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Oracle reveal Cloud Application Foundation for renewed mobile & cloud apps

In a string of announcements, Oracle have updated several middleware and developer products, hoping to persuade customers that they are fully furnished for private cloud deployments.

The repackaging of application server WebLogic and in-memory cache Coherence under on platform, dubbed Cloud Application Foundation, represents the biggest change. Also included in this new package is another application server, Tuxedo, as well as the recently release Oracle 12c database.

WebLogic now has clustering capabilities and support for a number of cloud-centric Web protocols, such as Websocket. Through Oracle TopLink, developers are able to access data sources through JSON and XML format, while there is also a streamlined and simplified Java Messaging Service for quicker data rates in Exalogic. The ties to build manager Apache Maven have been strengthened also.

The company’s data caching layer, Coherence, has “significant new capabilities across the board,” Mike Lehmann, Oracle VP of product management told IDG News Service’s Joab Jackson. Coherence 12.1.2 now deploys event processing far quicker, a welcome change from the multiple event processing of old. It also uses Oracle’s datastore backup software, GoldenGate, so the cache can quickly update entries.

Al Hilwa, an analyst at IDC, told eWEEK that the releases were “the culmination of a lot of work on the part of the database and middleware team at Oracle,"

“It is one of the most integrated releases they have ever shipped in that there are several points of deep integration across the layers. I also think the multi-tenancy aspects provide a good basis to implement cloud software in a cost-effective way, which is a key focus area for cloud providers."

To complement this move, Oracle have also updated a raft of Java development tools, which will take “enterprise application developers to the next level” according to VP of Application Development Tools, Chris Tonas.

Java-EE based framework ADF, often chosen for its simplified visual approach to building enterprise apps, now includes better support for touch-based tablets, after branching out into mobile in October. There’s also the promise of greater REST protocol support and EJB/JPA data controls, as well as additional visualisation components, like timelines and treemaps.

Oracle’s freeware IDE, JDeveloper has been bolstered with new Maven and Git support and a dependency explorer, while the free set of Eclipse plugins, Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, also has new REST features.

Some might say the new additions to these enterprise-focused tools is long overdue and that many other frameworks already offer this functionality, leaving the Redwood Shores company way behind the curve. But at least Oracle has recognised the importance of embracing cloud and mobile before it is too late, and is a sound strategy in their battle with Microsoft and Salesforce for on-premise supremacy.

Oracle are expected to reveal more details behind this bumper update, in a webcast on July 31.

Chris Mayer

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