Thursday Jul 18, 2013

The Cloud Application Foundation Launch Event - What is all the excitement about?

Oracle Cloud Application Foundation 12c was released on July 11th and received with great excitement by folks taking an early peak. Computer Business Review wrote “Integrating application server and in-memory data grid capabilities into a base for cloud computing, the new Cloud Application Foundation offers a platform that enables launching latest applications, shorten operations, ramp up time-to-market and reduce overall ownership cost, while obtaining more value from their existing application infrastructure.”

For those eager to learn what this release is all about, who needs summer vacation? We are hosting a Virtual Launch Event on July 31st and boy do we have an action-packed agenda for you!

First up will be our keynote with VP of Product Management, Ajay Patel, who looks after Oracle Cloud Application Foundation and Exalogic. Ajay will cover the key product announcements, then invite to the stage VP of Development, Cameron Purdy, and VP of Product Management for Cloud Application Foundation, Mike Lehmann, to go into the feature highlights of the release. The part I’m most excited about is the testimonials you will hear from our customers, as well as industry experts, Frank Munz and Simon Haslam.

Following the keynote, we will have four sessions covering deep-dive technical content and product demonstrations. And for those of you who know our team, which I personally feel so fortunate to be working with, here’s the lineup we have for you:

Core CAF Product Deep Dives

WebLogic Server 12c, Release 12.1.2 with Mike Lehmann, VP of Product Management and Will Lyons, Director of Product Management.

Coherence 12c, Release 12.1.2 with Cameron Purdy, VP of Development, Craig Blitz, Director of Product Management and Jens Eckels, Director of Product Marketing

Productivity Tools Deep Dives

Enterprise Manager 12c Release 3 with Glen Hawkins, Senior Director of Product Management

Oracle Developer Tools, including JDeveloper 12c, Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 12c, ADF 12c and even NetBeans – with Chris Tonas, VP of Development and Carlos Chang, Director of Product Marketing.

I hope you join us for the Cloud Application Foundation show and we’ll be waiting and eager to take your questions via live chat, see you on the 31st

To register for the launch event click here

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Cloud Application Foundation 12c Launch: Press and Social Media Coverage

The coverage Oracle received on the Cloud Application foundation 12c launch is quite insightful and to the point. I wanted to share some of the viewpoints with the readers. One of the tweets mentions, “Oracle CAF 12c is Weblogic 12.1.2, Coherence 12.1.2, Enterrprise Manager 12c R3 and Development Tools 12c - quite a bundle”, which is indeed reflective of Oracle’s efforts at offering a consolidated cloud application platform to our customers and partners. On a similar note Computer Business Review remarks, “Integrating application server and in-memory data grid capabilities into a base for cloud computing, the new Cloud Application Foundation offers a platform that enables launching latest applications, shorten operations, ramp up time-to-market and reduce overall ownership cost, while obtaining more value from their existing application infrastructure”: a truly insightful observation of the value propositions offered by the platform.

From a developer productivity perspective, a significant amount of investment has been made to the platform as eWeek notes, “… Oracle has delivered new releases of its Java development tools and framework that enable developers to rapidly and efficiently build multichannel—Web, cloud and on-premises—applications.” This quote very astutely notes that although there is a large focus in the marketplace around cloud applications, the Oracle solutions also offer tremendous value to customers who are developing applications for traditional data center deployments, as well as for customers wanting to ensure that their current investments can be leveraged when they move to cloud architecture. This is confirmed by Holger Mueller of Enterprise Software Musings as he comments, “As usual Oracle build and positions its products to be practically universally deploy-able. Customers can use Cloud Application Foundation to built on premise, hybrid or public cloud applications, that can run on the Oracle Cloud or other public clouds. And they can buy the hardware with Exalogic Elastic Cloud with it, too - if they wish."

Commenting on the integration work between Oracle WebLogic Server 12.1.2 and Oracle Database 12c, here is what IDC analyst Al Hilwa had to say. "Integrated is the operative word here. For example there is quite a bit of technology that allows the app server to work in unique and differentiated ways with the Oracle database. It is also a coordinated set of technologies that pulls together the different pieces of the application stack. Quite a bit of work is culminating with this release…"

And here is what the market thinks about the investment on Oracle Coherence. “Oracle is doing a good job leveraging Coherence in CAF 12c. With Goldengate - a lot goes into memory...” says one of the tweets. “In addition to also offering full support for Oracle 12c, the new version of Coherence offers a number of new technologies that will help in faster data synchronization”, comments Joab Jackson of IDG News Service. “Being Oracle's in-memory data caching solution, the new Coherence 12.1.2 scales applications as per the requirements of mobile and cloud demands, while improving customer experience with Oracle Coherence Live Events”, remarks Computer Business Review.

Needless to say we are excited to see so much and such deep coverage. The press covered almost all features and capabilities we wanted highlighted for our customers, be it the Oracle WebLogic Server/ Oracle Database integration, developer efficiencies like WebSocket support, Oracle Coherence enhancements, and many more. Look for an update on this as we receive more coverage and move toward our exciting launch event on July 31st!

For complete details of the launch and deep dive of the new product capabilities:

Read the press release.

Read the whitepapers and datasheets at http://www.oracle.com/weblogic and http://www.oracle.com/goto/coherence

Download the products from OTN

And, don't forget to join us for the Oracle Cloud Application Foundation 12c launch event later this month:
July 31st, 10am, Pacific Time
Register

Thursday Jul 11, 2013

Cloud Application Foundation 12c is here!

We are very excited to announce the availability of the highly anticipated Cloud Application Foundation 12c! See press release. Please register for the online launch event on July 31st where we will walk you through the new capabilities.

This release culminate months and even years of work by our Product Management and Development Teams with direct input from you, our customers, on what you’d like to see from your trusted application platform.

But what is Cloud Application Foundation (CAF)?

Cloud Application Foundation is an integrated, flexible, and proven middleware platform built on standards-based technologies for portability, efficiency and lower TCO. It brings together key industry-leading technologies: Oracle WebLogic Server for Java EE; Oracle Coherence In-Memory Data Grid; Oracle Tuxedo for C/C++/COBOL; Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder; and Oracle Traffic Director for load balancing capabilities. Oracle Cloud Application Foundation provides you with choice across conventional systems and cloud environments. It is optimized to run on Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud for on-premise cloud deployments and is available on third-party clouds (see blog post) for increased flexibility and scalability.

Oracle Cloud Application Foundation helps customers deliver next-generation applications with a mission-critical cloud platform optimized for high performance, reliability, availability and security. It simplifies operations with native cloud management and scales operations to multi-data center high availability infrastructures. CAF also accelerates time to market with a modern development platform and integrated tools and is the foundation for Oracle Fusion Middleware and Fusion Applications. It is therefore not surprising that it holds 40% market share, higher than all other competitors.


So what are we announcing?

This announcement includes Oracle WebLogic Server 12c, release 12.1.2 (see blog) and Oracle Cohere 12c release 12.1.2 (see blog), as well as supporting Productivity Tools with Oracle Enterprise Manager R3 and Oracle Developer Tools, which include Oracle JDeveloper 12c (see blog)and Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 12c (see blog). Both developer tools support ADF 12c.


Feature sneak speak

Let me give you a taste for what you will hear about in the launch event on July 31st. Starting with Coherence, many of you know that Oracle acquired Coherence (Tangosol) over 6 years ago. What you may not know however, is that the core team working on the product has stayed pretty much intact and the passion they bring to this mission is simply incredible. Don’t be misled by our major vs. minor versioning conventions. This is the first Coherence 12c release and major news for current Coherence customers as well as WebLogic customers looking to leverage an in memory data grid to be able to scale to mobile and cloud demands.

Some of the hot Coherence features coming out with this release include Coherence Live Events and GoldenGate HotCache.

And speaking of our core Coherence team, with Cameron Purdy leading overall CAF development, you’ll see WebLogic and Coherence coming even closer with new levels of integration that customers have been asking for.

Managed Coherence Servers within WebLogic allow customers to harness the power of the WebLogic Management Framework, to simplify management of Coherence servers.

Other hot capabilities in WebLogic Server include Dynamic Clusters and Elastic JMS, as well as unique integration capabilities with Oracle Database 12c launched yesterday.

Finally, to support immediate productivity for CAF customers, this release has been aligned with key productivity tools that our customers use:
  • Enterprise Manager R3, see press release, which include the WebLogic and Coherence Management packs.
  • Oracle Developer Tools including JDeveloper 12c, Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 12c, both which support Oracle Application Development Framework 12c, see press release. NetBeans 7.3 is also available. The three tools are supported by Oracle to provide developer choice. Oracle also allows you to supports mobile development across platforms (iOS and Android) while leveraging Java skills.

So I hope I’ve peaked your interest to learn more about CAF 12c and I hope to see many of you join us live on July 31st for the launch event. Register here.

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Wednesday Jul 10, 2013

Above the clouds - WebLogic on Microsoft Windows Azure

In my last blog, I wrote about Cloud deployment model choices and how Oracle Cloud Application Foundation customers have choice between an on premise private cloud or a public 3rd party cloud environment for the perfect hybrid. Well, with the latest partnership announced between Oracle and Microsoft, Oracle customers have one more deployment option with Microsoft Windows Azure.

So as I was flying above the clouds on my weekend getaway passing through Oracle and Microsoft headquarters, I thought I’d share more details on how this partnership will benefit WebLogic customers.

As part of this partnership, WebLogic customers will be able to use their existing WebLogic licenses for cloud deployments on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure. Licensing will work in the same fashion that is available today on Oracle Cloud. See more licensing details for Oracle Software in the Cloud Computing Environment here. WebLogic licenses on Windows Azure will work in the same manner. Microsoft will also offer license and support for Java in Windows Azure.

With more 3rd party cloud options to run your Oracle Software on, including Oracle Cloud, Amazon AWS and the now adding Windows Azure, you may be wondering how to make the right choice. Well, you probably already guessed - there is no right or wrong answer, it all depends on your overall cloud strategy, business priorities and additional investments. As just one example, customers who are invested in Fusion apps or other Oracle SaaS offerings, may find Oracle Cloud as their safest bet for a 3rd party cloud.

As we’ve already established, choice is a good thing, so whether you already have an investment in Oracle Software, including WebLogic, on a 3rd party cloud or are considering it (read more about the benefits here), this announcement is good news from a choice and investment protection perspective.

To learn more about your cloud choices with Oracle Cloud Application Foundation, join the Online Launch Event on July 31st


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Tuesday Jun 04, 2013

From Hybrid cars to Hybrid Clouds - it’s great to have choice!

OK, I admit it, my Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid isn’t the most exciting car I’ve had the opportunity to drive, nor do I love its gray color, but I got the gray because these cars are in such high demand and waiting 4 months wasn’t appealing. But why are they so popular? The concept of having a car that gives you choice between electricity and gas is simply a winner. Electricity is more cost effective and unbelievably quiet. Gas gives you performance and works better for long distances, you get the idea.

Well, the benefits may be different, but the same concept is true for the Cloud, choice is king!

Having the flexibility to share data across Private and Public Clouds in a Hybrid Cloud model allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds. It allows you to set your desired design points around key dimensions:

Security – continuing to star at the top of the Cloud concerns chart, many believe that Private Cloud is a better choice for applications where security is a primary concern. Today when I drive my car to work, I have no place to plug in for power, but Oracle is working on it as part of our Green initiative, so that will change in the future. Cloud security may also change as this fascinating space continues to evolve. So in the meantime, you want to build capabilities that will keep your options open as the industry evolves.

Quality of Service how much control do you have over QoS? Are you comfortable trusting a 3rd party vendor or do you want to gain control? To some organizations, the idea of giving control to a 3rd party with tight SLAs is appealing, as that 3rd party may have more expertise than what you have in house.

IT skills – which brings us to skills. Hosting an application in a Public Cloud is a lot less taxing on your IT staff, so you can get more done with fewer people.

Cost model (CAPEX/OPEX) – a Private Cloud approach puts much of your cost in CAPEX, whereas taking a Public Cloud approach moves the cost over to the OPEX side. If you’ve already made an on premise investment, going the Private Cloud rout may be appealing, if you’re just starting out, perhaps you’d rather save on that up-front cost.

These are just a few considerations that come into play, the point is, there is no right or wrong answer. And even within your company, the decision may change, depending on the application, the team in place and other factors. This is why having choice is important, it gives you the flexibility to optimize your decision according to the situation at hand.


Oracle Cloud Application Foundation gives you that choice, so you can eat your Cloud and have it too.

o You can develop applications on Oracle Cloud, our Public Cloud Offering with the Java Cloud Service.

o You have the capability and tools to develop a Private Cloud on premise, with WebLogic Server.

o And you can design your desired Hybrid Cloud model to share data between them.

o And since no blog post is complete without mentioning Engineered Systems, as you are probably guessing, both our Private and Public Cloud solutions are optimized to run on Exalogic Elastic Cloud.

So next time you’re stuck in traffic burning gas, perhaps it will make you think about your Cloud choices and inspire you to go Hybrid.

To learn more about Cloud Application Foundation, visit our website

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Tuesday May 21, 2013

The Me Too Cloud-- by Ayalla Goldschmidt, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Fusion Middleware

Why does everybody and their brother think they can get so easily into the Cloud business? “Build it and they will come” seems to be the prevailing mentality. That was the only possible conclusion from the couple of hours I spent at CloudConnect last month. I did my usual solution center tour. (As a marketing leader, I love checking out the competition and new cool ideas for marketing). But what captured my attention the most at this show, is that I really hadn’t heard about many of the vendors out there. And I was betting myself that most customers at the show had the same reaction.

At a time where Cloud Computing has almost become synonymous with IT, I think it’s a great opportunity to remind everyone that the fundamentals of IT haven’t changed with Cloud Computing, they only become more significant. If you’re looking to deliver applications that can withstand the pace of change, endure the demands of mobile access and meet the scale of Cloud, well, the list of vendors who live up to that PaaS challenge becomes strikingly short.

But don’t just take it from me. Gartner analysts Massimo Pezzini and Andy Butler shared their perspective on what a Cloud Enabled Application Platform requires.

Source: Oracle 2012 Webcast, "The Road to a Cloud-Enabled, Infinitely Elastic Application Infrastructure" featuring Gartner Analysts Massimo Pezzini and Andy Butler.

Support for Hybrid Cloud - having the flexibility to share data across Private and Public Clouds in a Hybrid Cloud model allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds. It allows you to set your desired design points around security, quality of service, IT skills and cost model (CAPEX/OPEX)

Mission Critical Support - There is a critical need for reliability, availability, performance and scalability in these platforms, because they need to support hundreds of thousands or even millions of users and in some cases with fluctuating demand.

Unified Management & Monitoring - are critical for simplifying IT. A Cloud Platform should provide a single pane of glass to view your entire Cloud infrastructure.

Out of the box Integration- Your platform should be factory-integrated and factory-tested, it should be able to get you up and running very quickly.

To learn more about Cloud Enabled Application Platforms, listen to this Gartner Webcast

Oracle Cloud Application Foundation is a platform designed to meet these very needs. With this platform our customers are now ready to make the move to Cloud:

  • It offers choice to develop applications on Oracle Cloud, our Public Cloud offering or on premise in a Private Cloud, and because both are based on our industry leading application server, WebLogic Server, you can create your desired Hybrid model.
  • Products like WebLogic Server, Tuxedo and Coherence have been proven through thousands of customer implementations around the world. They set the benchmark of High Availability, density and performance.
  • Enterprise Manager provides native Cloud Management for Cloud Application Foundation allowing you to have a single view of your entire platform from application to disk.
  • Finally, you can benefit from out of the box integration of your Cloud infrastructure by running your Private Cloud on Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, designed to increase the density of your Cloud environment and take costs out of the equation.

So next time you see a new Cloud vendor whose name you haven’t heard before, ask them how they stack up against these four criteria and the answer will give you a hint as to how likely they are to be around for next year’s line up.

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Monday May 06, 2013

Oracle Excellence Awards: Achieve Global Recognition for your Innovative use of Oracle Cloud Application Foundation Solutions

Are you using Oracle WebLogic Server, Coherence and/or Tuxedo in innovative ways to achieve significant business value? Would you like to be recognized globally by Oracle for your innovation? Would you like the chance to win a Free registration to Oracle OpenWorld 2013 for a chance to mingle with your peers and Oracle executives?

If you answered yes to the questions above, you’re a great candidate for the Cloud Application Foundation category of the Oracle Excellence Awards.

What is the Cloud Application Foundation category?

The “Cloud Application Foundation” (CAF) category is for customers using either a single component or multiple components from the CAF group of products, which includes Oracle WebLogic Suite, Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle Tuxedo, Oracle Coherence, Oracle GlassFish Server, Oracle JRockit, Oracle Application Server and Oracle Enterprise Manager.

What are the nomination criteria?

  • Your company uses at least one component from the Cloud Application Foundation
  • This solution should be in production or active development
  • Your submission must be in by Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How do I submit a nomination?

1. Go to the Call for Nominations site: click here.

2. In the ‘About the Award’ section, select the category, “Oracle Cloud Application Foundation”

3. Complete the Cloud Application Foundation Nomination Form with as much detail as possible.

4. Submit completed form and any relevant supporting documents to this email address:
Innovation-Middleware_us@oracle.com

5. Email subject category “Cloud Application Foundation” when submitting your nomination.

6. Winners will be judged on multiple criteria including, but not limited to:

· Project ROI / Level of impact (ROI/soft benefits) relative to the size of the organization

· Complexity/magnitude of implementation

· Originality of architecture

· Uniqueness of business use case

7. Oracle may contact you to collect additional details, if necessary.

8. Winners will be notified the week of August 5th, 2013.

What are the benefits of being selected as an award winner?

Your customers and peers will learn more about your innovative achievements with Oracle Cloud Application Foundation solutions. Your management and team will be globally recognized for your pioneering work. And, you will win a Free registration to Oracle OpenWorld 2013 where you can share best practices with your peers and Oracle executives.

Hear what past award winners have to say. Click here for video interviews.

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Tuesday Apr 16, 2013

Demystifying WebLogic and Fusion Middleware Management --- by Glen Hawkins, Senior Director, Product Management

So for this week’s blog on Cloud Application Platform, we are going to switch gears and talk about something that is near and dear to everyone responsible for running applications and middleware in their environment and that is monitoring and management with specific emphasis on the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control solution. 

Often, this particular topic is dismissed early in the architectural discussion and doesn’t rear its (sometimes ugly) head until development is fairly far along on a new application and planning their deployment or worse, problems in production begin to impact the overall service levels of an application to the point that the end-users are complaining or top line revenue is being lost because of poor performance or reliability problems.  The result is that the inexperienced will treat monitoring and management of their middle tier and their application system as a whole as an afterthought, while those that are more experienced or forward looking will tackle it from day one.

So, let's start with some common pitfalls or myths that people run into when considering or planning the deployment of their management along with some discussions on each of these points:


I think that most that have attempted this in the past have learned the error of their ways.  Most tools such as administration consoles like the WebLogic Administration Console are designed to get the product up and running and for general configuration and administration purposes of a single domain.  They are not intended as a solution to monitor and manage many domains (possibly even multiple versions of those domains) as well as the entire application infrastructure (i.e. Databases, Hosts, Message Queues, Service Buses, etc) at once.  And, they routinely don’t provide any historical metrics or real 24/7 diagnostics.  No administrator wants to be in a situation where a problem occurred an hour ago and they no longer have any information on it because they only have real-time data.  You need both real-time and historical monitoring and diagnostics capabilities. 

In addition, administrators routinely want to be able to answer the usual question that comes up when everything was running fine one day and fails to perform on the next, which is “what has changed”.  You need historical information to refer to at all tiers of the application including the host as well as visibility across the stack including both monitoring and configuration data to answer that question. 

Possible answers could be that the end-users have increased, the way the end-users were using the application has changed (i.e. that marketing event you didn’t know about changed behavior), application changes, WebLogic domain changes, JVM changes, a patch was applied, or someone even may have started running something new on the machine or impacted the OS. 

Correlating these changes and coming to a quick conclusion is key to ensure optimal application service levels in a production environment for your end-users.  That means that you need a full stack 24/7 real-time and historical monitoring solution that can also provide meaningful diagnostics and and track/compare configuration standards across the entire application system stack which is something that only Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control is able to provide in the case of the Oracle stack.


This one is quite simple at the end of the day, especially for those that have been pulled into a war room in regards to a production application emergency with all the finger pointing and frustration that routinely ensues.  The various team members responsible for the different portions of an application system almost always need to collaborate to resolve problems.  By using separate tools, collaboration can be slow and frustrating. 

A single pane of glass with different roles and privileges mitigating who can see what allows everyone to speak the same language.  At the end of the day, when a fire drill arises, communication and collaboration will allow you to pull through, which is greatly enhanced with the correct solution. 

Oracle’s Enterprise Manager Cloud Control solution was designed to promote this level of communication between roles with flexible dashboards providing different views of the application to different team members and diagnostics that can provide meaningful diagnostics such as bi-directional navigation between JVM threads and Oracle database sessions which goes well beyond just isolating SQL calls and the Middleware Diagnostics Advisor which provides recommendations diagnostic findings for WebLogic stack to quickly cut down on your time to resolution as opposed to raw metrics which force you to piece together fragments of the story from completely separate tools.


I think this particular myth tends to surprise those that are new to application and middle-tier management.  In development environments, particularly during the QA and load testing phases for most applications, the environments are usually so well controlled and, as they are not in production, you can more easily reproduce errors and attempt to resolve them in these environments.  However, in production environments, it becomes extremely difficult to reproduce issues as the load, network, application environment, and overall intermittent behavior of all of the tiers can challenge even the most technical operations person including those who developed the application in the first place. 

We routinely see issues reported by end-users in production environments where monitoring is minimal. Often, hours, days, even weeks are spent trying to reproduce issues or waiting for them to happen again if they are intermittent and no historical monitoring and diagnostics is available in the environment.  The bottom-line is that you need to be able to diagnose problems in the production environment itself.

Within Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, both historical and real-time metrics are available 24/7 across all tiers and they are correlated together.  Let me provide a quick simple example of a possible root cause analysis scenario where an application is perhaps degrading in performance over time.  Memory analysis tools by themselves are not able to pinpoint the problem, but it is clear that there is a buildup of referenced objects on the heap (i.e. possibly falling under the high level classification of a “memory leak” like issue, but then again there are possibly other causes).  The historical solution might be to attempt to restart servers on a regular basis trying to maintain high availability as you do, but that will not get you closer to finding the real issue and it is a band-aid at the end of the day that may very well fail when and if capacity increases for your application.

Let’s say we start with getting a notification from Enterprise Manager Cloud Control that a critical alert has occurred on the Work Manager – Pending Requests metric indicating there is a buildup of requests in the application.  This an early indicator and the Request Processing Time alert likely soon to follow if the trend continues, so let’s jump in and diagnose the problem.

First, let’s look at one of the higher level customizable dashboards in the product to see the lay of the land:


We can see from our WebLogic application above (just a simple Medrec example in this case) that all of our servers look like they are up and running, some of our heap and other metrics look high, but not unreasonable with the exception of some of our JVMs which show some DB Wait locks in red in the right-most bottom table.  This is a sure indicator that the pending requests that we were alerted to earlier are likely associated with calls of some kind to the back-end database.  If I click on the JVM in question, I can take this down a level.


Now we are on our JVM target home page within our WebLogic Domain hierarchy (many more metrics and capabilities there that we won’t go into in this blog, but I will provide links below to see those capabilities) where we can see a bit more detail and filter on anything to our heart’s delight by clicking on the various hour glasses to search on methods, requests, SQL, thread state, ECID (a transaction ID in FMW), and other criteria, which will filter the graphs further down the page which show thread breakdowns by many of these dimensions.  I could also immediately create a diagnostic snapshot of the data to look at later if I so desired.  I can also click on the Threads tab (next to the highlighted “General” tab above) and look at historical thread data or play with the timeframe, but we can see just by looking at this that we were correct about the threads in the DB Wait state and it has been going on for some time now.  Let’s navigate from historical to JVM live threads (collected every 2 secs using native thread sampling as opposed to byte code instrumentation) to try to determine the root cause of why so many threads are stuck in the DB Wait state.


Looking above, it is apparent that we are running an SQL prepared statement originating from a front-end request from the “/registerPatient.action” URL.  I could then click on the “SQL ID” to actually bring myself to the SQL in question within a tuning screen, but the route of more interest is to click on the DB Wait link highlighted in the lower half of the screen for one of the threads.  This will take me into a read-only view of the actual Oracle database session itself.


Here we are in the database session itself.  As an operations person or developer, my options are obviously very restricted, but I can see that there is a blocking session ID.  Better yet, I can now click on that blocking session ID and see that something that is entirely outside of my WLS container or JVM  is causing contention and I can now communicate with my DBA to address the problem.  This could have been just as easily a badly tuned SQL statement or perhaps indicated an index problem.  Likewise, I could have discovered that my threads were locked by one another or a Network Wait or even File IO.  There are a multitude of possibilities, but because I have a tool that can see across these tiers, I can quickly diagnose the issue and I am speaking the same language as my DBA.  DBAs can also drill back up by the way from SQL statements to the JVM and WLS container (also in read-only mode obviously), so they can be proactive about maintaining the application.  This is just one simple example of how Enterprise Manager Cloud Control facilitates this type of communication between roles as there are many other similar features from the dashboards which can be tweaked per role giving the appropriate visibility for the various team members or the incident management that is designed to allow teams to collaborate or even work with Oracle Support via the WebLogic Support Workbench if necessary.


It is true that most Java transaction tracing solutions create overhead because of byte code instrumentation.  There is certainly a time and place for this type of diagnostics which can be very detailed and rich in its analysis.  Within Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, we do have an optional advanced diagnostics feature that provides this functionality.  Overhead is routinely much lower than just about any other solution out there, and it is indeed able to run 24/7 without incurring much overhead.  For many, the little overhead required is reasonable and well worth the enormous amount of visibility you get by being able to track individual or groups of transaction through each tier of your application isolating problems based on the actual payload.

However, for those who prefer to not use byte code instrumentation, the entire example provided above does not require any.  It simply uses the stack metrics collected from the Enterprise Manager Cloud Control agent, which sits on the host (not in the WLS container and thus out of process) and the JVMD agent, an extremely lightweight agent (just a war file) that uses native code sampling (no byte code instrumentation and thus no restart of the managed server).  The bottom-line is that you can get a ton of visibility without incurring any noticeable overhead and decide where and if you want to also trace transactions on an individual basis.  This type of flexibility ensures that all diagnostics needs are met.

Alright, so that was my last myth to dispel for this blog.  I could go on for quite some time and show the many other capabilities of the Enterprise Manager product such as the earlier mentioned Middleware Diagnostics Advisor, log viewing and alerting, the multitude of dashboards, thresholds, lifecycle management, disaster recovery, and patch automation features that span the full capabilities of Oracle’s solution for WebLogic and Fusion Middleware management, but perhaps there will be time for another blog on those topics later.

For now, I will leave you with some resources to help you leap beyond the myths.

Additional Resources

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c Middleware Management OTN Page

Free Online Self-Study Courses from Oracle Learning Library (OLL)

· Best Practices for WebLogic and SOA Management Self-Study Course

· Oracle Real User Experience Insight: Oracle's Approach to User Experience

· Oracle Real User Experience Insight: Basic Navigation, Data Structures, and Workflows

WLS Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics

· Navigate the Middleware Routing Topology

· Customize Middleware Performance Summaries

· Diagnose WebLogic and JVM Performance Bottlenecks

· Capture Diagnostics Snapshots

· Use the Middleware Diagnostics Advisor to Size the JDBC Connection Pool

· Diagnose Performance Issues End-to-End

· Construct a Service Level Agreement

· Overview of Business Transaction Management

· Service Dashboard

· Business Application Dashboard

WLS Configuration and Lifecycle Management

· Use and Report on Out-of-the-Box Compliance Standards

· Use and Report on Out-of-the-Box Compliance Standards

· Create WebLogic Domain Provisioning Profile

· Clone an Oracle WebLogic Domain from the Software Library

· Redeploy a Java EE Application

· Patching WebLogic Server

· Automate Disaster recovery with "Oracle Site Guard"

Coherence Management

· Manage and Monitor Oracle Coherence

· Provision Coherence

Real User Experience Insight

· Manage End User Performance with Real User Experience Insight


Monday Apr 15, 2013

Cloud Application Foundation Week in Review

Cloud Application Foundation blogs this week include Market Share results for WebLogic Server based on the Gartner Market Share, All Software Markets, Worldwide, 2012 report released on March 29, 2013; a customer case study on how Thomson Reuters Westlaw uses Oracle Coherence to improve scalability, availability and performance; and information about how easy it is to develop and deploy Tuxedo services in Java with step by step descriptions and sample code.

WebLogic Server

Oracle is #1 in the Application Server Market segment again with 40. 7% of the market share according to the Gartner Market Share report that was released March 2013. Read the WebLogic blog to find out more and for links to supporting information.

Coherence

Thomson Reuters Westlaw, one of the primary online legal research services for lawyer and legal professionals, provides proprietary data services and information from more than 30,000 databases of case law, statutes, synopses, treatises, best practices, news articles and public records. Read the Coherence blog to find out how they improved scalability and performance with Oracle Coherence.

Tuxedo

Developing Tuxedo services in Java in easy and straightforward. Read the Tuxedo blog for more information about Java Server support in Tuxedo and the programming environment. Find out the steps needed to develop and deploy Java service on Tuxedo and how to configure the Tuxedo Java Server. Sample implementation and configuration code is included.

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Friday Apr 05, 2013

Cloud Application Foundation: What's New?

This week’s Cloud Application Foundation (CAF) blogs—WebLogic, Coherence and Tuxedo—all talk about exciting new updates in each product area. The WebLogic blog describes new capabilities made available by WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance 2.5. The Coherence blog announces the spring edition of the New York Coherence Special Interest Group held on April 10. And, the Tuxedo blog focuses on three new high availability features in the Tuxedo 12c release.


WebLogic

This week, Oracle announced exciting news about WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance 2.5—a complete solution for building and deploying enterprise Java EE applications in a fully integrated system of software, servers, storage, and networking. Not only does this solution deliver highly available database and WebLogic services, it also it reduces IT cost with a unique capacity-on-demand software licensing model.

Read the blog, WebLogic Server on Oracle Database Appliance, for more details.  

Coherence

The Coherence blog, New York Coherence SIG on April 10, describes the NYCSIG, scheduled to take place on April 10, 2013 from 1:00-5:00 pm ET at the Oracle Office, 120 Park Avenue, 26th Floor, New York, NY. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear what’s new in Coherence and talk with subject matter experts. Links to registration, the agenda and additional information is included in the blog.

Tuxedo

In the Tuxedo blog, Chief Oracle Tuxedo Architect, Todd Little, discusses three new features in the Tuxedo 12cR1 that help improve the availability of Tuxedo based applications. Todd describes how the *ROUTING section can now specify up to three server groups that can be associated with a range of values, allowing application partition to span up to 3 machines. He also talks about how automatic migration of machines and server groups and service versioning enhance Tuxedo’s capability to support highly available applications. Check out the blog for more details.

Let us know what you think

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Friday Mar 29, 2013

Cloud Application Foundation: Show me, don’t just tell me

This week’s Cloud Application Foundation blogs—WebLogic, Coherence and Tuxedo—are about ‘show me’, not ‘tell me’. The blogs include demos, a customer presentation, and how to presentations.

WebLogic

The WebLogic blog, Hotelbeds Enhances its IT infrastructure with Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Coherence, features a video with Juan Di Dos, Director of IT for Hotelbeds, showing how they aggregated all their applications on one platform. You’ll see how by consolidating on WebLogic and Coherence, they have reduced maintenance costs by more than 165%

Coherence

The Coherence blog, Be Part of the Conversation: Plan to present at Oracle Open World or JavaOne 2013, shows how you can share your experiences with your peers by submitting a proposal to present at Oracle Open World or JavaOne. It provides descriptions and links to presentations from JavaOne 2012 to get you inspired.

Tuxedo

The Tuxedo blog, Oracle Tuxedo Mainframe Adapters Provide High Availability, Failover and Load Balancing—See the Demo, includes information that explains how Oracle Tuxedo Mainframe Adapters provide bi-directional, fully transactional access to and from mainframe CICS, IMS and batch applications. A video demo shows how to configure Tuxedo Mainframe Adapters for high availability, failover and load balancing.

Let us know what you think

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Friday Mar 22, 2013

Take Advantage of Powerful Cloud Application Foundation (CAF) Capabilities

This week’s blogs focus on how you can take advantage of advanced capabilities offered by Cloud Application Foundation solutions for ease of integration, increased efficiency, reduced cost, and improved time to market.

The WebLogic blog provides Oracle Forms customers with information about how to get more value from their current application infrastructure by upgrading to Oracle Forms 11g running on WebLogic 12c. Tuxedo customers can see a demo and find out how to partition Tuxedo applications into different virtual application domains, machines and server groups to respond effectively to changing business needs. And, the Coherence blog provides links to four new YouTube videos recorded at the Coherence Special Interest Group meeting that took place in London in November, 2012. Check out the descriptions below for more detail.

WebLogic

If you’re an Oracle Forms customer, you may be interested in learning how you can protect your investment in Oracle Forms and respond quickly and cost effectively to customer needs by switching to Oracle WebLogic Server. Find out how you can reduce operational costs while improving service levels. Learn about foundational technologies included in WebLogic Suite i.e. Oracle E-Business Suite. Discover how Oracle Forms and Reports support included in Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder makes it possible for administrators to quickly configure and provision entire multi-tier enterprise applications onto virtualized and cloud environments. For more information, read the blog: Are you an Oracle Forms Customer? Consider running on WebLogic Server to take advantage of brand new and advanced capabilities.

And don’t miss the Webcast: Virtualize and Run Your Forms Applications in the Cloud- It Pays to Upgrade to Oracle WebLogic Server 12c.

Tuxedo

This week’s Tuxedo blog describes how the Application Service Version Feature allows you to deploy different versions of Tuxedo application services in a domain or across domains without changing the existing application. Find out how you can logically partition Tuxedo applications into different virtual application domains, machines, and server groups to respond to various business requirements, including uninterrupted application upgrade for high availability.

The blog, Application Service Version-Oracle Tuxedo 12c, includes a video with a live demo and information about how you can use Application Service Version Feature to plan, develop, test, scale, and deploy Oracle Tuxedo applications.

Coherence

A number of presentations from the Coherence Special Interest Group meeting that took in London in November, 2012 were recorded and have been uploaded to YouTube. Topics include information about how to take advantage of capabilities like:

  • Using patterns for effectively integrating Oracle Coherence and Oracle’s Event Processing engine to perform distributed event processing, based on real-world experience
  • Techniques for developing applications that require evolvable data for continuous availability and operation
  • How Oracle Coherence can be used to perform pivot-table like queries using the Coherence GroupAggregator
  • How the Oracle Coherence network architecture benefits from Exabus’ MessageBus API

Visit the blog, Oracle Coherence Special Interest Group Presentations Published, for links to the YouTube videos.

Let us know what you think

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Thursday Mar 14, 2013

Cloud Application Foundation—Ease of Use

The theme this week is ease of use. Cloud Application Foundation offerings are designed with ease of integration and ease of use in mind.

The WebLogic Server blog talks about why you should consider upgrading to WebLogic Server 12 c (WLS) and how easy it is to upgrade. Thousands of customers have already upgraded to WLS 12 c so the upgrade path is tested and well understood. In addition, Oracle provides powerful documentation and upgrade assistant tooling including WebLogic Smart Upgrade, Upgrade Assistant and JDeveloper Migrators. Check out the brief description below and, for more information, visit the WebLogic blog and sign up for the webcast, It Pays to Upgrade to Oracle WebLogic Server.

This week’s Tuxedo blog gives an overview of Oracle SALT, the Web services gateway for Tuxedo. It discusses the SALT Web service architecture; some of the benefits it provides, and links to a demo that shows how easy it is to call an existing Web service from Tuxedo. Check out the description in the Tuxedo section below and read the full Tuxedo blog by clicking here.

#  #  #

WebLogic Server 12c

Is it time to upgrade your application server?
There are a number of reasons you may want to consider upgrading your application server to WebLogic Server 12c. You are an upgrade candidate if you are:  

  • Running Mission-Critical Applications
  • Running Web Applications with Session Management requirements
  • Running Low Latency Applications
  • Consolidating your Data Center
  • Consolidating and eventually going to create a private Cloud infrastructure
  • Using Oracle Database RAC

WebLogic Server 12c provides an on ramp to a strategic platform where new technical innovations are rapidly coming online. With WebLogic Server, you can seamlessly move from small implementations to the largest enterprise deployments while maintaining quality of service and manageability.

For more information about upgrading to WebLogic Server 12c

Blog: Are you using the application server that best serves your changing business needs? Maybe it’s time to consider an upgrade?

Webcast: It pays to Upgrade to Oracle WebLogic Server, March 27 at 10 am PT, 1 pm ET

#  #  #

Oracle Tuxedo

Invoking an existing Web service is easy with Oracle Service Architecture Leveraging Tuxedo (SALT), a standards-based, bi-directional Web Services gateway.

Oracle SALT provides reliable, transparent access to existing Oracle Tuxedo service as standard Web services. Oracle Tuxedo applications can also call external Web services as Tuxedo services with the gateway transforming the call using SOAP over HTTP protocol. This provides widespread access to applications using Web services without having to use Web services specific coding.  It also provides interoperability among distributed applications that span diverse hardware and software platforms.  

For more information

Blog: Calling an existing Web service from Tuxedo is easy—See for yourself

Let us know what you think

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Tuesday Mar 05, 2013

Cloud Application Foundation--The Integrated Story

Welcome

Welcome to the Oracle Cloud Application Foundation (CAF) blog- a place where we plan to share information and updates about Oracle’s Cloud platform which includes WebLogic Server, Tuxedo and Coherence in-memory data grid.

In these pages you will find interviews with technical experts, developers and industry leaders about technologies relevant to you. You will also find links to all of the CAF social media assets so you can easily view new topics and navigate to those that interest you most.

Even more importantly, it’s a place where we hope to hear from you. We would like to get your thoughts in the comments section about topics you would like to hear more (or less) about and any questions and suggestion you may have about the CAF portfolio.

The focus for this week’s blog is Cloud Application Foundation—The Integrated Story.

We hope you enjoy it. Check back often for new content and make sure to tell us what you think!

Cloud Application Foundation--The Integrated Story

So, what exactly is Oracle Cloud Application Foundation? How does it fit into the bigger picture?

The Oracle Cloud Application Foundation is the foundational infrastructure of Fusion Middleware which is a broad portfolio covering not only the core application server infrastructure in Cloud Application Foundation, but the development tools, enterprise management, identity management, service integration, data integration, business intelligence management, and user engagement.

Fusion Middleware is a complete, open, integrated, best in class solution that can be run on premise and in the cloud.

 

What technologies are included in CAF?

Drilling down into Cloud Application Foundation, you will see the fundamental, enabling technologies:

  • Virtual Assembly Builder
  • WebLogic Server
  • Coherence
  • Tuxedo
  • Traffic Director/Web Tier

 

WebLogic Server is the #1 application server across conventional and cloud environments. It provides the highest performance and scalability, dramatically simplifies deployment and management, and accelerates time to market with a modern, lightweight development platform. WebLogic server is designed to help you seamlessly move into the public or private cloud with an open, standards-based platform. It’s optimized to run your solutions for Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE); Oracle Fusion Middleware; and Oracle Fusion Applications. WebLogic is enhanced and integrated with transformational technologies such as Java EE 6, Oracle’sActive GridLink for RAC, Oracle Traffic Director, and Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder. Learn more.

Oracle Coherence, the industry leading in-memory data grid, provides fast and reliable access to frequently used data. Coherence adds in a layer of in-memory capability between your back end resources and the database allowing you to move data that your applications are accessing into memory close to the applications.

It can provide significant performance, scalability and reliability benefits due to being a clustered peer-peer in-memory data grid.  Common uses beyond caching include buffering and scaling access to backend data sources like databases and mainframes and doing in-memory queries and compute of data stored in the in-memory data grid.
Learn more.

Oracle Tuxedo Oracle Tuxedo is the C/C++/Cobol application server of choice, running mission-critical applications in conventional and cloud deployments. It is deeply integrated with WebLogic Server enabling bi-directional transactional communication between Java applications and C/C++/Cobol applications. Further, there are a variety of common use cases with Coherence as an in-memory data grid integrated with Tuxedo. Learn more.

Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder makes it possible for administrators to quickly configure and provision entire multi-tier application topologies onto virtualized and cloud environments. It helps you automate, provision, and be much more agile in rolling out new applications spanning many virtual machines, treating them as a single deployment and management blueprint. This makes lifecycle operations for these virtual machine assemblies - such as deployment, administering, patching and upgrading - significantly easier. Learn more.

Oracle Traffic Director/Web Tier is a fast, scalable layer-7 software load balancer that you can deploy as the reliable entry point for all HTTP and HTTPS traffic to application infrastructure in your network. By design, it is deeply integrated with Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, complementing that engineered cloud solution. Learn more.

One of the key aspects of the Cloud Application Foundation is that it is not only the foundation of Oracle Fusion Middleware but it also the core platform underlying the Oracle Cloud at cloud.oracle.com as well as the key foundational cloud infrastructure for Exalogic Elastic Cloud, Oracle’s engineered system for cloud deployments.

Watch here for regular updates and blogs about Cloud Application Foundation, WebLogic, Tuxedo and Coherence.

Are you considering cloud deployment on premise,  in the public cloud or in a hybrid model?
Have you determined what cloud infrastructure solution you plan to use?
Are you integrating multiple components for your cloud solution or getting a best of breed integrated solution?

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Related resources:

Many customers are coming to Cloud Application Foundation from other solutions or earlier generations of Oracle technologies including Oracle Internet Application Server. Are you an iAS customer who would like to learn more about WebLogic upgrade paths, tools and best practices?

If so, Click here to register for the webcast: Benefits, Strategies, and Best Practices for upgrading to Oracle WebLogic Server

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Tuesday Apr 24, 2012

Oracle WebLogic Server 12c Specialization Exams have arrived

Enablement 2.0 Get Specialized!

Be one of the very first to become an Oracle WebLogic Server 12c Specialist!
Check out the WebLogic Server Knowledge Zone and go to the Specialization criteria to learn how you can become an WebLogic Server 12c Specialized Partner.
Pass the following assessment tests and exam to meet the competency criteria:

· Oracle WebLogic Server 12c Sales Specialist Assessment

· Oracle WebLogic Server 12c PreSales Specialist Assessment

· (1Z1-599) Oracle WebLogic Server 12c Essentials Exam

Go to the OPN Competency Center to access the Specialist Guided Leaning Paths to get the product information that can help you pass the tests:

· Oracle WebLogic Server 12c Sales Specialist GLP

· Oracle WebLogic Server 12c PreSales Specialist GLP

· Oracle WebLogic Server 12c Implementation Specialist GLP

(1Z1-599) Oracle WebLogic Server 12c Essentials Exam is available in beta testing as of April 21st, 2012.
You can get a free voucher for this exam by sending an email to opn-edu_ww@oracle.com. The free vouchers will be given out on a first come first served basis.


For More Information

Contact Us

Please direct any inquiries you might have to Oracle Partner Enablement team at
opn-edu_ww@oracle.com.
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This blog covers the concepts, architecture, practices, technologies, and products that provide foundational infrastructure for the cloud.

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