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As you might have gathered from my Java EE 7 blog post, we are planning for a Spring Framework 5.0 generation with a 2016 availability horizon. We'll be tracking JDK 9's release candidates then since one of our key themes is comprehensive JDK 9 support.
The feature planning for Spring 5 is still in the works. We are going to present a more in-depth plan at SpringOne this year, so stay tuned! Nevertheless, I would like to take this opportunity to reach out to you for feedback about our intended system requirements:
We will definitely raise our minimum to JDK 8+. This is a prerequisite since it allows us to have a cleaner codebase across the framework, to introduce default method implementations in our core interfaces, and to depend on JDK 8 API types (e.g. CompletableFuture, java.util.function interfaces) in our core abstractions.
We intend to softly upgrade the EE baseline as well. Now, this is a bit tricky since we effectively have individual requirements here - and we need to consider the enterprise adoption levels in production environments:
Are the assumptions above feasible from your perspective? Do you have experience with individually upgrading EE 6 servers to JPA 2.1 / Bean Validation 1.1, e.g. through locally shipping the corresponding APIs and providers in the application? Any feedback welcome!
Please note: If you are stuck on JDK 6 or 7, no need to worry: We are also planning towards a Spring Framework 4.3 release early next year, within the general Spring 4 system requirements. However, this will then be the last feature release in that line, with Spring Framework 4.x entering a plain maintenance phase afterwards.