{ by david linsin }

September 22, 2009

Spring DM Web Extender Problems

In my current project, I'm evaluating moving a large and very old code base to OSGi. Part of that is getting the the development team on board. I'm trying to point out, how much you can benefit from designing your application with OSGi in mind and the advantages you can have, running your application in an OSGi container.

I created some sample code with the help of the book "Pro Spring Dynamic Modules for Osgi(tm) Service Platforms" to highlight some of my OSGi presentation bulletpoints. One of the samples is running Tomcat inside of Equinox together with Spring Dynamic Modules. Although the sample is really simple and I sticked to the steps in the book precisely, Equinox spit out the following Exception:

After various failed attempts to google for a solution, I decided to consult the book again. Although, I thought I sticked to the steps closely, I missed an important point: start levels.

A start level is simply a non-negative integer value. The Framework has an ‘active start level’ that is used to decide which bundles can be started. Bundles themselves have an associated ‘bundle start level’ which is used to determine when a bundle is started. The bundles at a given start level will all have their start method completely executed before any bundles at a higher level are started. When booted, the Framework monotonically goes through each start level and starts relevant bundles (all the way until the active start level is met).
In the end, start levels are there to simply determine the start order of bundles.

I missed the fact that there is a start order in my Equinox run configuration. The bundles, which are in charge of bootstrapping Tomcat, need to be activated in special order, otherwise the previously mentioned Exception is raised. In particular the following bundles need to start in order:

org.springframework.osgi.catalina.osgi@3:start, \
org.springframework.osgi.catalina.start.osgi@3:start, \
org.springframework.bundle.osgi.web.extender@4:start, \ 

In "Pro Spring Dynamic Modules for Osgi" the config only orders the bundles and doesn't add any explicit start levels. However, I still ran into the same Exception from time to time, depending on other bundles I loaded. I put explicit start levels in my run configuration to solve those problems.


costin said...

I assume you're using Spring DM 1.1.x.
I recommend upgrading to 1.2.x - aside from the various fixes and features, the web extender has been improved so that the web container service is searched for, in a asynch manner; this should address your problem.

If you need help or have questions, you are welcome to use the Spring DM forum.

Costin Leau
Spring DM Lead

david said...

Thanks for the hint Costin! In fact I was using Spring DM 1.2.0-M1, so I assume the problem might be solved with a later version.


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