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


Friday Feb 08, 2013

Deltek Highlights Smooth Upgrade to WebLogic, Plus Cool New Features

Listen to Dmitri Tyles, Senior Director of Development at Deltek -- a global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-oriented businesses -- discuss their reasons for upgrading to WebLogic 12c and their experience with the upgrade process. Deltek has about 14,000-plus customers and 1.8 million users Dmitri Tyles, Senior Director of Development at Deltek -- a global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-oriented businesses -- discuss their reasons for upgrading to WebLogic 12c and their experience with the upgrade process. Deltek has about 14,000-plus customers and 1.8 million users around the world in 80 countries. Needless to say the stakes are high. They were able to upgrade "Costpoint" with 1,500 applications to WebLogic 12c in about six weeks. They did run into a couple defects along the way which were reported to Oracle and fixes received pretty quickly. The rest of the upgrade was pretty smooth, Dmitri says. He goes on to talk about a particular feature which was really key for Deltek -- the support Oracle RAC. WebLogic always supported Oracle RAC, Dmitri claims, but the previous solution required a fair amount of manual maintenance from a WebLogic administrator. So for example, if a RAC administrator on a database side would add another node to the cluster, a WebLogic administrator would have to go in and manually update the same settings on WebLogic Server and add this node and register it. With the Active GridLink solution that Oracle has included in WebLogic, this is no longer necessary. So WebLogic is completely aware of all the changes happening to the RAC and, as such, all this ongoing maintenance is completely eliminated. 

Tuesday Jan 22, 2013

The WebLogic 12c Book is Finally Here

WebLogic 12c Distinctive Recipes for software architects, administrators and developers -- who know quite a bit about WebLogic, want to know more, but don’t want the typical ‘recipe book’ full of screenshots. This new book is a collection of best practice in administrating WebLogic, large-scale deployments,  performance-tuning biggest mistakes and tools, the JVM, using JMX with your own applications, stuck threads, JDBC myths, effectively detecting memory leaks, Java EE examples (deployments and NetBeans projects), Oracle Fusion Middleware (Service Bus, SOA Suite etc.) and WebLogic in the Cloud without the hype. The book provides insights you won’t find in the manual, like recommendations, discussions, best practices, deployable projects, webcast videos and directions on when to use a feature – and when not to. With all this and more, this book is the perfect complement to official courses and manuals. Check it out on Amazon.com.

Thursday Jan 03, 2013

Turkcell's usage of WebLogic and Coherence across its Telecom. Environment

Turkcell is the leading mobile phone operator of Turkey, based in Istanbul. The company has over 35 million subscribers with over 53% marketshare. In this video, Mike Lehmann, Senior Director of Product Management at Oracle and Niyazi Fellahoglu, Senior Expert, Application & Web Server Administrator at Turkcell discuss how Turkcell is using Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Coherence throughout the organization. Niyazi discusses their application architecture which is multi-tiered with load balancer, web tier, application tier, and business logic tier. The applications are of many types -- web based applications, messaging applications, SOA-based applications and more. With most of their applications running on WebLogic, Turkcell has a large deployment with around 550 machines, 400 domains, and 1600 instances of WebLogic Server, which has enabled high performance, scalability, stability, and ease of use across its environment. Turkcell has a robust backend infrastructure, processing 70 million messages per day. Niyazi discusses how the environment is on ‘auto pilot’J taking advantage WLST scripting. In addition, they are using Oracle Coherence for session management, server affinity, and uninterrupted performance. Turkcell is using Coherence for its classic use cases -- for offloading from backend into Coherence. Turkcell customers demand long lived (never ending) sessions. Offloading session management to Coherence enables this and makes customers happy. Another use case is to provide customers with uninterrupted service during new instance deployment or upgrade etc which again results in increased customer sat. Turkcell plans to use Enterprise manager 12c for consolidation planner and other capabilities like managing the Coherence clusters.

Thursday Dec 06, 2012

How does EJIE, Basque Government's IT arm, uses Oracle WebLogic

Watch Mike Lehmann, Senior Director of Product Management from Oracle and Oscar Guadilla, Senior Architect from EJIE, Basque Government's IT Company, discuss EJIE's implementation of Oracle WebLogic Server. Hear EJIE's history with Oracle WebLogic Server, how and why they are using it for its web application platform, common services, file services, and intranet and the benefits they are gleaning. In addition, hear how EJIE is using WebLogic JMS for document management common service integration in its Eco-government project.

While you are at it, since you are at our youtube channel (www.youtube.com/oracleweblogic) already, take a look at the various 'how to' videos Jeff West, Steve Button and others from our product management team have published here. Topics such as WebLogic Maven Plugin, TopLink Grid, How to Patch a WebLogic domain and much more are covered. Great way to spend some of your downtime during the holidays! :) 

 

Wednesday Jun 13, 2012

A Pragmatic Path to Navigating your Infrastructure to the Cloud

If you’re like most IT managers, you’re probably struggling to meet new business demands using your traditional IT infrastructure. Recently, two featured industry experts from the analyst firm Gartner, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst Andy Butler and Vice President and Gartner Fellow Massimo Pezzini, discussed 'The Road to a Cloud-Enabled, Infinitely Elastic Application Infrastructure', the first event in a Webcast series focused on navigating your applications to the cloud.

Discussing the latest innovations in data center architecture, they touched upon cloud-based application platforms (CEAPs), fabric computing and integrated systems, highlighting rapid application configuration and deployment capabilities. “If we think of the workload demands that not just cloud applications but all virtualized applications place upon the hardware fabric, it simply becomes a very natural fit for people to look to a fabric-enabled, integrated system as the ideal vehicle to enable that kind of agility and that kind of very easy allocation of resources on the fly and only in such a way that people pay for what they actually consume”, added Andy Butler.

Discussing the interaction between private and public clouds, Massimo commented that it would be important for end users to have coherent environments in their public and the private cloud systems. For example, it would be very important to have the same development tools, the same deployment tools and the same monitoring tools available in a compatible fashion in both environments. It is quite important, Massimo added, to minimize the amount of skills needed and to have a homogeneous and consistent environment across the public and the private environment to fully implement this notion of hybrid computing. This can be done by utilizing standards that enable interoperability between the private and the public cloud environment.

The discussion also focused on Platform-as-a-Service platforms and the critical need for reliability, availability, scalability, security, performance, and throughput in these platforms, given that they need to support hundreds of thousands or even millions of users. Scalability is absolutely critical for supporting such a massive amount of users with possibly fluctuating workloads.

Thursday May 10, 2012

Free Pass to Oracle OpenWorld 2012: Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards 2012

Are you doing something unique and innovative with Oracle WebLogic and related products?

Submit a nomination today for the Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards. Winners receive a free pass to Oracle OpenWorld 2012 in San Francisco (September 30 - October 4th) and will be honored during a special event at OpenWorld.

Categories include:

  •                     Cloud Application Foundation, including WebLogic and Coherence
  •                     Oracle Exalogic
  •                     Service Integration (SOA) and BPM
  •                     And more

To be considered for this award, complete the Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards nomination form and send to Innovation-Middleware_us@oracle.com. The deadline to submit a nomination is 5pm Pacific on July 17, 2012.

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