Oracle Releases Cloud Application Foundation

Oracle today announced the 12c release of its Cloud Application Foundation, an integrated middleware platform for computing across conventional and cloud environments. This release includes a major update of the platform's primary components: Oracle's WebLogic 12c app server (v12.1.2) and Oracle's Coherence 12c in-memory data grid (v12.1.2). It also integrates Oracle's Enterprise Manager 12c R3 to provide the platform's management component, and Oracle Database 12c; both of these updates were released on July 1.

"This really is the start of a major 12c era, so to speak, that is centered on cloud capabilities," Mike Lehmann, Oracle's VP of product management for the Cloud Application Foundation product, told ADTmag. The "c" in these product release numbers stands for "cloud," he said in an earlier interview.

"Era" may not be an overstatement. Oracle also announced 12c updates in its developer tools family, including, the Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF), the JDeveloper integrated development environment (IDE), and Oracle's Enterprise Pack for Eclipse. All three are part of the Oracle Fusion Middleware product group, and all support the Cloud Application Foundation 12c release.

Oracle's Cloud Application Foundation is the company's next-gen app infrastructure, billed as the world's first and only engineered system for cloud computing.

"The big focus in this release is around our cloud capabilities," said Lehmann, "both on the runtime, with dynamic clusters and the Database 12c integration, and in the development environment, which the update of the developer tools. But also in the operational environment, taking advantage of Enterprise Manager and its operational efficiencies and management capabilities."

Among the major feature upgrades in this release, Lehmann points out, is WebLogic's ability to utilize dynamic clustering. "One of the big reasons people go to the cloud so that they can adjust based on workloads," Lehmann said. "This feature provides the ability to declaratively set the elasticity for WebLogic clusters, so that you can scale out or scale in the environment."

This version of the WebLogic Server is also integrated with Oracle Database 12c, which brings support for pluggable databases and multi-tenancy to the platform. This feature allows users to isolate their data and tenants within a container DB for improved efficiencies of things like patching and upgrades. Developers can have WebLogic choose dynamically which pluggable database their app attaches to, Lehmann explained. "It brings the tenancy model to the application layer within WebLogic Server," he said.

One focus of the Cloud Application Foundation 12c release, Lehmann said, was the "developer experience." WebLogic 12c provides complete support for Apache Maven, HTML5, Java, and WebSockets. It also provides declarative JSON or XML-based access to enterprise data sources via REST through Oracle TopLink data services.

"When people think of 'cloud,' they think of getting their applications to market faster and taking advantage of modern technologies," Lehmann said.

WebLogic 12c represents a major update of an existing product; the Coherence update is the first 12c release of that product. It provides new availability and development features, and integration with the company's middleware stack (particularly WebLogic Server). 

Coherence is the company's in-memory data grid or caching solution. (Putting data in-memory improves performance because it's in memory close to the application. It's also considered more reliable and better for scalability.) Among other improvements, this version solves the "stale cache problem," which results when the data in a cache becomes out of date, by offering real-time availability of database changes automatically through the Coherence GoldenGate HotCache. It also aims to improve cluster lifecycle management by leveraging the Oracle WebLogic Management Framework with Managed Coherence Servers. Coherence 12c also comes with Live Events, which is a simplified event processing platform that adapts to spikes in user demand automatically with dynamic proxy thread pooling.

IDC analyst Al Hilwa sees this rather sweeping announcement as the latest in an integrated wave of products from the Redwood Shores, CA-based company.

"Integrated is the operative word here," Hilwa told ADTmag in an e-mail. "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…"

Oracle's ADF 12c, JDeveloper 12c, and Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 12c are now available for download from the Oracle Web site.

More details about the Cloud Application Foundation 12c release are also available here. The company has scheduled an official launch event for July 31, with keynotes by Lehmann and Oracle execs Cameron Purdy and Ajay Patel.



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].