Since I work with WebLogic, 18 years now already, every year a new road-map appears about the new and coming features of Oracle WebLogic and this is presented during Oracle OpenWorld. While everybody is at this moment already back to business as usual, I'd like to give an overview of the already existing and new coming features discussed last year in San Francisco.

 

 

Everything is "Serverless" - " No SQL" -"Low Code" - "SOA is dead", "Micro-everything and death to the Monolith!"

Of course these terms does not fully represent what they appear to at first sight, but still, when you're from the "old school server/ sys admin" I can understand it sometimes is dazzling and sometimes hard to put them all together.  But when you look down deeper, you will discover the relationships between these terms and more in specific what they mean.

 

WebLogic Server "Current" and "Next"

 

Nowadays, we don't only speak of WebLogic Server anymore but also about the Java Cloud Service, which is WebLogic as PaaS. In this post I will give my view of the new and coming features.

WebLogic Server will still exists as the key Java Application Server from Oracle, however it will be the " next generation " application server where old and new concepts go hand in hand. Especially the move to the cloud which is already happening for a few years will be more and more emphasized by Oracle. How ever, either speaking of WebLogic Server of Java Cloud Service, the features are pretty much the same so I will speak of WebLogic Server, it will also mean it's Java Cloud Service.

 

Current WebLogic Server versions

Generally speaking, current most important and used version are:

  • 10.3.6 ( 11gR1 including all patchlevels ) which came out in 2009
  • 12.1.3 (12cR1 including all patchlevels) which came out in 2011
  • 12.2 (12cR2 including all patchlevels) which came out in 2015

 

12.2 made an important step to continuous availibility and multitenancy:

 

  • Multidatacenter availability with Oracle Traffic Director and Coherence and automated failover with SiteGuard

 

 

  • Cross Domain Transaction Recovery

  • Federated caching with Coherence in Multidatacenters
  • Zero Downtime Deployments with automated rollout and error rollback

  • Auto Scaling features:
    • Automated Elasticity for Clusters with:Manage server life cycle,
    • Rules-based decisions based on capacity, demand or schedule,
    • WLDFWatches, Notifications changed to Policies, Actions

And under the hood more and improved features regarding JDBC, REST, JMS, deployment.

 

WebLogic and Java EE8 Certification

Java EE 8 came out in late 2017, and will be supported within WebLogic in this year, 2018. Where in Java EE 7 the focus was on more productivity, in EE8 the focus is more on simplicity. Some of the most important changes:

  • Servlet 4.0 : Servlet is one of the most used API's with support for the newest HTTP/2 protocol for better web performance
  • JAX RS 2.1 for RESTful WebServices
  • Further "lightweight" web improvements
  • Still Java EE full transactional support ( JMS, JDBC, RMI)
  • Better integration with Microservices technology

 

What does this mean for WebLogic? The current last version is still on Java EE7 and JDK8. The next major version is planned to come out late 2018, my expectation that it will be around september. In the line of some already existing 13c i expect it will be the same on WebLogic, but more important is that it will support full Java EE8 and JDK 9.

 

WebLogic Patchsets

There are several patchsets released in 2017 which are:

  • PS1 – bug fixes and feature completion of Continuous Availability best practices
  • PS2 – bug fixes and feature completion of Docker image updates and  App2Cloud migration tooling
  • PS3 – bug fixes and feature completion of Secured production mode and Zero Downtime patching improvements

 

WebLogic Multitenancy

Although containerized platforms such as Docker supports WebLogic, also the strategy of WebLogic itself will be more on containers instead of a platform

 

WebLogic/JCS, Docker and Kubernetes

 

Already, WebLogic is certified with Docker, and sample dockerfiles are available on GitHub. It supports multiple topologies and can be used either on premise and in the Cloud.

Kubernetes orchestration is on the way to be certified.

Supported versions for Docker are WebLogic 12c R1 and 12c R2 with Docker 1.9, which runs on Linux 6 or 7

 

Supported topologies:

  • Non clustered domain in docker on a single host
  • Clustered domain in Docker on a single host
  • Clustered domain in Docker on multiple hosts

 

wlsdocker.png

 

An announcement was made to the orchestration for Docker technology, the Kubernetes platform which will be supported somewhere during 2018. Samples are already available. Support is including the tools which come with Kubernetes, Prometheus and Grafana for graphical monitoring dashboards. The WebLogic team has developed a tool to export WLDF watches, SmartRules and policies, in order that these metrics can be picked up by Prometheus and represented in a Grafana Dashboard. Also supported will be auto scaling with WLS Dynamic clustering.

 

Coherence "Next"

Coherence, which became an integrated part of WebLogic also got some new and improved features, such as:

  • Docker Support
  • Coherence RX, an addon Open Source API for Coherence
  • Dynamic Active Persistence Quorum Policy, a built in policy to ensure an adequate number of cluster storage members that are available for recovery
  • Federated Cache improvements to support Multidatacenter toplogiies.
  • Improved Proxy Metrics
  • Zero Downtime Patching following WLS
  • Incremental Snapshot
  • HotCache multi-threading, JMX monitoring and MultiTenancy suupport
  • Coherence *JS, JavaScript Support
  • And Coherence is available in the Oracle Cloud, where it can be chose as an extra container in the Java Cloud Service.

 

Conclusion

 

Is it because maybe I get older "   But the world in IT seems to go faster and faster, which makes it more and more interesting and exploring new technologies and methods. I sometimes consider writing a new book, but because of the speed of frquency of innovations, what today's HOT tomorrow its NOT. Still I think this overview doesn't include all the new and improved features but it gives you an idea about which direction we are going.

 

Have an interesting and very good 2018!!