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Rod Johnson Discusses SpringSource dm Server 1.0

by Scott Delap on Oct 01, 2008 |
After a five month beta period, SpringSource has released version 1.0 of the SpringSource dm Server. The SpringSource dm Server uses OSGi (through the Eclipse Equinox container) at its core in contrast to the traditional EJB related standards. The server does support WAR based deployments however and leverage Tomcat for its webserver component. A SpringSource blog has a few quotes from satisfied early adopters:

With little effort we are able to separate a standard monolithic Spring/Tomcat-based Web application into several smaller OSGi bundles. This gives our customers better separation of concerns...
Arne Seime
Senior Consultant, Integrate AS

In my experience, it’s easy to migrate existing war files to the new server and then stepwise modularize them. There is no doubt in my mind that OSGi with some form of application extensions like you have made is the future of Java application servers...
Søren Dalby Larsen
CTO, Conscius Finance A/S

Nice Eclipse integration with server deployment and repository management. Looks like Java enterprise development is coming out of its Dark Age...
John Thomas
North Island Software

It is useful to contrast these impressions to some earlier thoughts shortly after the server was announced. Comments included concern for how the existing Spring stack would continue to operate with other appservers and licensing concerns.

InfoQ had the opportunity to talk with SpringSource CEO about the new application server. Johnson noted that as far back as his book J2EE without EJB he was advocating the concept of an ala carte application server. This has become reality with SpringSource dm Server. InfoQ then asked about SpringSource's OSGi core. Johnson explained that as a result of the server's extended beta program a large number of libraries had been tested. The SpringSource OSGi bundle repository is now approaching 1000 entries. He went on to mention that licensing concerns in regards to GPL and the server's use of the EPL Eclipse Equinox Server have been reviewed and are answered in full detail in the server's FAQ. SpringSource is also working with the OSGi Alliance to continue evolving the OSGi standard.

The conversation then shifted to possible support of future Java EE 6 profiles. Johnson noted that since those specifications were in progress it would be impossible to comment with absolute certainty. That being said SpringSource will be looking to support the Web profile if things align as expected. There is also the strong possibility of WebBeans and EJB 3.1 support if separated from legacy EJB.

Towards the end of our conversation InfoQ asked what has surprised Johnson most about the beta release. His mentioned his surprise in the number of companies that had been trying to build an OSGi based solutions internally before the release of SpringSource dm Server. Finally Johnson discussed the future directions of the server. While Spring will continue to be appserver agnostic he remarked that SpringSource would continue to enhance SpringSource dm Server to be the best place to run Spring. He also shared that enhanced management and clustering options were on the roadmap for the next year.

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