Open Service Gateway: 10 years of the OSGi Alliance
Founded in March 1999 and now with more than 100 members, the OSGi Alliance has issued a press release to announce its tenth anniversary. The OSGi Alliance is a non-profit corporation for the development of an open standard for interoperability of applications and services based on its component integration platform. Initially deployed in the mobile and embedded field, OSGi (Open Service Gateway initiative) technology is becoming increasingly widely used since the Eclipse development environment adopted the OSGi core framework specification.
The specification describes a hardware-independent dynamic software platform for modularising and administering applications and application services via a component model. The platform requires a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), on top of which it delivers the OSGi Framework.
Within the Alliance there are five working groups that define specifications and test reference implementations. The most important of these is the Core Platform Expert Group (CPEG), which concentrates on the OSGi core framework and central services. There are also Vehicle (VEG), Mobile (MEG), Enterprise (EEG) and Residential (REG) industry-specific groups which aim to import the platform into vertical industries.
Apache Felix and Eclipse Equinox are popular open source implementations of the specification. Almost every enterprise applications supplier utilises OSGi in order to be able to offer modularised versions of their Java applications. Examples include IBM WebSphere, Oracle WebLogic, JBoss and Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server. SAP is also planning to use OSGi as the basis for the next generation of its NetWeaver platform.