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  • Eclipse Virgo project proposal

    We have just announced our intention to donate dm Server to See the SpringSource blog for more details of this exciting move.

    We will be closing down these dm Server forums when the transition is complete, so please keep an eye on the Virgo forums over at and subscribe if you are interested.

    I should emphasize our intention to open up the project considerably, so if you would like to contribute, please step forward on the Virgo forums. If you have any questions about this which you don't want to air in public, feel free to email me at gnormington AT

  • #2
    FAQ: dm Server project moves to

    SpringSource has submitted a proposal to the Eclipse open source community to move development of the SpringSource dm Server to become part of the Eclipse RT top-level project. The Eclipse nickname for the project is Virgo.
    1. What is SpringSource dm Server?
      SpringSource dm Server is a completely modular, OSGi-based Java server designed to run enterprise Java applications and Spring-powered applications with a new degree of flexibility and reliability. The server comprises numerous OSGi-based technologies that allow both developers and administrators to leverage the advantages provided by a dynamically modular run time system.
    2. What is the Eclipse RT project?
      The Eclipse RT top-level project at Eclipse was created in 2008 as a means of bringing together various runtime related efforts and technologies at Eclipse. RT is designed to foster, promote and house runtime efforts in Eclipse. It is part of a larger Equinox Community move to drive Equinox-base technology across a broad range of computing environments and problem domains. These efforts strive towards the common goal of providing a uniform component model across a wide variety of computing environments. The Equinox framework and OSGi form the basis of this infrastructure.
    3. What is project Virgo?
      Virgo is the Eclipse nickname for the Dynamic Enterprise Application Platform project that is the new proposed home for dm Server. The Virgo project is intended to provide a runtime platform for the development of server-side enterprise applications built on top of Equinox, and optionally using modules from the Gemini project (an Eclipse project hosting reference implementations for OSGi Enterprise standards). Virgo will be a subproject of the Eclipse Runtime Project and will strive to leverage the functionality of existing projects. SpringSource and Eclipse encourage and request additional participation and input from any and all interested parties in the Eclipse community.
    4. What is the proposed goal of the Virgo project?
      The goal of the Virgo project is to provide a Dynamic Enterprise Application Platform for the development of server-side enterprise applications based on Equinox. Examples of server-side enterprise applications include web applications, integration applications, batch processing applications, or any combination thereof. The core components of Virgo at inception will be
      • a dynamic enterprise kernel supporting the core application, deployment, and provisioning model
      • an integrated server runtime that builds on top of the kernel and adds in web container, configuration, and administration support
      • a remote repository application for hosting a remote provisioning repository
      • a module that provides configurable per-application logging services for enterprise applications deployed to the kernel
    5. Who else is contributing to Virgo?
      Both SAP and Tasktop have expressed interest in participating in the Virgo project. The Eclipse community process identifies the project proposal stage as the best point to solicit community participation, so SpringSource encourages and requests additional participation and input from any and all interested parties in the Eclipse community.
    6. Why is this change happening?
      The dm Server today provides a state of the art server platform for modular enterprise application development based on OSGi and the Spring Dynamic Modules (now standardized as the OSGi Blueprint Service) programming model. Enterprise OSGi, and the dm Server, have made huge advances. And yet it is fair to say that adoption of OSGi for enterprise application development does not come without a cost. Like many new technologies, an initial investment has to be made that will pay back over time.

      There is a great deal of interest and innovation around enterprise OSGi and the dm Server. This interest is strongest amongst early adopters, and projects with requirements that match closely to the dynamically modular nature of the OSGi Service Platform. For a mainstream development team though, who just want to build an enterprise application as quickly as possible, and with as little hassle as possible, the costs currently associated with adopting enterprise OSGi can outweigh the short-term benefits. This situation needs to be addressed before enterprise OSGi can become the de-facto approach for mainstream enterprise application development. Please note that I’m talking about enterprise application development here; if you’re writing infrastructure software and need to create a “stackless stack” (Kirk Knoerschild, James Governor) then OSGi is already the de-facto approach, and fully supported by the dm Server and the associated dm kernel sub-project.

      At SpringSource we know that open source development and community involvement can play a huge role in evolving simple, pragmatic solutions that enable a technology to bridge from early adopter to mainstream usage. We know because it is a path we have successfully taken many times. In creating the Virgo project at, we seek to accelerate the journey of the dm Server and of enterprise OSGi along this path.
    7. Why was the Eclipse community selected as the new host for the project?
      The dm Server builds on, and tightly integrates with, Eclipse Equinox – the reference implementation of the OSGi Service Platform. In addition, the recently proposed Gemini project at will host reference implementations of many of the key enterprise OSGi specifications supported by Virgo – including the SpringSource led Gemini Web Container and Gemini Blueprint Service projects. The dm Server development tools are also all Eclipse-based. As an Eclipse RT project, Virgo will benefit from close collaboration with the OSGi community at, the ability for multiple parties to contribute to it’s ongoing development, and feedback from the Eclipse user base to help shape future direction.
    8. How do I get involved/contribute to Virgo?
      The Virgo project proposal will be hosted at The best ways to get involved are to
    9. What license will be used for the Virgo project?
      Virgo will be licensed under the Eclipse Public License.
    10. I am a dm Server user, what does this change mean to me?
      Once the proposal is accepted by the Eclipse community, the move to will have number of practical implications for users of dm Server
      • Project hosting, home pages, forums, and downloads will all be moved to infrastructure
      • The license will change from the current (largely) GPL license, to the Eclipse Public License (EPL)
      • It will be much easier for other organizations and community members to get involved in the ongoing development of Virgo
      • The follow-on release of dm Server will be developed and released from

    SpringSource encourages community members that are using dm Server or anyone interested in using OSGi in an enterprise setting to participate in and comment on project Virgo.


    • #3

      Wondering if Slices will be part of contribution also. Did not see that component mentioned in the Virgo proposal.


      • #4
        Slices is excluded from the currently proposed Virgo submission as it's not actually part of dm Server and it's already available under the Apache license rather than GPL. However, it should run equally ok on Virgo's equivalent of dm Server.

        If you'd like to propose that slices be added to the Virgo proposal, please would you make the case on the Virgo forum as that's where the nascent Virgo community will be hanging out and where discussion of the proposal should best happen.


        • #5
          Has this transfer of control been a long term consideration, or is it one of the inevitable changes in corporate strategy that comes about when a company is acquired?


          • #6
            Neither. The decision to donate dm Server to Eclipse was made by SpringSource over the last few months without any pressure from the rest of VMware. We would have done the same had we not been acquired as the rationale was the same in either case.


            • #7
              Originally posted by dsklyut View Post
              Wondering if Slices will be part of contribution also. Did not see that component mentioned in the Virgo proposal.
              We are planning on taking slices forward as a Spring project and generalising it to support non-OSGi environments. It will continue to be licensed under the GPL v3.
              Last edited by Glyn Normington; May 25th, 2010, 11:19 AM. Reason: Correction: slices is licensed under GPL v3 and not Apache license.


              • #8
                Has any code been donated to Eclipse yet? If not, is there a time plan for when a code repository under the new license will be made publically available?

                best regards, Peter


                • #9
                  I'm in the process of drafting the creation review document (see the Eclipse development process description for background) which should then take a few weeks to be scheduled for review after which, if everything is in order, the Virgo project will come into existence. This will give us a code repo, bug tracker, and mailing list.

                  After that, we need to take the dm Server code and its dependencies through a fairly exacting IP process before committing any of it into Eclipse repositories.

                  I'm hopeful that this will happen in 2Q10, but since I haven't been through the Eclipse donation process before, I may be wrong. We certainly want to make it happen as quickly as possible while taking the Eclipse process seriously.