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Celix Promises

Celix Promises are based on the OSGi Promises Specification (OSGi Compendium Release 7 Specification, Chapter 705). It follows the specification as close as possible, but some adjustments are mode for C++17.

NOTE: this implementation is still experiment and the api and behaviour will probably still change.

OSGi Information

OSGi Compendium Release 7 Promises Specification (HTML)

OSGi Compendium Release 7 Specification (PDF)


#include <iostream>
#include "celix/PromiseFactory.h"

static long calc_fib(long n) {
    long m = 1;
    long k = 0;
    for (long i = 0; i <= n; ++i) {
        int tmp = m + k;
        m = k;
        k = tmp;
    return m;

celix::Promise<long> fib(celix::PromiseFactory& factory, long n) {
    return factory.deferredTask<long>([n](auto deferred) {

int main() {
    celix::PromiseFactory factory{};
    fib(factory, 1000000000)
        .setTimeout(std::chrono::milliseconds {100})
        .onSuccess([](long val) {
            std::cout << "Success promise 1 : " << std::to_string(val) << std::endl;
        .onFailure([](const std::exception& e) {
            std::cerr << "Failure promise 1 : " << e.what() << std::endl;
    fib(factory, 39)
        .onSuccess([](long val) {
            std::cout << "Success promise 2 : " << std::to_string(val) << std::endl;
        .onFailure([](const std::exception& e) {
            std::cerr << "Failure promise 2 : " << e.what() << std::endl;
    //NOTE the program can only exit if the executor in the PromiseFactory is done executing all tasks.
find_package(Celix REQUIRED)
add_executable(PromiseExamples src/
target_link_libraries(PromiseExamples PRIVATE Celix::Promises)

Differences with OSGi Promises & Java

  1. Promises must always be resolved, otherwise the Celix::Promises library will leak memory. To support this more easily the Promise::setTimeout method can be used to set a timeout on the current promise.
  2. There is no singleton default executor. A PromiseFactory can be constructed argument-less to create a default executor, but this executor is then bound to the lifecycle of the PromiseFactory. If celix::IExecutor is injected in the PromiseFactory, it is up to user to control the complete lifecycle of the executor (e.g. by providing this in a ThreadExecutionModel bundle and ensuring this is started early (and as result stopped late).
  3. The default constructor for celix::Deferred has been removed. A celix:Deferred can only be created through a PromiseFactory. This is done because the promise concept is heavily bound with the execution abstraction and thus a execution model. Creating a Deferred without a explicit executor is not desirable.
  4. The PromiseFactory also has a deferredTask method. This is a convenient method create a Deferred, execute a task async to resolve the Deferred and return a Promise of the created Deferred in one call.
  5. The celix::IExecutor abstraction has a priority argument (and as result also the calls in PromiseFactory, etc).
  6. The IExecutor has a added wait() method. This can be used to ensure an executor is done executing the tasks backlog.
  7. The methods celix::Deferred::fail and celix::Deferred::resolve are robust for resolving a promise if it is already resolved. This is different from the OSGi spec and this is done because it always a race condition to check if a promise is already resolved (isDone()) and then resolve the promise. The methods celix::Deferred<T>::tryFail and celix::Deferred<T>::tryResolve can be used to resolve a promise and check if it was already resolved atomically.

Open Issues & TODOs

  • Documentation not complete.
  • PromiseFactory is not complete.
  • The static helper class Promises is not implemented (e.g. all/any).
  • Promise::flatMap not implemented.