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Dear Spring community,
I'm pleased to announce that the first Spring Framework 2.5 release candidate is available! Spring 2.5 is the culmination of the effort that started as Spring 2.1 milestones, enhancing Spring 2.0 with many new features, such as:
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Particularly worth mentioning are the annotation-based MVC controller style, the JAX-WS support and the TestNG support, all of which are introduced in this release. Furthermore, this release comes in three different distributions, introducing a minimal standard zip and an intermediate with-docs zip.
We recommend upgrading to Spring 2.5 from all previous 2.0.x versions, in order to benefit from the new features as well as from the significant performance enhancements that Spring 2.5 has to offer. Spring 2.5 is designed as a drop-in replacement for Spring 2.0, except for the slightly restructured jar file contents (see the readme file in the distribution).
Note that Spring 2.5 is still compatible with JDK 1.4.2+ and J2EE 1.3+. Java 1.4 users, for example on WebLogic 8.1 or WebSphere 5.1/6.0, are very welcome to upgrade to Spring 2.5 as well! We recommend putting the backport-util-concurrent jar on the classpath when running on Java 1.4, which allows Spring (and hence your applications) to benefit from significant concurrency enhancements.