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Upgrading Oracle WebLogic Server
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2 Roadmap for Upgrading Your Application Environment

This chapter describes how to prepare for and perform an upgrade of your WebLogic application environments.

Topics include:

Note:

If your WebLogic Server installation includes other Oracle Fusion Middleware products, refer also to Planning an Upgrade.

Plan the Upgrade

Planning how you will upgrade an application environment is an important step in the process. To ensure that your plan addresses all of the aspects of upgrading that are necessary for your environment, complete the following steps:

Step 1: Inventory the Application Environment

Generate an inventory of the application environment by identifying the following components:

  • Administration Server and the computer on which it resides

  • Managed Servers and the computer(s) on which they reside

  • Location of the applications (including all external client applications)

  • External resources, for example:

    • Databases used to store persisted and application data

    • Firewalls

    • Load balancers

  • Tools, scripts, templates, and source code used for automating the tasks required to create the application environment

You can view a sample application environment in Overview of the Upgrade Process.

Step 2: Verify Supported Configuration Information

Supported configurations (for example, JDK versions, Operating System versions, Web server versions, and database versions) have changed for WebLogic Server 12.1.2. You may be required to upgrade your environments to the supported versions of these and other products.

For information about supported configurations, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Supported System Configurations on Oracle Technology Network (OTN).

For databases, please note that:

  • WebLogic Server 12.1.2 supports PointBase 5.7; however, PointBase is no longer included in the WebLogic Server installation program. Derby replaces PointBase for running WebLogic Server samples.

    To upgrade to WebLogic Server 12.1.2, you must create a new WebLogic Server installation. Therefore, the PointBase installation directory is not included. To continue using PointBase, see Upgrading a Domain that Uses an Evaluation Database.

    Note: The pre-5.7 version of PointBase that was distributed with earlier versions of WebLogic Server can be used only for WebLogic domains.

  • As of WebLogic Server 10.3.3, the evaluation database available from the installation program that is provided for use by the sample applications and code examples, and as a demonstration database, is changed from PointBase to Derby. Derby is an open source relational database management system based on Java, JDBC, and SQL standards. For more information about Derby, see http://db.apache.org/derby/.

    If you have a domain based on PointBase from an earlier version of WebLogic Server, and you plan to upgrade that domain to WebLogic Server 12.1.2, you can continue to use PointBase. But you must obtain a license from http://www.pointbase.com to use it. For more information, see Upgrading a Domain that Uses an Evaluation Database.

  • As of WebLogic Server 10.3, the Oracle Thin Drivers are included as part of the WebLogic Server installation.

  • If you are using an Oracle OCI database driver and want to change to use a Thin database driver, you must remove the server property (as illustrated below) from the generated JDBC module. For example:

    <property> 
      <name>server</name> 
      <value>servername</value> 
    </property> 
    
  • The Oracle Thin Drivers are installed with WebLogic Server and are ready for use. For more information about using these drivers, see "JDBC Drivers Installed with WebLogic Server" in Administering JDBC Data Sources for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Step 3: Review the Compatibility Information

Most existing WebLogic Server applications can be run without modification in the new WebLogic Server 12.1.2 application environment. However, you should review Appendix A, "WebLogic Server 12.1.2 Compatibility with Previous Releases," to determine whether any feature changes affect the applications in your environment.

Step 4: Create an Upgrade Plan

Using the information gathered in the preceding steps, create a plan for upgrading your application environment. Identify the scope and timing of the upgrade process, based on your business needs. Please note the following:

  • Oracle does not recommend upgrading an application environment that is currently deployed in production. Instead, you should upgrade your application environment while it is under development or test and execute standard procedures for quality assurance and performance tuning before promoting the upgraded environment to production.

  • If your application is complex, for example, if it includes multiple clustered domains and a large number of deployed applications, you may choose to upgrade the components of the application environment in stages.

  • You may consider limiting the number of WebLogic Server versions used in any single application environment to minimize the diversity and cost of systems being administered.

  • If you plan to use the RDBMS security store in a WebLogic domain, Oracle recommends that you create a new domain in which the RDBMS security store is configured. If you have an existing domain in which you want to use the RDBMS security store, you should create the new domain, then migrate your security realm to it. Oracle does not recommend "retrofitting" the RDBMS security store to an existing domain. For more information, see "Managing the RDBMS Security Store" in Administering Security for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Prepare to Upgrade

Before you upgrade the application environment, you must perform the following steps:

Step 1: Check Your Applications (Undeploy If Necessary)

It is not necessary for WebLogic Server applications to be undeployed before upgrading the domain. In most cases, WebLogic Server applications can be run without modifications in the new WebLogic Server 12.1.2 application environment. Review the compatibility information in Appendix A, "WebLogic Server 12.1.2 Compatibility with Previous Releases," to determine whether any features changes affect the applications in your environment. Note that if you use deprecated or removed APIs in the application, you might encounter warnings or exceptions at run time.

Step 2: Shut Down Servers in the Application Environment

Before you upgrade, you must shut down all servers in the application environment.

Step 3: Back Up the Application Environment

Oracle recommends that before upgrading your application environment, you manually back up the components defined in Table 2-1. You should back up the relevant information on all machines in the domain.

Table 2-1 Recommendations for Backing Up the Application Environment

Component Recommendations

Domain directory

Back up the Administration Server and any remote Managed Server domain directories that are defined in the application environment.

Note: The Domain Upgrade Wizard, which automatically backed up the domain being upgraded, is no longer provided with WebLogic Server. You must manually back up your domain directory prior to upgrading the domain.

Applications and application-persisted data

Back up any applications and data that reside outside of the domain directory.

Log files

If it is important for you to maintain a record of all messages that are logged, back up the log files. As log files can be large, you may want to delete them to conserve disk space if it is not important to retain them.


Step 4: Install Required Oracle Products

Before upgrading your application environment, you must install the Oracle WebLogic Server 12.1.2 products that you require on each computer in the domain. For more information about installing Oracle WebLogic products, see Installing and Configuring Oracle WebLogic Server and Coherence.

Step 5: Set Up the Environment

To set up the environment for an upgrade:

  1. Open an MS-DOS command prompt window (on Windows) or a command shell (on UNIX).

  2. Add the WebLogic Server classes to the CLASSPATH environment variable and WL_HOME\server\bin to the PATH environment variable, where WL_HOME refers to the top-level installation directory for WebLogic Server 12.1.2.

    You can perform this step by running the WL_HOME\server\bin\setWLSEnv script.

    Note:

    On UNIX operating systems, the setWLSEnv.sh command does not set the environment variables in all command shells. Oracle recommends that you execute this command using the Korn shell or bash shell.

Upgrade Your Application Environment

Figure 2-1 identifies the steps required to upgrade your application environment.

Figure 2-1 Roadmap for Upgrading Your Application Environment

Description of Figure 2-1 follows
Description of "Figure 2-1 Roadmap for Upgrading Your Application Environment"

Table 2-2 summarizes the steps for updating an application environment. Some steps are mandatory, others are optional. Each step that is performed must be done on every computer in the domain and in the sequence shown in this table.

Table 2-2 Procedure for Upgrading an Application Environment

Task Description

Upgrade to WebLogic Server 10.3.6

If the domain was created prior to WebLogic Server 10.3.0, you must first upgrade to WebLogic Server 10.3.6. You can do this using the WebLogic Server 10.3.6 upgrade installer. For more information, see the Installation Guide for Oracle WebLogic Server 10.3.6 at http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E23943_01/doc.1111/e14142/toc.htm.

Run the Domain Upgrade Wizard

If the domain was created prior to WebLogic Server 10.3.0, run the WebLogic Server 10.3.6 Domain Upgrade Wizard to upgrade the domain. See Upgrading Domains Created Prior to WebLogic Server 10.3.0.

Back up the domain

Prior to upgrading the domain on the Administration Server, make a backup copy of the domain. See Backing Up the Domain.

Upgrade WebLogic domain (Administration Server)

Run the Reconfiguration Wizard to upgrade the WebLogic domain on the computer that hosts the Administration Server. See Reconfiguring a WebLogic Domain.

Note: Oracle recommends that you completely upgrade the domain on the Administration Server before upgrading the domain on the Managed Servers.

Complete Node Manager configuration

Configure Node Manager to run as it did in the pre-upgraded domain. See Completing the Node Manager Configuration.

Back up the domain on each Managed Server.

Prior to upgrading the domain on a Managed Server, make a backup copy of the domain. See Backing Up the Domain.

Upgrade WebLogic domain (remote Managed Servers)

Use the pack and unpack commands or the WLST writeTemplate() command in online mode to upgrade the WebLogic domain on every computer that hosts any Managed Servers. See Updating a Managed Server Domain on a Remote Machine. For more information on pack and unpack, see Creating Templates and Domains Using the Pack and Unpack Commands.

Note: Managed Servers that reside on the same computer as the Administration Server do not require additional upgrade steps.


What to Do If the Upgrade Process Fails

If any step in the upgrade process fails, the Reconfiguration Wizard displays a message indicating the reason for the failure and terminates. To proceed, perform the following steps:

  1. Restore the application environment to its original state using the backup files you created in Step 3: Back Up the Application Environment.

  2. Correct the failure reported by the Reconfiguration Wizard.

  3. Run the Reconfiguration Wizard again to upgrade the domain.