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Simplifying Enterprise Applications with Spring 2.0 and AspectJ

An article I wrote for the InfoQ site has just gone live: Simplifying Enterprise Applications With Spring 2.0 and AspectJ.

I’ve heard a number of people saying that “AOP is too hard”, or “AOP makes things too complex”. In a way this article was written as a rebuttal of those views (hence the title, “Simplifying Enterprise Application Development”). I mean, the whole point of AOP is that you take software that was getting complex and tangled up, and you simplify the implementation by giving each module a single responsiblity again by introducing aspects. And then of course for some requirements that are naturally expressed in a crosscutting way, it’s much simpler and easier just to implement them with an aspect in the first place. The article shows how this process works, and lays out an adoption roadmap that counters the “AOP is too hard” argument - at each step along the way you can get a lot of value without having to become an AOP guru.

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Using JPA in Spring without referencing Spring

Spring 2.0 has added support for the JPA data access standard with all of the standard Spring support classes one would expect. Mark Fisher has a great post on how to use this new support. However one of the questions that we keep getting is why one would want to use a Spring class (JpaTemplate) to access an EntityManager. The best answer for this question lies in the value add that JpaTemplate provides. In addition to providing the one-liner convenience methods that are a hallmark of Spring data access, it also provides automatic participation in transactions and translation from PersistenceException to the Spring DataAccessException hierarchy.

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10 Common Misconceptions About Spring

Yesterday there were a few posts related to the forthcoming Beginning Spring 2 book, and I wanted to point those out here.

First, since this book will be of interest to those new to Spring - or even those who are simply curious at this point, we decided that it would be a good idea to include some discussion of common misconceptions about Spring. These have been posted here:
http://www.oreillynet.com/onjava/blog/2006/08/ten_common_misconceptions_abou.html
and on the Apress blog: http://ablog.apress.com/?p=1221.

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Finishing "Beginning Spring 2: from Novice to Professional"

To celebrate the launch of the new i21 team blog I take this opportunity to introduce a new Spring book that’s coming up shortly. It’s titled “Beginning Spring 2: from Novice to Professional” and is published by Apress. I’ve co-authored this book with Mark Fisher (i21), Bram Smeets (of DWR fame) and Seth Ladd (of “Expert Spring MVC and Web Flow” fame). Rob Harrop is the technical reviewer.

The book is targeted - as you might have guessed - to beginning users of the Spring Framework. Now the funny thing about Spring is that you’re always a beginner in some areas. The framework offers so much features and integrations that you can’t possible know them all (that doesn’t go for you Juergen).

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AOP Configuration Choices in Spring 2.0

There are a lot of reasons to love working at Interface21, but by far the best has to be working with the leaders of the industry. For example, one of Spring 2.0’s major focus points has been on improving AOP support. We’ve added a new configuration namespace, the AspectJ pointcut language and support for @AspectJ aspects. But this leaves a big question; what is the preferred way of writing Aspects in Spring 2.0? Since I’m an I21 employee, I have the luck of getting the answer straight from the horse’s mouth.

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Experience Spring in December in Hollywood, Florida

Over the last month Jay Zimmerman and I have been working hard planning The Spring Experience 2006 (TSE). Creating a first-class technical conference is no easy task–it takes hour upon hours to arrive at the perfect mix of speakers and content.

I am proud to say we are now ready to roll with an unprecedented event. Check it out:

The Spring Experience 2006





  • 55 ninety-minute sessions across 5 tracks over 3-full days, all at a five-star beach resort.



  • Exclusive premium technical content on Spring 2.0. Half of the sessions are led by core Spring developers who apply the latest Spring capabilities inside and out. This includes Rod Johnson, Juergen Hoeller, Adrian Colyer, Rob Harrop, Colin Sampaleanu, Ben Alex, Arjen Poutsma, Erwin Vervaet, and yours truly.



  • Cutting edge sessions from leading Java software innovators. This includes Jeff McCaffer, lead of the Eclipse RCP and Equinox projects; Guilluame LaForge, Groovy project lead; Eamonn McManus, JMX Lead; Patrick Linskey, BEA Kodo JPA lead, and Mike Keith, lead of the Java Persistence Architecture (JPA).




  • Privileged access to synced-audio slideshows for all sessions following the show, so you don’t miss a beat.



  • Full-course breakfast, lunch, and dinner included with registration.



  • “Meet the Gurus” user BOFs. A great opportunity for Spring users to interact with Spring project leads.



  • Two kick ass parties, one Friday night, and a Saturday afternoon party on the beach complete with a Spring users vs. developers volleyball game.



  • Cool conference schwag. And lots of it. Registered experiencers’ receive an all access conference pass, a custom (and very cool) TSE laptop bag, a custom-designed notebook binder, a limited-edition TSE 2006 shirt, and even an official TSE 2006 beach towel. You’ll have chances to win an iPod and XBox 360.



  • Diversity. Whether you are a hard core enterprise developer, a web application developer, or a leading software architect, this conference has something for you. Last year’s show brought 250 people from 20 countries. This year we expect 500 attendees from over 25. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and a great learning and networking opportunity.


There is no better place to be than Hollywood, Florida in December. See you and your team at The Spring Experience 2006!

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What are you looking forward to in Spring 2.0?

Spring 2.0 is coming and I for one am excited. I can still remember the first time that I heard about all of the new features that would be in the release at last year’s The Spring Experience. The asynchronous JMS message reception and the AOP integration with AspectJ excited me the most (a bit of drooling involved actually), but even then there were many other improvements and the list has only grown since.

Alas, I know that most of you aren’t middle-tier nerds like me, so what are you excited about? The new XML dialects and XSD support? The improved JSP taglib? How about that <tx:annotation-driven />? Maybe you love that Groovy support instead.

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Sydney Spring User Group Meeting #2 Planned

In my last blog entry I promised to advise details of our next user group meeting. After hunting around for a suitable venue, it’s now organised for Monday 7 August 2006 at Cliftons, 200 George Street, Sydney. We have two presentations planned. First up I will be talking about Spring 2.0 namespaces, and then Ramon Buckland from Infocomp will be presenting SOA and JBI with Spring.Visit Springframework.org for full details. Hope to see you there.
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Welcome to the Interface21 Team Blog

As Interface21 grows as a global company one thing has become more and more clear to me everyday:

we really have some damn talented, highly motivated leaders who have a lot to say on both business and technology.

Here you will gain insight into what’s going on at i21, from what we’re working on, to what problems we’re solving, to where we’re going, to what we’ve learned along the way. You’ll see a lot of diversity, as our company is doing a lot of things, from leading the development of the Spring Framework and the Spring family of products to expanding operations in five major international markets.

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Spring 2.0 RC2 Released

Dear Spring community,

We are pleased to announce that Spring 2.0 RC2 has been released.  Download | Documentation | Changelog

This is the second release candidate on the way to Spring 2.0 final. It introduces a number of bug fixes and minor refinements, in particular in the AOP framework and in the JPA support. Please see the changelog for details. A number of further known issues will be addressed in the upcoming 2.0 RC3 release; see our JIRA road map for details.

Please give this release a try with your applications and let us know about any problems that you might encounter! It is important to emphasize that Spring 2.0 provides backwards compatability with the Spring 1.x series.  Spring 2.0 also continues to support JDK 1.3+ and J2EE 1.3+ (even J2EE 1.2+ except for the JSP tags and the EJB support). Compatability is critically important to our user base and we are committed to providing it. Hence, we’re also interested in learning about potential compatibility issues on any such platform.

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