Friday, January 30, 2009

Check Out Distributed OSGi RI at Apache CXF

As I've mentioned before, we've been working on the reference implementation of Distributed OSGi for a while, part of RFC 119 included in the OSGi 4.2 early release draft (starting page 196 of the pdf), giving the initial demos at the OSGi Alliance Community Event last June.

Since then the design has changed a bit but not significantly, and RFC 119 has passed the EG vote to become part of the formal specification (it will be in the updated Compendium when it comes out later this year - see current specs here).

I'm very pleased to say the RI has now officially become a subproject to Apache CXF, and you can find the current code at the Apache site. David Bosschaert has also written up some documentation about it. As always, feedback and comments are very welcome.

A lot of information about the upcoming 4.2 release will be available at OSGi Dev Con, co-located with EclipseCon, including more detail about Distributed OSGi and the other enterprise features.

I should also mention that RFC 119 actually contains more than just the plain Distributed OSGi design. It also includes a discovery service design, and information about how SCA metadata can be used to configure multiple types of distribution software (this is needed since Distributed OSGi does not define distribution software, but rather how to configure existing distribution software, such as CXF, within the OSGi framework, and the design allows multiple distribution software types). RIs for these other parts of RFC 119 are also underway and should be available soon.

I'm very happy about this one, of course, since it is the one that I and my colleagues at IONA/Progress have been working on for almost two years, with excellent collaboration from folks from Siemens, Tibco, and IBM. Not to mention the help of the entire enterprise EG!


  1. Thanks for pointing this work out Eric. It is an important step both for OSGi and Java programmers. As you say, EclipseCon/OSGi DevCon ( will have a number of talks and tutorials on distributed messaging, OSGi and the like. I'd encourage anyone interested in this field to drop by.

    Readers might also be interested to know that the Eclipse Communications Framework ( has a number of generic distributed messaging facilities and is in the process of implementing RFC119 now. The Eclipse Riena project ( also has distributed messaging infrastructure and is making noise about 119 compliance. Developers seem to have lots of choice now!

  2. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks very much. It's great that ECF and Riena are looking into implementing RFC 119/Distributed OSGi. Although I suppose those projects could always re-use the code at the Apache CXF subproject, I think any specifiction benefits when there are multiple implementations.

    Choice in distributed computing is indeed important - totally agree. That's why 119 does not mandate any particular wire protocol or data format, and if my understanding is correct ECF and Riena will add new protocols and formats to those provide by CXF. So it's all good.

    But the main idea is to add distributed computing to OSGi in a standard way, and it sounds like the current proposal (i.e. RFC 119) is starting to gain the adoption it needs. At least I hope so!

    Hope to see you at the 'Con.