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

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

Monday Feb 23, 2015

Sonatype Nexus 2.11.2 supports Oracle Maven Repository

The Sonatype team have announced the release of the Nexus 2.11.2 repository manager that now works with the Oracle Maven Repository.

With the new Nexus 2.11.2 release we are supporting the authentication mechanism used for the Oracle Maven repository in both Nexus OSS and Nexus Pro. This allows you to proxy the repository in Nexus and makes the components discoverable via browsing the index as well as searching for components. You will only need to set this up once in Nexus and all your projects. Developers and CI servers get access to the components and the need for any manual work disappears. On the Nexus side, the configuration changes can be done easily as part of your upgrade to the new release.

Check out their blog @ Using the Oracle Maven Repository with Nexus

Friday Feb 13, 2015

OpenWorld 2014 Round 3…Highlighting Oracle Java Cloud

by Ancy Dow, Oracle Tech Cloud Account Strategist

[I was wondering if I was the only one getting excited about these videos. So I asked my friend Ancy. She took a peak and not only did she like the videos, she wrote up this blog herself!]

In this session, Anand Kothari, Product Manager for Oracle Java Cloud Service and Oracle JaaS, and Harshad Oak, Oracle ACE Director, demonstrate how you can transform your development experience with Oracle’s Java Cloud. The ease and flexibility of developing in Java Cloud is unmatched, as customers can quickly build and deploy applications—be they existing Java applications, simple extensions to Oracle SaaS services, or new applications on-premise or in the cloud, using tools and techniques developers already use and love.

Oracle’s differentiating factor is that it is one of the only companies that has services across the stack—with the largest breadth of SaaS products—so it is a winning choice for customers who want a single vendor to be able to give them everything they want. Because of this, Oracle can go beyond just spinning up virtual machines, but rather, offer a first-class experience on Database, Java, or any service in the stack, abstracting these services so they are extremely simple to use in the Oracle cloud. Hybrid solutions are also possible, and workloads running in your private cloud can seamlessly be brought onto public and back because the same services are offered in both. And because it is cloud, this enterprise-grade technology comes with all the cloud economics, infinite scale, and capacity.

Currently, there are two Java Cloud Services available on cloud.oracle.com. The JCS SaaS Extension is purpose-built for you to build SaaS extensions to our Oracle SaaS services. Because it is abstracted, customers don’t have access to the infrastructure, but users interact with it much like any SaaS service, which means that there is no patching or backing up required.

Java Cloud Service is a full production environment built using our best practices at all tiers. At the web tier, at the app tier, at the database tier, everything was built so that you get a complete environment with one click that has been fully integrated by Oracle and is meant for production. Java Cloud Service itself is fully customizable, and comes with the complete app container so that customers can bring their applications without any code changes to the Oracle Cloud environment. Customers have access to the underlying infrastructure so they can customize applications to fit their needs, and because there is built-in high availability, you can have a multi-cluster, multi-node cluster on it. There is also a choice of versions, and it is similarly simple to the SaaS Extension service, with automated tooling around patching, backup, restore, and scalability, to make it extremely flexible and easy to create and maintain environments in the cloud.

For test and development use cases, customers may not need rollback capacity or certain features, so Oracle also created JCS Virtual Image, a highly simple environment to get started on. Oracle gives you the same SLA’s so you can put a production application on it, and because there’s less automation, it is more affordable, In Virtual Image, Oracle starts you off with a single VM for a simple use case. Mostly you'll do functional development on the Virtual Image, and then when you test clusterability and high availability, you use Java Cloud Services. Because tooling is not there, you still have underlying infrastructure access and can create clusters yourself, but that's the whole premise: an extremely simple environment optimized for test and dev.

There are many more capabilities about the Java Cloud Service suite that I can’t sum up in one blogpost, but check out the video of the session hosted here at http://bit.ly/oow14cafsessions to see the exciting demos themselves!


Wednesday Feb 11, 2015

Is your IT private PaaS ready? Take this 10-minute Assessment to find out

By the end of 2015, end-user spending on cloud services is expected to exceed $180 billion[1]. The shift toward cloud is undeniable, as is the need for hybrid cloud. Driven by legal, political, security, control, historical, cultural [add more reasons here] needs, organizations will continue to run some of their applications inside their firewall (in addition to running many of their applications on a public cloud), which will ultimately drive the need to create a private cloud infrastructure.

From the extensive insights we’ve compiled as leaders from our product and consulting teams have engaged with customers architecting their cloud infrastructure, we have developed an assessment for you to determine your IT organization’s private PaaS readiness. The tool comes with a 4-tiered dashboard based on the cloud adoption & maturity levels we’ve seen from hundreds of our customers, ranging from “preliminary” to “strategic.” Your organization’s current readiness rating is coupled with specific action items to help you reach the “strategic” level.

Take 10 minutes now to begin your private PaaS journey. Once you go through this assessment, you will receive a comprehensive 12-page report describing your PaaS adoption vis-a-vi your business strategy, governance, organization, integration and more. Not only that, we will compare your maturity with those of your peers, hundreds of whom have already taken the assessment, and include that comparison data in the report so you have a benchmark of your PaaS adoption readiness. Don’t get left behind. Take the assessment now!


[1] Gartner: http://www.informationweek.com/cloud/infrastructure-as-a-service/gartner-tells-outsourcers-embrace-cloud-or-die/d/d-id/1110991

Tuesday Feb 10, 2015

Oracle Maven Repository - Viewing Contents in Eclipse

Our own Steve Button has published a great blog on using the new Oracle Maven Repository with Eclipse.
Get started here, and then read the full entry.



With the Oracle Maven Repository now accessible one way to have explore its contents is to use the Maven Repositories viewer feature available in most development tools. I've seen the repository contents displayed easily in NetBeans so I decided to take a look at what it looks like in Eclipse as well.

I had to make a few minor setting changes to get it to work so decided to document them here.  If you've gotten it to work with less setting changes, let me know!

As initial setup, I configured my local maven environment to support access to the Oracle Maven Repository.  This is documented here https://maven.oracle.com/doc.html.  I also installed maven-3.2.5 that includes the updated Wagon module that supports authentication.

Next I downloaded and used the new network installer that the Oracle Eclipse team has published on OTN to install the latest version of Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse.



This network installer lets developers select the version of Eclipse to install and the set of Oracle extensions --  Weblogic, GlassFish and other stuff -- to add in to it.

 Once Eclipse is installed, you can add the Maven Repository viewer by selecting   Window > Show View > Other > Maven Repositories from the Eclipse toolbar.



I also added a Console > Maven viewer to see what was happening under the covers and arranged them so they were visible at the same time:


With the Maven views ready to go, expand the Global Repositories node. This will show Maven Central (any other repositories you may have configured) and the Oracle Maven Repository if you have configured it correctly in the settings.xml file.

The initial state of the Oracle Maven Repository doesn't show any contents indicating that its index hasn't been downloaded to display.

Right mouse clicking on it and selecting the Rebuild Index option causes an error to be shown in the console output indicating that the index could not be accessed.


To get it to work, I made the following changes to my environment.  

Configure Eclipse to Use Maven 3.2.5

Using the Eclipse > Preferences > Maven > Installation dialog, configure Eclipse to use Maven 3.2.5.  This is preferred version of Maven to use to access the Oracle Maven Repository since it automatically includes the necessary version of the Wagon HTTP module that supports the required authentication configuration and request flow.


Configure Proxy Settings in Maven Settings File

** If you don't need a proxy to access the Internet then step won't be needed **

If you sit behind a firewall and need to use a proxy server to access public repositories then you need to configure a proxy setting inside the maven settings file.

...Read the rest on Steve's blog!

Monday Feb 09, 2015

Reaching 10K

Today we reached the 10K mark in our twitter channel @OracleWebLogic. We are super excited with this focus and interest from our community. Our tweets earned over 40,000 impressions just over the last month, with about 2000 followers in the US, 1200 in India, and over 200 followers in Indonesia. We bring you news about WebLogic OpenWorld sessions before these are even approved [well almost], talk about the brand new Java Cloud Service & Developer Cloud Service, highlight developer focused projects such as improvements to our Maven repository, the Docker project, and focus on customer stories like those of 7-Eleven, The City of Las Vegas and many more.