OSGi Takes Off Among Enterprise Service Bus Providers

The OSGi Alliance announced that many leading Enterprise Service Bus providers in the market have demonstrated their commitment to the platform through the current or planned employment of OSGi technology in their ESBs and products that utilize ESBs.

The Open Services Gateway Initiative Service Platform is catching on as a platform of choice for enterprise service bus solutions.

The OSGi Alliance announced that many leading ESB providers in the market have demonstrated their commitment to the platform through the current or planned employment of OSGi technology in their ESBs and products that utilize ESBs.

"Among the many benefits of OSGi technology for ESBs are its simple service programming model, in keeping with the current trend toward service orientation, and its support for dynamic deployment," said Stan Moyer, president of the OSGi Alliance. "These two factors are increasingly crucial in enterprise IT environments looking to reduce the cost and time of service changes."

The OSGi Service Platform delivers the dynamic module system for Java to providers and their customers, modularizing and componentizing the Java platform and allowing applications to be adapted remotely and in real time, OSGi Alliance officials said. OSGi technology is a component integration platform with a service-oriented architecture and lifecycle capabilities that enable dynamic delivery of services.

Leading vendors deploying ESBs on the OSGi Service Platform include Progress Software, Red Hat and TIBCO Software Inc. These market innovators note the clear advantages OSGi technology provides as a platform for ESBs. Other vendors that are not part of the OSGi Alliance, such as WSO2, also have standardized on the OSGi platform.

"OSGi technology and ESBs are a natural match," said Gordon van Huizen, chief technology officer for Progress Software. "First, OSGi technology speeds time to market for new ESB features and functions and improves manageability of ESB deployments. Second, the OSGi programming model offers the potential to create custom components that work seamlessly with out-of-the-box ESB functions. Ultimately, I believe we are looking at the possibility of OSGi technology enabling a -best-of-breed' style approach to the ESB market, in which OSGi technology becomes the -platform' for the ESB and vendors develop OSGi bundles to plug in."

Eric Newcomer, an advisor to the Office of the CTO at progress Software and co-chair of the OSGi Alliance's Enterprise Expert Group, said between this news and word that application server vendors are supporting OSGi, "it's pretty much a clean sweep of enterprise software vendors endorsing OSGi. That's a great foundation for the upcoming enterprise release -- R4.2 -- due out in mid-2009."

Added Newcomer:

""If you look at the history of OSGi adoption in the enterprise, it started in 2004 when the Eclipse Foundation made a strategic decision to use OSGi for the Eclipse platform. This produced the most widely-adopted OSGi Framework, Eclipse Equinox, but it also resulted in a cross-pollination to IBM's WebSphere Division, which saw the benefit to their own development environment of adopting the OSGi development model. The other app server vendors followed suit, as did any other divisions within IBM.""

"Red Hat currently employs OSGi technology within the JBoss Application Server, but we believe that OSGi technology provides a perfect match for service-oriented technologies like those comprising the JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform," said Sacha Labourey, vice president of engineering for Red Hat's middleware business unit, in a statement. "In fact, we are working to integrate OSGi technology support within the next major release of JBoss ESB and into several other components of the Enterprise SOA Platform. We are pleased to be working in the OSGi enterprise group to ensure that our requirements are well supported by standards, as standards compliance is important to Red Hat and critical for the adoption of SOA."

"When TIBCO began development of its next-generation TIBCO ActiveMatrix platform, it was clear that we could benefit significantly from the use of OSGi technology to describe and manage the complex dependency relationships between all the software components of the system," said Tom Laffey, executive vice president, products and technology at TIBCO Software Inc. "Additionally, OSGi technology's single unified class-loading model gave us a single unified way to extend our platform. We experienced improved agility and reduced our time to market using OSGi technology with our leading SOA products including TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Grid and TIBCO ActiveMatrix Service Bus."

OSGi Alliance members develop and facilitate the deployment of OSGi specifications, which serve as the platform for universal middleware in server and embedded environments, officials of the consortium said.

Moreover, looking ahead, Newcomer said:

""One of the key questions in the coming year therefore will be whether the adoption of OSGi technology will move beyond its current broad adoption as an internal vendor tool into the consumer domain as well. With this announcement, the ESB vendors have joined the app server vendors in publicly stating their endorsement of OSGi, laying the foundation for the next significant debate - will Java developers in general also benefit from adopting the OSGi programming model?" "