Composite applications are the big buzz around IBM and the industry in general. With OSGI, dynamic plugin awareness and the provisioning API’s available in Eclipse 3.2 you can create some amazing applications. I now have a sample up and running with the Lotus Expeditor (previously the WED client) where you connect to Portal 6, download the application XML and the Eclipse Features and Plugins directly after and viola the application launches! No restart of eclipse!
Using the new Composite Application Infrastructure in the client you pretty much get all of this for free. You will be able to create applications using the Portal programming model (pages. portlets, property broker) and have them projected to the client for off-line use.
The ability to install new binaries (plugins) on demand and not require a reboot is because we insure all plugins in the Lotus Expeditor must implement dynamic awareness (the process of plugins coming and going during runtime). Unfortunately this is something you do not get for free with Eclipse and really need to adhere to the best practices as described in Eclipse Rich Client Platform. Lotus is making sure for composite applications things like making a user restart is just not acceptable and I think that is a great stance.