Oracle WebLogic Server 12c To Feature Cloud, Java EE 6 and Java 7 Support

Oracle on Thursday previewed a major update of its WebLogic app server. Oracle WebLogic Server 12c is being billed as the corner stone of the company's Cloud Application Foundation and a core component of its Oracle Fusion Middleware product line. This version is designed to allow developers to leverage the features and capabilities of the Java Platform Standard Edition 7 (Java SE 7) and the Java Platform Enterprise Edition 6 (Java EE 6), the company said.

This edition is the first major update of the app server since the WebLogic 11g, released in 2009. There's a big emphasis in this release on moving Oracle customers smoothly to the cloud. In fact, Mike Lehmann, senior director of Oracle's product management group, pointed out, the "c" in WebLogic Server 12c stands for "cloud."

"One of the key themes behind this release is how we're enabling our customers to get into the cloud," Lehmann told ADTmag, "both with their existing, conventional infrastructures in their data centers, and the same infrastructures we're providing on our optimized, engineered Exalogic Elastic Cloud."

The Exalogic Elastic Cloud is a component of Oracle's Cloud Application Foundation, the company's next-gen app infrastructure. (Oracle calls it "the world‘s first and only engineered system for cloud computing.") It combines the Exalogic cloud and the WebLogic Server with Tuxedo for C/C++/COBOL, Oracle's Coherence in-memory data grid, the JRockit and Hotspot Java VMs, Oracle Enterprise Manager and the Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder.

WebLogic Server 12c is optimized to run as a high performance, mission critical, elastic cloud infrastructure on the Exalogic Cloud, Lehmann said. The Exalogic Cloud is "tested and tuned" to provide the best foundation for Java applications, Oracle applications, and other enterprise apps, he said.

"This is the infrastructure we believe our customers need to build out cloud solutions," Lehmann said.

This release is part of Oracle's Java Cloud Service, Lehmann explained, the company's enterprise platform for developing, deploying, and managing business-critical Java EE apps. The Java Cloud Service supports development and deployment from multiple Java-based integrated development environments (IDEs), including Oracle's own JDeveloper, its open-source NetBeans IDE and the Eclipse environment.

"Oracle has made an important strategic decision to begin offering its software as a cloud service for its customers," observed IDC analyst Al Hilwa. "To do that Oracle has had to invest a fair amount of R&D into WebLogic to support cloud deployment and management options. I see Oracle beginning to offer some of these services to many of its customers as add-on capacity, not as replacement, in the early days. We expect midsize enterprises to consider cloud application platforms more aggressively than larger enterprises over the next year or two."

Java really gets the spotlight in this release; it's the first version of the app server to be fully certified for Java EE 6 platform, and Oracle is promoting its ability to leverage Java SE 7. Hilwa sees these enhancements as good news for Java developers.

"This is an important milestone taken in context of Oracle's overall stewardship of Java," he said. "Adoption of Java EE typically moves slowly in enterprises, but offering a certified implementation of the standard framework begins to move the process of long-term migration along. The certified implementation of the standard is important, but more important is the added set of capabilities and integration across the stack that Oracle is providing in this release. The integration with the database and RAC in particular is an impressive showcase of the value of an integrated stack."

Among the new tools in this release is the Virtual Assembly Builder, which wraps the typically dispersed components of an enterprise Java application (Web server, traffic management, app server, messaging) into a virtual container that can be managed as a single unit.

Another new tool is the Oracle Traffic Director, a software load-balancer-traffic-management solution. The Director adds high-performance and high availability traffic routing capabilities, dynamically configurable caching, load-balancing, and proxy support for HTTP-based applications, Lehmann said.

WebLogic Server 12c also supports dependency management and a uniform build process through an updated plug-in for Apache Maven, open-source framework and repository for building and managing any Java-based project.

This release also comes with improved integration between the app server and Oracle's Real Application Clusters (RAC), which can auto detect and correct database node failures; new disaster recovery capabilities designed to allow customers to store data in a file store or a database; improved application security with version 1.2 of Transport Layer Security (the successor to SSL); and a "seamless upgrade from Oracle WebLogic Server 11g," according to the company.

Oracle WebLogic Server 12c will be available within the next few weeks, the company said in a press release.


About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].