JavaEnterprise JavaSpringSource DM Java Server Heads to Eclipse

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The Eclipse RT (runtime) top-level project could soon be getting a new participant, thanks to a code donation from VMware’s SpringSource Java division.

SpringSource’s dm Server, which is an OSGi (Open Services Gateway initiative)-compliant Java server, is on its way to becoming the core of the Virgo project at the Eclipse Foundation — an initiative underway to create a dynamic enterprise application platform.

As part of the move, SpringSource will be relicensing dm Server from the GPL to the Eclipse Public License (EPL). The move will also impact the commercial version of dm Server as well.

“Currently, dm Server is dual-licensed, and there is a commercial version,” Adam Fitzgerald, director of community relations at SpringSource, told “Once the move is complete to Virgo and the Eclipse Foundation, we won’t have a commercially licensed version of dm Server. We will offer support subscriptions for customers that want to use Virgo in their enterprise environments.”

According to Fitzgerald, the primary goal for SpringSource in moving dm Server to Eclipse is about helping get greater adoption and usage of the modular OSGi programming approach in enterprise Java.

“After spending a few years talking to customers about their OSGi needs, it became clear that while OSGi is a good fit for certain uses, in the enterprise Java space, it is still having some significant barriers to mainstream adoption for Java development,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald added that SpringSource has been a member of the Eclipse Foundation for the past two years and is active in multiple projects. In his view, the Virgo project will quite substantially increase the number of SpringSource’s contributors participating in Eclipse projects.

“Virgo will be part of the Eclipse RT top-level project and there will be lots of cross-pollination on an architectural level of how different technologies work together,” Ian Skerrett, director of marketing at the Eclipse Foundation, told

Eclipse is known for developer tools such as its namesake Eclipse IDE . In more recent years, it has expanded its mandate with the runtime effort, which kicked off in 2008. Among the existing efforts that make up Eclipse RT are the Eclipse Equinox project, Eclipse Rich Ajax Platform (RAP), and the Swordfish SOA runtime project.

SpringSource dm Server 2.0

Alongside its announcement to move dm Server to Eclipse, SpringSource today released dm Server 2.0, providing some incremental improvements over the prior 1.0 release. Fitzgerald said that dm Server 2.0 includes support for some enhancements in the way that Web applications are modularized, including a Web component model.

There are also some changes in the way that provisioning happens within the service environment. Additionally, there are also some improvements in the way developers build plans for application deployment and repository control.

As for future releases of dm Server under the Eclipse Foundation, Fitzgerald said it was too early to know what might be included.

“Once the project moves to Eclipse, it will be a community-driven project,” Fitzgerald said. “So I wouldn’t want to presume that we would be able to identify the direction of the project when there is so much external influence and input that could be provided.”

The move is also but the latest major development for SpringSource, which was acquired by VMware in 2009 for $362 million.

In addition to dm Server, its primary product releases have been the lightweight Java Spring Framework, which recently hit version 3.0. SpringSource also provides a commercially supported Tomcat Java middleware server.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the network.

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