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The Remote Service Admin Service subproject contains an adapted implementation of the OSGi Enterprise Remote Service Admin Service Specification. The subproject consists of three parts, each described in more detail in the following sections.

Topology Manager

The topology manager decides which services should be imported and exported according to a defined policy. Currently, only one policy is implemented in Celix, the promiscuous policy, which simply imports and exports all services.

Configuration None

Remote Service Admin

The Remote Service Admin (RSA) provides the mechanisms to import and export services when instructed to do so by the Topology Manager.

Endpoints and proxies

To delegate a received method call to the actual service implementation, the RSA uses an “endpoint” bundle, which has all the knowledge about the marshalling and unmarshalling of data for the service. This endpoint bundle is specific to the used RSA implementation, and as such cannot be reused between various RSA implementations.

Invoking a remote method is done by using “proxy” bundles. Similar as to endpoints, proxy bundles encapsulate all knowledge to marshall and unmarshall data for a remote method call and as such can not be shared between RSA implementations.

Both proxy and endpoint bundles are loaded on demand when a service is imported or exported by the RSA. As such, these bundles must not be added to the list of “auto started” bundles, but placed in a separate location. By default, endpoints is used as location for locating proxy and/or endpoint bundles.

Note that since endpoints and proxies need to be created manually, one has full control about the handling of specifics of marshalling and unmarshalling data and dealing with exceptions.


Provides a RSA implementation that uses JSON to marshal requests and HTTP as transport mechanism for its remote method invocation. It is compatible with the Remote Service Admin HTTP implementation provided by Amdatu Remote.

Configuration RSA_PORT: defines the port on which the HTTP server should listen for incoming requests. Defaults to port 8888;
ENDPOINTS: defines the location in which service endpoints and/or proxies can be found. Defaults to endpoints in the current working directory

Shared memory (SHM)

Provides a RSA implementation that uses shared memory for its remote method invocation. Note that this only works when all remote services are located on the same machine.

Configuration ENDPOINTS: defines the location in which service endpoints and/or proxies can be found. Defaults to endpoints in the current working directory


Actively discovers the presence of remote exported services and provides information about local exported services, as given by the Topology Manager, to others.

Shared memory (SHM) based discovery

Provides service discovery for the RSA SHM implementation.

Configuration None

Configured discovery

Provides a service discovery with preconfigured discovery endpoints, allowing a static mesh of nodes for remote service invocation to be created. The configured discovery bundle in Celix is compatible with the configured discovery implementation provided by Amdatu Remote.

Configuration DISCOVERY_CFG_POLL_ENDPOINTS: defines a comma-separated list of discovery endpoints that should be used to query for remote services. Defaults to http://localhost:9999/org.apache.celix.discovery.configured;
DISCOVERY_CFG_POLL_INTERVAL: defines the interval (in seconds) in which the discovery endpoints should be polled. Defaults to 10 seconds.
DISCOVERY_CFG_POLL_TIMEOUT: defines the maximum time (in seconds) a request of the discovery endpoint poller may take. Defaults to 10 seconds.
DISCOVERY_CFG_SERVER_PORT: defines the port on which the HTTP server should listen for incoming requests from other configured discovery endpoints. Defaults to port 9999;
DISCOVERY_CFG_SERVER_PATH: defines the path on which the HTTP server should accept requests from other configured discovery endpoints. Defaults to /org.apache.celix.discovery.configured.

Note that for configured discovery, the “Endpoint Description Extender” XML format defined in the OSGi Remote Service Admin specification (section 122.8 of OSGi Enterprise 5.0.0) is used.

See etcd discovery

etcd discovery

| Bundle | |

Provides a service discovery using etcd distributed key/value store.

See etcd discovery


To develop for the Remote Service Admin implementation of Celix, one needs the following:

  1. A service interface, describes the actual service and methods1 that can be called. The service interface is needed at development time to allow a consistent definition;
  2. A service implementation, when exporting it as remote service. A service endpoint is needed to delegate remote requests to your service implementation;
  3. A service client or user, which invokes methods on the local or remote service. The client is oblivious to the fact whether the service is running locally or remote.

The Celix source repository provides a simple calculator example that shows all of the described parts:

  1. The calculator service interface, providing three methods: one for adding two numbers, one for subtracting two numbers, and lastly, a method that calculates the square root of a number;
  2. A calculator service implementation that simply implements the three previously described functions. To mark this service as “remote service”, you need to add the service.exported.interfaces service property to its service registration. This way, the RSA implementation can expose it as remote service to others;
  3. A service client, that exposes the three calculator methods to as Celix shell commands. The implementation simply retrieves the calculator service as it would do with any other Celix service.

If you have access to the Celix source repository, you can run the calculator example using various discovery implementations by invoking the deploy target. You can find the example deployments in the CELIX_BUILD/deploy directory. For example, to run the calculator example using the configured discovery mechanism, you should open two terminals. In the first terminal, type:

remote-service-cfg$ export RSA_PORT=18888
remote-service-cfg$ sh
RSA: Export services (org.apache.celix.calc.api.Calculator)
-> _

In the second terminal, type:

remote-service-cfg-client$ export RSA_PORT=28888
remote-service-cfg-client$ sh
RSA: Import service org.apache.celix.calc.api.Calculator
-> _

Now, if all went well, the client (second terminal) has three new shell commands, add, sub and sqrt, which you can use to invoke the calculator service:

-> add 3 5
CALCULATOR_SHELL: Add: 3.000000 + 5.000000 = 8.000000
-> _

On the server side (first terminal), you can follow each invocation as well:

CALCULATOR_ENDPOINT: Handle request "add(DD)D" with data "{"m": "add(DD)D", "a": [3.0, 5.0]}"
CALCULATOR: Add: 3.000000 + 5.000000 = 8.000000

Note that the RSA_PORT property needs to be unique for at least the client in order to communicate correctly when running the examples on the same machine.


To build the Remote Service Admin Service the CMake build option “BUILD_REMOTE_SERVICE_ADMIN” has to be enabled.


The Remote Service Admin Service depends on the following subprojects:

  • Framework
  • Utils

Also the following libraries are required for building and/or using the Remote Service Admin Service subproject:

  • Jansson (build and runtime)
  • cURL (build and runtime)

RSA Bundles


  1. Although C does not use the term “method”, we use this term to align with the terminology used in the RSA specification. ↩︎