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OSGi Drives New Managed Services Platform

A cross-industry consortium released a new standards platform this week in an attempt to better connect devices multiple environments.

San Ramon, Calif.-based Open Services Gateway Initiative (OSGi) Wednesday unveiled its Service Platform Release 3 (R3) for download. The software specification allows managed services to be delivered to devices in homes, cars and businesses.

The non-profit offers vendor-neutral, multiple-sourced specifications. Last year, the group unveiled pilot program that put the popular OnStar automobile service in homes. Members include companies like IBM , Hewlett-Packard , Sun Microsystems , Motorola , Philips Electronics , and Deutsche Telekom .

Initiated by the automotive industry, but with cross-industry applicability, new specifications have been defined for accessing physical positioning, and constructing new data connections between pre-existing R3 software components.

OSGi says Release 3 builds on Release 2 and extends the existing APIs into new areas including functions for XML parsing, controlled start order, and flexible generic I/O.

Additionally, the specification includes recommendations for integrating Universal Plug and Play and Jini services in an OSGi environment.

"We're very proud of the work that has gone into OSGi Service Platform Release 3," OSGi Alliance president and Motorola Standards Realization Director John Barr said in a statement. "Release 3 represents the efforts of the many experts and authorities available to the OSGi alliance through its membership. The need to bundle and deliver services like mobile information and commerce, interactive entertainment, on-demand content, enhanced telephony, telemetry and energy management, and remote home appliance control continues to be great. With the OSGi Service Platform, traditional and new service providers and network operators have the tools necessary to generate new revenue streams and profit pools from existing and new customers. Release 3 also satisfies many of the automotive information and entertainment platform requirements identified by OSGi member companies in the automotive industry."

The group said the latest release also defines the minimum requirements for running an OSGi Service Platform. Chapters have been added to extensively describe a reference architecture and remote management architecture.

OSGi says the few modifications to existing APIs are backward compatible so that applications written for previous releases should run without modification on Release 3 compliant Service Platforms.