BEA Systems first upgrade of WebLogic Real-Time since its release last December will allow customers to use the entry-level version of WebLogic Server. Additionally, latency has been reduced by a factor of three.
WebLogic Real-Time 1.1 will run on WebLogic Express, rather than requiring the full price version of WebLogic Server. And garbage collection latency will be roughly 30 milliseconds, compared to 100 milliseconds for the 1.0 version.
The significance is that, when running realtime applications, such as in financial trading, military reconnaissance, or manufacturing process control, having access to complex J2EE features such as support of enterprise Java beans is clearly overkill. In those cases, you want a stripped down server that is optimised, not just for speed, but predictability.
With WebLogic Express, you could forgo J2EE in favour of the Spring container, or just use POJOs (plain old Java objects) without containers at all. That translates to simpler applications with fewer moving parts, consuming less bandwidth and processing overhead.
Java's traditional stumbling block for realtime applications has been the performance of its garbage collection facility, which in traditional applications activates on when needed. For realtime, garbage collection has to be predictable to enable predictable response.
Additionally, the new version, which bundles BEA's proprietary Jrockit high-performance Java Virtual Machine (JVM), will add the companion analyser tool, which has been available from the product catalogue a la carte.
Given the newness of the product, BEA currently only has a handful of realtime installs. But, according to Jim Sherburne, director of product marketing, sales this year have already exceeded the seven-figure quota for the year. And he claims there are roughly 50 engagements in the pipeline. Clearly, improved performance and availability on a stripped platform helped enhance its appeal.
The product is available now. BEA is not disclosing pricing.