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Announcing Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1

Will Lyons
Senior Director, Application Development Product Management

Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 (12cR2) is now generally available.  The release was highlighted in Larry Ellison's Oracle OpenWorld keynote Sunday night, and was formally announced today in Inderjeet Singh's Oracle OpenWorld General Session and in a press release.  Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 is available for download on the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) at the Oracle Fusion Middleware Download page, and the Oracle WebLogic Server Download page.   The product documentation is posted along with all documentation for Oracle Fusion Middleware 12.2.1, which has also been made available.   

Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 is the biggest WebLogic Server product release in many years.    We intend to provide extensive detail about its new features in videos and blogs posted here over the coming weeks.   Consider this note an initial summary on some of the major new feature areas:

  • Multitenancy
  • Continuous Availability
  • Developer Productivity and Portability to the Cloud

Multitenancy

WebLogic Server multitenancy enables users to consolidate applications and reduce cost of ownership, while maintaining application isolation and increasing flexibility and agility.   Using multitenancy, different applications (or tenants) can share the same server JVM (or cluster), and the same WebLogic domain, while maintaining isolation from each other by running in separate domain partitions.  

A domain partition is an isolated subset of a WebLogic Server domain, and its servers.  Domain partitions act like microcontainers, encapsulating applications and the resources (datasources, JMS servers, etc) they depend on.  Partitions are isolated from each other, so that applications in one partition do not disrupt applications running in other partitions in the same server or domain. An amazing set of features provide these degrees of isolation.   We will elaborate on them here over time.

Though partitions are isolated, they share many resources - the physical system they run on or the VM, the operating system, the JVM, and WebLogic Server libraries.  Because they share resources, they use fewer resources.   Customers can consolidate applications from separate domains into fewer domains, running in fewer JVMs in fewer physical systems.  Consolidation means fewer entities to manage, reduced resource consumption, and lower cost of ownership.

Partitions are easy to use.  Applications can be deployed to partitions without changes, and we will be providing tools to enable users to migrate existing applications to partitions.   Partitions can be exported from one domain and imported into other domains, simplifying migration of applications across development, test and production environments, and across private and public clouds. Partitions increase application portability and agility, giving development, DevOps, test and production teams more flexibility in how they develop, release and manage production applications.   

WebLogic Server's new multitenancy features are integrated with innovations introduced across the Oracle JDK, Oracle Coherence, Oracle Traffic Director, and Oracle Fusion Middleware and are closely aligned with Oracle Database Pluggable Databases.   Over time you will see multitenancy being leveraged more broadly in the Oracle Cloud and Oracle Fusion Middleware. Multitenancy represents a significant new innovation for WebLogic Server and for Oracle.

Continuous Availability

Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 introduces new features to minimize planned and unplanned downtime in multi data center configurations.    Many WebLogic Server customers have implemented disaster recovery architectures to provide application availability and business continuity.   WebLogic Server's new continuous availability features will make it easier to create, optimize and manage such configurations, while increasing application availability.  They include the following:

  • Zero-downtime patching provides an orchestration framework that controls the application of patches across clusters to maintain application availability during patching. 
  • Live partition migration enables migration of partitions across clusters within the same domain, effectively moving applications from one cluster to another, again while maintaining application availability during the process. 
  • Oracle Traffic Director provides high performance, high availability load balancing, and enables optimized traffic routing and load balancing during patching and partition migration operations. 
  • Cross-site transaction recovery enables automated transaction recovery across active-active configurations when a site fails. 
  • Oracle Coherence 12.2.1 federated caching allows users to replicate data grid updates across clusters and sites to maintain data grid consistency and availability in multi data center configurations.
  • Oracle Site Guard enables the automation and reliable orchestration of failover and failback operations associated with site failures and site switchovers.

These features, combined with existing availability features in WebLogic Server and Coherence, give users powerful capabilities to meet requirements for business continuity, making WebLogic Server and Coherence the application infrastructure of choice for highly available enterprise environments.   We intend to augment these capabilities over time for use in Oracle Cloud and Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Developer Productivity and Portability to the Cloud

Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 enables developers to be more productive, and enables portability of applications to the Cloud.    To empower the individual developer, Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 supports Java SE 8 and the full Java Enterprise Edition 7 (Java EE 7) platform, including new APIs for developer innovation.   We're providing a new lightweight Quick Installer distribution for developers which be easily patched for consistency with test and production systems.  We've improved deployment performance, and updated IDE support provided in Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle NetBeans.   Improvement for WebLogic Server developers are paired with dramatic new innovations for building Oracle Coherence applications using standard Java SE 8 lambdas and streams.

Team development and DevOps tools complement the features provided above, providing portability between on-premise environments and the Oracle Cloud.   For example, Eclipse- and Maven-based development and build environments can easily be pushed to the Developer Cloud Service in the Oracle Cloud, to enable team application development in a shared, continuous integration environment. Applications developed in this manner can be deployed to traditional WebLogic Server domains, or to WebLogic Server partitions, and soon to Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 running in the Java Cloud Service.   New cloud management and portability features, such as comprehensive REST management APIs, automated elasticity for dynamic clusters, partition management, and continued Docker certification provide new tools for flexible deployment and management control of applications in production both on premise and in the Oracle Cloud.  

All these and many other features make Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1 a compelling release with technical innovation and business value for customers building Java applications.   Please download the product, review the documentation and evaluate it for yourself.  And be sure check back here for more information from our team.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 4 )
  • Anthony Vanelverdinghe Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    I just tried installing the Quick Installer distribution, but found the README.txt to be unclear at one point. Specifically, step 1 says "Setup JAVA_HOME for the target platform.", so I assumed the installer would simply use this as the JDK directory.

    However, the installer actually infers the JDK directory by inspecting the "java.home" system property (and actually doesn't seem to make use of JAVA_HOME at all, since I've been able to successfully complete installation without having JAVA_HOME set). So when executing the command:

    $ java -jar fmw_12.2.1.0.0_wls_quick.jar

    the installer will fail as follows if the "java" of the JRE comes first on the PATH:

    "This installer must be executed using a Java Development Kit (JDK)

    but C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.8.0_65 is not a valid JDK."

    I believe this situation is quite common, since a JRE installation sets its directory to be first on the system-wide PATH. While JDK installations must be added manually, and are typically added to the user-specific PATH (which always comes after the system-wide PATH).

    There are several options to address this issue. Either:

    1) the installer should run with any Java SE 8 runtime (i.e. also JREs), and use the JAVA_HOME environment variable as the JDK directory (instead of the "java.home" system property)

    2) the README.txt should be updated to note that the installer must be run with the "java" that is part of the JDK installation denoted by JAVA_HOME. There are 2 ways to do so:

    2a) have the JAVA_HOME JDK directory before any other JDK/JRE on the PATH. However, I don't like this option, because I may not update my JDK installation with every security release, thus making my PC vulnerable.

    2b) specify the full path to the appropriate "java" executable. This is actually what is used later in the README.txt, i.e. "%JAVA_HOME%\bin\java.exe". However, if the installer uses other files by depending on the PATH, this will result in files from the JRE installation being used. This in turn might lead to errors.

    In my opinion, the best option is by far the first one. It solely depends on the JAVA_HOME environment variable, and doesn't require changing the PATH.

    Thanks in advance for incorporating this feedback in a future version of the distribution.


  • Nelson Matias Thursday, October 29, 2015

    Hello, very good post.

    Do you have any idea when Weblogic 12.2.1 will be available in Java Cloud Service? Any roadmap for that?


  • Shahad Al Alam Sunday, December 20, 2015

    good and helpful post,

    Thank you a lot.


  • Ramesh Kapa Sunday, January 31, 2016

    Nice post,but one question about JDK 8 parallel streams,

    The following is the excerpt from one of 12.1.3 blogs

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    At this time, WebLogic Server 12.1.3 does not support applications using fork/join and the parallel streams features so avoid using them when building WLS applications. The reason for this restriction is that the threads used by the fork/join thread pool will not be WebLogic Server managed threads. Any of the work performed in these threads may not be able to make use of WebLogic Server or Java EE facilities because the state of these threads, including security and transaction state, may not be created properly. Further, these threads will not be controlled by WebLogic Server Work Manager thread management facilities, possibly resulting in excessive thread usage.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Is the above situation remedied in this version (12.2.1)?


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