Sunday Apr 10, 2016

New WebLogic Server Running on Docker in Multi-Host Environments

Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 is now certified to run on Docker 1.9 containers. As part of this certification, you can create Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 clusters which can span multiple physical hosts. Containers running on multi-host are built as an extension of existing Oracle WebLogic 12.2.1 Install images built with Dockerfiles , Domain images built with Dockerfiles, and existing Oracle Linux images Oracle Linux Images. To help you with this, we have posted scripts on GitHub as examples for you to get started.

The table below describes the certification provided for WebLogic Server 12.2.1 on Docker 1.9. You can use these combinations of Oracle WebLogic Server, JDK, Linux and Docker versions when building your Docker images.

WLS Version

JDK Version

Host OS

Kernel

Docker Version

12.2.1

8

Oracle Linux 6

UEK 4

1.9 or higher

Oracle Linux 7

Please read earlier blog Oracle Weblogic 12.2.1 Running on Docker Containers for details on Oracle WebLogic Server 12.1.3 and Oracle WebLogic 12.2.1 certification on other versions of Docker. We support Oracle WebLogic Server in certified Docker containers running on other Linux host operating systems that have Kernel 4 or larger and that support Docker Containers, please read our Support statement. For additional details on the most current Oracle WebLogic Server supported configurations please refer to Oracle Fusion Middleware Certification Pages.

The scripts that support multi-host environment on GitHub are based on the latest versions of Docker Networking, Swarm, and Docker Compose. The Docker Machine participates in the Swarm which is networked by a Docker overlay network. The WebLogic Admin Server container as well as the WebLogic Managed Servers containers run on different VMs in the Swarm and are able to communicate with each other.

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 or multiple hosts 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. When these containers run in a WebLogic cluster all HA properties of the WebLogic cluster are supported such as in memory session replication, HTTP load balancing service and server migration.

Please check the new WebLogic on Docker Multi Host Workshop in Github. This workshop takes you step by step in how to build a WebLogic Server Domain on Docker in a multi host environment.  After the WebLogic domain has been started an Apache Plugin Web Tier container is started in the Swarm, the Apache Plugin load balances invocations to an application deployed to a WebLogic cluster. 

This project takes advantage of the following tools Docker Machine, Docker Swarm, Docker Overlay Network, Docker Compose, Docker Registry, and Consul.  Very easily and quickly using the sample Dockerfiles, and scripts you can set up your environment running on Docker.  Try it out and enjoy!

On  YouTube we have a video that shows you how to create a WLS domain/cluster on Multi Host environment. We hope you will try running the different configurations of WebLogic Server on Docker containers, and look forward to hearing any feedback you might have.

Friday Feb 26, 2016

The next VTS round is fast approaching!

Virtual Technology Summit is a set of free online events covering a wide variety of technical topics (Java, Middleware, Database, IoT, etc.). And there is something for everyone (see full agenda). In the upcoming edition, the following sessions should be particularly interesting for WebLogic users:
  • Developing Java EE 7 Applications with WebLogic Server 12.2.1
  • Multi-Tenancy Fundamental
  • Introduction to WebLogic Server Zero Down-time Patching
There are 3 VTS events to suit your geographic location - Americas (March 8th), APAC (March 15th) and Europe (April 5th).  For schedules and abstracts for all sessions, please see OTN Virtual Technology Summit All Track Agenda and Abstracts and make sure to register today!

Tuesday Feb 09, 2016

Cargo Tracker Java EE 7 Blue Prints Now Running on WebLogic 12.2.1

The Cargo Tracker project exists to serve as a blue print for developing well designed Java EE 7 applications, principally utilizing the well known Domain-Driven Design (DDD) architectural paradigm. The project provides a first hand look at how a realistic Java EE 7 application might look like.

The project was started some time ago and runs on GlassFish 4 and Java SE 7 by default. The project has now been enhanced to run the same code base on WebLogic 12.2.1 with Java SE 8. The code is virtually unchanged and the minor configuration difference between GlassFish and WebLogic are handled through Maven profiles. The instructions for running the project on WebLogic are available here. Feel free to give it a spin to get a feel for the Java EE 7 development experience with WebLogic 12.2.1.

Friday Nov 13, 2015

Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 Running on Docker Containers

UPDATE April 2016 - We now officially certify and support WebLogic 12.1.3 and WebLogic 12.2.1 Clusters in multi-host environments! For more information see this blog post. The Docker configuration files are also now maintained on the official Oracle GitHub Docker repository.  Links in the Docker section of this article have also been updated to reflect the latest updates and changes. For more up to date information on Docker scripts and support, check the Oracle GitHub project docker-images.


Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 is now certified to run on Docker containers. As part of this certification, we are releasing Docker files on GitHub to create Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 install images and Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 domain images. These images are built as an extension of existing Oracle Linux images Oracle Linux Images. 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 Version

JDK Version

HOST OS

Kernel Version

Docker Version

12.2.1.0.0

8

Oracle Linux 6 Update 6 or higher

UEK Release 3 (3.8.13)

1.7 or higher

12.2.1.0.0

8

Oracle Linux 7 or higher

UEK Release 3 (3.8.13)

Or RHCK 3 (3.10)

1.7 or higher

12.2.1.0.0

8

RedHat Enterprise Linux 7 or higher

RHCK 3 (3.10)

1.7 or higher

12.1.3.0.0

7/8

Oracle Linux 6 Update 5 or higher

UEK Release 3 (3.8.13)

1.3.3 or higher

12.1.3.0.0

7/8

Oracle Linux 7 or higher

UEK Release 3 (3.8.13)

Or RHCK 3 (3.10)

1.3.3 or higher

12.1.3.0.0

7/8

RedHat Enterprise Linux 7 or higher

RHCK 3 (3.10)

1.3.3 or higher

We support Oracle WebLogic Server in certified Docker containers running on other Linux host operating systems that have Kernel 3.8.13 or larger and that support Docker Containers, please read our support statement at Support statement. 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.


A topology which is in line with the “Docker-way” for containerized applications and services consists of a container designed to run only an administration server containing all resources, shared libraries and deployments. These Docker containers can all be on a single physical or virtual server Linux host or on multiple physical or virtual server Linux hosts. The Dockerfiles in GitHub to create an image with a WebLogic Server domain can be used to start these admin server containers.

For documentation on how to use these Dockerfiles and scripts, see the whitepaper on OTN. The Oracle WebLogic Server video and demo presents our certification effort and shows a Demo of WebLogic Server 12.2.1 running on Docker Containers. We hope you will try running the different configurations of WebLogic Server on Docker containers, and look forward to hearing any feedback you might have.

Friday Oct 30, 2015

Elasticity for Dynamic Clusters

Introducing Elasticity for Dynamic Clusters

WebLogic Server 12.1.2 introduced the concept of dynamic clusters, which are clusters where the Managed Server configurations are based off of a single, shared template.  It greatly simplified the configuration of clustered Managed Servers, and allows for dynamically assigning servers to machine resources and greater utilization of resources with minimal configuration.

In WebLogic Server 12.2.1, we build on the dynamic clusters concept to introduce elasticity to dynamic clusters, allowing them to be scaled up or down based on conditions identified by the user.  Scaling a cluster can be performed on-demand (interactively by the administrator), at a specific date or time, or based on performance as seen through various server metrics.

In this blog entry, we take a high level look at the different aspects of elastic dynamic clusters in WebLogic 12.2.1.0, the next piece in the puzzle for on-premise elasticity with WebLogic Server!  In subsequent blog entries, we will provide more detailed examinations of the different ways of achieving elasticity with dynamic clusters.

The WebLogic Server Elasticity Framework

The diagram below shows the different parts to the elasticity framework for WebLogic Server:

The Elastic Services Framework are a set of services residing within the Administration Server for a for WebLogic domain, and consists of

  • A new set of elastic properties on the DynamicServersMBean for dynamic clusters to establish the elastic boundaries and characteristics of the cluster
  • New capabilities in the WebLogic Diagnostics Framework (WLDF) to allow for the creation of automated elastic policies
  • A new "interceptors" framework to allow administrators to interact with scaling events for provisioning and database capacity checks
  • A set of internal services that perform the scaling
  • (Optional) integration with Oracle Traffic Director (OTD) 12c to notify it of changes in cluster membership and allow it to adapt the workload accordingly

Note that while tighter integration with OTD is possible in 12.2.1, if the OTD server pool is enabled for dynamic discovery, OTD will adapt as necessary to the set of available servers in the cluster.

Configuring Elasticity for Dynamic Clusters

To get started, when you're configuring a new dynamic cluster, or modifying an existing dynamic cluster, you'll want to leverage some new properties surfaced though the DynamicServersMBean for the cluster to set some elastic boundaries and control the elastic behavior of the cluster.

The new properties to be configured include

  • The starting dynamic cluster size
  • The minimum and maximum elastic sizes of the cluster
  • The "cool-off" period required between scaling events

There are several other properties regarding how to manage the shutdown of Managed Servers in the cluster, but the above settings control the boundaries of the cluster (by how many instances it can scale up or down), and how frequently scaling events can occur.  The Elastic Services Framework will allow the dynamic cluster to scale up to the specified maximum number of instances, or down to the minimum you allow.  

The cool-off period is a safety mechanism designed to prevent scaling events from occurring too frequently.  It should allow enough time for a scaling event to complete and for its effects to be felt on the dynamic cluster's performance characteristics.

Needless to say, the values for these settings should be chosen carefully and aligned with your cluster capacity planning!

Scaling Dynamic Clusters

Scaling of a dynamic cluster can be achieved through the following means:

  • On-demand through WebLogic Server Administration Console and WLST 
  • Using an automated calendar-based schedule utilizing WLDF policies and actions
  • Through automated WLDF policies based on performance metrics

On-Demand Scaling

WebLogic administrators have the ability to scale a dynamic cluster up or down on demand when needed:

Manual Scaling using the WebLogic Server Administration Console

In the console case, the administrator simply indicates the total number of desired running servers in the cluster, and the Console will interact with the Elastic Services Framework to scale the cluster up or down accordingly, within the boundaries of the dynamic cluster.

Automated Scaling

In addition to scaling a dynamic cluster on demand, WebLogic administrators can configure automated polices using the Polices & Actions feature (known in previous releases as the Watch & Notifications Framework) in WLDF.

Typically, automated scaling will consist of creating pairs of WLDF policies, one for scaling up a cluster, and one for scaling it down.  Each scaling policy consists of 

  • (Optionally) A policy (previously known as a "Watch Rule") expression
  • A schedule
  • A scaling action

To create an automated scaling policy, an administrator must

  • Configure a domain-level diagnostic system module and target it to the Administration Server
  • Configure a scale-up or scale-down action for a dynamic cluster within that WLDF module
  • Configure a policy and assign the scaling action

For more information you can consult the documentation for Configuring Policies and Actions.

Calendar Based Elastic Policies

In 12.2.1, WLDF introduces the ability for cron-style scheduling of policy evaluations.  Policies that monitor MBeans according to a specific schedule are called "scheduled" policies.  

A calendar based policy is a policy that unconditionally executes according to its schedule and executes any associated actions.   When combined with a scaling action, you can create a policy that can scale up or scale down a dynamic cluster at specific scheduled times.

Each scheduled policy type has its own schedule (as opposed to earlier releases, which were tied to a single evaluation frequency) which is configured in calendar time, and allowing the ability to create the schedule patterns such as (but not limited to):

  • Recurring interval based patterns (e.g., every 5th minute of the hour, or every 30th second of every minute)
  • Days-of-week or days-of-month (e.g., "every Mon/Wed/Fri at 8 AM", or "every 15th and 30th of every month")
  • Specific days and times within a year  (e.g., "December 26th at 8AM EST")

So, for example, an online retailer could configure a pair of policies around the Christmas holidays:

  • A "Black Friday" policy to scale up the necessary cluster(s) to meet increased shopping demand for the Christmas shopping season
  • Another policy to scale down the cluster(s) on December 25th when the Christmas shopping season is over

Performance-based Elastic Policies

In addition to calendar-based scheduling, in 12.2.1 WLDF provides the ability to create scaling policies based on performance conditions within a server ("server-scoped") or cluster ("cluster-scoped").  You can create a policy based on various run-time metrics supported by WebLogic Server.  WLDF also provides a set of pre-packaged, parameterized, out-of-the-box functions called "Smart Rules" to assist in creating performance-based policies.

Cluster-scoped Smart Rules allow you to look at trends in a performance metric across a cluster over a specified window of time and (when combined with scaling actions) scale up or down based on criteria that you specify.  Some examples of the metrics that are exposed through Smart Rules include:

  • Throughput (requests/second)
  • JVM Free heap percentage
  • Process CPU Load
  • Pending user requests
  • Idle threads count
  • Thread pool queue length

Additionally, WLDF provides some "generic" Smart Rules to allow you to create policies based on your own JMX-based metrics.  The full Smart Rule reference can be found here.

And, if a Smart Rule doesn't suit your needs, you can also craft your own policy expressions.  In 12.2.1, WLDF utilizes Java EL 3.0 as the policy expression language, and allows you to craft your own policy expressions based on JavaBean objects and functions (including Smart Rules!) that we provide out of the box.  

Provisioning and Safeguards with Elasticity

What if you need to add or remove virtual machines during the scaling process?  In WLS 12.2.1 you can participate in the scaling event utilizing script interceptors.  A script interceptor provides call-out hooks where you can supply custom shell scripts, or other executables, to be called when a scaling event happens on a cluster.  In this manner, you can write a script to interact with 3rd-party virtual machine hypervisors to add virtual machines prior to scaling up, or remove/reassign virtual machines after scaling down. 

WebLogic Server also provides administrators the ability to prevent overloading database capacity on a scale up event through the data source interceptor feature.  Data source interceptors allow you to set a value for the maximum number of connections allowed on a database, by associating a set of data source URLs and URL patterns with a maximum connections constraint.   When a scale up is requested on a cluster, the data source interceptor looks at what the new maximum connection requirements are for the cluster (with the additional server capacity), and if it looks like the scale up could lead to a database overload it rejects the scale up request.  While this still requires adequate capacity planning for your database utilization, it allows you to put in some sanity checks at run time to ensure that your database doesn't get overloaded by a cluster scale up.

Integration with Oracle Traffic Director

The elasticity framework also integrates with OTD through the WebLogic Server 12.2.1 life cycle management services.  When a scaling event occurs, the elasticity framework interacts with the life cycle management services to notify OTD of the scaling event so that OTD can update its routing tables accordingly.

In the event of a scale up event, for example, OTD is notified of the candidate servers and adjusts the server pool accordingly.  

In the case of a scale down, the life cycle management services notifies OTD which instances are going away.  OTD then halts sending new requests to the servers being scaled down, and routs new traffic to the remaining set of instances in the cluster, allowing the instances to be removed to be shutdown gracefully without losing any requests.

In order for OTD integration to be active, you must enable life cycle management services for the domain as documented here.

The Big Picture - Tying It All Together

The elasticity framework in 12.2.1 provides a lot of power and flexibility to manage the capacity in your on-premise dynamic clusters.  As part of your dynamic cluster capacity planning, you can use elasticity take into account your dynamic cluster's minimum, baseline, and peak capacity needs, and incorporate those settings into your dynamic servers configuration on the cluster.  Utilizing WLDF policies and actions, you can create automated policies to scale your cluster at times of known increased or decreased capacity, or to scale up or down based on cluster performance.

Through the use of script interceptors, you can interact with virtual machine pools to add or remove virtual machines during scaling, or perhaps even move shared VMs between clusters based on need.  You can also utilize the data source interceptor to prevent exceeding the capacity of any databases affected by scale up events.

And, when so configured, the Elasticity Framework can interact with OTD during scaling events to ensure that new and in-flight sessions are managed safely when adding or removing capacity in the dynamic cluster.

In future blogs (and maybe vlogs!) we'll go into some of the details on these features.  This is really just an overview the new features that are available to help our users implement elasticity with dynamic clusters.  We will follow on in the upcoming weeks and months with more detailed discussions and examples of how to utilize these powerful new features.

In the meantime, you can download a demonstration of policy based scaling with OTD integration from here, with documentation about how to set it up and run it here

Feel free to post any questions you have here, or email me directly.  In the meantime, download WebLogic Server 12.2.1 and start poking around! 

Resources

Policy Based Scaling demonstration files and documentation

WebLogic Server 12.2.1 Documentation

Configuring Elasticity for Dynamic Clusters in Oracle WebLogic Server

Configuring WLDF Policies and Actions

Dynamic Clusters Documentation

End-To-End Life Cycle Management and Configuring WebLogic Server MT: The Big Picture

Oracle Traffic Director (OTD) 12c

Java EL 3.0 Specification

Thursday Oct 29, 2015

Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 Continuous Availability

New in Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1, Continuous Availability! Continuous Availability is an end to end solution for building Multi Data Center architectures. With Continuous Availability, applications running in multi data center environments can run in Active-Active environments continuously. When one site fails the other site will recover work for the failed site. During upgrades, applications can still run continuously with zero down time. What ties it all together is automated data site failover, reducing human error and risk during failover or switchover events.

Reduce Application Downtime

· WebLogic Zero Down Time Patching (ZDT): Automatically orchestrates the rollout of patches and updates, while avoiding downtime and session loss. Reduces risk, cost and session downtime by automating the rollout process. ZDT automatically retries on failure and rollsback on retry failure retry.  Please read the blog Zero Downtime Patching Released!  to learn more about this feature.

· WebLogic Multitenant Live Partition Migration: In Multitenant environments Live Partition Migration is the ability to move running partitions and resource groups from one cluster to another, without impacting application users. During upgrade, load balancing, or imminent failure partitions can be migrated with zero impact to applications.

· Coherence Persistence: Persists cache data and metadata to durable storage. In case of failure of one or more Coherence servers, or the entire cluster, the persisted data and metadata can be recovered.


Replicate State for Multi-Datacenter Deployments

· WebLogic Cross Domain XA Recovery: When a WebLogic Server domain fails in one site or the entire site comes down, the ability to automatically recover transactions in a domain on the surviving site. This allows automated transaction recovery in Active-Active Maximum Availability Architectures.

· Coherence Federated Caching: Distributes Coherence updates across distributed geographical sites with conflict resolution. The modes of replication are Active-Active with data being continuously replicated and providing applications access to their local cached data, Active-Passive with the passive site serving as backup of the active site, and Hub Spoke where the Hub replicates the cache data to distributed Spokes.


Operational Support for Site Failover

· Oracle Traffic Director (OTD): Fast, reliable, and scalable software load balancer that routes traffic to application servers and web servers in the network. Oracle Traffic Director is aware of server availability, when a server is added to the cluster OTD starts routing traffic to that server. OTD itself can be highly available either in Active-Active or Active-Passive mode.

· Oracle Site Guard: Provides end-to-end Disaster Recovery automation. Oracle Site Guard automates failover or switchover by starting stopping site components in a predetermined order, running scripts and post failover checks. Oracle Site guard minimizes down time and human error during failover or switchover.


Continuous Availability provides flexibility by supporting different topologies to meet application needs.

· Active-Active Application Tier with Active-Passive Database Tier

· Active-Passive Application Tier with Active-Passive Database Tier

· Active-Active Stretch Cluster with Active-Passive Database Tier


Continuous Availability provide applications with Maximum Availability and Productivity, Data Integrity and Recovery, Local Access to data in multi data center environments, Real Time access to data updates, Automated Failover and Switchover of sites, and Reduce Human Error and Risk during failover/switchover. Protect your applications from down time with Continuous Availability. If you want to learn more please read Continuous Availability documentation or watch the Continuous Availability video.

Wednesday Oct 28, 2015

Zero Downtime Patching Released!

Patching and Updating WebLogic servers just got a whole lot easier!  The release of Zero Downtime Patching marks a huge step forward in Oracle's commitment both to simplifying the maintenance of WebLogic servers, and to our ability to provide continuous availability.

Zero Downtime Patching allows you to rollout distributed patches to multiple clusters or to your entire domain with a single command. All without causing any service outages or loss of session data for the end-user. It takes what was once a tedious and time-consuming task and replaces it with a consistent, efficient, and resilient automated process.

By automating this process, we're able to drastically reduce the amount of human input required (errors), and we're able to verify the input that is given before making any changes. This will have a huge impact on the consistency and reliability of the process, and it will also greatly improve the effiency of the process.

The process is resilient in that it can retry steps when there are errors, it can pause for problem resolution and resume where it left off, or if desired, it can revert the entire environment back to its original state.

As an administrator, you create and verify a patched OracleHome archive with existing and familiar tools, and place the archive on each node that you want to upgrade. Then, a simple command like the one below will handle the rest.

rolloutOracleHome("Cluster1, Cluster2", "/pathTo/patchedOracleHome.jar", "/pathTo/backupOfUnpatchedOracleHome")

The way the process works is that we take advantage of existing clustering technology combined with an Oracle Traffic Director (OTD) load balancer, to allow us to take individual nodes offline one at a time to be updated. We communicate with the load balancer and instruct it to redirect requests to active nodes. We also created some advanced techiques for preserving active sessions so the end-user will never even know the patching is taking place.

We can leverage this same process for updating the Java version used by servers, and even for doing some upgrades to running applications, all without service downtime for the end-user.

There's a lot of exciting aspects to Zero Downtime (ZDT) Patching that we will be discussing here, so check back often!

For more information about Zero Downtime Patching, view the documentation.

Thursday Aug 27, 2015

New Partner Solutions on WebLogic and the Oracle Database Appliance

With the latest release of WebLogic on ODA, which now supports the X5-2 hardware, we have come to a new chapter. Oracle partners around the world have been developing customized solutions using WebLogic on ODA for years now. Many of them started with the wizard-driven templates produced by the Oracle WebLogic engineering team, and then went on to design their own customized solutions by expanding on and embellishing these templates for their customers' unique needs.

It became obvious that, to best support our existing users, and to give new customers more immediate access to the tools and resources they need for success, we would formalize this direction by shifting resources to enable Oracle WebLogic 12c specialized partners to rapidly gain expertise and traction in this arena.

To this end, we are publishing a new whitepaper how-to guide, Running Middleware Applications on ODA Machines, that can be used by partners or end users to speedily deploy a highly available platform on which to run Java applications. We are also announcing that this latest release of the WebLogic templates is also our final release. However, we will continue to encourage and support customer and partner led development efforts.

Attend a webinar on September 4th at 10am PT, to better understand what is in the latest release of WebLogic on ODA, and to hear directly from one of our expert partners on some of the solutions currently offered on ODA. http://ouweb.webex.com, Session Number: 599 716 170. Dial in: 877-814-3159 or 706-634-9616; Passcode: 210550.

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!

Thursday Feb 19, 2015

Calling All WebLogic Users: Please Help Us Improve WebLogic Documentation!

Great documentation is key to the usability of any good product - WebLogic is most certainly not an exception. The WebLogic documentation team tries hard to do the best job they can. It's not a particularly easy job with a product as feature rich as WebLogic that has a continuous cadence of evolution.

The best way to make sure we have great documentation is getting feedback from you - the user. For this reason we are collecting feedback through an open survey on WebLogic documentation. The public survey is available here. The survey is just two pages, should take you a few minutes to fill out and will greatly help the WebLogic user community. Your opinion is worth it's weight in gold!

As a reminder, the latest WebLogic documentation is available here.

The survey is slated to close the end of February, but could be extended if there is a sustained stream of feedback.

Friday Oct 10, 2014

Announcing WebLogic on Oracle Database Appliance 12.1.3.0.0

Oracle WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance 12.1.3 offers a complete solution for building and deploying enterprise Java EE applications in a fully integrated system of software, servers, storage, and networking that delivers highly available database and WebLogic services. The world's most popular database, Oracle Database and the industry's best application server, WebLogic Server have been combined in this industry-unique appliance to provide high availability and the simplicity of One-Button deployment. And to top it all off, it reduces IT cost with a unique capacity-on-demand software licensing model.

Here you can download the new version of WebLogic on ODA 12.1.3 which offers WebLogic templates for 11g  (10.3.6), 12c (12.1.2 and 12.1.3).

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/weblogic-oda/downloads/index.html

The following highlighted new features are included in this release:

  • Oracle Database 12c support on ODA integrated with WebLogic Server.
  • WebLogic on ODA provisioning tool now offers not only multi domain and multi cluster options in the wizard-driven templates, but also the single WebLogic instance provisioning.
  • Provides Coherence provisioning in the wizard-driven templates.
  • Much faster provisioning with new ‘snap’ feature
  • New licensing options include a 'pool' of WebLogic licenses with min/max range, that can be allocated to WebLogic, Oracle Traffic Director and other Oracle Cloud Application Foundation products.

Thursday Jul 17, 2014

Exciting New JTA 12.1.3 Feature “XA Transaction without Transaction Logs”

One of the most exciting new features in WebLogic Server 12.1.3 is a JTA new feature
“XA Transaction without Transaction Logs.” This feature does not only provide performance optimization when applications use XA transactions, but also has great advantages for Disaster Recovery scenarios.

XA transactions provide a standards-based mechanism to preserve data integrity for mission-critical applications. Traditionally XA transaction recovery requires the transaction manager to persist transaction records to stable storage (TLog) after all of the transactions resources have been prepared, and purging them after all of the transactions resources have been completed. However, recording pending transactions for recovery purposes requires additional I/O which affects performance. In cases of disaster recovery transaction logs need to be replicated to make sure that global transactions can be recovered.

XA Transaction without Transaction Logs,” uses a determiner resource which can be either a DataSource or a WebLogic JMS resource to determine the recover outcome of pending transactions. When using a determiner resource, WebLogic Server will no longer write and purge transaction checkpoints to TLogs. XA Transaction without Transaction Logs,” takes advantage of the two-phase-commit protocol, as well as prepare and commit ordering of resources participating in the global transaction to determine if pending transactions need to be recovered with a commit or a rollback.

The advantages of this feature are:

· Up to three times performance throughput improvement

· Prepare and Commit ordering

· I/O latency removed by not writing to TLOG (default file store)

· Resource and/or batch blocking removed (JDBC Tlog)

· Memory consumption reduced

· Capacity requirements reduced

· TLOG replication made easy

In WebLogic Server 12.1.3 “XA Transaction without Transaction Logs,” is restricted to transactions that involve a single Transaction Manager (WebLogic Server). The mixture of transactions that enlist determiner resources and span single Transaction Managers, with those who do not enlist a determiner resource and/or span multiple Transaction Managers is supported. In the future, WebLogic will support not logging transactions that involve multiple Transaction Managers.

Check out the YouTube recordings that go into detail how this feature works "JTA 12.1.3 New Feature and Optimization". There is even a demo that shows you how it is configured, how it works, and how you can debug your transactions to verify if the determiner is working "XA Transaction without Transaction Logs" and Demo.

Refer to the WebLogic Server 12.1.3 documentation JTA documentation "XA Transaction without Transaction Logs" for further details on how to configure and use the feature.

Wednesday Jan 15, 2014

Announcing WebLogic on Oracle Database Appliance 2.7

Oracle WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance 2.7 offers a complete solution for building and deploying enterprise Java EE applications in a fully integrated system of software, servers, storage, and networking that delivers highly available database and WebLogic services. The world's most popular database, Oracle Database and the industry's best application server, WebLogic Server have been combined in this industry-unique appliance to provide high availability and the simplicity of One-Button deployment. And to top it all off, it reduces IT cost with a unique capacity-on-demand software licensing model.

Here you can download the new version of WebLogic on ODA 2.7 which offers WebLogic template for 11g  (10.3.6), 12c (12.1.1 and 12.1.2).

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/weblogic-oda/downloads/index.html


Monday Dec 16, 2013

WLS 12.1.2 and MultiTenant Databases

Oracle WebLogic Server release 12.1.2 has integrated support for the Oracle Database 12c features, particularly Application Continuity, Transaction Guard, Database Resident Connection Pool, Multi Tenant Databases, and Global Data Services. WLS integration to these new 12c database features is described in this white paper WebLogic 12c integration to Oracle Database 12c features.

The integration to Multi Tenant Database or Pluggable Database increases elasticity, scalability, and enables multitenancy. Pluggable Database implementations allow multiple distinct databases in a single, larger database installation. The Container Database (CDB) feature in Oracle Database 12c minimizes the overhead of these multi-database configurations by consolidating them into a single database with multiple Pluggable Databases (PDB) in a single Container Database. For more information about using this feature in WLS, see https://blogs.oracle.com/WebLogicServer/entry/part_3_12c_database_and

In Oracle WebLogic Server, you can use a single data source to pool connections to multiple pluggable databases. The application at run time can switch between PDB's by calling ALTER SESSION SET CONTAINER. This model provides the benefits of the Multi Tenancy option at the mid tier in addition to the data tier, including scalability and elasticity.

You should be aware of some limitations of PDB switching with Oracle Database 12.1. The following WebLogic Server limitations exist when using tenant switching.

  • Oracle RAC Fast Application Notification (FAN) is not supported. Even though FAN is not supported, Active GridLink still provides the benefit of a single data source view of multiple RAC instances and the ability to reserve connections on new instances as they are available without reconfiguration using connection load balancing. If you want to use tenant switching with an Active GridLink data source, “FAN enabled” must be set to false see http://docs.oracle.com/middleware/1212/wls/JDBCA/gridlink_datasources.htm#CHDIAGEF . Generic data sources don’t use FAN so this restriction doesn’t apply.

  • Database Resident Connection Pool (DRCP) is not supported

  • Application Continuity is not supported.

  • Proxy authentication is not supported.

  • Recovery of XA transactions in single data source that is used for switching between multiple PDB's is not supported.

For more details about these limitations read the documentation http://docs.oracle.com.middleware/1212/wls/JDBCA/ds_oracledriver.htm#CCHBDGHC.

Wednesday Sep 11, 2013

WebLogic Server and PDB Switching with Oracle Database 12.1

Oracle WebLogic Server 12c (12.1.2) has integrated to support the Oracle Database 12c features, particularly Application Continuity, Transaction Guard, Database Resident Connection Pool, Multi Tenant Databases, and Global Data Services. WLS integration to these new 12c database features is described in this white paper WebLogic 12c integration to Oracle Database 12c.

.

The integration to Multi Tenant Database or Pluggable Database increases elasticity, scalability, and enables multitenancy. Pluggable Database implementations allow multiple distinct databases in a single, larger database installation. The Container Database (CDB) feature in Oracle Database 12c minimizes the overhead of these multi-database configurations by consolidating them into a single database with multiple Pluggable Databases (PDB) in a single Container Database. For more information about using this feature in WLS, see https://blogs.oracle.com/WebLogicServer/entry/part_3_12c_database_and

You should be aware of some limitations of PDB switching with Oracle Database 12.1. The following WebLogic Server limitations exist when using tenant switching.

  • FAN is not supported. Even though FAN is not supported, Active GridLink still provides the benefit of a single datasource view of multiple RAC instances and the ability to reserve connections on new instances as they are available without reconfiguration using connection load balancing. If you want to use tenant switching with an Active GridLink data source, “FAN enabled” must be set to false see http://docs.oracle.com/middleware/1212/wls/JDBCA/gridlink_datasources.htm#CHDIAGEF . Generic data sources don’t use FAN so this restriction doesn’t apply.

  • DRCP is not supported

  • Application continuity is not supported.

  • Proxy authentication is not supported.

  •  XA transactions in one datasource configuration with PDB switching is not supported.

For more details about these limitations read the documentation http://docs.oracle.com/middleware/1212/wls/JDBCA/ds_oracledriver.htm#JDBCA655.

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