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A Comparison of OSGi and Android

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Last year, the Open Handset Alliance announced Android, a platform specially targeted at mobile devices. Due to the support from Google, Android received a lot of attention in the community. However, one of the hottest technologies for 2008 is OSGi, a technology rooted in the embedded world.

While OSGi recently got a lot of momentum in Enterprise Java, it is used in embedded devices for years. Like Android, it adds a sophisticated component model, class loader improvements and well-defined management capabilities. In 2006, Release 4 of OSGi was published, which includes support for mobile phones and other handheld devices. This resulted in JSR-232, a component platform for mobile devices.

Gábor Pécsy, Co-Chair of the OSGi Mobile Expert Group and one of the key persons behind JSR-232, published an interesting comparison of OSGi and Android.

What do you think? What are your experiences with OSGi or Android?


Published at DZone with permission of its author, Roman Roelofsen. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)



Fred Grott replied on Mon, 2008/02/18 - 1:17am

To be fair, work on Android Sdk and the underlying VM was begun in 2005.

Charlie Hubbard replied on Mon, 2008/02/18 - 1:44pm

Android is total and uttter garbage. The lifecycle model for Android is such a pain in the ass, and the underlying RPC/RMI implementation is worse than COM or Corba which you are required to use since you don't have control over your application's lifecycle. Java has a wornderful distributed object technology in Java RMI, and they completely rewrote it like it was 1994, and introduced an new language aidl? Why when we have annotations would do such a thing? It has this C++ IDL like feel to it that just sucks. It feels like EJB all over on embedded devices.

Between the lifecycle, the bugs, and missing API features saying it's painful is an understatement. Garbage is more like it. The sidekick API was much better.

Marcel Offermans replied on Mon, 2008/02/18 - 7:02pm

It's actually not that hard to run OSGi on Android. Karl and I ported Apache Felix to Android and wrote up a small article about that. I think it's great that at least this gives us one way to use OSGi on mobile phones (as soon as more Android based phones become available).

replied on Mon, 2008/03/10 - 8:09am

As Marcel mentions we managed to get Apache Felix to run on Google Android and it is worthwhile to note that Felix supports Android out of the box by now:

Gábor Pécsy replied on Fri, 2008/03/14 - 9:08am

Today ProSyst released the beta version of mBS for Android. mBS is the leading OSGi implementation in the embedded market. The beta release of the Android version is available from ProSyst Developer Zone. This release is under ProSyst Non-Commercial License, which permits free use for non-commercial trials.

mBS for Android can be deployed as an Android application and it can be started from the application shell. The release contains an OSGi R4 compliant framework implementation and a dozen services. The release also contains the ProSyst mConsole remote management console, which enables remote management of the framework, for example the deployment of the demo bundles that are part of the release.

 Read more about the release and its content in ProSyst blog!


Ash Mughal replied on Thu, 2012/01/26 - 2:13am

Android is an open source software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. The Android SDK provides the tools and APIs necessary to begin developing applications on the Android platform using the Java programming language.

This is one of the reliable post. I like your blog strategy.Thanks for presenting the detail about Android.Android is one of the famous mobile Operating system.

Nice post

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