Wednesday Mar 26, 2014

Therap Services replaces JBoss with WebLogic: Improved Application Speed and Management

Therap Services is a web-based service organization that provides an integrated solution for documentation, reporting and communication needs of agencies providing support to people with developmental disabilities. It is a niche segment in the health sector. Its products and services are used by people in over 48 states in the US and by governments in at least five US states. Therap was using JBoss application server and managing it was becoming difficult. JBoss messaging proved difficult as well with out of band situations that it couldn't handle. Therap opted for WebLogic as their primary application delivery platform. Now Oracle Enterprise Manager [OEM] and JVM Diagnostics [JVMD] provide deep monitoring and visibility into the application stack. These tools have uncovered many bottlenecks in the Therap application that otherwise wouldn't have been found and fixed. "The benefits and results of Oracle solutions are huge", says Mojahedul Hoque Abul Hasanat (Masum), CTO, Therap Services. The performance relative to JBoss are order of magnitude higher, he says. Watch this video and find out more details.

Friday Feb 21, 2014

Part II: WebLogic-Database Integration Podcast Series

In this part two of a three-part series podcast, Oracle's WebLogic Database integration expert Monica Riccelli highlights capabilities from the brand new 12c integration such as application continuity and DRCP. Monica and I discuss the capabilities in detail along with customer use cases and benefits. Tune into the podcast.

Thursday Jan 23, 2014

Future-Proof Your Applications

Ever wonder why it makes sense to consolidate your application infrastructure on WebLogic?

The reasons are many. Firstly, WebLogic is Oracle’s strategic application server. Consolidating on the latest release provides better runtime capabilities and increased efficiency. WebLogic has one of the industry's best [if not the best] backward compatibility. Because thousands of customers have done it and they have been successful and in the process the kinks in the process have been ironed out......

Packed with customer success stories, this e-book provides insights, proof points, and best practices for you to drive the transition. Learn from many other WebLogic and Oracle iAS customers why it makes sense to consolidate on the latest WebLogic release, whether you are operating a traditional data center or transforming it to the cloud.

Register and download this ebook now!

Tuesday Jan 14, 2014

NCH's Industrial Chemicals Business With Scalable WebLogic

NCH is the leading global provider of industrial maintenance solutions. The company is focused on industrial cleaning and maintenance, water treatment and remediation, plumbing, pet care, and specialty industrial supplies.  NCH relies on Oracle Fusion Middleware and WebLogic provides process and application integration with superior scalability. Enterprise Manager provides integrated management. Predominantly an E-Business workshop user, initially NCH was slightly overwhelmed about using Fusion Middleware. However, they found that WebLogic is pretty easy to install and configure. "Basically, we have one managed server and two admin servers, and it hardly took us time to troubleshoot our issues", says Rameshwar Balanagu, Fusion Architect at NCH. Watch this video to learn more.


Wednesday Nov 06, 2013

News Flash: Hong Kong Housing Society Improves Governance Control, Reduces Costs by 25%, Speeds up Approval by 30%

“We selected Oracle Fusion Middleware for its superior local support, higher performance, availability, reliability, and flexible enterprise architecture to cost-effectively integrate with existing Oracle applications", said Mr. C.W. Miao, Head of Information Technology, Hong Kong Housing Society in a press release today. To address the challenge of frequent downtime during peak periods and increasing cost in maintaining its legacy systems, Hong Kong Housing Society replaced its legacy systems with Oracle's WebLogic Suite, BPM Suite, and the ADF Framework. The Fusion Middleware solutions provide Hong Kong Housing Society with a flexible, reliable and cost-effective enterprise architecture that enables integration with existing Oracle applications including JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and PeopleSoft. The cost savings and performance results clearly demonstrate significant benefits. Read the PR for complete details.

Friday Nov 01, 2013

Drink Milk or Got a Pet? Watch what IDEXX Laboratories and Oracle do for you

IDEXX Laboratories is the global market leader in diagnostics and IT for animal health [with 50,000 veterinary practices worldwide], and water and milk quality. Watch this video where Brett Curtis, Senior System Administrator from IDEXX, discusses their business applications and laboratory information management systems. IDEXX uses Oracle WebLogic Server, SOA Suite, Coherence, Enterprise Manager and more. Enterprise Manager is used to manage their entire stack and has enabled IDEXX to achieve an astounding 90% reduction in time to find root cause of problems in their application infrastructure.

Wednesday Oct 30, 2013

WebLogic How-to Videos: Install, Upgrade, & Patch

Here is another great YouTube video by our product manager Monica Riccelli. She talks about installers now being standardized in Oracle for greater consistency -- no more WebLogic native installers. Also, JDK is no longer a part of the WebLogic install. The various installers she discusses include OUI, ZIP, OEPE, Coherence and more. Monica then takes us through a step by step install process.


After the install process is complete the video takes us through the configuration wizard. The ZIP installer is then discussed and its effectiveness, such as it being the smallest downloadable option, easy, and very popular with our customers and limitations (such as for development only and not to be used in production) highlighted. Monica then takes us through the configuration wizard, its usage, and when to use WLST scripts. The video then discusses NodeManager and its usage and discusses how to reconfigure a WebLogic domain on upgrade – through our GUI tools or through command line interface. Lastly, it highlights Opatch – a patch application tool used by our customers and standardized across all Oracle products. Really detailed video. Check it out! 

Thursday Oct 17, 2013

So what is Active GridLink for RAC?

I had referred to Active GridLink for RAC in my blog yesterday and since then got several questions on this topic. So I decided to re-visit Active GridLink. With the release of version 11g, Oracle WebLogic Server started to provide strong support for the Real Application Clusters (RAC) features in Oracle Database 11g, minimizing database access time while allowing transparent access to rich pooling management functions that maximizes both connection performance and availability. WebLogic is the only application server in the marketplace which has been fully integrated and certified with Oracle Database RAC 11g without losing any rich functionality. Active GridLink provides Fast Connection Failover (FCF), Runtime Connection Load-Balancing (RCLB), and RAC instance graceful shutdown. With the key foundation for providing deeper integration with Oracle RAC, this single data source implementation in Oracle WebLogic Server supports the full and unrestricted use of database services as the connection target for a data source.


For more details and to understand how our customer NEC leverages this capability, read the whitepapers on this topic.

Get in depth ‘how-to’ details from this youtube video from our resident expert, Frances Zhao.

Wednesday Oct 16, 2013

Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Database: A Robust Infrastructure for your Applications

It has been said that a chain is as strong as its weakest link. Well, this is also true for your application infrastructure. Not only are the various components that constitute your infrastructure, like database and application server critical, the integration between these things [whether coming out of the box from your vendor or done in-house] is paramount. Imagine your database being down and your application server not knowing about it and as a result your application waiting indefinitely for a database response – not a great situation if high availability is critical to your application. Or one of your database nodes is very busy, but your application server doesn’t have the intelligence to decipher that – it keeps pinging the busy node when it can in fact get a response from another idle node much faster. This is what Oracle WebLogic and Database integration provides: Intelligent integration out of the box. Tight integration between Oracle WebLogic and Database makes your infrastructure robust enough that not only does each of your infrastructure component provide you with improved RASP [reliability availability, scalability, and performance] but these components work together to offer improved performance & availability, better resource sharing, inherent scalability, ease of configuration and automated management for your entire infrastructure. Oracle WebLogic Server is the only application server with this degree of integration to Oracle Database.

With Oracle WebLogic Server 11g, we introduced Active GridLink for Real Application Clusters (RAC). In conjunction with Oracle Database, this powerful software technology simplifies management, increases availability, and ensures fast connection failover with runtime connection, load balancing and affinity capabilities. With the release of Oracle Database 12c this summer, even tighter integration between Oracle WebLogic Server 12c (12.1.2) and Oracle Database 12c has been achieved and this further optimizes the integration for a global cloud environment.


Read about these capabilities in detail in the Oracle WebLogic-Database Integration Whitepaper. Get in depth ‘how-to’ details from this YouTube video on the topic from our resident expert, Monica Roccelli.

Thursday Oct 03, 2013

Avocent's VP of Engineering: Leveraging WebLogic & More for DCIM Offering

Just prior to OpenWorld I wrote about our customer Emerson's Avocent division, the cutting edge work they are doing with their DCIM offering, and Steve Blackwell's sessions at OOW [Read the blog here]. We got lucky and were able to catch Steve live at OpenWorld for an OTN interview in which he offers further details on their Trellis platform, how it leverages Oracle WebLogic Suite, Oracle Coherence, Oracle Complex Event Processing, Oracle Service Bus and other Oracle technologies to offer a state-of-the-art platform for their customers.

Friday Sep 20, 2013

Another not-to-miss OpenWorld Session: WebLogic on Oracle Database Appliance

Oracle WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance 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.
In this session, we will discuss how WebLogic is deployed on Database Appliance virtual environment and what the benefits of deploying to this platform are.

Session Id: CON8980

Time: Monday, Sept 23rd 2013, 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Location: Marriott Marquis, Room: Golden Gate A

Speakers: Simon Haslam (Veriton), Frances Zhao-Perez (Oracle)

Read Simon's blog for more information on this session.

More on the topic from OTN.


 

Monday Sep 16, 2013

Therap Services at OpenWorld: Highlights Support for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Therap Services, LLC. is a web-based service organization that provides an integrated solution for documentation, reporting and communication needs of agencies providing support to people with developmental disabilities. It offers an easy and efficient alternative to the immense amount of paper work that is done manually by the care providers. Therap’s software suite is relevant to all the different kinds of service organizations that support and care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Therap is used in over 1,000 agencies, in small agencies serving as few as one individual to multi-state providers serving thousands of individuals. The modules can be categorized under Individual Support, Staff Support and Billing and Attendance Support. Therap uses Oracle Database and had been using JBoss as the application server for their mission critical application.  As Therap has grown, they have experienced several performance issues with JBoss – specifically problems with JBoss Messaging.  As Therap continues to expand their business, they felt the need for a more robust solution for their core business application.  Additionally, Therap needed a more advanced monitoring solution for both internal and external transactions on multiple layers:  application, database, application server. They chose Oracle WebLogic Server for three main reasons:  1) Extremely high confidence level in the Oracle Product Management team expertise, 2) Access to a better support system with product integration and best practices, and 3) Oracle’s proven reliability history.  Come join Therap Services CTO Masum at OpenWorld to hear about how Therap leverages Oracle WebLogic Server with Oracle Enterprise Manager to really take their applications to the next level. In addition, while at OpenWorld don’t miss other Cloud Application Foundation Innovators. You can join the session whether you are an OpenWorld attendee or not.

Friday Aug 30, 2013

WebLogic Active GridLink for RAC: Check out NEC results!

Oracle WebLogic Active GridLink for RAC is the market-leading mid-tier integration solution leveraging additional Oracle RAC advancements. Oracle and NEC have jointly invested on verifying and testing the Active GridLink for RAC solution which provides a high-availability, scalability and high performance solution for helping customer building mission critical applications. In addition, WebLogic Server is the only application server which has been fully integrated and certified with Oracle Database without losing any capabilities in Java EE implementation with respect to security, transaction, connection pooling , management, and more.

NEC has constructed high availability systems with WebLogic Server and Oracle Real Application Cluster. It investigated advantages and features of the GridLink data source focusing on high availability and flexibility that GridLink data source achieves in integrating with Oracle RAC. The purpose of these tests is to get high serviceability by diverting system integration know-how of JDBC data source already storing, in addition to using these functions. The following are functions which the GridLink data sources were tested for.

1. Runtime Connection Load Balancing(RCLB)

2. Web Session Affinity

3. Fast Connection Failover (FCF)

4. Performance Improvement by Dynamic Changes in RAC Topology

Join us in this OpenWorld session as we discuss the detailed Active GridLink capabilities and the testing results obtained by NEC. We will also discuss the new functionality introduced with Oracle Database 12c.

Monday Jul 22, 2013

Part 2 - 12c Database and WLS - Application continuity

I introduced WLS support for 12c database in this blog link and described one of the prerequisites for Application Continuity (AC) at this blog link.

When an error occurs on a connection, it would be nice to be able to keep processing on another connection - that's what AC does.  When on a single node database, getting another connection means that the database and network are still available, e.g., maybe just a network glitch.  However, in the case of a Real Application Cluster (RAC), chances are good that even if you lost a connection on one instance you can get a connection on another instance for the same database.  For this feature to work correctly, it's necessary to ensure that all of the work that you did on the connection before the error is replayed on the new connection - that's why AC is also called replay. To replay the operations, it's necessary to keep a list of the operations that have been done on the connection so they can be done again.  Of course, when you replay the operations, data might have changed since the last time so it's necessary to keep track of the results to make sure that they match.  So AC may fail if replaying the operations fail.

You can read the WLS documentation, an AC white paper, and the Database documentation to get the details. This article gives an overview of this feature (and a few tidbits that the documentation doesn't cover).

To use this feature, you need to use both the 12c driver and a 12c database.  Note that if you use an 11.2.0.3 driver and/or database, it might appear to work but replay will only happen for read-only transactions (the 11g mode is not supported but we don't have a mechanism to prevent this).

You need to configure a database service to run with AC.  To do that, you need to set the new 12c service attributes FAILOVER_TYPE=TRANSACTION and COMMIT_OUTCOME=true on the server side.

There's not much to turning on AC in WLS - you just use the replay driver "oracle.jdbc.replay.OracleDataSourceImpl" instead of "oracle.jdbc.OracleDriver"  when configuring the data source.  There's no programming in the application needed to use it.  Internal to WLS, when you get a connection we call the API to start collecting the operations and when you close a connection we call the API to clear the operation history.

WLS introduced a labeling callback for applications that use the connection labeling feature.  If this callback is registered, it will be called when a new connection is being initialized before replay.  Even if you aren't using labeling, you might still want to be called and there is a new connection initialization callback that is for replay (labeling callback trumps initialization callback if both exist).

It sounds easy and perfect - what's the catch?   I've already mentioned that you need to get rid of references to concrete classes and use the new Oracle interfaces.  For some applications that might be some significant work.  I've mentioned that if replaying the operations fails or is inconsistent, AC fails.  There are a few other operations that turn off AC - see the documentation for details. One of the big ones is that you can't use replay with XA transactions (at least for now).   Selecting from V$instance or sys_context  or other test traces for test instrumentation needs to be in callouts as the values change when replayed.  If you use sysdate or systimestamp, you need to grant keep date time to your user.

We are also tracking two defects - AC doesn't work with Oracle proxy authentication and it doesn't work with the new DRCP feature. 

There's another more complex topic to consider (not currently in the current WLS documentation).  By default, when a local transaction is completed on the connection, replay ends.  You can keep working on the connection but failure from that point on will return an error to the application. This default is based on the service attribute SESSION_STATE_CONSISTENCY with a value of DYNAMIC.  You can set the value to STATIC if your application does not modify non-transactional session state (NTSS) in the transaction.  I'm not sure how many applications fall into this trap but the safe thing is to default to dynamic.  I'll include such a code fragment below.  A related common problem that people run into is forgetting to disable autocommit, which defaults to true, and the first (implicit) commit turns off replay if SESSION_STATE_CONSISTENCY is set to DYNAMIC.

It's important to know how to turn on debugging so that if a particular sequence doesn't replay, you can understand why.  You simply need to run with the debug driver (ojdbc6_g.jar or ojdbc7_g.jar) and run with -Dweblogic.debug.DebugJDBCReplay (or turn this debug category on in the configuration).

AC won't replay everything and you still need to have some application logic to deal with the failures or return them to the end user.  Also, there's some overhead in time and memory to keep the replay data.  Still, it seems like a great feature for a lot of applications where you don't need to change anything but the driver name and you can avoid showing an error to the end user or simplify some recovery logic.

P.S. Confused about NTSS? So was I.  Examples of non-transactional session state that can change at run-time are ALTER SESSION, PL/SQL global variables, SYS_CONTEXT, and temporary table contents.  Here's an example of a PL/SQL global variable.  Imagine a package with the following body:

 current_order number := null;
 current_line number;
 procedure new_order (customer_id number) is
  current_order := order_seq.nextval;
  insert into orders values (current_order, customer_id);
  current_line := 0;
 end new_order;
 procedure new_line (product_id number, count number) is
  current_line := current_line + 1;
  insert into order_lines values (current_order, current_line,product_id, count);
 end new_line;
end order;

and a psuedo-code sequence in WLS like this:
getConnection()
exec "begin order.new_order(:my_customer_id); end;"
commit;
exec "begin order.new_line(:my_product_id, :my_count); end;"
<DB server failure and failover>
commit;

In this scenario, we won't replay the first transaction, because it's already committed and we'd end up with two orders in the database. But if we don't replay it, we lose the order_id, so the new_line call won't work. So we have to disable replay after the commit.  If you can guarantee that no such scenario exists, you can mark the service session-state as static.



Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

5 Reasons to Upgrade to WebLogic Webcast: Your Questions Answered

Do you need to optimize your middleware performance and manageability? Are you looking to consolidate your application infrastructure to a modern shared-services or cloud infrastructure? To answer these questions and more we hosted a live webcast with Mike Lehmann, Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle iAS recently.


The live webcast was a major success thanks to all of you who attended and participated. It generated great enthusiasm and many questions most of which we answered during the live session. However, by popular demand, we have enclosed a link below to the all of the questions and answers from the webcast.

Q&A from 5 Reasons to Upgrade to Oracle WebLogic Server

It’s not too late

If you missed the live webcast, don’t worry. You can view it on demand at:

5 Reasons to Upgrade to Oracle WebLogic Server on demand

Listen to Mike discuss iAS to WebLogic upgrade paths, tools, and best practices for various data center configurations and highlight the benefits of upgrading to WebLogic and describes some of its rich capabilities including:

  • Lightweight, Modern Development Experience
  • High Density, High Performance Virtualization
  • Complete Visibility, Diagnosibility and Management of WebLogic and iAS


For more information, follow WebLogic on:
Twitter: @OracleWebLogic
LinkedIn: http://www.linkd.in/oracle_weblogic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oracleweblogic
YouTube: www.youtube.com/oracleweblogic


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