Monday, April 18, 2016

Transport-Independent Remote Services

ECF recently released version 3.13.1 of it's implementation of the OSGi Remote Services and Remote Service Admin specifications.

Over the past year, we have made it easier for us and others to create custom distribution providers.   This has made it possible to quickly create a variety of open source distribution providers...for example, HTTP/HTTP/REST/Jax-RS implementations, TCP, Hazelcast, JMS, AMQP, MQTT and JavaGroups) as well as others.

Why is this useful and important?   In my view, it's important because it allows service developers to define, implement, deploy and maintain transport-independent Remote Services.   Transport-independence gives the flexibility to address changing requirements without the need to alter the service or it's implementation.

For example, consider a small remote service for accessing a simple data set.   Ideally, the service interface, implementation, and client would use one distribution system/transport for all time for the life of the service.   In practice, however, it's often necessary to respond to changing funtional and non-functional transport-related requirements...for example requirements for interoperability/integration, changing security requirements, network performance requirements, bandwidth, service availability requirements, the need to take advantage of new protocols (e.g. MQTT, COAP, Iot.), etc.

This new tutorial shows how Remote Services can be declared, implemented, deployed, and versioned without any dependencies on the underlying distribution system or transport.   Pluggable distribution providers may be substituted with no service or application-level code changes.   This is accomplished by adherence to standards (OSGi Services/Remote Services and Jax-RS) as well as ECF's pluggable distribution provider approach.

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