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News: J2EE 1.3 Certified BEA WebLogic Server 7.0 Now Available

  1. BEA today announced the J2EE 1.3 compliant, production release of BEA Weblogic Server 7. Interesting highlights include a distributed entity bean cache (read-mostly beans), clustered JMS failover, new GUI tools for cluster and security management, Weblogic Builder, and Web Services support (UDDI, WSDL, SOAP implementation). TheServerSide interviewed WLS 7 Product Manager Jim Rivera about the release.

    Download WebLogic Server 7.0.

    Read the press release.


    I had the chance to interview Jim Rivera, the Product Manager for Weblogic Server7:

    Q: What are some of the interesting new things about Weblogic 7?

    There are three primary categories that we have focused on for this relesase. The first is devleoper productivity, second is adminstrator prodcutivity, and the third is integration services.

    For Developer Productivity, things like Weblogic Builder haev been addded, which is new GUI tool that takes in your EJB bean source file and generates deployment descriptors, packages and deploys the beans. The beauty of this tool is that it has the ability to introspect on the application archive and provide intelligent defaults for the associated deployment descriptors. If necessary, the user can then use the same tool to modify the generated decriptors using simple form-based dialogs. We have also integrated the EJB-GEN tool into WLS 7.0.

    For Administrator Productivity, we've added a new Configuration Wizard to easily create new domains, clusters, and configurations. Cluster management has been imprved with additional cluster and node-specific health diagnostics and server life-cycle controls. Administrators now have the ability to run a server in stand-by mode, so that it could quickly be brough on line if needed. In this state, the server is fully administrable but does not claim any resources that may be shared with other servers and does not process requests from clients

    Our integration services include a big push for Web Services, with full SOAP, WSDL, UDDI and JAX-RPC implementations. Here we're talking about exporting applications as Web Services, and there are two ways to do that. The first way is targetted at the J2EE developer. The Web Services container is based on JAX-RPC and allows users to expose back-end components such as EJBs, JMS destinations, and plain Java Objects as Web Services. There is additional support for SOAP message handlers, or interceptors, that are invoked before and after the back-end component and allow for access to the SOAP message headers for arbritrary processing. This is a very flexible way of adding value to the messaging layer without having to modify the business logic of the Web Services itself. We also provide support for complex and user defined data types with our serializer/deserializer framework. Again, this provides much needed flexibility when attempting to intergrate applications in a heterogenous environments.

    Another way to create and consume Web Service is via Weblogic Workshop. Workshop allows developers to work within a higher level of programming abstraction that shields developers from the complexities of J2EE and object-oriented programming. Workshop makes Web Services easy with built-in support for asynchronous Web Services including long-running conversations, client-side callbacks, and state manangement.

    We have also focused heavily on Web Serivces interoperability. We've ensured that our Web Services implementations are compatible with .NET and have participated in SOAP Builders interoperability testing events and are founders of WS-I, the Web Services Interoperability organization.

    We've also got full bi-directional COM+ interoperability through a new offer called JCOM.

    Q: I've heard that WL 7.0 ships with distributed entity cache, is this true?

    Yes, we've implemented optimistic concurrency within our distributed EJB entity cache. EJBs can now be cached between transactions. If the EJB is already cached in memory, the container will not read from the database at the start of a new transaction. Prior to committing the transaction, the container will verify the freshness of the data and rollback the transaction if data was changed in the database while the transaction was in progress. This prevents the container from updating stale data. To help prevent optimistic rollbacks, the EJB container identifies when an EJB has been updated and automatically invalidates any instance of a cached EJB within
    the cluster using multicast messages.

    Q: What you fault-tolerance/availability features have been added?

    For JMS availability, WebLogic Server 7.0 introduces the concept of distributed destinations. Administrators can set up a single virtual destination that is mapped to multiple destination instances deployed on multiple servers within a WebLogic cluster. When a message producer sends a message to the virtual destination, WebLogic Server will determine the actual destination based on configurable load balancing algorithms. Message consumers are pinned to a given destination at creation time. If a server fails, incoming messages will continue to be sent to other destinations hosted on healthy servers.

    We also have introduced the concept of migratable services. Certain services, such as a transaction log, have strict data integrity requirments and should only exist as a cluster singleton. In other words, it should only be deployed on one server within the cluster. In the event of a server failure, singletons can be migrated from a sick server to a healthy server, ensuring the availability of the service.

    Q: What extensions (if any) to J2EE have you provided in WLS 7?

    We've added a new security framework that goes beyond that defined in J2EE. Users can easily assign prose-based policies that govern access privileges. The application developer is freed from having to write code to implement complex security policies leaving the task of securing applications to administrators and security experts. The pluggable, modular design of the new security framework exposes a set of SPIs (Service Provider Interface) for authentication, authorization, auditing, role mapping and credential mapping. Not only does WebLogic Server 7.0 provide fully featured implementations of each SPI, but it also allows modules from 3rd party security vendors to plug right into the WebLogic Server framework.

    Q: Does this GA release of WLS 7 have the same performance benefits as the BETA in your ECperf result?

    We are running new ECperf configurations with this version of WLS that will show even better performance and price performance results than we've seen so far. I think ECperf will be a long running process, where we will work towards filling in as many different hardware/OS/DB configurations as possible, to show how WLS behaves, and best practices for tuning in a wide variety of environments.

    We've been watching TheServerSide.com closely and find everyone's comments very helpful in determining future directions.

    Threaded Messages (40)

  2. You can not download it from bea.
  3. http://commerce.bea.com/downloads/weblogic_server.jsp
  4. Actually, after your going into the download page,
    there are two choices for downloading, but both
    are not available.

    Please try.
  5. Try the first option "Download using the download manager". It seems to be working.
  6. I d/led using HTTP download and Download Express (Meta Products). Worked fine.
  7. worked fine for me...no problems at all... perfect
  8. So tell me, with this JMS failover, what happens to messages that are in the persistent store on the server that goes down - do these failover automaticaly and if not can you explain how I would go about getting hold of these messages?

    As far as I know, with WLS 6.1, you need to set JMS destination threshold in order to prevent memory being blown when the destination experiences a heavy workload.

    If the threshold is reached, WLS 6.1 threw an exception to the JMS client and it had to control the overflow. What happens in WLS 7.0? are messages paged in and out of memory on the server or do we still expect our clients to manager this server side restriction?
  9. Mike: "So tell me, with this JMS failover, what happens to messages that are in the persistent store on the server that goes down - do these failover automaticaly and if not can you explain how I would go about getting hold of these messages?"

    I think the answer is that you wouldn't use a local persistent store. Either go to a database or to a fault tolerant network storage model.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
  10. Response to : "with this JMS failover, what happens to messages that are in the persistent store on the server that goes down - do these failover automaticaly and if not can you explain how I would go about getting hold of these messages"

    Since the messages are persistent, they need to be on a file/JDBC Store which was used by the physical destinations when the server went down. You need to do a migrate operation(through the Console - server - control- migrate option) to let the physical destination get migrated and hosted by another JMS server that you select during the migration. Then the messages persistent in that store would get served by the migrated physical destination. For all consumers listening on the originial failed physical destn, they would have to be restarted with either the same Virtual Distributed destn or the newly migrated-to JMS server. But for the producers, it would be transparent if they are using Distributed Destinations instead of directly going a single physical destination.
  11. What happened to the free development license?

    --
    Dimitri
  12. Hi Guys-

    So, BEA announced in February a dev2dev Subscription model that will eventually replace our developer license model. The plan for rollout was announced to be sometime this calendar year. The subscription model will have multiple tiers that offer a variety of support, software, and benefits with the entry level tier being free.

    BEA didn't actually announce free developer licenses, but rather, this migration.

    Tyler Jewell
    BEA Systems
  13. The developer subscription model will not work, I am afraid. Look at the example of Oracle Technology Network. Back in 1998-99 we as developers had to pay $200/year to subscribe to one of three technology tracks in order to get certain new software and upgrades. Results? They eventually made all software free download to developers. I suspect few people were willing to pay the money.

    You may counter-argue M$FT's MSDN subscription program is very successful. True. Because Windows is everywhere and every IT shop has no choice but to pay $2500/year for all M$FT software (including OS, servers, and dev tools, I must add) to be shared among 10-50 developers in the group, which is not a bad deal at all. No individual that I know of wants to spend that much money.

    Even though there might be a chance that every WebLogic shop will end up paying for one copy of the dev license, the revenue generated is so trivial and I am not sure it is worthwhile of the effort.
  14. Didn't Tyler just said that entry-level subscription will be free? (I assume it's the same as a free development license in dev2dev speak).

    --
    Dimitri
  15. What is included in the entry level - fully functional WLS which allows connections from 3 unique IP addresses?
  16. And clustering support?
  17. I guess we'll see when this "migration" is complete. I'd very much like to see WLS free for development and 'personal' use, without 3 client-IP's limitation. That way I'll be able to publish working examples ;-)

    --
    Dimitri
  18. I was at eWorld, and I thought the CEO announced free development and test licenses. I don't seem to be the only one that got this idea. Unfortunately, his keynote speech is not transcripted on the eWorld site. The CEO didn't imply that this would be happening "eventually."

    We are BEA customers, and lately since eWorld, BEA has flip-flopped on a few things and I think this is one of them. We had a consultant for a few weeks and BEA fired him while he was on our site, collecting money. Either BEA is growing too fast to keep its head on straight, or reorgs are happening to save money. I can't tell which. But things are fishier than they ought to be.
  19. [Steve]I was at eWorld, and I thought the CEO announced free development and test licenses. I don't seem to be the only one that got this idea.

    You got note that Tyler was pointing out from begining that move is towards subscription model where first tier is free.

    From:
    http://www.theserverside.com/home/thread.jsp?thread_id=12228

    Posted By: Tyler Jewell on March 3, 2002 in response to this message.
    You know, this discussion is just too juicy for me not to comment. I have to be very careful with the words I select since I'm a BEA spokesperson with inside information.

    Having said that, I can GUARANTEE you that JBoss has nothing to do with us moving to a subscription model where the first tier is free.


  20. Come on! This is getting extremely annoying. I attended eWorld as well and heard the same thing. I gave up budget to get developer licenses in anticipation of moving quickly to 7.0.

    We have gone back and forth on this with BEA via sales and no one knows what the story is.

    Whoever is in charge of this at BEA ... please get your act together. We have a high opinion of your company (not true of most vendors), but you are starting to slip due to this flip-flopping.

    We love your products -- just tell us what the deal is!
  21. Guys-

    We haven't flipped flopped at all at BEA. There has just been a misunderstanding about what we announced. BEA announced the migration to a subscription model for developers where the entry level tier is free. A subscription model implies that there is a level of benefits including software, support, content, etc. that is offered as part of each tier. By committing to a free tier we are committing to offering free software to developers in the future.

    What we never did is proclaim that developer licenses were free. What we did say is that the entry level tier will have some sort of software licenses available to developers in that tier. We still haven't determined what the form / shape / structure of what those licenses will be yet.

    Also, let's be clear on the timeline. We promised the migration to a subscription model to occur by the end of this year. We still have 8 months left to deliver on our promise and I guarantee you that there are many within BEA working hard on making this subscription program a reality.

    Developers will be pleasantly surprised once they get to see the details of the program. I believe that it is quite generous it what we plan to offer.

    Tyler Jewell
    Director, Technical Evangelism
    BEA Systems, Inc.

  22. Thanks Tyler ... sorry to give you a hard time.

    Thanks for the clarification ... now send that info to everyone at BEA so that everyone is speaking the same language.

    My complaint is that each person I have dealt with has had a different story.

    Peace.
  23. Looks like another 8 x 30 day trial downloads then ?
  24. Looks like another 8 x 30 day trial downloads then ?
  25. Why 8x30 day trial? Do you have 4-month vacation? Seriously, I remember Tyler mentioning that the idea was to increase expiration period for the *free* subscription level, so, in theory this should be equal (or almost equal) to a free development license. I guess that these days it is pretty hard to give up revenue stream, hovever small it is.

    Of course, just like everybody else, I want to see free development license (or whatever it's subsription equivalent will be) as soon as possible.

    --
    Dimitri
  26. I am sorry but it was announced at BEA world that Developer licenses were FREE. If you look at the "eWorld in a nutshell" written by the BEA Guru of the year he also mentions it. Sounds like BEA is playing some sort of wording game!
  27. There is no wording game here, guys. Gene Chuang, as much as I like him, isn't a BEA spokesperson or a BEA employee, so taking his word as a commitment is a risk. We've been trying to educate people as much as we can about the details of a subscription program.

    Tyler
  28. Is this the result of partnership/licensing
    with Persistence PowerTier?

    If yes, does the WLS also have the automatic generation
    of entity beans using the PowerTier GUI?
    (which can generate CMP entity beans from Rose model)

    Thanks.
  29. Tyler,

    Were you at Eworld? If so, did you hear the keynote by your CEO? I assume he would be considered a BEA spokesman! He is the one that announced it on stage in front of thousands of BEA developers. Also, nothing was mentioned about any subscription service when the comment was said. We had 5 developers there that all were under the same impression that 7.0 developers licenses were free. In fact, we repositioned dollars from dev licenses based on comments made by Alfred. Guess you cannot believe anything you hear anymore even if it is said by the CEO of a company and stated to thousands of people.

    Curt
  30. Tyler,

    I also get the impressionb BEA is playing some word game here, as it doesn't matter what _exactly_ BEA announced for everything else than legal things, if everyone (including me) has the impression that BEA announced free dev-licenses your marketing definitely did something wrong... I don't think so, I get the impression you are playing "kind of" FUD here (everyone else has free dev-licenses, you know...). So while BEA won't be taken to court by anyone for a wrong announcement ;-) this definitely isn't good for your image...

    kind regards,

    Messi
  31. I tried to download wls 7 and I got the following list of platforms:

    Windows
    Solaris
    HP-UX

    Unfortunately, the OS I am running is not among the above three ;-) If I may say so, it's not nice to support HP-UX but not support the fastest growing server OS in the world ...

  32. I agree. BEA should support linux in their initial release - I am not sure why they dont.

    Its always been Windows/Solaris, though, for the initial releases - with the support for others following later.

    I suspect that the only reason why HP-UX is already supported this time is that HP sponsored one of the ECPerf tests.


  33. re: support for other OSs

    Just install it on Windows, ZIP it up and FTP it over to whatever OS you want to run it on.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
  34. <quote>
    Just install it on Windows, ZIP it up and FTP it over to whatever OS you want to run it on.
    </quote>

    And what do you suggest to those of us who do not have a Windows/Solaris/HP-UX box around ?

    --
    Dimitri
  35. Dima: "And what do you suggest to those of us who do not have a Windows/Solaris/HP-UX box around ?"

    Wine?

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
  36. have you successfully installed it and have it running using WINE??
  37. <quote>
    Wine?
    </quote>

    Have you actually tried using it? Windows install gave me an endless stream of 'fixme:...' messages on Wine stdout and crashed.

    --
    Dimitri
  38. Dima: "Have you actually tried using it? Windows install gave me an endless stream of 'fixme:...' messages on Wine stdout and crashed."

    No, I have Windows and Solaris and HP/UX to copy from, so I saved the wine for later ;-)

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
  39. For web apps, does 7 try to jar everything up for
    deployment on managed servers? And has this been
    documented yet?

    For 6.1, we found for some situations we didn't need
    the vacuum suction, so we just served that stuff
    from the admin server outside the applications
    directory, so the files(and our filesystem) weren't
    subjected to the internal jar-ing process. We
    need this behavior of just compiling JSPs. In 6.1
    it's do-able but undocumented procedure.

    I'm not looking at another WLS server until 7.1 SP5.

    How long will support for 6.1 last?
  40. Does wls7.0 support Cajun framework?
    I treid to run some of my projects
    on Weblogic Workshop on Wls7.0
    but it didn't work.
  41. Hi,
         We have a requirement in our project to call COM objects(on Windows NT) from Weblogic server7.0(Solaris). Is weblogic jcom is the best approach for this? Are there any issues regarding the implementation of jcom? Are there any known applications developed and running in production?

    Thanks,
    Ramesh M