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Apache Felix iPOJO FAQ

Injecting the bundle context in a POJO

It is sometimes useful to inject the bundle context in your POJO. Then, your POJO is able to deal with the OSGi environment as regular OSGi applications. It is possible to a POJO to get its BundleContext. A POJO can receive its bundle context as an argument of its constructor. The next code snippet shows an example:

public class ASimplePOJO{
	private BundleContext context;
	public ASimplePOJO(BundleContext bc) {
		context = bc;
		// do something...

As you see on the previous snippet, the bundle context is injected in the POJO. Then the POJO can use it as a 'normal' bundle context. The POJO code can:

  • load classes
  • register / unregister services
  • discover, track and use services

However, all these interactions are no more managed by the iPOJO container. So, be careful to manage the dynamism, synchronization, listeners...

Accessing services inside inner and anonymous classes

An inner class is a class defined inside another class. This mechanism is useful in order to avoid creating a bunch of small files. So, it is common when creating threads, Swing listeners ... Generally speaking, inner classes are regular classes treated as separate classes. However this is an oversimplification. Some of the information about an inner class is not in its class file. See section 4.7.5 for further details:

An inner class can access fields of its outer class. Since the iPOJO 1.0.0 version, fields managed by iPOJO, such as a service dependencies and properties, are also available from the inner class. Indeed, iPOJO manipulation also manipulates inner and nested classes, and accesses to outer class fields are correctly managed.

Using a different version of the manipulator during the manipulation

You can configure the version of the manipulator that you want to use when you're using the maven-ipojo-plugin or the iPOJO ant task. This allows to benefit latest improvements.

For Maven, Just declare a dependency on the manipulator that you want to use in the maven-ipojo-plugin plugin section:


For Ant, just configure the classpath of the iPOJO ant task with the Manipulator that you want to use:

<taskdef name="ipojo"
                classpath="../ipojo/manipulator/org.apache.felix.ipojo.manipulator-1.7.0-SNAPSHOT.jar; lib/org.apache.felix.ipojo.ant-1.7.0-SNAPSHOT.jar;" />

Callbacks order.

A lot of handlers define callbacks to notify the implementation class. The 'core' callbacks are called in the following order:

public class CallbacksOrder implements MyService {

	public CallbacksOrder() {
		System.out.println("1 Constructor");

	public void bind(LogService log) {
		System.out.println("2 Bind " + log);

	public void setProp(String v) {
		System.out.println("3 Set prop " + v);

	public void validate() {
		System.out.println("4 Validate");

	public void registered(ServiceReference ref) {
		System.out.println("5 Registered");

	// --- On Service Departure ---

	public void unbind(LogService log) {
		System.out.println("6 Unbind " + log);

	// Remaining of the flow

	public void unregistered(ServiceReference ref) {
		System.out.println("7 Unregistered");

	public void invalidate() {
		System.out.println("8 Invalidate");

        // --- End of the callback order

	public void doNothing() {
		// Do nothing...


Disabling proxies in iPOJO 1.6+

iPOJO 1.6.0 has generalized the proxy usage. However this mechanism can be disabled.

To disable the proxies on the entire framework, just set the property ipojo.proxy to disabled (this set the default 'proxy' value). This property is either a system property (-Dipojo.proxy=disabled in the command line) or a framework property (given to the framework during its initialization).

You can also disable proxies for specific dependencies by using the proxy attribute:

private LogService log


<requires field="log" proxy="false"/>

The default value of the proxy attribute is the value of the ipojo.proxy property.

Use dynamic proxies instead of smart proxies

Smart proxies are generated on the fly using bytecode generation. However this mechanism may not be always supported by the VM (like Dalvik (Android)). To disabled smart proxies (used by default) and use dynamic proxy instead, set the property ipojo.proxy.type to dynamic-proxy. This property is either a system property or a framework property.

Can I use iPOJO with other OSGi implementations?

iPOJO relies on the OSGi R4.1 specification, so works on any compliant implementation. Moreover, iPOJO is weekly tested on Apache Felix, Eclipse Equinox and Knopflerfish..
For further information, refer to the supported OSGi implementations page and on this blog post.

Detecting optional service unavailability

Sometimes it is useful to check if an optional service dependency is fulfilled or not. In order to propose a pretty simple development model, iPOJO injects proxies by default which avoid such check (Because proxies hide such details). By disabling proxies, you can easily check to unavailability.

  • First, disable the proxy injection:
    private LogService log;
  • The injected object will be a direct reference. By default, iPOJO injects a Nullable object, on which you can call service method without checking for null. To detect Nullable objects, just use instanceof
    private LogService log;
    public void doSomething() {
        if (log instanceof Nullable) {
            // Service unavailable
        } else {
           // Service available
  • If you prefer injecting null instead of a Nullable, just disable Nullable injection too. However, be care to check for null before each invocation.
    @Requires(proxy=false, nullable=false)
    private LogService log;
    public void doSomething() {
        if (log == null) {
            // Service unavailable
        } else {
           // Service available

Setting the iPOJO log level

By default, iPOJO logs only warning and error messages. There are two different methods to configure the log level. First, you can set the global log level by setting the ipojo.log.level system property. This replaces the default log level (warning). All iPOJO instances will be impacted. However, each bundle containing component types can specify a different log level. To set this level, add the ipojo-log-level header in your manifest. The possible values for these two properties are:

  • info
  • debug
  • warning (default)
  • error

Installing iPOJO in Service Mix Kernel

You can use iPOJO in Service Mix Kernel. To deploy and start it, just execute the following command line in the ServiceMix Kernel Shell.

osgi install -s mvn:org.apache.felix/org.apache.felix.ipojo/1.2.0

The iPOJO bundle is downloaded from the central maven repository.

iPOJO and File Install

Thanks to File install you can create, disposed and reconfigure instances from cfg files. You can also reconfiguring a creatged instance (configured to expose a ManagedService) with cfg files too. More information about this topic is available here.

iPOJO handler start level

iPOJO Handlers have a start level. This is not the OSGi Start Level. This level is used to determine in which order handler are configured, started and stopped. Handlers with a low level are configured and started before handlers with a high level. Moreover they are stopped after handlers with a high level. By default, handlers have no level. It means that they have the maximum level (Integer.MAX).

Here are the levels of core handlers:

  • Service Dependency: 0 (minimum level)
  • Lifecycle Callback: 1
  • Configuration Properties: 1
  • Service Providing: 3
  • Controller Handler: no level (Integer.MAX)
  • Architecture Handler: no level (Integer.MAX)

From these levels, we can see that bind methods will be called before set methods from configuration properties. So, when a POJO objects, callback are called in this order:

  1. bind methods
  2. validate method
  3. setter methods from instance configuration
Changes in the 1.3.0-SNAPSHOT
iPOJO 1.3.0-SNAPSHOT sets the lifecycle callback handler level to 2. So, setter methods from instance properties are called before the validate method.

Why does my bundle import unused packages?

If you check iPOJO bundle imported packages, you will see that some packages where added:

  • org.apache.felix.ipojo;version= 1.2.0
  • org.apache.felix.ipojo.architecture;version= 1.2.0
  • org.osgi.service.cm;version=1.2
  • org.osgi.service.log;version=1.3

The org.apache.felix.ipojo package is the main iPOJO package. Manipulated class use it to get access to injected values. The org.apache.felix.ipojo.architecture package is used to expose Architecture service (allowing instance introspection). This service is exposed with the bundle context from the bundle declaring the component type.
The org.osgi.service.cm package is imported to publish ManagedService and ManagedServiceFactory with the bundle context from the bundle declaring the component type. So, if you look for services exposed by a bundle declaring component types, you will see ManagedServiceFactory services.
Finally, the org.osgi.service.log is imported because iPOJO delegates log to a log service (if available). This service is get from the bundle context from the bundle declaring the component type. So, to get this service, the package of the service interface is imported. Then, according to implementations, log services may get the bundle logging the message.

How does iPOJO compare to Declarative Services or Blueprint?

The following table highlights some of the features of each system, it does not attempt to highlight every feature of each.

Dependency injection Declarative Services Blueprint iPOJO
Callback injection Yes Yes (public method only) Yes
Constructor injection No Yes Yes
Field injection No No Yes
Setter injection Yes Yes Yes
Proxy injection No Yes Yes
List injection No Yes Yes
Nullable injection No No Yes
Lifecycle Declarative Services Blueprint iPOJO
Callbacks (activate/deactivate) Yes Yes Yes
Factory pattern Yes Yes Yes
Lazy initialization Yes Yes Yes
Damping No Yes Yes
Field synchronization No No Yes
Component lifecycle control Yes Partial Yes
Service lifecycle control No No Yes
Configuration Declarative Services Blueprint iPOJO
Property configuration No Yes Yes
Field configuration No No Yes
Configuration Admin Yes No Yes
Services Declarative Services Blueprint iPOJO
Custom attribute type No Yes Yes
Lazy initialization Yes Yes Yes
Composite services No No Yes
Component description Declarative Services Blueprint iPOJO
XML Yes Yes Yes
Java annotations No No Yes
API No No Yes
Nonfunctional Declarative Services Blueprint iPOJO
Multiple providers Yes Yes No

Last modified by clement.escoffier on Wed May 25 11:46:39 EDT 2011
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