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10 Things You Should Know About WebLogic Server 10.3

  • By Scott Nelson
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4. (Improved) EJB 3.0 Support

BEA was more reliable than most product companies in releasing robust .0 versions. Still, we all get better with time and practice and 10.0 was the first version to support EJB 3.0 without a plug-in. And it was pretty good. Now it is better, with a great deal of effort focused on performance, reliability, and flexibility in management.

5. JDBC Updates

In case you have missed the news, WebLogic is owned by Oracle now, so it is no surprise that there are some major enhancements related to JDBC. To start with, most of the type 4 drivers have been updated. Improved support for Oracle RAC is a given.

JDBC 4.0 support is also introduced in this release of WLS, and JDBC 4.0 provides some major enhancements, such as:

  • Auto-loading of JDBC Driver
  • Improved connection management
  • RowId Support
  • Annotation-based SQL Queries
  • Improved exception handling

The three major bottlenecks of web-based applications are code, network, and data. If data has been a pain point in your applications, these are benefits that should at least be tested out in a POC environment.

6. Spring Console

If you had any doubt about the popularity of Spring, the inclusion of an out-of-the-box management console in the most popular commercial EJB server should remove it. There is also full integration with Spring security.

There are many Spring-based applications deployed on earlier versions of WebLogic Server. Some of these deployments have had maintenance challenges. In many cases, those challenges have become manageable through a combination of updates and patches. In other cases, they are upgrade candidates just waiting to happen.

7. SAML 2.0 Support

There is actually a long list of new and improved Web Service support features in WLS 10.3. In the world of Web Services, the challenges are performance, reliability and security. For the first two there are many contributing factors, such as vendor platforms, code implementation, architecture, hardware, etc. For security, the highest hurdle is often the complexity. SAML 2.0 provides a simpler method of securing web services.

8. Easier Look And Feel Changes

At first glance, this doesn't seem like all that impressive of a feature. But if you search for articles on WLS LnF customization, you will find that it didn't use to be all that easy, and there is a really good use case for wanting it to be. The most recent real-life scenario I dealt with where this would have been really useful was where I had to administer seven different environments (development, integration, performance testing, configuration testing, functional testing, acceptance testing and production) during the pre-launch phase of the project. It would have made my life much easier to have color-coded the different consoles for each environment as it was more the rule than the exception to do updates to multiple environments at the same time, and almost always very late in a long day when someone had to have the changes done immediately.

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This article was originally published on May 29, 2009

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