3 months ago, the day SpringSource announced their acquisition of Covalent, the company behind Tomcat, I knew they were up to something. I even talked about it with Andrew Glover for JavaWorld. And now it’s real: SpringSource has just announced SpringSource Application Platform.
First off, a few links around this announcement:
Now this is very exciting. That’s the kind of inspiring technologies that make me think of tens of ideas for new projects, new tools that were just impossible before and that could now become reality. Adobe Flex had the same effect of unleashing my software artist imagination. Now I’m starting to think about combining the user experience of Flex applications on top of the ease of management, deployment and extensibility of OSGi with SSAP. Jeez, we’re living an incredible period!
That’s official: SpringSource has just acquired Covalent. Or as I explained it to one of my colleagues, “the company behind our IoC framework has bought the one behind our application server”.
My first reaction was satisfaction, because it’s another step forward in the direction of corporate Open Source adoption. It’s always amazed me to see how big companies can be afraid of Open Source. And the fact that there is now one bigger support service offer behind two of the most popular Open Source technologies in the enterprise will certainly reassure some skepticals.
The second “kiss cool effect” was undoubtedly about something I’ve really been playing with lately, since Javapolis: OSGi. The fact that componentization-related JSR’s are so fragmented and so alpha, plus the recent works of Spring Dynamic Modules for OSGi, added to Peter Kriens’ presentation at Javapolis, all of that really got my attention. And now I’m dreaming of building a collaboration platform using Flex for the front-end and OSGi, Spring and Hibernate JPA for the back-end. The only component that’s missing in my big picture is a deployment target platform, i.e. an OSGi application server. Of course, JOnAS is working on that but there’s no documentation on their 5.0 server whatsoever. And I’ve heard Websphere and Weblogic are using OSGi too, but hey, I’m talking about Open Source here! Now have a look at the documentation of both Tomcat and Spring. They’re probably amongst the best Open Source documentations on the planet. Now imagine that quality of documentation for a brand new Tomcat 7 server using OSGi as a core deployment mechanism, and integrating Spring DM libraries to ease the development of web application bundles.