InfoQ recently posted a great snippet on the progress of OSGi in the Enterprise. The article mentions SpringSource, who is clearly paving the trail for OSGi in the Enterprise. While other app server vendors are using OSGi to modularize their platforms, they aren’t exposing the capabilities of OSGi to developers. Eventually, they’ll have to, but for now, they are not. That’s too bad.
If you take a step back and look at what SpringSource has done the last six months, it’s significant. First came Spring Dynamic Modules, which I showed in a previous blog entry. Then SpringSource Application Platform. Then SpringSource dm Server. And now the SpringSource Enterprise Bundle Repository. Of all, it’s the bundle repository that may be most important. While it’s been possible for a while to develop OSGi bundles, the dearth of OSGi tools and third party frameworks packaged as OSGi bundles has been a barrier to entry for enterprise developers. The bundle repository made available by SpringSource has removed that barrier.
While the InfoQ article offered a great synopsis of OSGi in the Enterprise, comparing OSGi to Maven is like comparing a Porsche to a Volkswagon. In other words, there is no comparison. OSGi wins hands down, and while offering the comparison might help explain modularization to those familiar with Maven but not with OSGi, it confuses and dilutes OSGi.
InfoQ does sum it up well, though. "…building dynamic, modular applications is where the industry is headed." That’s spot on. And as OSGi continues to penetrate the market, it means great things for the Java platform.