Blogger: Kirk Knoernschild
The OSGi survey results are available, and I'd like to summarize the findings. Let's tackle each of the questions independently.
- Are you familiar with the OSGi Service Platform?
Of the 64 respondents, 57 are familiar with OSGi with only 7 stating they were not.
- Are you currently developing systems to be deployed to an OSGi runtime?
Here, we see an even split. Of the 64 responses, 50% state they are currently developing software using OSGi. I was surprised to find that such a high number were already using OSGi, especially given the uncertainty surrounding OSGi, as the next few questions illustrate.
- Do you have plans to develop systems that are to be deployed to an OSGi runtime within the next 6 – 12 months?
80% of respondents said that in the next 6 - 12 months, they'll be developing systems using OSGi. I also found this number very surprising. But a 30% increase in adoption over the next year is representative of the value OSGi provides.
- Are you familiar with the available OSGi products and services?
43 respondents stated that they are familiar with OSGi products and services with 21 saying they are not. Given that such a high number of respondents are familiar with the OSGi Service Platform and are planning to develop software using OSGi, more information surrounding OSGi must be made available to the masses to help inform and educate.
- Which OSGi implementations are you using or evaluating?
22 of the 32 respondents who stated they were using OSGI, cited Equinox as their current OSGi runtime. Others cited include Knopflerfish, Felix, Infiniflow, and the SpringSource Application Platform (S2AP). Of the 31 respondents stating they were currently evaluating OSGi, the distribution was much more even, with Equinox, Felix, Knopflerfish and S2AP each receiving virtually identical marks.
- Which of the following types of systems are you planning to deploy within an OSGi runtime?
41 respondents stated that they are using OSGi to develop web applications. 25 are developing rich clients, 8 mobile applications, and 7 software for embedded systems. 11 are not currently using OSGi, and 1 abstained.
- What are the benefits you hope to achieve using OSGi?
52 of the 63 respondents cited Greater Modularity as a benefit they hope to achieve. Running a close second was Better Dependency Management with 45 respondents. Plugin Architecture, Bundle Versioning, Hot Deployment, and a More Manageable Runtime each received roughly 40 votes.
- What are your greatest technical challenges in using OSGi?
63% of respondents stated that their greatest challenge in using OSGi is understanding how to use it most effectively, far outdistancing the second most prevalent challenge of finding valid OSGi bundles for the open source frameworks used by development teams, which came in at 38.1%. Interestingly, 17% aren't sure what their greatest challenges are. OSGi is currently being used to develop enterprise software applications, and adoption is growing. However, it appears teams are struggling to discover the practices, principles, and patterns that yield the best results.
- If your application server provided an OSGi runtime container, would you consider deploying your software as modules/bundles?
88.7% stated that they would. This establishes a great indicator for the future adoption of OSGi. While half of the respondents are currently using OSGi, with many more saying they plan to within the next year, it appears a significant hurdle in adopting OSGi within the enterprise is lack of support by server vendors.
The final question in the survey asked what obstacles OSGi must overcome to achieve widespread adoption within the enterprise. As one might deduce from the previous questions, better enterprise vendor support, integrated toolsets, and clarification on its benefits were common responses.
Using OSGi today within the enterprise requires developers to integrate applications servers with OSGi runtimes followed by searching for valid OSGi bundles of the frameworks they use. The lack of vendors with a clear and public OSGi strategy compounds the difficulty of OSGi adoption. As more commercial and open source products are "OSGi-ified", interest in OSGi will continue to increase. The survey conducted offers some interesting information, but for OSGi to further penetrate the enterprise, more must be done. One thing I'm certain of - OSGi will have its place in the next generation application platform. Stay tuned to future Burton Group resources on OSGi.