Thursday, January 26, 2012

Small things around Oracle Weblogic 11g (10.3.4)

I am doing a lot of setting up and configuration for Weblogic this week (devops I guess). I have been working with Weblogic for the past 4 years and I have to admit - like Eclipse - I have started getting used of it. I was a Netbeans / JBoss developer and I've turned to Eclipse/ Weblogic guy. I am writing this post as a reference of things I found during research and some small technical problems encountered setting up the server on different environments (this is ongoing work since I will try RHEL in the fews days). 

General Comment regarding Weblogic
My first try and experience with Weblogic was with version 9. Still a BEA trademark - I could not really see any point on why it was considered better comparing to JBoss. It had a quite good admin console but that is all about it. This feeling did not change through the early version 10.x releases. In the past 2 years I was working with 10.3.1. In general it was stable enough, it had WLST (which is really handy if you manage to master your Jython skills) but was still a J2EE 5 container and IMHO had lots of medium to small sized bugs that could drive you crazy. Some of them would be resolved through this slow paced release cycle. Now I am trying 10.3.4, I can see many improvements on start-up times, less warnings and errors plus boarder support for 'other' operating systems (for example I can now run almost error free on MacOSX the server). Still a pure J2EE5 container with many extra technologies provided by Oracle like Coherence (which i am not going to use or enable anyway). Overall, things have improved, it is not that bad anymore (there are still worse containers on production out there) and I am really curious (eager) to work on the very latest version 12c.

Installing Weblogic on a Mac:
This is an old trick - so I am just re-posting. From 10.3. and on (if I remember well) we had generic distributable as a jar provided,  so it could be used on MacOSX or other OSes. When you are running the installer at some point you are asked to provide a suitable JDK. Up until JDK 6 which is the latest supported version on MacOSX - when you were indicating the path from your Mac's system library the installer was arguing that this was not a valid path. It was searching for a /jre folder within the jdk folder.In order to make it work you just had to follow this trick (create the jre folder on your own and touch the required libs). Note the following:that this  is expected tochange with JDK7, for example on the openJDK builds currently installed on my MacBookPro the jdk folder has a /jre  subfolder in place. Maybe Oracle fixes the generic java installer to support MacOSX jdk folder format who knows.

Installing Weblogic 11g on 64bit OS
Ok that was fun but scary. I installed Weblogic 10.3.4 (11g) using the small zip distribution on a pure 64 bit Intel PC with Windows7 Enterprise. Just unzip the thing and run the configure script. When I started the server I got among others a scary message like the following.

I did a quick search and ended up that was some sort of a bug. On windows I followed the instructions as found here, and modified the JAVA_OPTIONS value to point on the specific x64 path for the native I/O lib paths.

Interestingly enough, when I installed Weblogic on the same environment using the generic java (jar) installer I did not get this warning! The same applied when I installed Weblogic on MacOSX. It seems that the generic java installer does - put things properly in place. 

That is all for now....more to come I guess (thank god there still people willing to share tips and tricks on every dev problems. Kudos to the developer community).

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