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Home » Eclipse Projects » Eclipse 4 » Switch to Bndtools
Switch to Bndtools [message #1717706] Wed, 16 December 2015 07:38 Go to next message
Piero Campalani is currently offline Piero CampalaniFriend
Messages: 114
Registered: January 2015
Senior Member

Dear readers,

while searching for a way to run black-box JUnit tests against my OSGi services, I stumbled upon this tutorial:, which let me discover the existence of Bndtools.

I am getting the feeling that Bndtools can give you a better OSGi experience, it takes care of you at different stages and aspects of the application development and deployment and, cut it short, it seems to me THE way for OSGi-development in Eclipse.

I am opening this topic so that I can have a more vivid understanding of where Bndtools stands in the Eclipse scenario, what you experienced-reader think about it, and whether you would suggest a complete switch to this environment or not.

Thanks for any contribution!
Re: Switch to Bndtools [message #1717721 is a reply to message #1717706] Wed, 16 December 2015 10:18 Go to previous message
Dirk Fauth is currently offline Dirk FauthFriend
Messages: 2850
Registered: July 2012
Senior Member
Basically this depends on what you are doing. If you are doing plain OSGi, well going with BND tools is not a bad decision. The world is different than in Eclipse, but for plain OSGi things get easier in several places.

If you are creating an Eclipse application, than you will struggle with BND tools at several places. OSGi itself does not know about features or Eclipse products. Therefore BND tools does not cover them. So bringing these worlds together is quite painful. And in my experience I have seen a lot of workarounds solving that issue, but none of these workarounds felt very good. E.g. BND tools builds the MANIFEST and the jar incrementally. You therefore don't have a MANIFEST at development time. But for creating a feature or a feature based product you need that (because PDE tools need it). The workaround is to incrementally create a target definition out of the incrementally build bundles. But as Eclipse target definitions are intended to work with p2 update sites, that are feature based, you need a workaround with folder based target-definitions. Which are outdated in Eclipse and Maven Tycho does not even support folder based target-definitions.

That all doesn't feel good from my point of view. So really it depends on what you are doing at the current state of BND tools in conjunction with Eclipse.

Regarding the tests, I was able to test my declarative services in a plain Eclipse environment very well and did not need to use BND tools or enRoute. Although I agree that the support there is probably better.
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