OSGi Enterprise Expert Group kickoff

We had a pretty good turnout for the EEG kickoff meeting yesterday – altogether 27 people at the meeting (ok 6 were from IONA 😉 and 19 for dinner (only 1 from IONA ;-).
Tim and I had excellent help and support from Peter Kriens, BJ Hargrave, and Jon Bostrom – all of whom gave unselfishly of their advice, and were a real pleasure to work with.
The major activity was defining “workstreams” for creating EEG requirements. We used the list of requirements from the enterprise workshop as input to the discussion.
We came away with 7 tracks:

  • Distributed OSGi
  • Extended lifecycle management
  • OSGi and Spring
  • SCA and OSGi
  • J2EE and OSGi
  • Browsers
  • Nonfunctional areas

We’re expecting to have drafts of the RFPs (request for proposal) detailing the use cases (or stories) for each of these areas in time for the next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 28. In the OSGi process, the RFPs define the requirements for the design documents, from which the specifications are created, and later the reference implementations and conformance tests.
This is my first experience with OSGi, but I have to say I think it went very well, and the enterprise work seems to have a lot of potential. It seems like a lot of people are looking for an alternative to JEE, and while (as the list of workstreams shows) working with JEE is important to OSGi, the EEG seems to be heading in a different direction – one in which enterprise features are created as downloadable bundles, or plugins, to the core. You can just configure the ones you need, rather than having to install a whole big container if all you need is one or two features.
OSGi has made its mark in the area of packaging and deployment – I think it is pretty much on the way to becoming the standard for that. But it can also be used as a lightweight container. Some examples already exist, and I am glad to report those folks are among the EEG members.
We are just starting, and as Peter Kriens said at the end, there’s a lot of work to do. But we are off to a good start.
Thanks again to everyone who attended and took part, both in the meeting and in the dinner.
From the foot of the table
From the head of the table

2 responses to “OSGi Enterprise Expert Group kickoff

  1. Eric great to see IONA looking at OSGi, I was wondering do you see IONA integrating OSGi into the existing product range?

  2. Hi Damian,
    Yes, that would be the intention, although how exactly that would happen, and what exactly we do is still the subject of considerable discussion.
    You may know OSGi primarily as a packaging and deployment technology, and we definitely need to get more involved in that.
    Regarding the new work that the EEG is starting I suppose it’s natural that there are a lot more questions about that, especially since the work has just started. But I think it would be fair to say we see signficant potential in that direction as well.
    Most likely the starting point for OSGi work will be around the Celtix open source project – probably in particular CXF at Apache.

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