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IBM is Bringing OSGi to Enterprise Developers

12.04.2009
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IBM just announced that it is bringing OSGi to version 7 of the WebSphere Application Server (WAS) with the OSGi Applications Open Alpha framework.  This is big news for the enterprise developers who use WAS and it is also a big step forward for enterprise OSGi.  DZone talked to Kirk Knoernschild, a Burton Group analyst and DZone contributor, about this announcement.

IBM's OSGi Applications Alpha provides a standards-based OSGi Blueprint service with familiar Java enterprise technologies, as well as the the ability to build, deploy, and manage applications as OSGi bundles.  

Here are some of the highlights of the alpha's OSGi applications support:
  • A standardized declarative assembly and simplified unit test of the Spring framework.
  • The Java EE programming model
  • The Option to deploy web apps as versioned OSGi bundles with dynamic lifecycles
  • The ability to configure the location of external repositories to support application provisioning
  • A bundle repository for module sharing between applications and versioning within and between applications
  • Lookup mechanisms between local JNDI and the OSGi service registry
  • The ability to deploy existing WARs as web application bundles

IBM has used OSGi technology to build WebSphere as a componentized runtime since version 6.1 of the application server.  With the Open Alpha in WAS 7, IBM says it's bringing "the modularity, dynamism, and versioning of the OSGi service platform to enterprise application developers."  Kirk Knoernschild has been predicting that enterprise OSGi would take off soon.  This recent announcement could be another indication that OSGi and modularity will soon be widely adopted by the enterprise.  Knoerschild commented on this news to DZone:

"Modularity is a critical component in designing more flexible, extensible, and reusable software, and OSGi is the de facto standard module system on the Java platform. Unfortunately, the lack of platform support for OSGi has hindered enterprise adoption. The move by application platform vendors to expose the capabilities of OSGi to the enterprise is a huge step in the right direction."

You can read more about the announcement on Knoernschild's DZone post from his blog.