FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the OSGi Alliance?
  2. What is the shared vision of the OSGi Alliance?
  3. How can my company join the alliance?
  4. What are the roles of the OSGi Alliance and OSGi Users’ Forum or OSGi Users’ Group? How do these organizations cooperate?
  5. Who should consider becoming a member of the OSGi Alliance and why?
  6. Who will benefit from the OSGi Services Platform and how?
  7. What is the value of OSGi technology?
  8. What are the licensing terms and conditions of the OSGi Service Platform and what are the licensing costs?
  9. What role does the non-assert pledge by the OSGi Alliance and leading technology companies play?
  10. What capabilities does the OSGi Services Platform deliver?
  11. How does OSGi technology improve the software development process?
  12. What markets have adopted OSGi technology for their products and solutions?
  13. There are many residential, automotive, and mobile standards and initiatives. How is the OSGi technology unique?
  14. What services will be delivered using the OSGi Services Platform?
  15. Is there a certification procedure for platforms/services?
  16. Where can I learn more about the technical details of the OSGi Service Platform? How do I get hold of the specification?
  17. What is the OSGi Specification process?
  18. Who can become part of the OSGi Specification process?
  19. What resources are available to software developers who want to learn how to develop services for OSGi Alliance based devices?
  20. How are OSGi standards & specifications coordinated and harmonized with other standards & the associated standards bodies in the industry?
  21. How do the technologies produced and standardized by the OSGi Alliance complement and enhance those technologies specified within the Java Community Process (JCP)?

RESTRUCTURED MEMBERSHIP LEVELS FAQ

  1. What are the membership levels under the restructured OSGi Alliance?
  2. What is the difference between the membership levels?
  3. How do the new membership levels participate in the OSGi specification process?
  4. How will my company benefit from the new membership level choices?

What is the OSGi Alliance?

The OSGi Alliance is a worldwide consortium of technology innovators that advances a proven and mature process to assure interoperability of applications and services based on its component integration platform. The OSGi Service Platform is delivered in many Fortune Global 100 company products and services.

The alliance provides specifications, reference implementations, test suites and certification to foster a valuable cross-industry ecosystem. Member companies collaborate within an egalitarian, equitable and transparent environment and promote adoption of OSGi technology through business benefits, user experiences and forums.

A full list of OSGi Alliance Members is on the OSGi Alliance Members section of the website.

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What is the shared vision of the OSGi Alliance?

To leverage opportunities for new services, value chains and business models enabled by the evolution of the Internet and associated technologies. The alliance envisions a common standard for universal middleware that is applicable in diverse markets across the globe.

The alliance’s role in this vision is to create and promote widespread adoption of that common standard, the OSGi Service Platform, to assure interoperability of applications and services delivered and managed via networks.

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How can my company join the alliance?

A membership application is available at Join. Each class of membership and the rights, privileges and responsibilities associated with it are detailed at www.osgi.org. For further information contact John Ehrig

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What are the roles of the OSGi Alliance and OSGi Users’ Forum or OSGi Users’ Group? How do these organizations cooperate? 

The OSGi Alliance and its Members steer the OSGi Service Platform, its specifications and technology. Many companies join the alliance to enhance OSGi technology for their customers and the industries they serve. For example, Members formed the OSGi Vehicle Expert Group (VEG) to address needs within Automotive Electronics and Transportation industries and formed the OSGi Mobile Expert Group (MEG) to address needs within the Mobile Telecommunications industry.

OSGi Users’ Groups, or OSGi Users’ Forums, are independent organizations, either formal or informal, whose members adopt and promote the OSGi Service Platform as specified and certified by the OSGi Alliance. The members of these Users’ Groups or Forums are often “consumers” or adopters of the OSGi Service Platform, using it as a vital layer of software within the products and applications they build and sell or use internally.

To further its mission for widespread adoption of OSGi technology, the alliance encourages and fosters the formation of synergistic OSGi Users’ Forums and Groups. The alliance will assist groups to form and supply qualified speakers for Users’ Group meetings.

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Who should consider becoming a member of the OSGi Alliance and why?

Any company in a value chain that produces or uses software can benefit from alliance membership. OSGi Alliance members determine how and when the OSGi Service Platform and specifications will be upgraded, expanded and enhanced, which can benefit the production and provisioning of member companies’ offerings.

Vertical and cross-industry needs are served through “expert groups” that tailor the platform without compromising the integrity of the OSGi Service Platform architecture. Current expert groups include the Mobile Expert Group, Vehicle Expert Group and Core Platform Expert Group; members propose and establish charters for new EGs.

Only members’ software products are qualified for OSGi certification. Certification assures manufacturers and service providers that certified OSGi technology-based components are interoperable, reliable and secure.

For further information, please visit the membership benefits section of the website.

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Who will benefit from the OSGi Services Platform and how?

The OSGi Service Platform benefits a wide variety of audiences and communities of interest. OSGi reduces complexity by providing a modular architecture for today’s large-scale distributed systems as well as small, embedded applications. Building systems from in-house and off-the-shelf modules significantly reduces complexity and thus development and maintenance expenses. The OSGi programming model realizes the promise of component-based systems.

The OSGi modular and dynamic model reduces operational costs and integrates multiple devices in a networked environment, tackling costly application development, maintenance and remote service management.

Since it enables the delivery of multiple services dynamically and on command:

  • Service and content providers benefit by creating new recurring revenue streams and reducing the cost of service deployment (e.g. fewer truck rolls).
  • Network operators benefit by increasing network usage, enhancing user loyalty and reducing customer churn.
  • Manufacturers benefit by extending the application of devices and developing to a common API and framework.
  • End users benefit by reducing the cost and complexity of being “connected” while taking advantage of new services in a secure way.

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What is the value of OSGi technology? 

Modularity reduces software complexity. OSGi is the best model to modularize Java. OSGi reduces complexity by providing a modular architecture for today’s large-scale distributed systems as well as small, embedded applications. Building systems from in-house and off-the-shelf modules significantly reduces complexity and thus development and maintenance expenses. The OSGi programming model realizes the promise of component-based systems.

The OSGi modular and dynamic model reduces operational costs and integrates multiple devices in a networked environment, tackling costly application development, maintenance and remote service management.

For more information read What is OSGi?

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What are the licensing terms and conditions of the OSGi Service Platform and what are the licensing costs?

The OSGi Alliance grants a broad, royalty-free specification license to implementers and users of OSGi technology. 
For final, approved OSGi Alliance Specifications published on or before November 9, 2011, see: Specification Licensing. Additionals grants are provided for OSGi Release 4 Specifications from key organizations. See: Non-assert patent pledge
Beginning on November 10, 2011, all OSGi members will provide a similar non-assert patent pledge for final, approved OSGi specifications, as well as a royalty-free specification license. See: OSGi Alliance Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy and Royalty-free specification license

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What role does the 2006 non-assert pledge by the OSGi Alliance and leading technology companies play?

While access to the six organizations’ OSGi technology-related IP had been generally granted to full alliance members, their decision was notable because it formally extends the same property rights from these corporations to the general public for proper implementations of OSGi Release 4 specifications. This joint activity fosters a profitable marketplace for all: it creates interoperability and compatibility and lets companies compete on the superiority and ingenuity of their unique implementations and offerings.
Beginning on November 10, 2011, all OSGi members will provide a similar non-assert patent pledge for final, approved OSGi specifications, as well as a royalty-free specification license. See: OSGi Alliance Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy and Royalty-free specification license

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What capabilities does the OSGi Services Platform deliver?

Software Component Management –
The OSGi Framework handles the entire lifecycle management of applications and components. Besides the provision of packaging formats for all sorts of middleware and applications, it also provides fully dynamic lifecycle management.

Remote Component Management –
The OSGi Service Platform is specifically designed for devices that can operate unattended or under control of a platform operator. These are the devices that need remote management. Managing devices remotely can require a multitude of protocols. Therefore, the OSGi Platform has been designed to support all common transfer protocols including but not limited to SNMP, CMISE, CIM, OMA DM, etc.

Secure Execution Environment –
Execution code into a networked device can only be allowed if the device is properly protected. The OSGi specification, therefore, offers a comprehensive, multi level security model. This model is based on standard Java features combined with specific OSGi security features.

Commercial Off The Shelf Components –
A standardized environment has the advantage that many parties can cooperate without extra communications. OSGi member companies like Espial, Makewave, IBM, ProSyst Software, and others already deliver many basic building blocks off the shelf. Collectively, they have implemented virtually every common protocol in existence as an OSGi bundle. The excellent characteristics of the cooperative models allow these vendors to develop small bundles that provide a set of highly cohesive functions that work seamlessly with other bundles.

Simplified Deployment, Interoperability and Dynamic Functionalities –
The technologies provided by the OSGi Alliance significantly simplify the process of deployment. Once an OSGi Service Platform is installed in an environment, deploying applications is smooth because the rigorously specified OSGi Service Platform hides the differences of the underlying environments. Besides that, the OSGi Alliance spent considerable effort to create test specifications that allow interoperability between different implementations in a dynamic framework. One example for the latter is the hot update functionality that allows quick and uncomplicated updates while the system is running.

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How does OSGi technology improve the software development process?

OSGi modularizes Java. OSGi reduces complexity by providing a modular architecture for today’s large-scale distributed systems as well as small, embedded applications. Building systems from in-house and off-the-shelf modules significantly reduces complexity and thus development and maintenance expenses. The OSGi programming model realizes the promise of component-based systems.

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What markets have adopted OSGi technology for their products and solutions?

The OSGi technology is used in a variety of applications. Here are a few examples.

  • Enterprise
  • Telematics
  • Mobile
  • Residential Gateways
  • White Goods
  • Consumer Electronics

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There are many residential, automotive, and mobile standards and initiatives. How is the OSGi technology unique?

The OSGi Service Platform is the only standard that does not compete with other standards because it complements most other standards or initiatives currently underway. Instead of competing with other standards, it provides a unified software execution environment that allows virtually any standard to efficiently work with other standards. The OSGi Service Platform is focused on the application layer and open to any protocol, transport or device layers and thus inclusive rather than exclusive. OSGi Service Platform can use any existing Java specification. Where there is a standard that is not Java based, such as Universal Plug and Play, the OSGi Service Platform focuses on bridging all these standards in a consistent fashion.

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What services will be delivered using the OSGi Services Platform?

The OSGi specification allows service providers and others to bundle and manage existing telephony, data networking, enterprise applications, desktop programs, and entertainment services, but also enables a whole new set of value-added services (e.g., energy management, telematics, home monitoring and automation, device software enhancements). These services are offered via the Internet, internal enterprise networks, various last-mile broadband connections, and high-speed wireless data networks to the home, car, mobile, device environments, and other computing systems.

The OSGi specification provides the “glue” in this new value chain, through an open, platform-independent framework and APIs, which allows for the dynamic delivery of managed services with secure, scalable and reliable metrics.

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Is there a certification procedure for platforms/services?

For more information, including the certified member products, visit the Compliance and Certification Program page.

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Where can I learn more about the technical details of the OSGi Service Platform? How do I get hold of the specification?

A first introduction to the OSGi technology can be found in an overview whitepaper. Detailed information about the OSGi Service Platform can be found in the specifications, which can be downloaded from the website.

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What is the OSGi Specification process? 

Proposed OSGi specifications are developed by an Expert Group comprised of participants from interested OSGi Alliance member companies. After a thorough review by the Expert Group, the proposed specification is submitted to the OSGi Alliance Board of Directors for review and approval. The Board will approve the specification or return it to the EG for additional work. Once approved by the Board, the specification must undergo a minimum 60-day review period by all members. Any necessary patent claims must be identified by members during this time. Following the review period, the OSGi Alliance members vote on approval of the specification. Once approved by a majority of OSGi Alliance members, the specification is ratified. Finally, the OSGi Alliance Board of Directors will make a final decision on public release of the specification.

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Who can become part of the OSGi Specification process?

OSGi Alliance members actively direct the OSGi specification process; membership is open to all interested parties. Any OSGi member can join an OSGi Expert Group to contribute to and comment on the OSGi specifications. The OSGi specification and member agreements define the process and terms for participation and contribution to the specification creation process.

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What resources are available to software developers who want to learn how to develop services for OSGi Alliance based devices? 

In addition to the specifications and the exchange within the expert groups and on the OSGi Web Site blog, software developers can use Service Platform Developer Kits and/or attend training programs offered by members of the OSGi Alliance (see also the Products page). An additional resource will be the OSGi Bundle Repository (OBR) that is available on the OSGi Web Site.

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How are OSGi standards & specifications coordinated and harmonized with other standards & the associated standards bodies in the industry?

The OSGi Liaison Executive Committee has the primary responsibility for establishing working liaisons with external organizations such as other industry consortia (e.g., the Open Mobile Alliance). The current chairperson of the OSGi Liaison Executive Committee, and the director of operations are posted on the OSGi Board and Officers web page – along with other Board members and Officers – and may be contacted if an organization wishes a liaison relationship with the OSGi Alliance. Liaisons may be formal or informal, and may range from simple marketing cross-endorsements to more involved relationships, which may include sharing select intellectual property with negotiated terms and conditions with the goal of coordinating and harmonizing the technologies of both parties.

The working members of the OSGi Alliance represent many of the world’s top technology organizations and technologists who are experts in their field. Members continually survey relevant external standards and specifications and strive to coordinate and harmonize important and relevant standards with the OSGi Alliance through formal and informal means, while always respecting applicable intellectual property rights.

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How do the technologies produced and standardized by the OSGi Alliance complement and enhance those technologies specified within the Java Community Process (JCP)?

The OSGi Alliance like other important industry groups, such as the Apache Software Foundation and the Parlay Group, have worked with Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle) and the Java Community Process to develop open standards which provide a richer environment to the entire development and user community for the Java language. Sun Microsystems was a founding member of the OSGi Alliance, provided our initial Chairperson for the OSGi Expert Group that wrote our first ever Specification Release, and had representation on the OSGi Board of Directors for most of the Alliance’s existence.

The OSGi Alliance worked within its former Mobile Expert Group (MEG) to develop an advanced mobile platform for use in digital mobile telephones in close cooperation and coordination with JCP Java Specification Request 232 (JSR-232).

Again with JCP JSR 291 “Dynamic Component Support for Java SE”, the OSGi Alliance, through its Core Platform Expert Group, worked in close cooperation and coordination with the JCP to provide world-class specifications for our shared ecosystem.

This is just another set of examples of where the OSGi Alliance has worked with other industry organizations to build better open technologies for the communities we all serve.

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RESTRUCTURED MEMBERSHIP LEVELS FAQ

What are the membership levels under the restructured OSGi Alliance?

Restructured Alliance levels are Strategic and Principal Members, and Contributing Associates.

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What is the difference between the membership levels?

All three levels include privileges to direct and contribute to specifications through expert groups and committees and participate in the development of draft and final specifications. Principal Members can lead expert groups and committees, run for an Alliance officer position, and commercially license OSGi Alliance Compliance Tests at no additional cost. Board governance is a privilege reserved for Strategic Members through eligibility for the Board of Directors.

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How do the new membership levels participate in the OSGi specification process?

All three levels include privileges to direct and contribute to specifications through expert groups and committees and participate in the development of draft and final specifications.

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How will my company benefit from the new membership level choices?

The restructured Alliance invites more organizations to participate in the development of OSGi technology. The new Principal Member level has tiered pricing for companies with 250 or more employees and companies with fewer than 250 employees. The Contributing Associates level introduces a new technically focused option for more organizations to actively contribute to OSGi specifications and technology. All members gain a competitive edge by directing and contributing to new OSGi specifications, shaping future OSGi specifications to fuel new markets and revenue streams, and increasing company visibility via the bundle repository, posts and cross-marketing with the Alliance.

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