WebLogic Real Time 1.1 Provides < 30 ms latency
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.
Growing the Java market
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.
CEO Interface21, Spring from the Source