Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Weblogic

Weblogic: Article

A Guided Tour of the WebLogic E-Business Platform

A Guided Tour of the WebLogic E-Business Platform

Those who understand e-business know that the Internet has forever changed the business world. More and more successful companies are harnessing and exploiting the power of the Internet to maintain a competitive advantage.

Although e-business offers great opportunities, it also demands fundamental changes in the way business is conducted, especially in terms of the following:

  • Using the Internet for advertising, sales, and customer support
  • Presenting a new form of direct customer relations
  • Providing new roles for intermediaries
  • Implementing major changes in products and services

Building e-business using the latest tools and technologies and integrating them with existing applications is a major challenge faced by most businesses. There is a demand for tools and products to help bridge the new world of Web-based solutions to the ancient mainframe applications.

This chapter provides a brief introduction to various e-business products available from BEA, such as eLink, WebLogic Portal with personalization and commerce services, WebLogic TUXEDO, and WebLogic Java Adapter for Mainframe.

WebLogic eLink
To understand this product, you should know a thing or two about Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). EAI products leverage enterprise application transaction platforms to integrate existing legacy applications with customer-focused (business-to-customer, or B2C) and e-commerce (business-to-business, or B2B) initiatives. Typically, organizations have already been running legacy applications for decades. In response to the Web revolution and the availability of Web-based applications to deliver services to clients, they might need to integrate back-end legacy systems with new advances to perform rapid requests for information. EAI makes that possible. WebLogic eLink is just one of BEA's seamless solutions for integrating legacy systems with new Web-based applications.

The BEA eLink family offers two solutions for these integration needs: eLink Platform and eLink Foundation (see Figure 1). The eLink Platform provides support for eLink adapters to customers with lower EAI requirements. BEA adapters provide access to external enterprise applications, such as Customer Resource Management (CRM, including Vantive, Siebel, and Clarify); Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP, including SAP R/3, PeopleSoft, and Oracle); mainframe applications (including CICS, IMS, any SNA peer, Unisys OS 2200, Unisys MCP/AS, or any system that supports Open Group XATMI over OSI TP); and billing applications, including Portal. eLink Foundation is for customers who have more complex EAI scenarios to handle.

WebLogic Express
WebLogic Express is a WebLogic Server product with limited facilities, as compared to the full-blown WebLogic Server software. It can be used to host Web pages; to implement Java applications such as applets, servlets, and Java Server Pages (JSPs); to generate contents dynamically; and to let applications communicate with databases using the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) implementation. It also provides Remote Method Invocation (RMI) functionality. Unlike WebLogic Server, WebLogic Express does not support EJBs, Java Messaging Service (JMS), and the two-phase commit protocol for the transactions. WebLogic Express is a scalable platform that serves dynamic contents and data to Web applications and wireless applications. It provides a Web container but not a Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) container.

BEA WebLogic Portal 4.0
Prior to WebLogic Portal 4.0, separate tools were used for portal development, commerce services, personalization services, and campaign management. Now WebLogic Portal puts all of these Web applications in one package. This makes for a better product with rock-solid integration between functionalities and services. Figure 2 shows Portal server facilities.

Portal Services
Portal
is a term used to describe a World Wide Web site proposed to be a major starting site for users, or one that users tend to visit as an anchor site. Portals are categorized as general portals and specialized or niche portals. Some major portals include Yahoo!, Excite, Netscape, CNET, Microsoft Network, and America Online. Niche portals include Garden.com (for gardeners), Fool.com (for investors), and SearchNetworking.com (for network administrators).

A portal can also be considered a network service that provides access to various heterogeneous network services that are local and remote, structured and unstructured. Such network services might typically include resource discovery services, e-mail access, and online discussion forums.

Portals such as MSN, shown in Figure 3, make use of contents provided by their partners, and they keep users on their sites by providing content and services.

Portals typically include special functionality called resource discovery; the user can potentially search for various information or products, such as travel information, weather information, latest music albums, and so on. Figure 4 shows some examples of resource discovery interfaces.

WebLogic Portal is built on the WebLogic E-Business platform and is designed to help lower the cost involved in accessing the information, applications, and business processes for enterprises, customers, and business partners. WebLogic Portal simplifies the creation of personalized and sophisticated portal sites by providing a user interface framework, prebuilt presentation elements, and templates.

E-Commerce Services
One of the most popular Internet myths is that running an online store is simple: all the customer has to do is point, click, and buy. However, the reality is that carrying out a successful e-commerce venture is far more complex than developing and maintaining another type of Web site.

You must consider many elements when developing an online store. Your Web site needs to provide customers with information about your products. A payment-processing system must be in place-not to mention a way to calculate taxes properly-and all of this on top of providing customers with the kind of personalized service that will keep them coming back. This is where BEA WebLogic Portal 4.0 with e-commerce services can come into play. WebLogic Portal 4.0 provides a built-in set of commerce templates that developers can use to build e-commerce Web sites easily and effectively, including a products catalog, order processing system, tax calculation method, payment processing structure, and registration.

Personalization Services
By personalization, we mean that the individuals involved in Web content development have the capacity to tailor an application to a particular individual or a group of individuals in an organization. The customization depends on predefined user attributes, such as age or gender. In this scenario, individual customers can set up their own profiles, and the content delivery to the individuals accessing the Web site will depend on each user's particular profile. The core benefit of personalized services is that a complete solution can be developed rapidly that allows your business to extend its competitive advantage, accelerate response time to customers, and meet market demands. WebLogic Portal 4.0 provides personalized services that can be used with JSP tags to deliver a responsive, customized experience to the users or group.

Campaign Management
Internet marketing is where organizations are currently investing most of their dollars, both in releasing their own ad campaigns and in working with popular sited hosts to carry it out for them. Almost all Web sites host and carry out ad campaigns for their partners on the Web.

WebLogic Java Adapter for Mainframe
Most large organizations have ancient mainframe applications that serve their business needs, but they also have multi-tier, Web-based applications that serve the needs of their business in a modern way. The success of organization depends on how these two are integrated. BEA WebLogic Java Adapter for Mainframe (JAM) provides a solution that delivers bidirectional and request-response integration between Java and mainframe applications. In fact, JAM extends the life of mainframe applications by integrating them with Java applications running on WebLogic Server. Bidirectional means that once a WebLogic JAM is installed, it allows the WebLogic Server application to invoke mainframe applications. A typical WebLogic JAM distributed configuration is demonstrated in Figure 5.

The obvious benefits of using BEA WebLogic JAM, from business perspectives, includes leveraging existing IT investment; having an easy-to-use, Web-based Administration Console for administering JAM and providing support for a two-phase commit for distributed transactions; generating J2EE applications from existing mainframe applications; providing data translation among Java, XML, and COBOL data types; supporting mainframe security credentials; and integrating JAM into a WebLogic Integration.

WebLogic JAM and mainframe systems have two main components for interaction: gateway and Communications Resource Manager (CRM). Figure 6 demonstrates the WebLogic Administration Console for administering WebLogic JAM.

WebLogic JAM supports the following dynamic configuration changes:

  • Adding and removing WebLogic JAM gateways
  • Enabling and disabling WebLogic JAM gateways
  • Adding and removing links
  • Enabling and disabling links
  • Adding and removing services
  • Enabling and disabling services

eGen Application Generator
BEA WebLogic JAM provides a utility called eGen that assists in quickly integrating a mainframe application. The command-line utility generates Java source code using a COBOL copybook and a declarative script file as input. On executing the utility with necessary input, it generates a working Java skeleton application that can be used as a basis for new applications or as an addition to an existing application. The eGen utility can generate servlets, EJBs, or stand-alone clients. All generated skeletons include code that implements connectivity and data translation to mainframe applications.

With the help of the eGen utility, you can generate four different types of Java application models: client class, client EJB, server EJB, and servlets.

The client class is a stand-alone Java class file that invokes mainframe services. It may be incorporated into your own EJB or utilized in some other way within your code.

The client EJB is a stateless session EJB that invokes mainframe services. A servlet or other client programs can call it. This is the normal model for building a production application with access to mainframe services. A servlet that invokes the EJB's methods may be added for testing or demonstration purposes.

The server EJB is a stateless session EJB that provides a service to mainframe client applications.

The servlet-only application is a servlet that presents a simple form and invokes mainframe services directly. This model is useful for testing purposes but is not suitable for production applications.

As a WebLogic Server administrator, you will be required to install a gateway and make modifications to the WebLogic configuration to start it automatically with WebLogic Server. Follow these steps:
1.   Install the WebLogic JAM gateway.
2.   Deploy WebLogic JAM in the WebLogic Server environment.
3.   Run the IMS (Information Management System) installation verification sample.
4.   Run the CICS (Customer Information Control System) installation verification sample.
5.   Define a WebLogic JAM gateway.
6.   Configure mainframe client applications.
7.   Expose enterprise Java Beans to the mainframe.
8.   Expose JMS events to the mainframe.
9.   Expose WebLogic integration events to the mainframe.
10.   Start and stop a gateway.
11.   Activate and deactivate CRM links.
12.   Monitor the CRM status.
13.   Monitor CRM trace-level settings.
14.   Monitor CRM links.
15.   Enable an exported WebLogic application.
16.   Enable a service.

NOTE: WebLogic JAM configuration information is persisted on the administration node of the WebLogic domain. WebLogic JAM configuration is stored in Extensible Markup Language (XML) in a single file, jamconfig.xml, which should reside in the domain-specific directory on which WebLogic JAM runs.

WebLogic and TUXEDO
A robust transaction processing system, TUXEDO (Transactions for UniX, Enhanced for Distributed Operations) is the following:

  • A middleware: It relays requests and responses between client and server processes (with or without transactions).
  • A transaction processing (TP) monitor: It begins, terminates, and monitors transactions on behalf of client and server processes.
  • A distributed TP monitor (DTP): It allows transaction participants to be located on different machines or associated with different databases.

    Those who are tired of using low-level networking (streams, sockets, daemons, and so forth) for transaction processing requirements can use TUXEDO as their software communication infrastructure.

    BEA TUXEDO is a software bundle that allows integrators and developers to rapidly develop robust client-server applications. It provides an interface called Application to Transaction Monitor Interface (ATMI) that implements most of the code necessary for clients and servers to communicate. Application programmers divide business logic among TUXEDO-controlled programs or processes called servers. Other programs, called clients, can independently call functions that implement specific tasks within these servers. These tasks are called services. The following are services rendered by TUXEDO:

  • Implements a business task.
  • Encapsulates data access.
  • Provides location transparency by helping clients call services by name and not by server.
  • The TUXEDO bulletin board provides name resolution.

    TUXEDO provides a runtime graphical administration tool to configure and monitor applications. Its applications can span multiple machines, even those with different internal architectures. Logical applications or domains can be configured to facilitate interapplication communications.

    NOTE: BEA TUXEDO is a middleware infrastructure for enabling distributed transaction processing and building scaleable three-tier client/server applications and heterogeneous environments.

    TUXEDO Servers and Clients
    TUXEDO servers provide the following:

    • Business logic by TUXEDO services
    • Several encapsulated services
    • Resource management
    • Not visible for clients
    Following is a list of potential candidates for TUXEDO:
    • Part of the front-end applications
    • Presentation layer for user input/output
    • Senders of application business logic data
    Checklist
    In this chapter, we made a straightforward journey into the world of e-business products and the new innovations that that BEA is making in this arena. We covered the following:
  • WebLogic eLink is used for EAI.
  • WebLogic Express is a limited version providing restricted functionality of WebLogic Server.
  • WebLogic Portal is a portal development tool leveraging commerce services, personalization services, and campaign management.
  • WebLogic Java Adapter for Mainframe is used for integrating WebLogic Server with back-end systems.
  • eGen is used as an application-generation tool.

    SIDEBAR
    ISBN 0-07-222316-2

    Publication Date:
    10/21/2002

    Pages:
    432

    Price:
    $49.99 Available at
    www.osborne.com

    Copyrighted material reprinted with permission from the McGraw-Hill companies

  • More Stories By Akbar Ali Ansari

    Akbar Ali Ansari is a software engineer with Oracle. Before coming to Oracle he worked with BEA systems for 7 years. He is part of the Engineering team of Oracle WebLogic Server Application server and has worked on designing and developing many functionalities of WebLogic Server. He's an expert member of JSR 262 and JSR255.

    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
    DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
    "Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
    The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
    In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
    "Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
    Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
    Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
    "Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    "IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
    In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
    22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo 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 ...
    "Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
    Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
    "MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
    "There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.