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From Marcel Offermans <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Apache Ace
Date Sat, 04 Apr 2009 19:30:27 GMT
Hello Martin,

On Apr 4, 2009, at 20:39 , Martin Cooper wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 12:52 PM, Marcel Offermans <
>> wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> I would like to formally present the incubator proposal for Apache  
>> Ace, a
>> software distribution framework based on OSGi that allows you to  
>> manage and
>> distribute artifacts, like e.g. software components.
>> The full proposal can be found on the wiki at:
>> I'm looking forward to all questions and feedback, positive or  
>> negative.
> Could you comment on how this compares to Equinox p2? It'd be  
> interesting to
> understand the similarities and differences.

Let's start with the similarities. Both systems are designed to  
distribute software components, and both are based on OSGi.

Equinox p2 was designed to replace the aging Update Manager in  
Eclipse. It focusses on installing Eclipse-based applications from  
scratch and updating them and can be extended to manage other types of  
artifacts. If you look at the "agent" part, it is geared towards  
desktop environments (their agent download is about 12 MB) and  
focusses on having a user on the target system selecting the  
components or plugins that need to be installed or updated. Looking at  
the server side, they manage update sites that contain the files the  
agent can download. As far as I know they don't yet have tooling to  
show an overview of all targets, nor ways to directly monitor or  
manage them.

Apache Ace was designed to be a framework for provisioning based on  
OSGi standards (whenever available). The "agent" is small (<100kB) and  
is based on OSGi's DeploymentAdmin which also allows you to install  
any type of artifact in an extensible way. Being that small, it can  
also run on small targets like embedded systems and mobile phones. We  
also don't assume a user on the target system. On the server side, we  
support OSGi's Bundle Repository (OBR) and we can actively manage  
targets and "push" software onto them without user interaction. Also,  
you can have a central overview of these targets and their complete  
life cycle. There are even mechanisms for doing updates when the  
target systems are never in direct contact with the provisioning  
server (because they're in environments where internet access is not  
allowed). Finally we have complety separated the meta-data necessary  
for provisioning from the actual components, which means it's possible  
to host the provisioning server on an internet server whilst keeping  
the actual components on local networks. This means you can set it up  
in such a way that you never expose any IP on the internet (assuming  
you don't consider meta-data about software components to be IP).

There's probably lots more I can explain, so feel free to keep asking  
questions, I hope this gives a high level comparison of both systems.  
Note though, I'm no Equinox p2 expert. :)

Greetings, Marcel

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