Michel Schildmeijer's report on Oracle OpenWorld 2018

Michel Schildmeijer's report on Oracle OpenWorld 2018

Published on: Category: Oracle

Every year Oracle organizes Oracle OpenWorld—a big conference lasting four days with around 60.000 attendees. For me, it was the 7th time I attended. From 2011 up to this year I was present at OpenWorld, and I have presented 3 times at this event. This year, I was very fortunate to give 3 presentations. Although I was quite busy with arranging and preparing, I did have the chance to listen to a few presentations.

How Big is Oracle OpenWorld


I hardly ever attend keynotes because I think they are too commercially driven and only give a slight indication of what is to be expected with no real, interesting news. In previous years, the opening keynote was on Sunday afternoon, but this year the kickoff started on Monday. I suspect this had to do with the unexpected leave of Thomas Kurian, CEO of Oracle and now frontrunner at Google. The organization probably had to reschedule the program. I am not one hundred percent sure, though.

One exception: the keynote I followed on Tuesday at Oracle OpenWorld’s sister event, Oracle Code One (formerly known as Java One – which is more focused on Java and other languages). In this keynote, Java Evangelist Stephen Chin introduced a number of founders of a new technology or idea which had great influence in the last years. All the founders received a Groundbreakers award, which is the new program and recognition of high contributing developers (formerly known as Developer Champions).

I thought it was amusing that the founder of the Python language, Guido van Rossum, also received an award for making the language one of the most influential ones. He stated: “If someone would have said last year that I would be at an Oracle Conference this year, I would have never believed them.“

Guido van Rossum on stage with Stephen Chin


An important part of the conference is, for me, the product roadmaps. Because Oracle is aiming on Cloud, product roadmaps have become less. But there are new plans, and WebLogic Oracle Product Director Will Lyons explained to us what those are.

New releases
The latest release of WebLogic is; the same as its equivalent in the Cloud, the Java Cloud Service. Somewhere in 2019, release 19.2 will come out. Oracle has rebranded the versions equal to the 18c database versions, so a jump from 12 to 19.

Release 19.2 will support the following Java versions, starting Q2 2019:

  • Java Enterprise Edition 8
  • Modernized and supporting
    • HTTP/2, JSON-B, Reactive
    • Simplified and enhanced
      • CDI, Bean Validation, Security
      • Java SE 8
  • Java Development kits up to 11

Now, there is also a path to migrate Java EE to opensource Jakarta EE (Eclipse Foundation), which means the Oracle Glassfish 5.X will become Eclipse GlassFish 5.X in December 2019.

WebLogic versions

Prior to 19.2, in Q1 will come out as a maintenance release. So no new features. In my opinion, it’s a version switch so customers can get familiar with it.

Oracle will discontinue investing new features in WebLogic’s multitenancy technology, such as partitioning, resource management, and automatic and elastic features. This means it will not be enhanced. Nevertheless, they will still exist in future releases; they will just be more and more focused on adopted container and orchestration technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes.

There are no plans yet at Oracle to bring out Oracle Fusion Middleware product on 19.2. They will be at 19.1 as a maintenance release and will not be certified (yet) on 19.2. So SOA Suite, BPM, WebCenter, etc. will not be certified to 19.2. The 12c versions will probably only be on this 19.1 maintenance release.

Container adoption
WebLogic adopts container technology, as mentioned, and follows Cloud Native Trends such as:

  • Microservices, serverless
  • Containers and orchestration frameworks
  • Certified for Kubernetes and Docker
  • Certified for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and Oracle Kubernetes Engine (OKE)

Furthermore, to support WebLogic advanced features, the current version supports Kubernetes Operators. For WebLogic the 1.1 version includes support for:

  • Monitoring pods and domain resources
  • Pods restarts, scaling, maintenance
  • One to many WebLogic domains per operator
  • One to many Operator per Kubernetes cluster
WebLogic Kubernetes Operator

For WebLogic 19.2, a new operator V2.0 will be released. It will contain:

  • Better support for Helm charts, for installing the operator
  • “Domain in docker image” option
  • All domain and application stored in docker where you will be able to override a configuration
  • Persistent volumes for logs and an exporter.
  • Enhancements for Continuous Integration and Deployment

Oracle will continue to invest more and more in Cloud in terms of:

  • Invest in Docker & Kubernetes
    • Cloud neutral
    • OCI enterprise ready
    • Migration form current Java Cloud Service
  • Current Java Cloud
  • Support new WLS and Coherence
  • Support OCI databases
  • Support WebLogic and Coherence on IaaS

It will become easier to migrate your current WebLogic environments to a container-based platform like Docker & Kubernetes, including tools for migration and lifecycle management. It will also be easier to migrate the 2nd path to the Oracle Cloud and Oracle Kubernetes Engine using all the features: security wise, scaling, availability.

WebLogic Deploy Tooling
Though it is still in an early phase, this tool provides some strong capabilities for getting your WebLogic domain migrated to Kubernetes:

  • Domain introspection to:
    • Create a model, a yaml file of your entire domain
    • Migrate existing domains and upgrade them to 12.2.1.X
    • Tested on 10.3.6 to 12.2.1.X
  • Customize to get “Kubernetes ready”
  • Create WebLogic domain docker images

Alongside an embedded product of WebLogic, Coherence will follow most of the enhanced features. These features are in general (from 19.1):

  • REST management to manage coherence clusters and provide API’s
  • Coherence Kubernetes Operator with:
    • Helm charts
    • Prometheus and Grafana
    • Manage scaling, patching, versioning

But there will be a new feature meant for the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, which is called Synoki. Synoki is based on Coherence and is a state service to provide Cloud Data Structures for applications having a distributed data store. For distributed applications, the platform will be stateful.

Synoki framework

Version support and updates
Many customers might be wondering: will my version still be supported? Her is an overview of what is supported and what will soon be out of premier or extended support:

Version support and updates

Other interesting topics

It pleases me to see how Oracle is moving more and more to Cloud native, adopting standards from the Cloud Native Foundation, though there is still a long way to go. I followed some interesting sessions and, of course, I was busy presenting my three sessions.

My first session was together with Debu Panda, Product Director for the Oracle Management Cloud: “Gain Insight into Service-Oriented Architecture Applications with Oracle Management Cloud [PRO4370]”. There wasn’t much of an audience, though I think the Oracle Management Cloud has the potential to become a strong product, not only for Oracle based platforms.

IThe Management Cloud is not yet well known, so with this presentation and the one more geared towards developers: “DevOps Powered by Application Performance Monitoring in Oracle Management Cloud [DEV5389]” I hope it will become more popular amongst people.

My session “10 Things You Should Know About Oracle and Kubernetes [PRO2816]” seemed to be a very popular topic, as there was a large number of people attending (+200). Because of the popularity I will give this presentation at the UKOUG Tech18 in Liverpool and at a seminar in Qualogy Office on 11 December. For more information, visit this blog.

Almost a full house in Moscone West
Michel Schildmeijer
About the author Michel Schildmeijer

Having made his start in the pharmacy sector, Michel transitioned to IT in 1996, working on a UNIX TTY terminal-based system and the MUMPS language. He currently works as a solutions architect at Qualogy, with a focus on middleware, application integration and service-oriented architecture. His passion for middleware started in 2000 when working as a support analyst for a financial institute with BEA WebLogic and Tuxedo. Michel is an expert on the WebLogic platform. He serves customers in his role as architect and advises them in all aspects of their IT landscape. He became an Oracle ACE in 2012 and wrote two books about WebLogic: Oracle WebLogic Server 11gR1 PS2: Administration Essentials and Oracle WebLogic Server 12c: First Look. He is a well-known speaker at national and international conferences and is recognised as an official Oracle Speaker. Read his blog: https://community.oracle.com/blogs/mnemonic

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