image blog what is weblogic
September 2, 2020

Java Basics: What Is WebLogic?

Java Application Development
Enterprise Development

With its extensive suite of enterprise functionalities, WebLogic is a popular choice for Java development. But how does it compare to other platforms and application servers?

In this blog, we give an overview of WebLogic, including popularity, use cases, and comparisons to Tomcat and JBoss / Wildfly.

What Is WebLogic?

Oracle WebLogic Server is a scalable, enterprise Java platform application server for Java-based web applications.

WebLogic allows users to develop and deploy an application that has business logic and allows the application to access other services like database, messaging, or other enterprise systems.

Originally, WebLogic wasn’t always in the Oracle portfolio. In fact, it joined the Oracle product portfolio in 2008 when BEA Systems, a software company that developed it, was acquired by Oracle.

WebLogic Server offers a robust, highly available, and secure environment for critical applications and since version 14.x it supports Java EE 8 Full Platform. 

What Is WebLogic Used For?

WebLogic is a platform where you deploy your Java application and everything else is handled by the server. When clients make a request to a web application the web server will handle the request and delegate its processing to the required service. If the request requires reading data for example from the database, WebLogic will take care of it. The client doesn't know what happened in the background and is served with the required content.

In fact, the server is usually used in the production environments, where there are many clients making thousands of requests every time and the server must be able to serve all of them without any issues. To achieve stability and high availability, usually, load balancing and scalability is used within the application server. The application can be deployed to the server in several ways. Below is the example of deploying the application using the Administration Console.

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Is WebLogic Popular?

WebLogic is popular within the commercial sphere — where companies require reliable software that comes with enterprise support. Although WebLogic is not free and requires buying a license, it ranks as the third most popular application server — behind only Tomcat and Jetty.

2020 Java Technology Report - Java Application Server Usage Chart
Source: 2020 Java Developer Productivity Report

 

If you only consider servers that implement Java EE Full Profile specification, WebLogic is dominating the market.

What Is WebSphere?

WebSphere Application Server (WAS) is a web application server that is used as a middleware to host Java-based web applications.

Developed by IBM, WAS is written in Java so it can be run on any operating system where Java is supported. While writing this article, Version 9.x of WAS supports Java EE7 Full Profile. You may also hear the word “Liberty” with a connection to WAS. WebSphere Liberty is a lightweight application server with low overhead that is designed for cloud applications and microservices. The latest release of WebSphere Liberty supports Java EE 8 Full Platform.

If you are a single developer, both editions are free for development purposes. In an environment where more than one person is using the server, the purchase of a commercial license is required. The pricing model with starting prices can be found here.

image blog what is websphere

WebLogic vs. Tomcat

While Tomcat is popular, it offers a limited set of features from the Java EE Full Profile specification, such as Java Servlet or JavaServer Pages. For some applications, however, it might not be enough.

Benefits of WebLogic vs. Tomcat
WebLogic BenefitsTomcat Benefits
Java EE 8 Compatible ImplementationFree and open source
Extremely scalableLightweight
Administration consoleLow memory footprint
Integrates well with other Oracle products 

Offering limited features makes Tomcat a lightweight server with quick redeploys. But because it's lightweight, it suffers in usability. If the application requires more Java EE features, WebLogic is often the better choice.

With WebLogic, users get access to the commercial support from Oracle. Tomcat, in comparison, doesn’t have dedicated support. However, you can get support for Tomcat from OpenLogic by Perforce.

OpenLogic provides support for:

Get Support For Tomcat

Whether you're considering a migration from WebLogic to Tomcat — or you're already using Tomcat and want support — OpenLogic experts can help. Get in touch today to learn how. 

Talk to a Tomcat Expert

WebLogic vs. JBoss / Wildfly

Two application servers that play a big role in an enterprise sphere are WebLogic and JBoss / WildFly. Both offer full support for Java EE 8. One of the key differences is that JBoss / Wildfly is open source and free while WebLogic is paid product with commercial support. For a charge, Red Hat also offers commercial support in its JBoss Enterprise Application Platform solution.

Benefits of WebLogic vs. JBoss / Wildfly
WebLogic BenefitsJBoss / Wildfly Benefits
Developed by OracleFree and open source
Extremely scalableOffers support for JBoss EAP (paid)
Everything manageable from the Administration ConsoleJakarta EE Full platform implementation

Final Thoughts

If you are considering a tool for a production environment with a heavy load and you also need most or all from the Java EE specification, WebLogic is a good candidate. While there are other servers that have similar functionality, one of the advantages of WebLogic is its excellent integration with other products from Oracle.

WebLogic Server is a commercial product that requires buying a license, but you will get access to enterprise support as well. Due to all its features, WebLogic isn’t really a lightweight solution, so make sure you compare the servers well before choosing for one — including redeploy times.

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Additional Resources

Want to hear insight into the technologies Java developers are using today? This webinar looks at the results of our 2020 Java Developer Productivity Report, with insights from our Java experts.

Looking for further reading on Java application servers and platforms? Check out these resources: