Starting from today, Techgoondu will be launching a monthly Q&A series where we will suss the views of tech executives on the latest trends and products in enterprise IT.
In the first of this new series, we interviewed Cameron Purdy, vice president for development at Oracle, to hear his views on the company’s new WebLogic Server 12c, an application server designed to help enterprises move their applications to the cloud.
The software supports the latest Java standards including Java Standard Edition version 7 and is the first to comply with the full Java Enterprise Edition 6 platform profile.
Q: WebLogic Server 12c is geared towards cloud deployments of existing infrastructure. Is Oracle targeting cloud service providers or end-user companies who are interested in moving to the cloud?
A: Oracle WebLogic Server 12c is part of the Oracle Cloud Application Foundation (CAF). Oracle CAF brings together the benefits of the software infrastructure, including Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle Coherence, and Oracle Tuxedo. With a highly optimized engineered system, leveraging software across the range of Oracle cloud offering, WebLogic Server 12c delivers both extremely high performance and easy management in an open, standards-based cloud environment.
Most of Oracle’s direct sales efforts for WebLogic Server 12c focus on end-user companies, although cloud service providers are still an important section of our customers. On the product development side, we are kicking off a programme for companies wanting to quickly upgrade to Oracle WebLogic Server 12c. We will be selecting 100 customers and sending an Oracle product engineer to work together with each of these customers to better understand their requirements and the challenges they face as they move to WebLogic Server 12c, and in some cases as they move to a cloud infrastructure model. This will help us gain valuable insight into how our customers are building, deploying and operating systems today.
Q: Oracle is clearly demonstrating the value of its technology stack with the WebLogic Server 12c that improves integration with Oracle RAC and offers disaster recovery capabilities through Active Data Guard. Is Oracle going after the open source users of Java EE?
A: Oracle has the most popular open source server – the GlassFish Application Server with over 40 million downloads (as of October 2011). And Gartner has rated Oracle WebLogic as the No.1 application server worldwide, with a market share of 43.4%. In other words, Oracle has very successfully grown both the open source and the commercial aspects of its application server business.
Enhanced with transformational platforms and technologies such as Java EE 6, Oracle Active GridLink for RAC, Oracle Traffic Director, and Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder, Oracle WebLogic Server 12c differentiates itself from competitors, who do not offer any of these capabilities today.
For example, with the improved disaster recovery capabilities that leverage proven capabilities such as Oracle Active Data Guard, customers can deploy WebLogic 12c in a continuously-available manner across multiple data centres — and this feature is unique to Oracle WebLogic Server 12c.
With over 10,000 Oracle RAC customers, WebLogic 12c’s easy integration with RAC is able to both dramatically improve performance and significantly reduce database load – making it a very “green” solution. Moreover, these advanced features — both the disaster recovery capability and the Oracle RAC optimizations — pay for themselves quickly and significantly reduce operational complexity.
3. The enhancements in WebLogic Server 12c are touted to speed up application development and reduce time to market. Can you give an example on how that might be the case for say, a company that’s building an e-commerce shopfront application using Java?
A: Oracle has made the software easy for developers to download and get started. The process is dramatically simplified – download, unzip, run. In addition to chopping the download size in half and simplifying installation, WebLogic Server 12c offers several significant enhanced features and capabilities that help accelerate the development cycle.
Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) 7 provides added support and new capabilities. Developers can now leverage Java SE 7 to create cleaner, more maintainable code.
Oracle now has a fully compliant Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 6 server available in a 165Mb download, that focuses on ease of development. Java EE 6 provides a light-weight programming model with support for Contexts and Dependency injection (CDI), Annotations, POJO based development and more – all in an extensible and standards based Java EE platform.
Added Tooling Support
In addition to IDE support in NetBeans, JDeveloper and Eclipse, WebLogic 12c fully integrates with a common set of development tools like Maven, Hudson, Ant & JUnit, making it easier for developers who can be immediately productive with a common build, test and release environment.
As mobile applications are clearly an area of investment for most enterprises, WebLogic 12c makes it very easy to expose business application and data as RESTful or Web Services in a secure manner on the server side.
Oracle also introduced ADF Mobile which allows developers to rapidly develop applications that can be deployed across different mobile device platforms such as iOS and Android, and is heavily investing in HTML 5 and Web Sockets, which has broad industry backing and is also being standardised in Java EE.
All these benefits and features will make application development so much easier; help to improve speed and improve the overall user experience.