The Framework implements an elegant, complete, and dynamic component model. Applications (called bundles) can be remotely installed, started, stopped, updated and uninstalled without requiring a reboot (management of Java packages/classes is specified in painstaking detail). Life cycle management is defined in APIs which allows the remote downloading of management policies. The service registry allows bundles to detect new services, or the going away of services, and adapt accordingly.
The original focus was on Service Gateways but the applicability turned out to be much wider. The OSGi specifications are now used from mobile phones to the new version of the open source Eclipse IDE (which now includes an open source compliant version of International Business Machines's Framework called SMF). The application areas of the OSGi Service Platform are: Service gateways, cars, Mobile telephony, industrial automation, building automation, PDAs, grid computing, white goods (e.g. BSH), entertainment (e.g. iPronto), fleet management, and IDEss.
Specifications are developed by the members in an open process and made available to the public free of charge and without licensing conditions. The OSGi Alliance has a compliance program that is open to members only. Currently 12 compliant implementations exist.
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