Thursday Aug 22, 2013

CAF 12c – Best practices to make you productive

With the Cloud Application Foundation 12c release out, you can expect an ongoing supply of best practices, tips and tricks, new feature highlights and more goodies.

Let’s check out what new resources are available to get your productivity up to new levels with WebLogic and Coherence paired up with your favorite Developer Tools.


More Productivity

Great whitepaper by David Felcy provides best practices on planning a successful Coherence deployment. It discusses what you should consider in terms of the JVM, monitoring tools and underlying OS when migrating, as well as planning for unexpected hardware failures and much more

Download your free white paper now to continue reading.

More Integration

In his most recent blog, Tim Middleton talks about running Managed Coherence Servers in WebLogic Server 12c. The functionality allows end users to build a new archive type (Grid Archive aka GAR), which can be deployed and managed via standard WebLogic Server best practices. Developers can now streamline their build processes to generate GARs. Operations departments can now standardize deployment of Coherence and Coherence applications in the test and production environments. 

Check out this video to learn more about the integration

And OEPE 12c (12.1.2) now also supports Coherence Grid Archives (GAR) application development and deployment to WebLogic Server 12c (12.1.2). It can be deployed to WebLogic Server 12c as a stand-alone module or bundled in an EAR project. Check out this tutorial to learn more about the various GAR features available in OEPE.

Cool New Capabilities

Well, this one also offers a huge productivity boost for administrators, but it’s also one of my favorite new capabilities in WebLogic 12.1.2 – Dynamic Clusters. Read the blog by Dave Cabelus which talks about how we’ve made it really easy to initially roll out a new cluster, and scale it out.  

Dave also recorded a great video to show you what it looks like

But there are many more cool capabilities in WebLogic 12.1.2. To get the full scoop, check out the new technical whitepaper by Will Lyons covering WebLogic Suite.   It is available here.

And More Goodies

Don't forget to join us at Oracle Open World for more sessions and technical details!

Here are some suggested sessions for Cloud Application Foundation:

1. Focus On Cloud Application Foundation

2. Focus On Oracle Coherence
3. Focus On Oracle Java Cloud Service
4. Focus On Oracle Traffic Director
5. Focus On Oracle Tuxedo
6. Focus on Oracle WebLogic Server

Thursday Aug 08, 2013

Oracle Cloud Application Foundation 12c – Viewers Loved the Content!

On July 31st Oracle launched Cloud Application Foundation 12c, including WebLogic Server 12.1.2 and Coherence 12.1.2. Watch the On Demand Replay.

Cloud Application Foundation helps customers deliver next-generation applications, such as mobile applications, with a mission-critical cloud platform. Extensive investment in this release in native cloud management helps simplify operations, while for developers, the new release offers a modern development platform and integrated tools to increase productivity and accelerate time to market.

So what did viewers love most? Our breakout sessions! 100% of responders rated the presentations very good or better, 75% rated them excellent. Thanks to our viewers for this incredible support!

Left – Mike Lehmann, Vice President of Product Management, CAF

Right – Will Lyons, Director of Product Management, WebLogic Server

The four breakout sessions covered detailed discussions of the new 12c capabilities as well as four demos and multiple customer testimonials.

Release Highlights

· Oracle WebLogic Server dynamic clusters for cloud elasticity, plus deep integration with Oracle Database 12c, and convergence of the Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Coherence management framework to drive operational efficiency.

· Oracle Coherence integration with Oracle GoldenGate HotCache for real-time data cache updates.

· Maven and WebSocket support across the platform for innovative application development.

· Oracle Enterprise Manager and developer tools—including Oracle JDeveloper 12c, Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 12c, and Oracle Application Development Framework for web and mobile development—to support the new release.

To see even more demos and feature drill downs, follow our YouTube channels:

Oracle WebLogic Server YouTube channel

Oracle Coherence YouTube channel

The three-hour event also highlights multiple Oracle Cloud Application Foundation customers and industry experts, such as Simon Haslam, an Oracle ACE Director with over 17 years’ experience of using Oracle products, serving for the 5th year as Chair of the Application Server and Middleware SIG for the UK Oracle User Group.

Live Chat Highlights

The live chat sessions were highly interactive and here are some of the great questions asked by viewers:

Question

Answer

Q: Does the support of dynamic clusters in 12.1.2 mean i have to change my existing cluster configurations?

A: No, existing "configured" clusters (traditional clusters) continue to be supported and will continue to be supported. No config change required. Dynamic clusters is a new, additional, option.

Q: What happens to deployed apps when changing (adding more) server in a dynamic cluster? Are they copied and deployed to the new servers?

A: Yes. At runtime, Dynamic Clusters are the same as configured clusters. If you add a new cluster member, the applications that were deployed to the cluster are deployed according to deployment mode that was used (staged/no-stage/external stage).

Q: Why did you change the numbering scheme of Coherence releases? Does this mean it is available only with WebLogic Server now?

A: Good question! First, I want to emphasize that Coherence is and will be available to run standalone without WLS. You will hear of several ways in which Coherence is integrated with WLS, but Coherence continues to be run standalone or with other app servers. This numbering scheme change from Coherence 3.x to 12c (12.1.2) indicates Coherence's role in the Cloud Application Foundation. Coherence is now being more and more integrated in the full stack of Oracle middleware and apps.

Q: Does Coherence & WLS fall under the same license?

A: Coherence (Enterprise Edition) is included in the WebLogic Suite license. Coherence Enterprise Edition, sold as a standalone product, also includes the rights to use the WebLogic Management Framework for managing Managed Coherence Servers.

Q: Can I have both JDeveloper 11g and 12c on the same machine

A: Yes you can have both of them running at the same time as long as they are installed in separate directories.

Q: Wich version of ADF is supported on WebLogic 12c (12.1.2)?

A: ADF 12.1.2 is certified with WLS 12.1.2.

Q: Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g (classic domain) contains Form, Report, Discoverer. Is there any plan to certify this product on WLS12c or is there another version for OFM?

A: Forms and Reports will be released as part of a future Fusion Middleware 12c release.

Q: Is your Maven support version-specific? If so, what is the version support?

A: 3.0.4

Q: I use Maven for my builds and dependency management, does ADF support Maven?

A: Yes, a focus area of CAF 12c is Maven enablement across all products. ADF libraries can now be managed in a Maven Repository, an ADF archetype is available for project layouts, and both JDeveloper and OEPE provide support for Maven-based ADF development.

If you missed the live event, you can catch the On Demand Replay.

To download CAF 12c assets visit our website

Visit Oracle Technology Network for further technical details, downloads, and documentation.

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Friday Jul 26, 2013

Oracle Cloud Application Foundation Customers Share their stories! Join July 31st Launch to hear more

From advanced scientific research to secure digital interactions, from telecommunications to ocean carriers, Cloud Application Foundation customers are reaping the benefits of a Flexible, Proven and Integrated Cloud Platform.

In the past couple of weeks we’ve shared stories from some of our customers that were instrumental to making the Cloud Application Foundation 12c release possible. Join us for the July 31st launch event to learn more about this release.

These customers and many others have helped shape the future of the CAF Platform by participating in our WebLogic and Coherence Customer Advisory Boards and providing ongoing feedback to our Product Management team. You will get to hear some of them speak at the upcoming July 31st launch event.


So how are they using Cloud Application Foundation?

CERN is world-renowned for their scientific research, operating the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter - the fundamental particles. CERN utilizes WebLogic Server as its strategic platform for all developed software, which means support for Administration, Engineering and the Accelerator Center. Watch the video

Gemalto is the leader in making digital interactions secure and easy. Gemalto’s telecommunication business unit is using WebLogic for their web-based applications, business logic, JMS, and web services. Watch the video

OOCL is one of the world's largest integrated international container transportation, logistics and terminal companies. As one of Hong Kong's most recognized global brands, OOCL provides customers with fully-integrated logistics and containerized transportation services, with a network that encompasses Asia, Europe, North America and Australasia. OOCL engaged with Oracle on a multiple-year project to replace core ERP systems. They utilize Oracle WebLogic Suite, Coherence, RAC DB, TopLink, and Oracle Enterprise Manager to address their modern IT challenges. Read the Blog

TURKCELL is the leading communications and technology Company in Turkey, with 34.9 million subscribers and a leading regional player, with market leadership in five of the nine countries in which it operates with over 69 million subscribers. Turkcell's main business functions are CRM , Value Added Services (VAS), Billing/Charging and Network operations managing thousands of user sessions and millions of business transaction every day with 4000+ operating systems, 150+ Oracle databases in production, and 1700+ Oracle WebLogic Server instances. Recently, Turkcell has adopted in-memory computing with Oracle Coherence to increase performance of core applications (achieve more transactions per second), and offload backend data. Read the Blog

Join us for the July 31st launch event to hear from more Cloud Application Foundation customers about their success with this platform.

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.

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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.

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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.

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