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
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
    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.

    ISBN 0-07-222316-2

    Publication Date:


    $49.99 Available at

    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
    It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
    WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
    Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
    Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
    IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
    When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
    Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
    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 settl...
    In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, presented the findings of a series of six detailed case studies of how large corporations are implementing IoT. The session explored how IoT has improved their economic performance, had major impacts on business models and resulted in impressive ROIs. The companies covered span manufacturing and services firms. He also explored servicification, how manufacturing firms shift from se...
    DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
    The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
    IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
    Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
    Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
    Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
    In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
    DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
    "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.
    IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
    DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.