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WebLogic Real Time 1.1 Provides < 30 ms latency

by Floyd Marinescu on Aug 28, 2006 |
BEA has released WebLogic Realtime (WLRT) Core Edition 1.1 today, their product intended to bring  Java into whas has been traditionally the realm of C/C++ real time applications that require guaranteed subsecond response times. Real Time claims to have 20 millisecond average latencies and 30-millisecond maximum latency on its own benchmark application.   WebLogic Real Time offers real time features with standard Java progamming paradigms, as opposed to specialized real time systems vendors that require specific programming model semantics, such as those implementing JSR 1 (Real time spec for Java)

The key differentiator of WLRT is the Deterministic Garbage Collector that ships with special WebLogic Realtime version of BEA's JRockit.  Instead of stopping the entire virtual machine to perform garbage collection, the deterministic garbage collector performs garbage collection as a consistent background task, eliminating the lack of predictability in pause times. Another feature included is BEA JRockit Runtime Analyzer which records profiling of methods and locks, as well as garbage collection statistics, optimization decisions, and object statistics for later analysis.

WLRT ships with WebLogic Express Base Edition 9.2, which provides a webserver with JDBC, JSP, Servlets, and RMI, but not EJB, JCA, JMS, or XA Transactions.  BEA however is advocating the Spring framework as a programming model for it's real time product:
Using Spring in BEA WebLogic Real Time is a natural fit. Spring’s low overhead is a perfect match for the low latency requirements of real-time applications. Indeed, many developers of high-performance Java applications have already begun using Spring for performance reasons. In addition, Spring contributes to high developer productivity by relying on Plain Old Java Objects and by enforcing modular, reusable coding practices. Finally, since future versions of BEA WebLogic Real Time will not be based on a full J2EE implementation, Spring provides a unifying development model for the BEA WebLogic Real Time product line, allowing organizations to take advantage of the further performance gains of future releases.

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Growing the Java market by Rod Johnson

I think this is a very important area for server-side Java to move. This product is not designed to play in the space with WebLogic or other app servers, but to enlarge the market for Java products. It's easy for Java developers to forget how much C++ there is out there, and that there are still bastions where Java has not gotten traction--despite the fact that over time that gets harder to justify. And of course there are also an amazing number of apps, especially in banking, where customers are using Java but not J2EE, and thus far haven't seen app servers as meeting their needs.

I think we'll see more vendors moving into this space. However, BEA are in a strong position with JRockit in particular--it's a nice product--and kudos to them for trying to give such customers what they want in a product.

It's worth pointing out (not merely to be open about my interest) that BEA are providing this product with Spring support out of the box, in partnership with Interface21, so they are not merely recommending Spring but giving their customers a solid story on having a fully supported stack.

Rod Johnson
CEO Interface21, Spring from the Source

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