Looking at the development during the past years, starting back in 2006, the OX-Framework (OWS Access Framework) was designed to be usable as a basis for Java applications providing easy access to all kinds of OGC Web Services. With the re-design of the OX-Framework to its current 1.12 version, we shifted the perspective of the OX-Framework more to a collection of API modules. These modules represent re-usable middleware components and focus on the interaction with Sensor Web services. Thereby, the OX-Framework still greatly facilitates the development of client as well as server applications. Today, 52°North’s latest SPS implementation, the SOS Importer and our various Sensor Web clients already utilize the OX-Framework 1.12.
With the re-design, we especially focused on a high modularity of the OX-Framework. We realized this through a well encapsulated Maven structure. Achieving this modularity required a great portion of refactoring and solving of undesired dependencies within the old version of the OX-Framework. While this new modularity gives future developers a better flexibility in using the OX-Framework, we also managed to keep the well-established software design as well as the existing interfaces to preserve backwards compatibility.
The next development steps on our roadmap focus on a full replacement of the current soft-typing approach by new hard-typed interfaces. This will further facilitate the usage of OGC Web Services through the OX-Framework. A hard-typed service interface offers methods to directly create a service connection with only the required parameters and using sensible defaults for all other settings. Our goal is to make client interaction with services easier and more stable for both experienced and new Sensor Web developers.
* After a lot of discussion on the appropriate version numbering, we decided on 1.12 for this release. The major version number indicates the given backwards compatibility with previous versions. As minor version number, we wanted to pick a higher number than just 0 or 1, because the current version of the OX-Framework has evolved quite a bit. So we decided on ‘12’, which also reflects the year of birth of this release.