (an Oracle partner) recently did an excellent talk on WLST. The slide deck for his talk is embedded below:

We also recently caught up with Peter Bowers, a key developer on the WebLogic team about WLST. He talked to us about the WLST script profile feature, including some cool sample code and a demo. Here's the video with Peter:

The best place to learn more about WLST is none other than the excellent latest WebLogic docs on the topic.

Tuesday Mar 24, 2015

Oracle WebLogic Server Now Running on Docker Containers

We are very excited to announce that Oracle WebLogic Server is now certified to run on Docker containers. As part of the certification, we are releasing Dockerfiles and supporting scripts on GitHub to build images for Oracle WebLogic Server.  These images are built as an extension of existing Oracle Linux images Oracle Linux Images. You can use these Oracle WebLogic Server Docker images or create your own. To help you with this, we have posted Dockerfiles and scripts on GitHub as examples for you to get started.

Docker is a platform that enables users to build, package, ship and run distributed applications. Docker users package up their applications, and any dependent libraries or files, into a Docker image. Docker images are portable artifacts that can be distributed across Linux environments. Images that have been distributed can be used to instantiate containers where applications can run in isolation from other applications running in other containers on the same host operating system.

The table below describes the certification provided for various WebLogic Server versions. You can use these combinations of Oracle WebLogic Server, JDK, Linux and Docker versions when building your Docker images.

 Oracle WebLogic Server
JDK Version
Host OS
Kernel Docker Version
 12.1.3  7/8  Oracle Lunux 6 UL 5+
 Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 (3.8.13)+
 1.3.3+
 12.1.3  7/8  Oracle Linux 7 UL 0+

 Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 (3.8.13)+

or

Red Hat  Compatible Kernel (3.10)+

 1.3.3+
 12.1.3  7/8

 Red Hat Enterprise

Linux 7+

 Red Hat  Enterprise Linux Kernel (3.10)+  1.3.3+

For additional details on the most current Oracle WebLogic Server supported configurations please refer to Oracle Fusion Middleware Certification Pages.

These Dockerfiles and scripts we have provided enable users to create clustered and non-clustered Oracle WebLogic Server domain configurations, including both development and production running on a single host operating system or VMs. Each server running in the resulting domain configurations runs in its Docker container, and is capable of communicating as required with other servers. For documentation on how to use these Dockerfiles and scripts, see the whitepaper on OTN.  The Oracle WebLogic Server on Docker and Demo  video presents our certification effort and shows a Demo of WebLogic Server running on Docker Containers. Other configurations and approaches are possible, but we hope these help get you started. We look forward to your feedback.

Monday Mar 16, 2015

OpenWorld 2014: WebLogic Cloud Approaches

By Ancy Dow, Oracle Tech Cloud Account Strategist [Another OpenWorld session that Ancy found relevant and wanted to share with all of us.]

According to a recent ComputerWorld Survey, nearly 90% of IT executives now want to implement cloud solutions. But what is the best cloud strategy for your organization—private, public, or hybrid? Senior Product Marketing Director Ayalla Goldschmidt and Product Management Vice President Mike Lehman share best practices on choosing a pragmatic cloud approach for your organization’s implementation of WebLogic Server, as customers leveraging WebLogic Server now have unprecedented options when architecting an enterprise cloud strategy.

WebLogic in the Cloud – Oracle’s Investment Strategy

Typically, we see three types of customers really interested in moving to the cloud. First are developers who look to move to the cloud for faster provisioning and working with Java in a very lightweight fashion. Secondly, many customers are IT operations-oriented individuals who seek to shift their capital expenditures, and instead pay a far lower subscription cost for a cloud provider to take care of everything. Finally, lines-of-businesses individuals building seasonal or non-mission critical applications don’t want to go through the long development cycle of building out an infrastructure and supporting environments.

To meet all these needs, Oracle’s Cloud strategy is to deliver a flexibility of deployment choices, with unparalleled ease of use. The on-premise private cloud is the most straightforward path to cloud and Oracle has currently invested significantly in this area to bring cloud capabilities into the WebLogic platform. The second investment area is bringing WebLogic to the public cloud through the Java Cloud Service (JCS), with options such as automated patching and tooling. The third and final investment area is partnerships we’ve established with Microsoft Azure, Amazon, Verizon Terremark, and even more vendors coming in the future. 

A Hybrid Cloud Model

Given all these options, should you mix your workloads between private and public? Very sensitive customer or employee data that needs to meet geopolitical boundaries should be kept in an on-premise private cloud. On the opposite end, customers who pursue public cloud entrust security in the hands of the cloud vendors, prioritizing faster response times and extreme agility within competitive environments. With a hybrid approach, customers host mission-critical applications in-house, but also look opportunistically for places in which public cloud could make more sense. With this strategy, customers meet compliance and security requirements where needed, but can also learn and seek to expand their public cloud footprint over time for better resource utilization, cost savings, and flexibility. 

Why Choose Oracle Cloud?

Oracle is uniquely positioned as a cloud provider because of its ease of portability from one cloud solution to the other. From a private cloud perspective, investments center around WebLogic Server, Coherence with in-memory caching, and Enterprise Manager as a set of high availability technology for provisioning and managing customers’ environment lifecycle. Customers can take the latest versions of these tools—WebLogic Server 12c—to get a cloud environment up and running from an operational and developer-friendly perspective. This same exact set of products is available through a self-service, self-managing, public cloud portal with Java Cloud Service. 
The full 45-minute session offers further insights on criteria that can help you create a framework for decision making around private versus public cloud. More information is also available in the Computerworld cloud survey. Download the survey report from http://www.oracle.com/goto/computerworld. Our early adopters have already been able to reduce their implementation time for new applications from months to weeks, and we look forward to making that a possibility for you as well.

With this blog post, we end our series on OpenWorld Cloud Application Foundation sessions. Hope you enjoyed it. 


Monday Mar 09, 2015

WLS JDBC Driver Patching

The handling of Oracle driver jar patches is complicated but getting sorted out. This article tries to gather the information in one place with pointers to more details.  There are a few patches that are still not available, marked as TBA (To Be Available) in the tables below.  As these files become available, this page will be updated.

WLS 10.3.6, 12.1.1, and 12.1.1 shipped Database 11.2.0.3 jar files.  However these are non-standard versions of the jars with additional bug fixes and enhancements to support WLS.  That means that you can't just drop in an 11.2.0.3 patch or upgrade to 11.2.0.4 using standard released jar files. Although support is required to provide 11.2.0.3 patches as needed, it will be difficult and the recommendation is to upgrade to a special 11.2.0.4 patch that contains 11.2.0.4 and all of the patches and enhancements in the 11.2.0.3 database jar files shipped with WLS. It's further complicated because WLS started using the Oracle Universal Installer in 12.1.2, requiring a different patch format.

WLS 10.3.6, 12.1.1, 12.1.2, and 12.1.3 also support running with Oracle Database 12c client jar files. For WLS 10.3.6 through 12.1.2, the jar files must be manually installed; there is no installer or patch to automate this upgrade. To get patches, you must be running with the Database 12.1.0.2 jar files; WLS patches will not be generated for the Database 12.1.0.1 jar files. WLS 12.1.3 ships with a pre-release version of Database 12.1.0.2 driver jar files and a patch will be available to upgrade to the production version of these files. After this upgrade, standard database Oracle patch files will work as expected for WLS 12.1.3 (and WLS 12.1.2 with a manual upgrade to database 12.1.0.2 jar files).

Patching the installed Oracle Driver

WLS Release

Oracle Driver Install

Database Jar

Patch Strategy

Documentation

10.3.6

11.2.0.3.0AS11.1.1.6.0

11.2.0.4 WLS patch

https://support.oracle.com/epmos/faces/DocumentDisplay?id=1970437.1

12.1.1

11.2.0.3.0AS11.1.1.6.0

11.2.0.4 WLS patch

https://support.oracle.com/epmos/faces/DocumentDisplay?id=1970437.1

12.1.2

11.2.0.3.0AS12.1.2.0.0

11.2.0.4 opatch

Patch Request 18557114 for bug 19477203

12.1.3

Pre-12.1.0.2

12.1.0.2 opatch to bring up to shipping 12.1.0.2; standard opatch for additional bug fixes

TBA soon


























Running with the Database 12c Driver

WLS Release

12.1.0.2 installation

Database Jar Patch Strategy

Documentation for Installation
Documentation for patching

10.3.6

Manual installation of 12.1.0.2

12.1.0.2 WLS patch

https://support.oracle.com/epmos/faces/DocumentDisplay?id=1564509.1
TBA

12.1.1

Manual installation of 12.1.0.2

12.1.0.2 WLS patch

https://support.oracle.com/epmos/faces/DocumentDisplay?id=1564509.1
TBA

12.1.2

Manual installation of 12.1.0.2

12.1.0.2 opatch

https://docs.oracle.com/middleware/1212/wls/JDBCA/ds_12cdriver.htm#JDBCA272

Standard patch procedure

12.1.3

Pre-12.1.0.2 installed; Patch to bring up to shipping 12.1.0.2

12.1.0.2 opatch

https://docs.oracle.com/middleware/1213/wls/JDBCA/ds_12cdriver.htm#JDBCA272

TBA soon for make-up patch

Standard patch procedure

On a related topic, updating non-Oracle driver jar files is covered by the following note.

https://support.oracle.com/epmos/faces/DocumentDisplay?id=1

This includes the DataDirect and MySQL drivers that are shipped in the kit. The jar file is backed up and removed, the new file installed, and the CLASSPATH adjusted if the jar name changes.

You'll notice that releases earlier than WLS 10.3.6 are not discussed.  For releases earlier than WLS 10.3.4, they depend only on the ojdbcN.jar file.  It's possible that they will work with the 11.2.0.4 jar file but that hasn't been certified and they are not still in error correction support.  For WLS 10.3.4 or 10.3.5, it depends not only on a specific ojdbc jar file but also ONS/UCP jars that have the package names renamed.  They will likely not work correctly with the 11.2.0.4 jar file (certainly not Active GridLink).  Since these releases ended error correction support in May 2012, you will need to upgrade to WLS 10.3.6 or 12.1.x to use later driver jar files.

Friday Mar 06, 2015

OpenWorld Session on Security Practices for WebLogic & Coherence

by Jess Brown, Oracle Tech Cloud Account Strategist [Another OpenWorld session Jess found interesting and wanted to share with all of us.]

Ensuring the security of your application server deployments is more important than it has ever been. Security for new forms of technology such as Java, Heartbleed, and Cloud computing have pushed for new levels of security awareness during this past year. Specifically, building Java Cloud Service with WebLogic heightens the need for security. Oracle Cloud offerings based on WebLogic Server and Coherence have driven new requirements for securing WebLogic/Coherence environments. This session will cover evolving security challenges, best practices for securing Oracle Cloud Systems, and practical advice for securing your own on premise WebLogic/Coherence systems. Always remember to roll out defense in depth, the more layers of defense for your systems, the better! Be sure to check out the session video here (http://bit.ly/oow14cafsessions)

Thursday Feb 26, 2015

OpenWorld Double Dose: Maximum Availability in the Cloud

Integrated, high availability IT infrastructure capabilities are critical for reducing downtime and costs, and creating ideal performance and SLA results. In this next session of the Oracle Open World 2014 series, Shari Yamaguchi and Frances Zhao from Oracle’s Product Management team share best practices on how to architect highly available multi-data center solutions. They also share what real world customers are doing to achieve maximum available architectures with WebLogic Server—so be sure to check out the video itself here (http://bit.ly/oow14cafsessions) for those highly relevant case studies and proven strategies.

What is Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA)?

Maximum availability architecture (MAA) incorporates the high availability solutions that Oracle has invested in and built out across the stack. The key focus is on ensuring customers’ businesses and applications can fully meet their end-user community’s needs and requirements. In today’s world, downtime is no longer an option, but a given—and this is why Oracle has strategically invested in end-to-end MAA solutions to ensure your systems stay up and running across the board. At the end of the day, the #1 priority is that your end users can get to the environments and applications they need to within a specified period of time.

MAA Strategy & Investment

Within IT, customers need a quick way to easily get a view of what's going on across all their data centers, environments, and applications so that in case of a sudden performance degradation or failure, alerts are immediately sent to the right administrators. Given the importance of manageability, Oracle has invested significantly in Enterprise Manager Grid Control (EMGC), building tools within EMGC for easier monitoring and management such as job systems for automated patching and backup. The Oracle Traffic Director has also been a key tool in connecting the management console to the middle-tier—it is a front-end WebLogic Server that handles web-tier requests and routes them to different clusters.

From a Database 12c perspective, features like Flashback provde significant capabilities especially for those connected to applications, because customers can bring up a test environment, read and write against that environment, validate, shut it back down, flash it back to a previous state, and continue rolling forward through a recovery. Active GridLink, Data Guard, and Site Guard are also key investment areas that allow seamless and automatic failover between different RAC instances. Finally, Coherence is another big investment area as it is a high-end caching product that provides an integrated solution with WebLogic. With session replication, Coherence can be used not only to offset your data from database, but also could be high-availability disaster recovery solution for your WebLogic Server session state.

Core Technologies and MAA Features

To support these core investments in maximum availability, there are three primary areas of technology that Oracle focuses on implementing to support MAA in its platform architecture. The first area is management configuration monitoring—with Enterprise Manager and Site Guard, we monitor your product across different data centers. The second area is in RPO (recovery point objective)—which is related to how fast you can move your data for replication and for recovery—Oracle is investing in file base data replication. And finally, for RTO (recovery time objective)—which is related to how fast you can recover your transactions—one huge new feature is XA transaction recovery, removing the need to write every transaction statement in the T-log and making transactions automatically recoverable.

In conclusion, MAA is extremely critical to your business, which is why it is a huge priority for Oracle. The complete Oracle Solution is a global-level management configuration with Enterprise Manager, RPO, and RTO runtime for the middle-tier (including WebLogic, Coherence, and Oracle Traffic Director), and an integrated back-end database. Any one-tier disaster recovery adds value but the real importance lies in connecting all the pieces together, to maximize operational efficiency and minimize risk. 

Tuesday Feb 24, 2015

Next Up: WebLogic Server Management Session from OpenWorld

by Jess Brown, Oracle Tech Cloud Account Strategist

Continuing on from the past weeks, wherein we have been promoting key OpenWorld session content, today we want to highlight the session which focuses on how the new management, monitoring, and administration features in WebLogic 12c and Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c can help simplify and automate the management of your WebLogic environments. The session highlights new features and best practices that apply to managing your Java platform with an emphasis on private cloud scenarios: configuring domains, enabling elasticity with Dynamic Clusters, Managed Coherence Servers, and REST Management APIs, and simplified monitoring with WLDF, along with automated patching, lifecycle management, self-service, and multi-domain management, all from a single pane of glass in Cloud Control. The session also includes a discussion of strategic directions and roadmap for WebLogic management (i.e. Multitenancy which will allow for high-density configuration).

Here is how to access it, in case you missed it at OpenWorld, or even if you attended the session but may want to review the content. Contents of many more sessions along demos are hosted at  http://bit.ly/oow14cafsessions

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