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Eclipse Could Lead the OSGi Movement with dmServer

01.13.2010
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VMWare's SpringSource recently made two major announcements regarding its OSGi based Java application server.  First, they announced the arrival of the 2.0 version with a new shell and Admin Console.  Spring's second, more pivotal announcement, revealed their intentions to donate the dmServer to Eclipse.  The dmServer will become the basis for the Virgo project with future development continuing in the Eclipse community under the EPL license.  

The users of dmServer should expect the project home pages, forums, downloads and hosting to move over to Eclipse infrastructure in the coming months.  Development will continue within the Eclipse RT top level project, and the Virgo project will eventually become the "Dynamic Enterprise Application Platform."  Spring dmServer is currently licensed under the GPL v3, but it will switch to an Eclipse Public License (EPL) when it completes the move.  For Eclipse, the move is a major step toward their goal to "establish Eclipse runtime technology as a leading open source runtime platform."  The dmServer drove innovations in OSGi with the standardization of its Spring Dynamic Modules in the OSGi Blueprint Service.  With the Spring dmServer, Eclipse is well on it's way to becoming the hub with the most high-profile OSGi projects.

Spring's decision to donate the dmServer to Eclipse is part of an effort to accelerate the project's development and OSGi adoption.  SpringSource CTO Adrian Colyer said that the move to Eclipse is a natural next step in the work that the two organizations have already done together on OSGi.  The dmServer is already integrated with Eclipse's Equinox project, which is an implementation of the OSGi platform.  The Gemini project is another collaboration between SpringSource and Eclipse (Oracle is the other main contributor) to define Enterprise Modules that extend the low level modularity of the OSGi platorm to web containers under the RFC66 reference implementation.  An RFC66 RI based on Gemini will be included in the Virgo project and it will be a Tomcat servlet container with an OSGi wrapper.  The Jetty servlet is another container that is becoming more OSGi compliant and could also be used with Virgo in the future.  No decisions have been made for the future of Spring's Enterprise Bundle Repository, which is a project related to the dmServer.

Spring dmServer 2.0 introduces the following enhancements:

  • dm Shell - Available directly or remotely over SSH.
  • Admin Console - Provides views of diagnostic dumps and examination of bundle configuration on live systems.
  • Plans - New to dmServer 2.0.  An alternative to 1.0's PAR files that deploys and manages modular applications.  Resolves load and install dependencies from local or remote repositories.
  • Web Support - Applications can now be deployed as Tomcat based OSGi web containers or as web application bundles.
  • Hot Deployment - Components can now be deployed by copying them to a hot directory.

dmServer 2.0 embeds Equinox 3.5 (RI of OSGi 4.2).  Download Spring dmServer 2.0 here.