COMMUNITY: Community Bulletin

As Published In
Oracle Magazine
March/April 2011


Express Delivery

By Justin Kestelyn


Oracle Solaris 11 Express makes significant improvements to the application development lifecycle.

In this issue, Oracle Technology Network System Admin and Developer Community lead Rick Ramsey pinch-hits for me once again and fills us in on Oracle Solaris 11 Express. 

Why Upgrade?

By now you’ve probably noticed a button for Oracle Solaris 11 Express in the download section of the Oracle Technology Network Website. The software is free under the Oracle Technology Network Developer License. But what if you like Oracle Solaris 10 just fine? Why would you want to develop an application for Oracle Solaris 11 Express? The short answer is this: because you want to deploy your application on Oracle Solaris 11 when it comes out later this year. 

The major release of Oracle Solaris 11 will make installation, deployment, and management of the operating system (OS) and its applications much easier than before. Another important reason to move to Oracle Solaris 11 Express is the performance that it will enable your application to extract from multicore processors. 

The Image Packaging System

Among the numerous reasons to upgrade to Oracle Solaris 11 Express is the new software management infrastructure known as the Image Packaging System, which makes both the OS and your applications much easier to install and update. The Image Packaging System, which comes with multiple installers to suit the needs of different datacenters, automatically figures out which software components (called “packages”) are needed for each application or OS release to run properly, and keeps them updated. Neither developers nor system administrators have to spend time on that anymore. 

If you are not yet ready to move to Oracle Solaris 11 Express, Oracle’s binary compatibility guarantee promises that your Oracle Solaris 10–based application will run just fine on Oracle Solaris 11. In fact, if your application is delivered in SVR4 packages or a tarball with scripts, you can still deploy and manage it via the Oracle Solaris 11 Express Image Packaging System. Use the pkgsend command to convert your SVR4 packages or tarball to Image Packaging System packages.

Web Locator

 System Admins and Developers Home Page

 Oracle Solaris Studio Product Page

 Oracle Solaris 11: What’s New for Application Developers (White Paper)

 Oracle Solaris 11 Express Forum for Developers


 Oracle Solaris 11 Express

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 OTN on LinkedIn

Increase Developer Productivity

A few years ago, the productivity of system administrators was under scrutiny. Everybody wanted to save money on administration. Now developer productivity is under scrutiny. Not to worry: the virtualization improvements in Oracle Solaris 11 Express let you simulate test environments much more quickly and cheaply. 

You can spend less time figuring out the builds, patches, and other requirements to get your application to run on different hardware. With Oracle Solaris 11 Express, just build your application in one virtualized server environment with Oracle Solaris Containers. Use COMSTAR to make the storage available over the network, and use Oracle Solaris ZFS to attach your virtual server to the storage. Now clone the virtual server on as many different hardware platforms as you want to test, and press Go. Once you are satisfied with how well the application runs in that environment, you can move it straight into production. 

Take Advantage of Hardware

The SPARC- and x86-based multicore systems that are becoming more popular provide tremendous increases in performance. Oracle Solaris 11 Express makes it easier to take advantage of that enhanced performance. For instance, the features in Release 12.2 of the Oracle Solaris Studio integrated development environment can identify portions of your application that would provide greater performance if they were distributed across different CPUs and can even automatically change the code for you. Your multicore performance improvements begin when you run your C, C++, Java, or Fortran applications developed for Oracle Solaris 10 on a multicore system, whether it’s running Oracle Solaris 10 or Oracle Solaris 11 Express. They increase when you recompile them to run on Oracle Solaris 11—and reach their full potential when you rewrite them with Oracle Solaris Studio. 

Oracle Solaris 11 Express adds DTrace probes for CPU, network layers, hard drives, and more. The CPU probes, in particular, become more relevant as more applications are deployed across multiple CPUs in multicore systems. Likewise, the networking and hard drive probes may uncover performance bottlenecks in virtual networks and attached storage. Since Oracle Solaris 10, DTrace has made it possible to tune for optimal application performance on each particular hardware platform. DTrace lets you root out performance bottlenecks in real time, not only within the layers of your stack, but in the interactions between them.

There are many more new features in Oracle Solaris 11 Express. Get all the details on the product page at


Justin Kestelyn Headshot

Justin Kestelyn
( is senior director, Oracle Technology Network and developer programs, as well as Oracle Technology Network editor in chief.



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