1 Introduction

You can upgrade WebLogic servers and domains from an earlier version of WebLogic Server to WebLogic Server 12c ( You can also update an existing application to run on Oracle WebLogic Server

While upgrading to version, you might want to change your application or you might have to change the application. However, this document focuses only on issues that you should consider when moving an application to WebLogic Server without making any application changes.

The instructions in this document are for the following upgrade scenarios:

  • Upgrading from any WebLogic Server 10.3.x release to WebLogic Server

  • Upgrading from WebLogic Server 12.1.x to WebLogic Server


If you are upgrading from a release prior to WebLogic Server 10.3.1, see Upgrading From a WebLogic Version Prior to WebLogic Server 10.3.1.

If you are upgrading from version and later to version, the Reconfiguration Wizard only needs to be run when the location of the JDK or the Oracle Home is changed as part of the upgrade. If the Oracle Home and the JDK binaries are in the same location, running Reconfiguration Wizard is not required.

This document also describes how to update (reconfigure) an existing WebLogic Server 10.3.x or 12.1.x domain to be compatible with WebLogic Server, as well as how to upgrade Web Services.

WebLogic Server generally supports high levels of upgrade capability across WebLogic Server versions. This document is intended to provide WebLogic Server upgrade support and identify issues that may surface during an upgrade so that they can be easily resolved.


For information about upgrading your Java EE environment and your deployed applications from Oracle Application Server 10g and Oracle Containers for Java EE (OC4J) to WebLogic Server 12c release (, see Fusion Middleware Upgrade Guide for Java EE.

This document describes the upgrade process for Oracle product installations that include only WebLogic Server. If your installation includes other Oracle Fusion Middleware products, prior to beginning the upgrade, see Planning an Upgrade of Oracle Fusion Middleware and the upgrade guides for each Fusion Middleware product in your installation.

WebLogic Server includes the Fusion Middleware Reconfiguration Wizard to assist you with upgrading WebLogic Server and your application environments.

Most WebLogic Server applications can be run without modifications in the new WebLogic Server application environment.

This chapter includes the following sections:

Version Compatibility

Before you upgrade WebLogic Server, review the WebLogic Server and domain compatibility requirements for WebLogic Server

See Compatibility Within a Domain in Understanding Oracle WebLogic Server.

Within a WebLogic domain, the Administration Server, all Managed Server instances, and the WebLogic domain must be at the same WebLogic Server Major and Minor Version. This means that in WebLogic Server 12.2.1.x, the Administration Server, Managed Servers, and the WebLogic domain must all be at version 12.2.1.x. Versions of WebLogic Server prior to 12.1.2 have slightly different compatibility allowances regarding specific WebLogic Server versions that are supported in a given domain.

Important Terminology

The documentation for upgrading WebLogic Server uses various terms when describing its features and functionality. It is important that you have a good understanding of these terms.

  • Upgrade—In this document, the term upgrade refers to the process of upgrading WebLogic Server and moving an existing application, unchanged, to a new (upgraded) WebLogic Server version.

  • Reconfiguration—The process of upgrading a domain that was created with a previous WebLogic Server version so that it is compatible with the WebLogic Server version to which you have upgraded. This can be done using either the Reconfiguration Wizard or WLST.

  • Application Environment—An application environment includes applications and the WebLogic domains in which they are deployed. It also includes any application data associated with the domain, and may include resources such as database servers, firewalls, load balancers, and LDAP servers.

  • Migrate—To move an application or domain configuration from a third-party product to an Oracle product.

  • Interoperability—(1) The ability of an application deployed in one WebLogic Server version to communicate with another application that is deployed in a different WebLogic Server version. (2) The ability of Oracle product components to communicate with third-party software using standard protocols.

  • Compatibility—The capability of an application built using one WebLogic Server release to run in another WebLogic Server release, regardless of whether the application was rebuilt.

Upgrading From a WebLogic Version Prior to WebLogic Server 10.3.1

To upgrade to WebLogic Server from a version prior to 10.3.1, you must first upgrade to WebLogic Server 10.3.6, and then upgrade to

If you are currently using a WebLogic version prior to WebLogic Server 10.3.1, upgrading to version is a two-stage process:

  • Upgrade your installation to WebLogic Server 10.3.6. See Upgrade Guide for Oracle WebLogic Server 10.3.6.

    Be sure to run the WebLogic Server 10.3.6 Domain Upgrade Wizard to upgrade your domains.


    To download a WebLogic Server 10.3.6 upgrade installer, enter the appropriate patch number on My Oracle Support:

    • Patch 13529623—10.3.6 Generic Upgrade Installer (does not include a bundled JDK)

    • Patch 13529653—10.3.6 Linux 32-bit Upgrade Installer

    • Patch 13529639—10.3.6 Windows 32-bit Upgrade Installer

    • Patch 13529649—10.3.6 Solaris 32-bit Upgrade Installer

  • Upgrade WebLogic Server 10.3.6 to WebLogic Server per the instructions in this guide.


    As of WebLogic Server 12.1.2, Oracle no longer provides upgrade installers. You must install WebLogic Server to a new directory location. You cannot install it over an existing installation.

Overview of the Upgrade Process

You can upgrade all WebLogic Server applications and domains simultaneously, upgrade them in a well-defined sequence, or upgrade some applications and domains while leaving other applications and domains on older WebLogic Server versions.

The process required to upgrade an application environment depends on the scope of the application. An application environment includes a WebLogic domain and any applications and application data associated with the domain. It may also include external resources, such as firewalls, load balancers, and LDAP servers. Figure 1-1 shows an example of a WebLogic application environment.

Figure 1-1 Example WebLogic Application Environment

Description of Figure 1-1 follows
Description of "Figure 1-1 Example WebLogic Application Environment"

Table 1-1 lists the components of the WebLogic application environment shown in Figure 1-1 and the upgrade requirements for each.

Table 1-1 Upgrade Requirements for Components in Example WebLogic Application Environment

Component Description Upgrade Requirements

WebLogic domain

Includes the Administration Server (AS) and optionally one or more Managed Servers (for example, MS1, MS2, MS3, and MS4). The servers in a domain may span multiple machines. Furthermore, you can group Managed Servers into clusters to support load balancing and failover protection for critical applications. For more information about WebLogic domains, see Understanding Oracle WebLogic domains in Understanding Domain Configuration for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Upgrade the domain directory on each computer in the domain.


Any Java EE applications, including Web applications, EJBs, and so on. Typically, applications are deployed to one or more Managed Servers in a domain. Depending on the deployment strategy, applications may reside locally on a computer or be accessible using a shared directory. In addition, external client applications may access the application environment from outside a firewall.

Most WebLogic Server applications can be run without modifications in the new WebLogic Server application environment. See Interoperability and Compatibility with Previous Releases.

External resources

Software components, such as databases for storing domain and application data, load balancers, and firewalls.

Verify that all external resources are compatible with WebLogic Server See the Oracle Fusion Middleware Supported System Configurations page on the Oracle Technology Network.

Upgrading business applications that are deployed to WebLogic Server may involve upgrading multiple WebLogic Server applications, and in some cases domains, in a coordinated fashion to:

  • maintain consistency in the WebLogic Server versions being used

  • use the same supported configurations environment across the entire installation

  • meet specific interoperability requirements.

Before You Begin

Before you upgrade WebLogic Server, verify that your machine is set up to meet the requirements to upgrade and run WebLogic Server. You must also consider the scope of the environments that you are upgrading and which applications are upgraded in which sequence.

As covering all the permutations of an upgrade is beyond the scope of this document, consider the following items prior to planning your upgrade. These items focus on upgrades that involve a single application running in a single domain.

  • Oracle recommends that you upgrade an application in development environments and use a standard QA, testing, and staging process to move upgraded applications to a production environment.

  • You typically upgrade an application either by upgrading an existing domain or by creating a new domain, from which you can run the application on the new WebLogic Server version. Sometimes, you prefer to create new domains using the Fusion Middleware Configuration Wizard or other configuration tools (such as WLST) to test the applications that you are upgrading.


    If the domain was created using a WebLogic Server version prior to version 10.3.1, you must first upgrade to WebLogic Server 10.3.6. See Upgrading From a WebLogic Version Prior to WebLogic Server 10.3.1. After upgrading to WebLogic Server 10.3.6, run the WebLogic Server 10.3.6 Domain Upgrade Wizard to upgrade the domain. You can then use the Reconfiguration Wizard to upgrade the domain to WebLogic Server

  • When planning a WebLogic Server version upgrade, you should review the Fusion Middleware Supported Systems Configurations page on Oracle Technology Network (OTN) to ensure that your upgraded environment is supported by Oracle, in particular:

    • current and planned JVM and JDK versions

    • operating system versions

    • database versions

    • Web services versions

    • versions of other products that interoperate with or run on WebLogic Server, to ensure that the upgraded environment is supported by Oracle or other vendors' products that you are using with WebLogic Server.

  • On an ongoing basis, Oracle documents APIs and features that have been deprecated (that is, planned for removal in a future release). This is intended to inform you that you should avoid using these APIs and features to ensure upgradability. Oracle also documents the APIs and features that have actually been removed in the current release so that if you are upgrading from prior versions, you can determine if your applications will be affected by an upgrade.

    APIs and feature removals are cumulative. For example, if you are upgrading from WebLogic Server 10.0 to WebLogic Server, your applications may be affected by APIs or features that were removed in WebLogic Server 10.3, as well as by APIs or features that were removed in WebLogic Server When upgrading, you should review all documentation of deprecated and removed features for all applicable WebLogic Server versions.

  • You should consider the impact (if any) that the upgrade process may have on any automation (such as WLST scripts) that you are using to configure, deploy, start/stop, or monitor your WebLogic Server applications. You may need to upgrade such automation along with the applications and domains you are upgrading.

  • You should consider the potential impact that may result from the use of third-party libraries in your applications, as they may conflict with different versions of those same libraries that are embedded in WebLogic Server. In particular, new versions of WebLogic Server may change the version of open source libraries that are embedded in WebLogic Server. Applications that may run successfully on earlier WebLogic Server versions may encounter new class conflicts after upgrade.

    If you are upgrading an application that contains embedded third-party libraries, you should consider using the Classloader Analysis Tool, and filtering classloaders when upgrading WebLogic Server applications to WebLogic Server This tool enables you to identify, diagnose and resolve such conflicts, and may simplify the upgrade process.

  • If you are running applications on prior versions of WebLogic Server, and are using WebLogic Server patches or bug fixes, you should investigate whether or not those patches or bug fixes have been incorporated into the version of WebLogic Server to which you are upgrading.

Interoperability and Compatibility with Previous Releases

Most existing WebLogic Server version 10.3.1 or later applications can be run without modification in the new WebLogic Server application environment.

To determine whether any feature changes affect the applications in your environment, review the compatibility information described in WebLogic Server Compatibility with Previous Releases. If your application uses APIs that have been deprecated or removed, then you may encounter warnings or exceptions at run time.

Troubleshooting an Upgrade

If the upgrade process fails at any step, the Reconfiguration Wizard displays a message indicating the reason for the failure, and then terminates the upgrade process.

To proceed with the upgrade process, 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.

If you encounter any issues during the upgrade or post upgrade, refer to the Known Issues and Workarounds in Release Notes for Oracle WebLogic Server to troubleshoot the issue.