Blogging about software development for the enterprise. Strong focus on Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and more general Java platforms.
You'll read a lot about Conferences, Java User Groups, Java EE, Integration, AS7, WildFly, EAP and other technologies that hit my road.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Oracle WebLogic Development-Only Installer

08:21 Friday, April 30, 2010 Posted by Markus Eisele
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One of the biggest issues I always had with WebLogic was the installation. Even if the installer iteself was very straight forward and easy, the installation took longer with every new release containing new features. This was already adressed in the past with the possibility to select from some of the most common components. But it still took some time to setup the basic installation.
Starting with WebLogic Server 10.3.3.0 Oracle now provides a Development-Only Installer as a ZIP file. It supports Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X systems. It contains all necessary artifacts for development of applications on WebLogic Server. The following parts are NOT included in the distribution:
  • Samples
  • Derby database
  • WebServer plug-ins
  • Native JNI libraries for unsupported platforms
  • Sun SDK and Oracle JRockit SDK
  • Coherence
  • Oracle Enterprise pack for Eclipse

Download and extract
Get the 423 MB ZIP File from the offical OTN download page.
And extract it's contents to a folder of your choice. This will become your "Middleware home directory". Please do not use any existing one. Make shure you place it seperate from any existing fusion middleware (FMW) installations.
You can see, another ZIP file and a simple readme.txt with nothing but a link to the FMW documentation was extracted. Extract this one, too.

Install and configure the JDK
As the installer comes without any JDK, you should have either the Sun jdk 160_18 or the Oracle JRockit 160_17_R28 in place. If not: Install one of them. The following examples I assume that you have a Windows system running.
Next is to setup JAVA_HOME and MW_HOME variables in your command shell. Open one and type:
set JAVA_HOME=C:\jrockit_160_17_R28.0.0-679
set MW_HOME=C:\myfmwhome


Configure your installation
Now you have to run the installation configuration script in the %MW_HOME% directory. You need to do this only only once. Again only if you move the installation to another location/machine.
configure.cmd
Now you have setup your WLS environment in the current shell by typing:
%MW_HOME%\wlserver\server\bin\setWLSEnv.cmd

Create a domain and start it
A domain is automatically created if you create a domain directory with any name you like and simply start your WLS.
mkdir C:\myfmwhome\mydomain
%JAVA_HOME%\bin\java.exe -Xmx1024m -XX:MaxPermSize=128m weblogic.Server

Once the domain is created, you can shutdown WLS and restart it with the scripts provided in the newly created domain.
If you want some additional control, you can also use the GUI based configuration wizzard:
%MW_HOME%/wlserver/common/bin/config.cmd
But you can also do this using WLST or the unpack command. WebLogic Server domain and extension templates are available in the %MW_HOME%/wlserver/common/templates/domains and %MW_HOME%/wlserver/common/templates/applications directories to help you get started with domain creation. For further details refer to the WLS product documentation.

Note: It is recommended that you create the domains outside the %MW_HOME%. This example does not follow this recommendation for simplicity ;)

Applying patches
As the smart update tool is not supported, patching has to be done manually. You have to get the needed patch jars from Oracle Support and apply it manually to the classpath.

Upgrading
In-place upgrade of installation is not supported in the zip distribution. If needed, you have to re-download the zip distribution and extract it again to a new location. Of course you could keep the already generated domains.

Deleting
simply delete the %MW_HOME% directory. Ensure that you don't delete any of your domains. Keeping them in a separate directory makes this easier.


Further readings:
Complete WebLogic Server Documentation

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WebLogic Server 10.3.3.0 released. It now has JSF 2.0 support!!

08:30 Wednesday, April 28, 2010 Posted by Markus Eisele
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Believe it or not. Here it is. WebLogic Server finaly supports JSF 2.0 with it's latest release 10.3.3.0.
And here is the short howto:

- Download and install one of the latest Oracle WebLogic Server 11g Rel 1 (10.3.3) Installers from OTN. (Give the ZIP Installer a try. Aweseome lightweight!)
- Create a new sample domain (call it whatever you want) and start the admin server
- Open the administration console (http://localhost:7001/console/)
- deploy the JSF 2.0 library (Deployments - Install - wlserver_10.3\common\deployable-libraries\jsf-2.0.war
- Find your favorite JSF 2.0 sample (I'll take the guessNumber thing from the mojarra-2.0.2 distribution)
- Add a weblogic.xml file to the WEB-INF/ folder with the following content:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<weblogic-web-app>
<library-ref>
<library-name>jsf</library-name>
<specification-version>2.0</specification-version>
<implementation-version>1.0.0.0_2-0-2</implementation-version>
<exact-match>true</exact-match>
</library-ref>
</weblogic-web-app>

- Package the guessNumber app
- Deploy the app to the WebLogic server
- give it a try: http://localhost:7001/guessNumber


As you can see, the new JSF 2.0 features are available :) great work!
And the best of all, this is not even explicitly mentioned in the "what's new documentation for WLS" :) A single line indicates JSF support for 2.0, 1.2, 1.1.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

finally there. the iPad at my desk.

07:02 Tuesday, April 27, 2010 Posted by Markus Eisele
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To be honest. I was very jealous as I heard, that the iPad will be available in germany months after the official start in the US. But for some reasons it's good to work in an international company and have some frequent travelers, who could bring over the needed stuff :)If you read the following, please remember, that I am one of those PC guys. Its years ago, that I worked with a MAC frequently and I am not owning one of those fancy iPhones. And sorry in advance for posting just another iPad review on a software developers blog. I promise, that I will write about programming for the iPad too ;)

Look and feel
Ok. Apple, you did a great job. Even for me. I love the simple design. The clear surfaces. The powerfull Apple logo. All looks perfect. Hardly any buttons to press. It was even hard for me to find the power switch :) But: Yes, it's great and I love it. Quick boot, simple navigation. Awesome gesture system. To make it short. This is the part I am mostly impressed about. Having some co-workers, who own an iPhone for some time now makes me believe, that this is not the fancy part for them. They have all this since some time and for them the iPad looks like a big iPhone without the calling capabilities.

Nothing without apps
Safari. Whom ever had the idea to call this crappy thing this way. Beside the standard email, calendar, photos and simple things it is the door to the internet. A very simple starter pack which has to be value added by apps. Some of them are free but for the majority you have to pay. I simply don't like it. I am one of the download for free (free as in beer) kids and will never ever pay some dollar for small apps. There is a bigger probability that I will spend some money for share- or donationware. But I prefer to pay to the authors directly. Knowing that Apple is taking xx% away for hosting the online shop simply does not work for me.



Fun and evenings
The ultimate test was taken by my little 2 year old yesterday. I started a racing game an gave it to her. Believe it. It worked. Somehow :) She is not realy experienced with computer games. In fact this was the first time she did one. But she seemed to like it and was able to drive the car. Most of the fun came from the graphics and the sounds. The iPad was very responsive and it was easy to realize, what actions to take. The ultimate killer app for us would be the video player. The sample pixar video "for the birds" was her and our favorite. This is a usecase for us. Very short videos and incidental browsing. That would work.
Using the iPad on the couch is not as simple and effective as expected. 600gr get heavy over time and if you do not lock the sreen it keeps flipping upside down with every move. And last but not least, you can not lower the display brightness enough. It's distracting if you are watching TV additionally. Not to mention the software keyboard. It's hardly usable enough for occasional 140 character tweets and will not work for longer emails or any other kind of writing.

Programming
If you do work for a software company and someone comes across and puts an iPad on your desk, you don't have to ask about the "why" but about the "what". Can't talk about this too much but I think it's not a big secret, that the modern companys out there are interested in having new gadgets and customers and they are willing to make life easier for their employees. This is probably not true for any bratwurst hut but for the ones we are working for ;)
Thank god, this will be closer to webdevelopment for me than to concrete SDK based apps. Therefore I have to make friends with Safari and all the glossy new standards out there. This is the point where I like to thank Apple for NOT providing the latest builds for Windows and for NOT supporting MacOSX on VMs. ..ooO(of the records: I know about some "solutions" to the last problem ;))

Love affair?
I was willing to buy an iPad until yesterday. Now I am shure: I will definitely not do this. It simply is not worth it for me. The small 16GB version will cost 499€ in germany. A lot for a display with some features.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Oracle Introduces Java Virtualization Solution for Oracle WebLogic Suite

06:36 Wednesday, April 21, 2010 Posted by Markus Eisele
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As seen in a press anouncement a few days ago, Oracle is revealing parts of the future for it's WebLogic Suite.

It includes two new products:
- Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder and
- Oracle WebLogic Suite Virtualization Option

Oracle Virtual Assembly
The Virtual Assembly Builder is a new product designed to help organizations deploy multi-tier enterprise applications in virtualized environments. It also enables administrators to configure and provision these applications. This is done by using the frameworks capabilities for
(a) automatically capturing the configuration of an existing reference application environment and packaging all its components into a collection of customized software appliances, or
(b) starting with pre-created, general purpose software appliances representing the various components in an application topology.
See the datasheet online (PDF, ~300kb)

Oracle WebLogic Suite Virtualization Option
The Virtualization Option brings together Oracle WebLogic Server with JRockit Virtual Edition. It is optimized for virtualized environments and able to deliver higher application performance and increased hardware utilization. By adding essential system functions to the JRockit JVM, WLS on Oracle JRockit Virtual Edition can now execute directly on the hypervisor, eliminating the need to deploy and administer a guest operating system.
See the datasheet online (PDF, ~300kb)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Article in german iX Magazin (05/2010)

15:47 Tuesday, April 20, 2010 Posted by Markus Eisele
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Again some personal advertising here. German iX magazin (http://www.ix.de) published a new article of mine in the upcomming 05/2010 issue. This one is about the new SPEC jEnterprise2010 benchmark.
(available from 4/22/10)

German abstract:
Java-EE-Benchmark SPECs jEnterprise2010: "Standard Performance"
Ende 2009 hat die Standard Performance Evaluation
Corporation (SPEC) den neuen Benchmark
jEnterprise2010 für Enterprise Java Systems
vorgestellt. Er löst den fünf Jahre bestehenden
jAppServer2004 ab; erste Ergebnisse liegen vor.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Oracle ACE Directors and Java Champions

09:38 Tuesday, April 6, 2010 Posted by Markus Eisele
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One aspect of the Sun/Oracle merger was slightly underrepresented the last weeks. As you might know, there are now two developer programs running which are dedicated to passionate Java/Oracle technology and community leaders.
The one I am a proud member of is the Oracle ACE Program. A simliar one exists at Sun since a few years and is called the The Java Champions Program.
Both developer programs are now united within Oracle. To make it short: This is the only change to both. They are NOT going to be united under a common name. And they are NOT going to change in any other way.
Fact is, that the Java Champions will receive better support from the Oracle Technology Network Team in the future. Victoria Lira and her Team do the best to support all program members with all needed information.
Most notably both programs have roughly the same size. About 100 ACE Directors and 100 Java Champions are around. Most working in the USA and EMEA. There is no single ACED Champion :) Completely distict groups.

If you want to take a more detailed look at the ACE Program, read through my blog entry about it. Written back in november 2009 but still up to date. I did not compile something similar about the Java Champions because all you need is on their Program Homepage.

You can follow @oracletechnet/oracle-ace list on twitter if you like to read more from the ACEs.
I created a list for the Java Champions I know. You can subscribe to it @myfear/java-champion