OSGi focusses on modularity and it is right now (future may change it) the only viable way to split your application into modules with well-defined dependencies. It solves, however, "only" the technical problem - which is actually relatively easy. Before you going to introduce OSGi into your project, answer the following questions:
- What is your versioning scheme for modules(bundles)? Do you care about minor versions, major versions etc?
- Whats your scm strategy - do you plan to open and maintain a branch for every version of a module? How many branches do you plan to maintain? (with svn? :-))
- How many versioned modules will be active at the same time in production?
- How the system is going to be tested? Each module and all the combination of modules. Every version will increase the complexity significantly.
- What is your release-management strategy? Do you really plan to provide customer-specific module combinations? What is your bug-fixing / patch strategy (trunk, branch)?
- Do you really want to replace modules in running system? If it is a serverside system - what happens with in-flight transactions?
- If it is an Eclipse-RCP application - are you even allowed to expose the plugins to the end-user? (in the majority of my projects, we had to disable the update manager in production :-))
- What is your software distribution system - many companies have already a software-distribution system in place. Often not only the application, but also the JVM are packaged into one binary file and entirely installed. Incremental updates are often impossible.
- What is exactly the contract between the modules? Only a Java-Interface? If so - what to do with direct relations between JPA-entities. If you disallow direct JPA-relations - you will probably see a huge "domain" package with all domain objects inside it. You will need to provide "friend" relations between modules as well.
- Is maven the canonical representation of modules, OSGi, or both? A single representation would be the best. Will maven module versions be reflected in the OSGi bundle versions?
[See also "Real World Java EE Patterns, Rethinking Best Practices" book, Page 253, (Premature Encapsulation Is the Root of All Evil) for more in-depth discussion]
Java EE 7 Workshops: Bootstrap, Effective, Architectures, June, 13th-15th, Munich's Airport
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