Towards a mainstream Open Source OSGi application server?
It’s official: SpringSource has just acquired Covalent. Or as I explained it to one of my colleagues, “the company behind our IoC framework has bought the one behind our application server”.
My first reaction was satisfaction, because it’s another step forward in the direction of corporate Open Source adoption. It’s always amazed me to see how big companies can be afraid of Open Source. And the fact that there is now one bigger support service offer behind two of the most popular Open Source technologies in the enterprise will certainly reassure some skepticals.
The second “kiss cool effect” was undoubtedly about something I’ve really been playing with lately, since Javapolis: OSGi. The fact that componentization-related JSR’s are so fragmented and so alpha, plus the recent works of Spring Dynamic Modules for OSGi, added to Peter Kriens’ presentation at Javapolis, all of that really got my attention. And now I’m dreaming of building a collaboration platform using Flex for the front-end and OSGi, Spring and Hibernate JPA for the back-end. The only component that’s missing in my big picture is a deployment target platform, i.e. an OSGi application server. Of course, JOnAS is working on that but there’s no documentation on their 5.0 server whatsoever. And I’ve heard Websphere and Weblogic are using OSGi too, but hey, I’m talking about Open Source here! Now have a look at the documentation of both Tomcat and Spring. They’re probably amongst the best Open Source documentations on the planet. Now imagine that quality of documentation for a brand new Tomcat 7 server using OSGi as a core deployment mechanism, and integrating Spring DM libraries to ease the development of web application bundles.
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