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Skillset Required for BEA WebLogic Application Development

This chapter breaks down, identifies, and describes each skill needed to develop applications in BEA WebLogic, and then puts each skill into the correct categories.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

In This Chapter

  • Software and Hardware Administration

  • Java Skills

  • Visual Presentation Skills

  • Database Skills

  • Connectivity to Legacy Systems

  • Testing and Quality Assurance

  • Customer Support Specialists

  • Software Development Phases

The skills needed to build an enterprise application with WebLogic Server 8.1 vary somewhat depending on what's being built. However, certain key roles must be covered. This chapter presents those roles, as well as others needed to perform virtually any development using WebLogic Server (WLS) 8.1.

When a significant software project is undertaken, it usually spans multiple groups of people and covers a vast array of knowledge. This knowledge must be managed in an effective way to keep the project on time and on budget. Managers must be knowledgeable in many different areas of the application to best use their resources. Although they might not need to perform this activity, a manager should know the reasoning behind it. At that point, project plans must be created and a division of labor set up. All projects must be

  • Designed

  • Implemented

  • Administered

  • Maintained

Each of these areas has skill sets that overlap. This chapter breaks down, identifies, and describes each needed skill, and then puts each skill into the correct categories.

Software and Hardware Administration

Software and hardware administration is an important part of any development environment. It encompasses designing, installing, maintaining, and supporting the entire software and hardware platform used by the development team or teams.

Hardware and Software Scalability Design

When a project is being designed, the scope of the hardware and software required to run the applications must be considered. How many users will it support? Can it easily support more users? What are the performance needs of the applications? What's the cost of the hardware? These are just some of the questions about hardware and software that must be answered.

Hardware Support

On any team, no matter how small, hardware support becomes an issue. Motherboards burn out, networks go down, the computer locks up, and those are just the start. The company technical support group usually handles these support issues. If it doesn't, someone must be able to handle the inevitable hardware failures that will occur over time. Certain hardware failures can cause the entire team to wait until the issue is fixed, which can be very expensive.

Operating System Maintenance

Operating system maintenance goes hand-in-hand with hardware support. In small shops, one person is usually responsible for maintaining the hardware, installing service packs, and installing new software. In large efforts in large companies, the maintenance team could span several states and have hundreds of employees. Operating system maintenance involves installing updates and patches, upgrading, and finding errors that inhibit the performance of any software running on the particular operating system.

WebLogic Server Administration

WebLogic Server administration is related to software administration, but is its own skill set. At least one person in the development team should understand how to configure, start, and optimize WLS on each platform it will be run on. This is critical in the implementation, administration, and maintenance phases. A properly set up server can make the development easier and progress smoothly. In the administration phase, responsibilities shift to focus on keeping the servers running, adjusting settings as performance issues arise, and checking logs for errors. During the maintenance phase, administrators' tasks include rebooting installing patches released by WebLogic and upgrading to new components.

Security Experts

Protecting data is a main concern for many companies. When access to data is available online, the concern grows. Security experts can design, analyze, and provide solutions for this protection. Systems can never be 100% secure, but a security expert can make hacking much more difficult.

Backup and Archiving Support

Just as important as security measures are backup and archiving measures. Data must be protected from system crashes, hardware failures, and network outages. A proper system has periodic backups scheduled to avoid the loss of data.

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