Posted on October 27, 2015 by Shawn Ruff
Tags: OOW15, Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle EM, WebLogic, 12c
The first day of Oracle OpenWorld 2015 brought a lot of new announcements, but I think one of the most significant is the release of WebLogic Server 12c Release 2 (12.2.1). This release is more than just some feature enhancements and bug fixes, it actually represents a significant architectural shift for the WebLogic Server and Oracle Fusion Middleware Platform as a whole. With the release of WebLogic Server 12c R2, Oracle has also released the 12c R2 versions of many of their other core Fusion Middleware (FMW) components (including WebCenter), which are certified to run on WebLogic Server 12c R2 - in the past newer versions of FMW components typically lagged behind with certification for running on the latest version of WebLogic Server, so this by itself is a major shift.
The enhancements made to WLS 12c R2 focus on availability, manageability, support for modern standards and technologies, cloud enablement and portability - the list below highlights some of these enhancements:
- Multitenancy Support - this has been a long awaited addition to the WebLogic Server platform, which provides the ability to support multiple tenants within a single WebLogic domain. In the past, if we needed isolation or separation of applications or groups of applications, we needed to create separate Domains, which meant unnecessary replication of Domain wide configurations and and typically underutilization of resources. With multitenancy support, we can now create domain partitions which provide isolation from other domain partitions running in the domain - a domain partition is essentially a container within the WLS domain in which you can run applications instances as well as other resources required within the partition. Partitions will still have access to the domain, JVM, WebLogic Server, and operating system, but will maintain isolation of application data, configurations (such as security realms, work managers, data sources and JMS queues), and runtime traffic. Multitenancy support is included with WebLogic Server Enterprise Edition and Suite and extends out to WebLogic Server, Coherence, Oracle Traffic Director, and Fusion Middleware Control. At this time Multitenancy Support is only available for Java EE applications, and is not supported by Oracle Fusion Middleware components, such as ADF, Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle Service Bus, etc.
- Continuous Availability - extends the Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) support for WebLogic Server to provide a completely integrated solution with WebLogic Server, Coherence, Traffic Director, SiteGuard, and the Oracle Database for spanning application workloads across multiple geographically dispersed data centers. Some of the key features include Zero Downtime Patching, Multitenant live resource group migration, Oracle Traffic Director integration, Oracle SiteGuard, Coherence Federated Caching and GoldenGate HotCache, and Automated cross-domain transaction recovery (across domains and/or sites). These continuous availability enhancements provide automation to avoid human error and risk, and enable faster and more efficient failover/switchover capabilities to provide increased application and data availability, transaction recovery and data integrity. Supported MAA Architectures include:
- Active-Active Application Tier with Active-Passive Database Tier
- Active-Passive Application Tier with Active-Passive Database Tier
- Active-Active Stretch Cluster with Active Passive Database Tier
- Full Java EE 7 Support - WebLogic Server 12c R2 is a fully compatible Java EE 7 implementation, which provides availability of all the API's and features of Java EE 7 to simplify application development using lightweight web-based protocols, such as REST, WebSocket, and Server-Sent Events. Additional features and specifications supported now include JSR-352 (Batch Application Processing), JSR-236 (Concurrent Managed Objects), Default Data Source, JSR-343 (Support for Simplified JMS 2.0), JSR-322 (JCA 1.7 support), JSR-345 (EJB 3.2 support), Clustering and HA for WebSocket 1.1, gzip support, and Java EE 7 Security Standards.
- JDK 8 Certified - WebLogic Server 12c R2 is certified for use with JDK 8 Update 40 or later.
- Docker Certified - WebLogic Server 12c R2 is certified to run within a Docker container - this provides the ability quickly and efficiently create clustered and non-clustered WebLogic Server domains on a single host OS or virtual machine (support for multiple hosts coming down the road). Along with the certification, Oracle now provides Docker files and scripts for building WebLogic Server images (extend the existing Oracle Linux images) and are available on GitHub.
- Runtime Improvements - WebLogic Server 12c R2 includes numerous enhancements focused on improving the performance, availability, scalability, and reliability of applications that are utilizing new features of the Oracle Database, running in multi-data center architectures, or on Exalogic. These enhancements cover deployment, JDBC data sources, JTA, messaging, Policy Classloader, RESTful Web Services, among others.
- Manageability Improvements - WebLogic Server 12c R2 includes many new features that simplify the management, monitoring and configuration of domains and applications, including elasticity support for dynamic clusters, resource group templates and overrides, named concurrent edit sessions, REST resources for WLS management, enhancements to FMW Control, WebLogic Diagnostic Framework (WLDF), Security, Logging, and WLST, zero downtime patching, and resource consumption management.
In addition to the enhancements and additions to WebLogic Server 12c R2, there are also a number of features and functionality that have been deprecated and are no longer available, these include:
- WebLogic Full Client
- The use of Log4j as an alternative to Java Logging
- webLogic.Admin utility
- Username and Password in the boot.properties file
- Maven 11x Plug-in
- JSP tags for XML processing
- CacheFilter API
- JAX-RPC API
- Jersey 1.18 (JAX-RS RI) Client API
- URL Format for REST Management
- WebLogic Server/Spring Integration Features
The enhancements and additional capabilities available with WebLogic Server 12c R2 (12.2.1) take an already best in class Java EE application server to the next level. This includes additional support for new and emerging specifications, standards and technologies, ability to more efficiently isolate and manage applications and resources, and provide maximum availability of applications and data. The good news is that not only can our custom Java applications take advantage of these new capabilities, but many of the Oracle FMW components, such as Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle Service Bus, Oracle BPM Suite, WebCenter Content and Portal, Forms & Reports, and Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition can also reap the benefits available in this latest release of WebLogic Server. The 12.2.1 version of WebLogic Server and Fusion Middleware are available for download now, and we encourage you to take it for a test drive, so that you can experience these benefits for yourself.
-Shawn Ruff, PMP, OCP. Director, FMW Practice at Mythics, Inc.