Oracle equips WebLogic, Coherence for cloud use

WebLogic, Coherence, JDeveloper, and other Oracle products can now work seamlessly with the company's new Oracle 12c database

Oracle has updated some of its middleware and developer products to make them better equipped for private cloud deployments, releasing major updates for the WebLogic application server and Oracle Coherence in-memory data cache.

The updates are designed to "provide an integrated foundation infrastructure for customers who want to build a cloud infrastructure, for customized applications or applications running under our Fusion middleware," said Mike Lehmann, Oracle vice president of product management.

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Oracle now describes this set of software, which also includes the Tuxedo application server and recently released Oracle 12c database, as the Oracle Cloud Application Foundation.

"They have done a lot of integration in this wave" of releases, IDC analyst Al Hilwa said via email. "Some of the most interesting stuff is the integration pathways between [WebLogic], the Coherence layer and the Oracle database."

The new version of WebLogic Java application server provides the ability to do dynamic clustering, which allows organizations to "grow and shrink WebLogic clusters to adapt to the workload," Lehmann said.

WebLogic includes a set of diagnostic tools that watch memory and processor usage, which the administrator can monitor to see if the cluster needs to change in size.

WebLogic Server 12.1.2 now also supports new cloud-friendly Web application protocols, including Websocket. The server software's TopLink data services can now provide access to data sources through the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) and XML formats.

Administration for the Java Messaging Service (JMS) has been streamlined in WebLogic. The new JMS can speed data rates on Oracle Exalogic by up to three times, according to Oracle.

WebLogic can now also fully support Oracle 12c, including support for the new database's advanced features such as application continuity and multitenancy.

With application continuity, WebLogic will allow an application to continue to function even if the database goes offline. Support for multitenant capabilities will allow applications to pick which specific tenant databases they can connect with.

WebLogic now also works more closely with the open-source Maven Java build manager. "We've made it very easy for customers to create a Maven repository out of a WebLogic server, so you can build an application with all the [WebLogic] dependencies satisfied," Lehmann said.

The new update of the Coherence in-memory data caching technology, the first version of Coherence in the Oracle 12c product line, "is a major new release. It has significant new capabilities across the board," Lehmann said. As a data cache, Coherence provides a copy of material that resides in a database, but is much quicker to access because it is kept in the working memory of the server, instead of on disk.

In addition to also offering full support for Oracle 12c, the new version of Coherence offers a number of new technologies that will help in faster data synchronization.

"A common issue customers deal with [with] any caching technology is what happens when the data is out of date with what is in the back-end database," Lehmann said. Data may become out of sync when an application updates the database independent of Coherence.

The newly released Coherence 12.1.2 now uses Oracle's GoldenGate database backup software to update entries in the cache that have been recently changed in the database. "GoldenGate will send those changes to the cache, so the cache will always be hot," Lehmann said.

Also new with Coherence is a streamlined event processing platform. Coherence has always offered event processing, a technique whereby an alert is sent out whenever a specific piece of data changes within the cache. An alert can be sent to a person, or it could be sent to another machine, which might use the notification as the basis for initiating another process.

Prior versions of Coherence have offered multiple event-processing programming interfaces, which could be a chore for administrators to learn. The new event model is much simpler to deploy, Lehmann said.

In addition to these changes in middleware, Oracle has also updated some of its developer tools to bring them in line with other 12c products. Oracle JDeveloper 12c, Oracle Application Development Framework 12c, and Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 12c all feature support for the Oracle 12c database, improved support for mobile applications and more tools for working with the REST (Representational State Transfer) protocol.

Oracle will go into more details about these product releases in a webcast scheduled for July 31.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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