June 29, 2012

JUDCon and JBoss 2012 Boston: OSGi is coming back

I don't know how many of you are using OSGi, but my feeling was it was a hot topic a couple a year ago and then everything cooled down. But now it looks that the Java EE container vendor are picking it up again. The following table below show the support of OSGi in the biggest EE containers:
App Server Deploy Bundle WAB Support* EJB/JPA
Glassfish Yes Yes Prototype
Webspere Yes Yes Prototype
WebLogic No No No
JBoss AS Yes Yes No
*)WAB, Web Archieve Bundle

This is all interesting you might think, but what impact will that have on the Java EE architecture? I would say a rather a lot. Lets start with the deployment. All Java EE deployable are monolithic, think of web and ear. They all package everything in on single file. How does that go with the OSGi moduling thinking? Not at all. The OSGi concept is programming modules and make them interchangeable, deployable as separate module and with own versions lifecycle. So this has to change if one want to bring the OSGi thinking to the Java EE arena.

If you want to play with OSGi I would recommend Eclipse and install the bnd tool (http://bndtools.org/).

And if you want to read more about OSGI OSGi in Action by Manning is a great book.

And at more architecture level I would recommend Java Application Architecture

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