In my last post I managed to get my Felix OSGi run time to host some JAX-RS resources, but noted one issue then and had one issue since that were worth a little effort to understand.

Nasty JAX-B attributes

In the last post I noted that to get my data to serialize correctly I had to add JAX-B attributes to my domain classes to ensure that the objects would be correctly serialized.

import javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlRootElement;

public class PlatformProperties {

First, I only ever product JSON so the whole “Xml” prefix for each attribute is kind of annoying, and secondly I’d just rather not have to provide any attributes at all if the runtime can figure out a sensible serialization for me. Now, the JAX-RS runtime has a provision for custom serialization, the notion of a MessageBodyWriter which is then added to the list of classes for an application. The Jackson project does provide a nice implementation that can read/write JSON and doesn’t need all those attributes - org.codehaus.jackson.jaxrs.JacksonJsonProvider.

The issue is that the current implementation of the OSGi Extender takes a list of classes from the bundle manifest to create the application. Because the list of classes provided by the bundle the extender uses the bundle class loader to create the actual list of classes to provide to Jersey. Unfortunately the JSON provider isn’t in my bundle so we can’t list it in the JAX-RS-Classes manifest property as the class loader will fail. To get around this, I created the following simple subclass in my own bundle.

import org.codehaus.jackson.jaxrs.JacksonJsonProvider;

public class JsonProvider extends JacksonJsonProvider {


I then added this to the list of classes in JAX-RS-Classes and was able to serialize my domain classes nicely - sans attributes.

OSGi service can’t be a resource

My next issue was that I had a nice OSGi service (in fact using declarative services) and some of it’s methods would be nice to expose to turn the service effectively into a resource. So, starting with the obvious I just added my JAX-RS attributes to the implementation class for my service - which almost worked. My service started, and like a good citizen I had used a declarative service reference to inject the LogService into my service. However, when I used my browser to pull data from my resource I was rather surprised to get a NullPointerException as my service didn’t even do anything yet, here it is.

public class MyServiceImpl implements MyService {

    private LogService log = null;

    public List getIds() {
        log.log(LogService.LOG_INFO, "Retrieving list of IDs.");
        List idList = new LinkedList();
        return idList;

    public void bindLog(LogService log)  {
        this.log = log;
    public void unbindLog(LogService log) {
        this.log = null;

It turns out the NPE was the first line of the getIds method, the call to the log service. Basically the OSGi runtime created a singleton object for the service and bound an instance of the log to my service correctly. However, because the default behavior for the OSGi extender is to pass in a list of classes to Jersey via the Application class then Jersey will construct a new copy of MyServiceImpl as it needs to, one that hasn’t been provided with a log service so the log is null and … boom.

So, now I have to separate out my resource from my service, a shame but not necessarily a problem. Now, it would be possible to take the instance of my service and pass it to Jersey as a singleton, but would make the implementation of the extender much more complex.