SpringSource's dmServer going to Eclipse
VMWare's SpringSource has announced plans to move dmServer, the GPLv3 licensed, Java and OSGi based application server, into the care of the Eclipse Foundation. Version 2.0 of dmServer, which is released today, will become the basis for Eclipse's Virgo project and future development of the application server will continue within the Eclipse community, specifically as part of the Eclipse RT top level project. Eventually Virgo will become the "Dynamic Enterprise Application Platform".
The move will also entail a change from the current GPLv3 licence to the Eclipse Public Licence (EPL), which is seen as a more commercially friendly licence. The plan, currently a proposal, will also entail moving project hosting, forums and downloads to the Eclipse.org infrastructure. The shift is aimed at opening the code base to a much broader set of users and developers.
SpringSource made the decision to move dmServer to Eclipse based in part on their already tight integration with Eclipse projects such as Equinox, the reference implementation of the OSGi platform, their use of Eclipse in creating development tools and a desire to work more closely with the OSGi community. For the Eclipse Foundation, the ability to offer a complete OSGi based application server brings it closer to its top strategic goal to "Establish Eclipse runtime technology as a leading open source runtime platform".
The H asked SpringSource's CTO Adrian Colyer about the change. He explained it as a natural evolution of the work that SpringSource had been doing with OSGi already, such as the Gemini project, a collaboration between SpringSource and Oracle to define "Enterprise Modules" to extend the low level modularity of the OSGi platform up the stack to web containers under the label RFC66.
The Virgo project will include an RFC66 reference implementation, based on Gemini, comprised of the Tomcat servlet container and an OSGi wrapper. With the Jetty servlet container becoming more OSGi compliant and already under the Eclipse Foundation's umbrella, Colyer said it would be possible in future, at least at a functional level, to use Jetty instead of Tomcat within Virgo, but SpringSource had no plans to go down that route .
Asked what other SpringSource projects could be opened up to a wider community, Colyer noted that one element of dmServer related projects, the Enterprise Bundle Repository is still to come under SpringSource's wing, but that the company is interested in collaborating with other companies and organisations, including the Eclipse Foundation, as to the future development of the resource. The Enterprise Bundle Repository is a collection of open source libraries which are often used when developing Java applications with the Spring framework, and already consists of over four hundred packages. No firm decisions have been made on plans for that yet.