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ModuleFusion 1.0.2 Released: Enterprise OSGi Distribution

| by James Kao Follow 0 Followers on Sep 30, 2008. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

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ModuleFusion 1.0.2, an OSGi service stack designed for enterprise applications, was released recently. It packages multiple enterprise Java application frameworks together as OSGi bundles. Developers can thus use familiar technologies when building server applications without employing a full J2EE container.

Included in this distribution are the following bundles:

OSGi Service Platform
  • OSGi Framework (Equinox or Felix)
  • Configuration Admin
  • User Admin
Framework
  • Google Guice IoC framework
  • Apache Wicket
  • Hibernate
  • Hibernate JPA frontend
  • Jetty web server
  • HSQLDB database
  • PAX web + extender bundle
ModuleFusion
  • DirInstaller (install/update/remove bundles and configurations)
  • JPA integration
  • Apache Wicket integration
Logging
  • Simple Logging Fassade for Java (SLF4J)
  • Apache log4j
  • SLF4J - log4j bridge
  • Commons logging - SLF4J bridge
ModuleFusion attempts to advocate the use of OSGi for server applications, stating:
The goal of ModuleFusion is to help programmers to use the OSGi Service Platform as their underlying runtime environment. ModuleFusion contains a full stack typical for Java enterprise applications. This stack currently consists of best-of-breed open source frameworks from the Java ecosystem. Additionally, ModuleFusion contains the necessary glue code to easily use these frameworks within OSGi.
InfoQ contacted project leader Roman Roelofsen, asking him to elaborate on how he compares ModuleFusion to more commonly used Java EE containers:

With ModuleFusion, we want to create an OSGi-based distribution that helps programmers to adopt the OSGi programming model. You can compare it a bit to the typical Linux distribution. While it is certainly possible to download the Linux Kernel, GNU tools and applications, set up the filesystem, boot procedure and configure everthing, it is much easier to install a system where everything is concerted and pre-packaged.

If you require the typical suspects like EJB, JMS and JCA you may be forced to use a traditional server. However, you don't need those frameworks always. In fact, in many cases you're better off with a lighter solution. Projects like JONAS underline that trend and already provide these features as OSGi bundles.

While ModuleFusion could contain those classic JEE features, we will concentrate to use and promote the OSGi programming model, e.g. OSGi services instead of EJB session beans.

He continued, stressing the advantages of ModuleFusion (and correspondingly, OSGi):
To keep long story short: these are the key benefits of using ModuleFusion:
  • State-of-the-art lightweight enterprise stack for those cases where a full JEE solution would be an overkill
  • Significant time saving when getting started with OSGi as ModuleFusion comes with pre-integrated frameworks. Unzip and run - it's that simple.
  • Full utilisation of OSGi
  • Several example applications
Roelofsen is not the only enterprise Java architect interested in writing the types of applications previously considered the domain of Java EE, on OSGi instead. At EclipseCon 2007, Gregory Brail and John Wells gave a talk about BEA's microService Architecture, which attempts to decompose the functionality of a commercial-grade Java EE server into re-combinable parts on OSGi as bundles. IBM built WebSphere Application Server 6.1 as a set of OSGi bundles and has an on-line presentation describing this change.

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