Oracle WebLogic Server Review

Flexibility and versatility make this product valuable while quarterly updates may impact stability

What is our primary use case?

Primarily we deploy WebLogic both as an in-house and a private cloud-hosted server solution for our customers. We have got a couple of different use cases as per specific clients. Our personal use case is just to understand its functionality deploy it to adapt to client needs.  

What is most valuable?

The most valued feature is probably simply just the overall functionality. The product has a lot of versatility as far as what we can do with it and that flexibility is valuable in our ability to leverage deployments.  

What needs improvement?

We have some pain points with the product. First of all, we know that the Oracle-related WebLogic updates tend to be a little volatile. That is in regards to their regular updates. They do quarterly security patch updates.  

People do the updates and over a period and for some of them the updates lead to the product becoming unstable. The updates do not always apply correctly. If there is something that is a little bit off — say, if a customer has installed an extra piece of software or something to modify the system — this can create issues. There are a lot of reasons that can cause WebLogic updates to end up making the whole system unstable.  

Having to do with that update issue, we would like to see Oracle add the Diagnostic Pack back in. They used to have it included with the product and it was removed. There is another piece that was also useful in helping with product analysis and stability that they took out after 10g. Right now these helpful modules are just add-ons. Really they should be part of the standard package.  

We have got a couple of other smaller problems, but right now our main problem is the Oracle CPU updates. They are timely, but primal as far as installations.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with Oracle WebLogic Server for a little over five years.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Besides some issues with updates, the product has been pretty stable for us. The instability that we sometimes experience is not necessarily the fault of the product itself and likely is linked to modifications. I can not downgrade the stability of WebLogic based on trying to make the product do something that it was not exactly designed for.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution seems to be fine. We use the standard edition; we do not use the enterprise level, so I do not have direct experience with the enterprise version. We have been talking to Oracle about changing that and possibly upgrading. They are currently setting up a proof of concept for us, but we have not completed that evaluation yet. The enterprise package would hopefully provide even better opportunities to scale.  

How are customer service and technical support?

We are pretty good at doing our own technical support and supplying it for our clients. The biggest problem right now is versioning. As they update versions we have had to buy extended support to cover potential issues with older versions.  

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Oracle has quarterly updates, but the licensing fees are annual. In our case, the licensing runs into the thousands as an annual cost. But the pricing depends on the model that you have adopted.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As we go through our contracts and bring on new clients, it is just a part of our normal due diligence to review new products and compare what is available on the market to make sure that we are using the best technology. "The best" is not necessarily the most current, and it is better to describe it as "the best" because newer is not always better. Mature options can evolve and sometimes that result is better than using an otherwise immature solution just because it is new. We just look at options and fit them to use cases.  

What other advice do I have?

My advice to people considering WebLogic as a solution is to do the same thing that we do right now and what we make sure our clients do. Doing due diligence is not really an option. You have to make sure that a solution — any solution you are considering — matches up with the use cases you are planning to deploy it for. There is no point in investing in the wrong solution.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Oracle WebLogic Server as a seven or eight. If I had to choose between those, I would say seven. It could easily be better and that really detracts from the user and administrative experience.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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