Java applications automatically perform certain functions that cause them to slow momentarily, such as garbage collection -- the disposal of software objects that were created for one stage of the application but are no longer needed. Garbage collection frees up memory but slows time-critical applications such as a trading system. Garbage collection in a running application that is not being run on a real-time application server can amount to 150 or 200 milliseconds, Churchward noted in an interview. C and C++ applications also perform garbage collection, but at a faster rate than Java.
Chuchward said that with WebLogic Real Time 2.0, the worst case tolerated is now 10 milliseconds, but the average pause time is one millisecond or less. Ruma Sanyal, product marketing director for WebLogic Real Time, said it saved a currency trading customer $200,000 in one day by eliminating normal pauses in its Java trading system. The unpredictable garbage collection interruptions had prevented it from fully exploiting favorable trades.
WebLogic Real Time 2.0 will be generally available this summer. Pricing was characterized as "more than half the cost" of the premium version of WebLogic Application Server.