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Looking Back to See the Future

Looking Back to See the Future

I recently upgraded a small WebLogic 6.1 application to WebLogic 7.0. The process was really quite simple. I attribute this smooth transition to the application's standard use of J2EE components and to WLS 7.0's backwards compatibility! I really only had to do a few configuration changes to get it working. In particular, the JMS store and JMS paging store are no longer allowed to have the same JDBC persistent storage prefix. They want their own tables in WLS 7.0. Next, there was a minor, new element identifying the version of the configuration, ConfigurationVersion="". My biggest worry was security because the security in WLS 7.0 changed dramatically and the application's fileRealm was "deprecated" so to speak. However, the server started in backward-compatibility mode and ran all of the EJBs out of the gate despite the fact that their DTDs were still for WLS 6.1 and the server was using the old fileRealm.

Backward compatibility provides application development teams with the ability to migrate at their own pace, taking advantage of new features of WLS as they can or as required by the application. If new versions of WLS did not provide backward compatibility, then many installs would fail to upgrade. This would be a disaster. IMHO, not upgrading is setting yourself up for failure in the future when new features such as Web services, JMX, and advanced clustering are required. I'm weary about time spent on migrating to new platforms and versions. Thankfully, with WLS we don't have to be concerned.

This month's BEA WebLogic Developer's Journal includes some success stories using the BEA WebLogic Platform and products that integrate with the platform. I'm fond of this issue because these articles provide a real-world basis for WebLogic applications across numerous industries, not just e-commerce. Likewise, it's a look back to see how WebLogic has been used to solve unique problems, or perhaps not so unique problems. For instance, looking back and analyzing case studies can be a great benefit in solving future problems. They often reveal benefits and disadvantages of particular approaches and designs that application architects or project managers might not have prepared for otherwise.

This month, we have case studies covering successes on the WebLogic Platform utilizing products such as PANACYA's BeX application management agents, Cacheon's Migrator, and Sitraka's DeployDirector. The articles span the application infrastructure, financial services, and dental industries respectively. Also this month, we have Part 2 of Joe Krozak's series on advanced integration of PeopleSoft utilizing Web services, and the regular crew of Peter Holditch and Sam Pullara adding wisdom as always.

On a final note, next month will be the twelfth issue of WLDJ. Looking back, it has been a fun year, and I have been committed to providing you with the best literature on WebLogic in the industry. In the future, I promise WLDJ will remain true to this commitment.

More Stories By Jason Westra

Jason Westra is the CTO of Verge Technologies Group, Inc. (www.vergecorp.com). Verge is a Boulder, CO based firm specializing in eBusiness solutions with Enterprise JavaBeans.

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