Survey: Burton Finds OSGi Adoption Could Skyrocket by 2009

A Burton group survey finds half of respodents are already using OSGi, and that 80% plan to develop OSGi-based systems by 2009. Use cases raange from web apps, rich clients and even mobile and embedded apps.

Tags: OSGi, Respondents, Survey, Framework, Knoernschild, Applications, Management,

A recent survey conducted by analysts at the Burton Group finds that a vast majority (80%) plan to develop OSGi-based systems in the next 6-12 months. And 50% of the 64 respondents said they were currently developing software using OSGi, the survey found.

The survey was reported by Kirk Knoernschild, an analyst at Burton Group, and reported on Burton's Application Platform Strategies blog. "I found this number very surprising," Knoernschild said in a blog post. "But a 30% increase in adoption over the next year is representative of the value OSGi provides."

Knoernschild also expressed surprise that OSGI already has a sizable footprint. "I was surprised to find that such a high number were already using OSGi, especially given the uncertainty surrounding OSGi," Knoernschild said. "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 OSGi Alliance (formerly known as the Open Services Gateway initiative - now an obsolete name) is an open standards organization founded in March 1999. The Alliance and its members have specified a Java-based service platform that can be remotely managed. The core part of the specifications is a framework that defines an application life cycle management model, a service registry, an Execution environment and Modules. Based on this framework, a large number of OSGi Layers, APIs, and Services have been defined.

Knoernschild also said given that such a high number of respondents were familiar with the OSGi Service Platform and were planning to develop software using OSGi, more information surrounding OSGi must be made available to inform and educate other companies about the technology.

Another key survey finding supports Knoernschild's bullish OSGi assessment. Those that now use OSGi want to know more.

Specifically, almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents said that their greatest challenge in using OSGi was understanding how to use it most effectively, far outdistancing the second most prevalent challenge -- finding "valid" OSGi bundles for the open source frameworks used by development teams, (at 38.1%), according to the survey

"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," Knoernschild said. "The lack of vendors with a clear and public OSGi strategy compounds the difficulty of OSGi adoption."

Other Notable OSGi Findings
  • 43 of the 64 respondents said that they were familiar with OSGi products and services, while 21 said they were not.
  • 42 of 63 respondents said they hoped using OSGi would allow them to achieve greater modularity;
  • 45 of 63 respondents said they wanted to achieve better dependency management.
  • End users applied OSGi across a wide array of applications and problem sets. Notably: 41 for web applications; 25 for rich clients; 8 for mobile apps; and 7 for embedded systems

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