What SpringOne 2GXers Have to Say on the New Spring Framework 4.0

December 12, 2013 Stacey Schneider

Highlights in Spring Framework 4.0
  • Spring Framework 4.0 applications can now be written entirely in Groovy. Combined with Spring Boot, this reduces boilerplate Java code even further, improving productivity to Ruby on Rails levels.
  • First class support for Java 8, leveraging new features like callbacks using lambdas, parameter name discovery, and more. There is also deep support for Java EE 7 components like JMS 2.0, JPA 2.1, and more.
  • Support for HTML5/WebSocket RFC 6455/JSR-356.
  • Support for a full REST stack as well as micro-service architectures where REST is a first class citizen across Spring, allowing greater decomposition of applications with RESTful principles.
  • Building on the framework’s @Conditional bean, there is also a container-less, embedded runtime for REST-based micro-services.
  • There are also a number of new guides that show us how to use STOMP with WebSocket as well as consume REST across various clients like Backbone, jQuery, Sencha, Rest.js, iOS, AngularJS, and even handle CORS requests

With much excitement, we are proud to announce the GA release of Spring Framework 4.0. Since this is the first major release for the Spring Framework since 2009, for Java developers, this is a big deal. As Adrian Colyer, CTO of Pivotal Application Fabric summed it up, this release means, “we have taken another important step to help millions of Java developers around the world capitalize on new trends in the market.”

The world of application development is evolving. There are new breeds of applications based on mobile, social, big data, and cloud computing. Companies want to develop richer applications and deploy code more frequently and more productively. And the Spring Framework 4.0 does exactly that.

I know this not because I am a full time Java developer, but because I heard it first hand only a few months ago from a whole bunch of people who are. In September, I was able to attend my very first SpringOne 2GX. As I said in my recap, the tone of the whole conference was different than other conferences, including JavaOne. (Note: I have always enjoyed JavaOne, its just SpringOne 2GX is really structured differently and has a different vibe.) While the conference had a number of announcements related to the release of Spring.io, for everyone there from presenters to attendees, the focus was on doing.

And the best way to illustrate that is to start with how we showed advancements in Spring technologies. We showed attendees the new Spring XD and Spring Boot for the first time in a production level demos on the main stage. Similarly, there were releases for Grails, Spring Data Solr, Spring Data Redis, Spring Integration, Spring Hadoop, and others—all with a focus on removing the overhead of dev ops, and letting developers focus more on simply developing.

Initial Reactions to the New Spring from SpringOne 2GX Attendees

cta-download-spring-framework-4-0There are several posts and lots of information to read at the bottom of the article to find out more details on the new Spring Framework 4.0. Since I got to interview over 20 customers, partners and integrators at the event, I thought it would be interesting to hear what THEY liked most about the new Spring. You can do that by actually listening to them here in this video, or reading some of their comments below.

Asking 20 people the same question, “Why do you like Spring?”, gets 20 different answers. Naturally, we heard a number of people speak to the results of Spring at a summary level:

  • Ashley Puls, senior software engineer at NewRelic, underscored the power of the Spring community, “One of the great things about, using the Spring framework is that there is a large Spring community. A lot of Java people use the Spring framework. As a result, there are tons of resources out there, and it’s pretty easy to get information when you need it, when a problem arises.” She’s going to be even happier when she sees all those new guides we just published too.
  • Param Rengaiah, a senior solution architect for Aspire Systems said, “In my role, I try to find the best tools and technologies and then process to help solve the business problems. And what I end up finding is that for most of the problems, my default set of tools includes Spring.” The new release also means Groovy and Grails are full fledged members of his toolset.
  • Srinivas Ajjarapu, Associate VP at HCL Technologies, also explained, “I want to mention why we choose Spring technologies. One is the breadth. The second is that we achieve significant savings, not only in licensing costs, but also in hardware costs. And, the third reason is because of the cloud-ready features.” He’s should also be excited because this release fully supports Java 8.

Then there were the ones that delved into specific project areas and scenarios with Spring.

  • Peter Bell, technology executive, speaker, and Mongo Master, offered, “Spring Data is actually designed to allow you to work with a wide range of different NoSQL stores to make it as easy to work with them as it is to work with a traditional relational database.” He probably also really likes that there is a Spring Data MongoDB option as well.
  • David Hall, Principal Architect at Westpac Institutional Bank, was excited by the introduction of Spring XD, “The biggest announcement this week for me was Spring XD which kinda brings together what seemed like a lot of different complicated APIs into one place. You’ve got Spring Batch, Spring Integration, and Spring Data—all the different tools you used to have to put together in order to talk to Hadoop and manage real time events and manage big batch processes. And now effectively it’s come under one umbrella.” To see what he’s talking about, check out this Intro to Spring XD video.
  • Kevin Nilson, a bay area JUG Leader, shared his thoughts on how Spring Boot simplifies everything, “So, one of the things that’s just been announced is Spring Boot, and I really like this. The idea that, with a very simple, single file, you can create an entire web application with Spring and use that to launch and application. It really eliminates a lot of the set-up and installation.” If you want to learn more about what he is sharing, check out this webinar on on how Spring Boot is Simplifying Spring for Everyone.

Spring Framework 4.0 is open source and available at no charge under an Apache 2.0 license. Download, Maven and Gradle information can be obtained from the spring.io website.

Here is how to learn more about Spring Framework 4.0:

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