OSGI: The new Toy

I heard about OSGI sometime early last year, but I did not care about it – it meant start thinking about a new way of development and deployment (thats what I heard from my friends) and I did not want to learn something else when Spring worked great for me. And, my colleagues who spoke about OSGI did not do a good job of advocating OSGI. Last month, I came across Adobe Day as a potential platform for a project implementation. Day was amongst some of the CMS platforms that I was evaluating, namely – SDL Tridion, Oracle Stellant and Interwoven.

It was Adobe Day that introduced me to OSGI and during one of the webinars, I was introduced to OSGI using a simple yet powerful graphic (see below).

OSGI - Intro
OSGI - Intro

And from that moment on, I was simply hooked on. I have been a big fan of Java and its deployment frameworks like Maven – but essentially using those frameworks and tools also meant that sooner or later I would be dealing with various versions of same library (ehCache, Log4j being the most common) and when I wen to deployment on JBoss or Apache Tomcat, more often than not I would have to tweak my project dependencies to or servers to ensure that those “dependencies” are resolved appropriately.

Suddenly, OSGI seems to be the answer to everything (or almost everything). I would be able to create and deploy components and then choose to include them as needed; I did not have to worry about backward compatibility or which service to deploy – opportunities were endless.

So today, I am going to start off my journey to read more about OSGI and explore some common available containers like Equinox (used by Eclipse) and Apache Felix (used by Adobe Day). And I hope that while I learn more I am able to share my thoughts and some of the best practices around the same.

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