Monday Jun 30, 2014

Docker, Java EE 7, and Maven with WebLogic 12.1.3

WebLogic 12.1.3 was released and with it the support for perhaps the most important Java EE 7 APIs for database-backed Web Applications development. These are the specifications supported in this release:
As you can see above, WebLogic is bundled with the same implementations used by GlassFish 4.0, which gives you a compatible application server if you have already started developing Java EE 7 applications (well, of course limited to these APIs) and now seek for a commercially supported environment.

There are also some improvements in the Apache Maven Plugin, which makes developers' life much easier, allows for much better automated testing (Arquillian!), Continuous Integration and Delivery. IDEs that support Maven-based projects also benefit from this.

Does this makes WebLogic the best Java EE application server to run modern web HTML5/Javascript applications with RESTful and WebSockets services? Wouldn't be fair if I told you yes, now would it? So to give you a nice way to test WebLogic, I created a Dockerfile for you to in order to create a WebLogic domain on your development environment to test it as you wish. Go to the weblogic-docker for the Developer ZIP Distro Dockerfile on the WebLogic Community GitHub repository.

Getting started with WebLogic 12.1.3, Java EE 7, Maven, and Docker

Now let's get it started. First go to and download WebLogic 12.1.3 ZIP Distro for Developers. Save that file for later use.

Installing WebLogic 12.1.3 without Docker (easy)
WebLogic ZIP is very easy to install:
  1. Extract the content in a folder where you want to hold the wls12130 directory that comes inside the ZIP file. On my Linux machine, I use /home/bruno/Work/tools/.
  2. Go to the wls12130 folder and run the configure.cmd (Windows) or (Unix).
    • Creating the domain may take too long and may be seen as the installer is freezed. Make sure to configure this if you are on Linux:
      $ export
  3. When the installer asks you if you want to create a domain, type [Y]
  4. Installer will ask you for username/password. On dev environments, I usually use weblogic/welcome1
  5. Installer will start WebLogic right away and you can check it running at http://localhost:7001/console

Installing WebLogic 12.1.3 with Docker (easier)

If you work on a Linux-based machine as your development environment and you aren't familiar with Docker yet, check the What is Docker, then give it a try. Long story short: Docker is a Linux container; it is like a virtual machine, but it is not (there are people running Docker on top of Vagrant virtual machines, for example). The most important thing for us here is that it will create a virtual network interface with a virtual IP address.

My laptop runs Ubuntu 14.04, so I used this Docker Installation Instruction to set it up. I will assume you will have Docker installed on your computer somehow, following instructions for your own operational system.
  1. Download the ZIP or checkout the weblogic-docker Git repository and extract somewhere on your computer. I will use $DOCKER_HOME as a reference to that location.
  2. Copy the you download previously into $DOCKER_HOME/weblogic-docker/weblogic12c-zip/
  3. Call the script (as sudo) and wait for Docker to do its magic
  4. Call and see WebLogic going up and running on a Docker container. 
    • It will attach port 7001 to your host interfaces
  5. Open http://localhost:7001/console. Username/password are weblogic/welcome1
** Please be aware: we don't provide support for WebLogic on Docker in any environment so use this at your own risk. The developer distribution (ZIP) is only for development environments and also unsupported, as it is not patchable. If you still really want to run WebLogic 12c Full Distribution on top of Docker, here's a way to set it up.

Configuring your local Maven repository

It is now possible to use Maven without a local installation of WebLogic, which is perfect for CI environments (Hudson/Jenkins). You will still require a installation though to set up the Maven Plugin initially, but as soon you install this to your remote Maven repository for example, other developers and CI envs won't need to have WebLogic installed locally, if deploying to a remote server. For local development, you can also point to WebLogic as a "remote" server, of course. 

The steps to configure Maven are well documented and it is done by the Maven Synchronization Plug-in. After installing it to your local repository, you can call the sync goal to populate a local or remote repository. Here are the steps for a local environment:
  1. Go to the WebLogic home installation directory. For example:
    $ cd /home/bruno/Work/wls12130/
  2. Go to the subdir
    $ cd oracle_common/plugins/maven/com/oracle/maven/oracle-maven-sync/12.1.3/
  3. Execute the following command:
    $ mvn install:install-file -DpomFile=oracle-maven-sync-12.1.3.pom -Dfile=oracle-maven-sync-12.1.3.jar
  4. Finally you call the push command to upload all Maven artifacts (plugins, archetypes, etc) to your repository (local in this case)
    $ mvn -DoracleHome=/home/bruno/Work/wls12130/
If you want to setup a remote repository, check the documentation.

Create Java EE applications with WebLogic Maven Archetypes

WebLogic provides a set of archetypes that come with the Maven Plug-in pre-configured. Let's create a simple Web project by using the Basic WebApp Maven Archetype
mvn archetype:generate
Now of course you can open this Maven project on your NetBeans, IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, and then setup WebLogic in your IDE. Or you can just issue the command below to build, package, and deploy this WAR artifact to the WebLogic server you have running on your computer (either using Docker or the normal installation):
mvn package pre-integration-test 
Here we make sure to use -Dupload=true since I'm not sure if you are using Docker or not. If you are, then upload is required since the container has no access to your local file system (although possible!)

Description of wls_02.jpg follows

Now open http://localhost:7001/basicWebapp and see this sample application up and running!


By the way if you are an IntelliJ IDEA user you may want to watch this recent Webinar I did with JetBrains team: Developing Java EE Applications for WebLogic 12c with IntelliJ IDEA. The slides are available as well:

Check Bruno Borges slideshare repository

Wednesday Apr 10, 2013

Configure DataSources for Maven Embedded GlassFish


In my previous post I showed to you how to configure Maven and the Embedded GlassFish Plugin to be run with GlassFish 4.0 b83. A comment on that post raised the following question: Is it now possible to setup datasources with GlassFish embedded for testing purposes? The answer is yes! Not only DataSource but any resource. For now, I only tested DataSources but it's working fine. Follow these steps:

  1. Create a file called glassfish-resources.xml inside your WEB-INF webapplication directory with the connection pool and datasource configured, by either:
    1. Adding the content of this Gist into it and edit it with your database information, or ...
    2. Create it using NetBeans as described in this blog post by Arun. Move the file to the src/webapps/WEB-INF folder.
  2. Make sure the JNDI name is similar to this: java:app/jdbc/YourDataSourceName and that it is correctly mapped in your persistence.xml

The most important thing here is to keep the JNDI name with java:app/ prefix. I tried using just jdbc/MyDS on both persistence.xml and glassfish-resources.xml, but it didn't work, shoulting errors in the log related to the __pm suffix issue. So remember the prefix, as this is an application-scoped resource.

UPDATE Also, don't forget to add the following dependency for your Database JDBC Driver inside the <plugin> of Embedded GlassFish. For MySQL, add this:



Tuesday Apr 09, 2013

GlassFish 4 beta and Maven Embedded Plugin

Everyone is looking for an easy way to try out Java EE 7, even before the launch. Specially now where some JSRs just got Final, like JMS, Batch, JSON, and others. Arun already gave a great tip for anyone that want to try a Java EE 7 project with Maven, but the archetype offered by the Mojo project at Codehaus is missing one important thing: the Maven Plugin for GlassFish Embedded.


This plugin is great because developers don't even need to download, install and configure GlassFish locally. All they need to do is to have JDK and Maven installed. Then they can choose whatever IDE works best (I'm working right now with NetBeans, but I'm also a Sublime Text 2 big fan). It's a simple 3-step command:

  1. $ git clone http://myrepo/myproject
  2. $ cd myproject
  3. $ mvn embedded-glassfish:run
    ... then you wait until the Internet is being downloaded into your local repository ...

Done! Simple as that, a project that does not depend on any installation besides Maven and JDK (ok... Git too, in this case). Now how does the pom.xml must be set up with the Embedded plugin? Follow these steps:

  1. Create a project based on Codehaus archetype, like Arun mentioned in his blog. I'm copying the command line here for the sake of browser history:
    mvn -DarchetypeGroupId=org.codehaus.mojo.archetypes -DarchetypeArtifactId=webapp-javaee7 -DarchetypeVersion=0.3-SNAPSHOT -DarchetypeRepository= -DgroupId=org.glassfish -DartifactId=javaee7-sample -Dversion=1.0-SNAPSHOT -Dpackage=org.glassfish.javaee7-sample -Darchetype.interactive=false --batch-mode --update-snapshots archetype:generate 
  2. Now open pom.xml, and go to the end of the <plugins> section
  3. Add the following plugin to the <build><plugins> section
  4. UPDATE 04-10-2013: Don't forget to add the following pluginRepository configuration inside your POM
                <name> Repository for Maven</name>
               <name> Repository for Maven</name>
  5. Execute the following Maven command and then point your browser to http://localhost:8282/javaee7-sample
    $ mvn package embedded-glassfish:run

The reason you must modify the dependencies of the plugin is that there's no released yet of the Embedded Plugin pointing to the GlassFish 4 promoted builds, although some artifacts are already there (i.e. simple-glassfish-api for b79; version is different because until now, there's no release of b83). We hope that the plugin will be updated together with the official release, as soon as possible.

By the way, with this configuration of the Embedded Plugin, you can edit any JavaServer Faces page, and just hit refresh in the browser. The configuration is poiting to the exploded WAR in Maven's target directory. Great setup for designers. 

Happy Java EE 7 coding until the launch!




Bruno has been having fun working with Java since 2000 and now helps Oracle on sharing the technology accross all Latin America. Also plays videogames, does trekking and loves beer.

Follow me on Twitter! @brunoborges


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