Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: Weblogic

Weblogic: Article

Application Environments, Migration, and Transactions

Application Environments, Migration, and Transactions

No, don't worry, it's not a a floor-wax/dessert-topping/toothpaste article this month; it's simply a look at how multilanguage application environments might be used together in highly distributed systems. Interested? Well, don't worry, somebody has to beS Swallow your pride and read on, MacDuff!

Looking at the IT systems of most large organizations is often closely akin to going on a fossil hunt. You dig through the J2EE surface to find a strata of C++ code in the supporting layers. Dig a little deeper and you start finding relics of a bygone age when C and Unix ruled the world. A little more scraping and an outcrop of COBOL is likely to be revealed, or maybe a little PL/1 and then, brushing aside the minicomputers that everyone forgot about, you might be lucky enough to unearth some real assembler. The archaeological metaphor starts to decay here, however. In archaeology, all the creatures in the various strata are dead. In many (most?) IT shops, the creatures from each period in history are actually cohabiting. They are working together to run the business! It's pretty scary stuff.

In short, heterogeneity is the norm. No surprises here; that's the main issue that Web services technology and service-oriented architecture are trying to address in their joint attempt to provide some kind of "Esperanto" and rules of engagement that all these systems can use to communicate (a less costly and more flexible proposition than the custom bits of string that have spent the last few years multiplying out of control). Of course, along with the strata of technology tend to exist strata of technologists, indispensable due to their business knowledge, not to mention their business application knowledge, but hardly next year's news. "That bearded guy in the corduroy trousers and Arran jumperS what does he do?!" (And we haven't even talked about client-side or small-scale systems and their associated entourage).

"So, that's a fascinating statement of the obvious", I hear you yawn. "What's it got to do with WebLogic and transactions?" I'm getting to that...

Well, Hold Up and Stop Getting Shirty
It will not have escaped the notice of the more attentive readers that BEA has application-server technology that addresses two of these strata; J2EE and COBOL/C/C++ on Unix. WebLogic Server (as you all know) is arguably the industry's preeminent Java application server. Tuxedo, meanwhile (as many of you may know), is indisputably the industry's leading C/COBOL/C++ on nonmainframe application server. So why is that interesting? For a large organization it's highly probable that there are pockets of expertise that fall into both Java and non-Java open-systems camps (to take but two strata). Clearly, the best way to get value for money from your developers is to set them to work doing what they do best - a C/Unix guy can't be expected to be a J2EE guru overnight, however good the training course. For the maximum short-term bang for the buck, get him writing the C that he knows and loves; over time, let him migrate to the modern Java world. Wherever he is at any point in time, BEA can provide him with an application server to underpin his endeavors, bringing to bear the required scalability and reliability whilst he concentrates on the business rules - where his focus is adding value to the business. Here, we have a technology migration scenario.

Just Opening a Port and Listening for HTTP Won't Cut the Mustard
Alternatively, maybe the organization is looking to expose a service-based interface to some of its Unix legacy code in order to include it more cost effectively into the new interconnected world. Web services are the key to the language it should speak, but what about the runtime characteristics? If the new service-oriented interface will generate a significant volume of requests to the old logic, just opening up a port and listening for HTTP SOAP requests isn't going to cut the mustard. A runtime infrastructure will be needed to throttle and balance load, not to mention making the resultant online system manageable in production. A good solution would be to move the old C/COBOL/C++ Unix code into an application server environment and we've already agreed (well, I already asserted, and I have the references) that Tuxedo is by far the preeminent UnIX non-Java application server environment. So here we have introduced Tuxedo to provide new levels of scalability and visibility to existing business logic - a technology renewal scenario.

The common thread between the two scenarios is that both envisage a Java application server (and a person of your exquisite taste is bound to have chosen WebLogic!) and Tuxedo coexisting in an operational environment.

The good news is that BEA understands this. WebLogic Server contains a piece of technology called the WebLogic Tuxedo Connector (WTC). WTC's sole purpose is to allow you (from a runtime perspective) to view Tuxedo and WebLogic as a single logical platform - messages can flow back and forth as needed, with the connectivity all defined by administrative configuration. In the technology migration scenario, this allows for the maximum return on developed assets - C or C++ developed in Tuxedo today does not need to be replaced tomorrow with Java, since it can be used from the Java code. Mixed skill development teams can put together applications composed of new (and existing) code in Java and non-Java languages with no integration pain. For the technology renewal scenario, the connectivity was an explicit requirement; it was the driver for the whole effort.

Now I hear a murmur going up: "Hang on, I thought SOAP was the way to do technology strata integration. And how can you be pushing WTC with a clear conscience? It's WLS specific, and I know there are competing Java 2 Connector Architecture-based products available from third parties!" So before you go into a frenzy, let me come back on those points.

WTC is architected after J2EECA, but it would be impossible (at this point) for it to be a J2EECA implementation; for a start, I already mentioned that it's bidirectional (unlike the standard) and as for SOAP and Web services, wellS the standards as they are today lack some features that are needed for enterprise-grade solutions. One of the lacking areas (and finally, I get to the point that ties all this to the theme of my column!) is transactions!

Finally, I Get to the Point
The WebLogic Tuxedo connector can propagate two-phase commit transactions between the BEA WebLogic and Tuxedo environments. In my mind, that is implicit in making them a logically united platform (but that's just the kind of mind I have, I guess). None of the alternative products on the market that I know of (however standards based they claim to be) can do that. They all claim to support transactions, but what they mean is that they can start a Tuxedo transaction from the Java side - not that they can flow a transaction from it (or to it, come to that). In the migration scenario, it could be common for atomic updates to be needed where the data to be persisted has been computed on both sides of the technology fence; remember the scenario involved a mixed-skill development team. Full two-phase commit is needed and it is needed in such a way that it spans the two technologies. WTC provides that. Even for the renewal scenario, it would be lovely for all the systems to be interconnected in such a way that they were loosely coupled enough that they never needed to coexist in the same transaction. Life isn't always like that, and until implementations of WS-Transaction hit the market, WTC is the only game in town.

Oh, and don't forget those client-side, small-scale guys. Wouldn't it be great if they could apply their PowerBuilder/Delphi/Visual Basic- style skills to this unified applications environment! Oh, sorry, I must have forgotten to mention... they can! With BEA WebLogic Workshop, not only can they access the Tuxedo-based resources via an out-of-the-box control, but since the fruits of their labors run atop WebLogic, their transactions can flow as freely as anyone else's between the old and the new technology worlds.

So, in conclusion, the WebLogic Tuxedo Connector is a kick-ass piece of technology (if you'll excuse the hyperbole). By its ability to stitch together the WebLogic and Tuxedo worlds with transactions (and security, come to mention it), it gives you maximum ability to leverage assets in the Java and non-Java worlds with the minimum of developer effort. And did I mention it's free?! Now that's what I call return on investment!

More Stories By Peter Holditch

Peter Holditch is a senior presales engineer in the UK for Azul Systems. Prior to joining Azul he spent nine years at BEA systems, going from being one of their first Professional Services consultants in Europe and finishing up as a principal presales engineer. He has an R&D background (originally having worked on BEA's Tuxedo product) and his technical interests are in high-throughput transaction systems. "Of the pitch" Peter likes to brew beer, build furniture, and undertake other ludicrously ambitious projects - but (generally) not all at the same time!

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
industrial company for a multi-year contract initially valued at over $4.0 million. In addition to DataV software, Bsquare will also provide comprehensive systems integration, support and maintenance services. DataV leverages advanced data analytics, predictive reasoning, data-driven diagnostics, and automated orchestration of remediation actions in order to improve asset uptime while reducing service and warranty costs.
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...