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Eclipse Virgo 3.0 Released

by Alex Blewitt on Sep 07, 2011 |

The Eclipse Virgo project announced its 3.0 release which completes the transition of the Spring DM server project to Eclipse. The release also includes the final part of the puzzle, the Gemini Web component, which now passes all of the OSGi enterprise tests for WAB deployment.

Eclipse Virgo provides a runtime environment similar to Tomcat, with abilities to install both bundles or sets of bundles (PARs) and treat it as a sever application. Virgo uses the concepts of regions to separate out the Virgo runtime space (kernel region) with user-installed programs (user region).

Previously, the separation was enforced with nested frameworks but has recently been updated to support a bundle digraph which uses Equinox's implementation of the framework hooks to provide partitioning. Since it is part of Equinox, it can be used outside of Virgo in plain Equinox-based OSGi runtimes; when other OSGi frameworks support the new resolver hooks it should be portable to other OSGi runtimes as well.

Also new in this release is a bundle which includes Jetty support for the web component (although Tomcat support is also included). This provides tighter integration with other components in the Equinox RT stack.

The runtime has switched from Felix to Equinox by default, in order to implement the region separation. However, this is unlikely to be noticed directly since Virgo now includes the Felix Gogo shell by default (for both telnet and ssh connections).

As well as the server, there is a web app framework snaps (previously known as SpringSource slices) which permits web applications to be co-hosted in a same web server with overlapping URLs, whilst sharing some data between them. It provides a way that WABs (OSGi-ified WARs) can register services and URLs into a 'host' application, and how that host application can programmatically (or with a JSP tag library) iterate through the available installed components dynamically. Snaps currently requires Eclipse Virgo in order to run.A set of IDE plugins to support Eclipse Virgo is currently under development.

Those wishing to get into web based OSGi development and who use many Spring concepts will find using Eclipse Virgo an easy transition into the OSGi world. There is a tutorial available as well as user and programmer documentation. Virgo 3.0 is available for immediate download.

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