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OSGi modularization: Benefits and challenges

Richard Nicholson, the head of Paremus, discusses the growth of OSGi over recent years and the benefits and challenges of modularizing applications with OSGi.

In another video at EclipsCon 2011, Jack Vaughan asked Nicholson about cloud computing and the synergies between cloud technologies and OSGi.

Read the full transcript from this video below:  

OSGi modularization: Benefits and challenges

SearchSOA: [We're here at EclipseCon 20]11 at San Jose, California. I'm speaking with Richard Nicholson, who is the head of Paremus and certainly one of the leading forces in OSGi implementation. Now, enterprise OSGi had a coming out party of sorts last year. What's happened in the last year? Where are we today with OSGi?

Richard Nicholson: Right. So, last night all of the OSGi people sort of got together in a 'birds of a feather' session, and I made some comments at the start of that regarding what we've seen with the growth of OSGi over the last few years. So Paremus has been at EclipseCon for four years now. And when we first started there, a few had heard about us; we came back next year, a few more. This year it has been quite interesting, just the degree of interaction and conversation we're having about OSGi usage and live production environments. It has been really growing, from our perspective, quite rapidly. We've been talking with health care companies. We've been talking with big web companies. We've been talking with some financial service industries, banks. OSGi is on their agenda. They're using it. They're moving forward with it. There's a significant amount of interest that we've seen over the last 12 months. It's really, really interesting. I really wonder what I'm going to be selling next year if we go through the same process again.

SearchSOA: Well, as a vendor, you try to simplify things for people.

Richard Nicholson: Yes.

SearchSOA: But, I do wonder, I do hear: OSGi good, but OSGi difficult.

Richard Nicholson: So, I think actually what's happening in the marketplace is people confuse a couple of things. So OSGi is all about creating reusable modular applications. The reason why you want to modularize an application is because a modular application is easy to maintain. And maintenance over the long term is really, really important in terms of driving down core cost. But you have to build this modularity. If you're starting with a traditional application that has been crafted a few years ago, it probably wasn't built in a very maintainable way. And so moving that into a modularized environment is going to be challenging.

SearchSOA: Is this what they call 'Java spaghetti'?

Richard Nicholson: Yes, yes. Just
spaghetti. So, whatever technology you use, however you choose to modularize it, you're going to need to think about it. It's that process of thinking about, 'How do I optimize the system,' which I think people find complex. Java itself is simply a mirror. If you've got a very clean modular application, Java is very simple to use.

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