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OSGi Community Event Review

by Alex Blewitt on Sep 26, 2011 |

At last week's OSGi Community Event, held in the Deutsche Telekom facilities in Darmstadt, Germany, participants in the modular Java community took to the stage and delivered where OSGi is having an impact in both the embedded and enterprise worlds.

In the embedded space, OSGi is making in-roads into set top boxes and other home consumer devices such as washing machines and heating systems. Deutsche Telekom announced Smart Connect, an OSGi-powered smart house that could allow systems from TVs and central heating to be controlled by an OSGi runtime controller. This also allows it to be monitored remotely (say, for remote care home requirements). One of the key reasons for choosing OSGi was its ability to run in a highly constrained mobile runtime (limited memory/processing power) whilst still giving the dynamic flexibility to allow it to be upgraded remotely. Several well-known brands such as Miele have already signed up to be part of this increasing opportunity for home automation. Others seem to think the same way; NTT presented "Home ICT Services" whilst Volker Braun discussed the role of "OSGi in Telematics".

In the enterprise space, there were a number of demonstrations about what to expect in the near future. Timothy Ward talked about running "Modular EJBs in OSGi", which would enable enterprise Java shops to migrate easily to an OSGi runtime whilst maintaining the investment in existing code that they may already have. The creation of "Subsystems: for those occasions where bundles are just too small" will help those wishing to deploy solutions to OSGi runtimes, as they standardise the concept of features and composite bundles.

Best practices topics, such as "Easy-peasy OSGi Development with BndTools" and "μServices for the rest of us" talked about how OSGi can make development easier, not harder, in the real world. Both Timothy Ward (again) and Jerome Moliere gave presentations on best practices; "OSGi Best Practices" and "10 clues showing that you are doing OSGi in the wrong manner" provide an amusing look into how people often trip up when designing an OSGi service, and the solutions that can be made to fix them.

There were also real-life stories as well, such as Architectural approaches to moving legacy Java applications to OSGi and Structuring Software Systems with OSGi.

All of the background on the presentations, as well as links to them on SlideShare, are available at the OSGi Community Event Agenda page.

Author's disclaimer: I was invited to give a keynote at the OSGi Community Event; I have written more about it on my blog if you are interested.

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