Documentation/CTK Plugin EventAdmin local

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The Event Admin Service Specification (part of the OSGi Compendium specification) defines a general inter-plugin communication mechanism. The communication can be performed synchronously or asynchronously and uses a publish/subscribe pattern.

The main components in a publish/subscribe communication are:

  • Event Publisher - sends events or messages related to a specific topic
  • Event Handler (or Subscriber) - expresses interest in one or more topics and receives all the messages belonging to such topics.

Events are composed of two attributes:

  • A topic defining the nature of the event; topic names are usually arranged in a hierarchical namespace, where slashes are used to separate the levels (i.e. "org/commontk/PluginFrameworkEvent/STARTED")
  • A set of properties describing the event.


The CommonTK Event Admin implementation in org.commontk.eventadmin is based on the implementation of the Event Admin specs in the Apache Felix project and provides in-process communication. It exhibits a similar set of features as the Apache Felix implementaion:

  • Try to deliver events as fast as possible
  • Events sent from different threads are sent in parallel.
  • Events from the same thread are sent in the order they are received (this is according to the spec).
  • A timeout can be configured which is used for event handlers. If an event handler takes longer than the configured timeout to process an event, it is blacklisted. Once a handler is in a blacklist, it doesn't get sent any events anymore.