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Today, Portability Matters More Than Ever

Yesterday, I blogged about how Spring helps maximize application portability. Even if the portability problem has been an ongoing topic in enterprise Java land for many years, that blog was timely. Today, Oracle announced that its $6.7 billion acquisition of BEA Systems has closed. There is substantial overlap between the product sets of the two companies, so this is bound to bring uncertainty to the WebLogic and OC4J customer bases. WebLogic and OC4J may both fall into the “J2EE server” category but they are very different products with very different characteristics.

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Web Applications and OSGi

Since the first milestones of Spring Dynamic Modules, requests for running web applications in OSGi started to come in. It has been probably one of the most requested features and no wonder, once 1.0 final was released, web support has been the main focus of the 1.1 branch. I am pleased to report that, with the just released M2, as already hinted by Juergen, Spring-DM supports not just vanilla wars (available since 1.1.0 M1) but also Spring-MVC applications running inside OSGi. In this entry, I would like to briefly discuss the typical OSGi web scenario and Spring-DM’s approach. But first,

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Portability at the Framework Level

Portability is a key factor in the Spring universe. We believe in portability at the framework level: Application components are written against a specific framework (or framework generation), such as Spring 2.5; the framework is then in turn responsible for adapting onto any underlying hosting environment. However, the specific application framework is above and distinct from the hosting environment. A brand-new framework version may be deployed onto an established generation of the hosting platform, as long as the fundamental capabilities of the environment are sufficient. This approach differs significantly from the traditional approach of baking component frameworks into the deployment platform itself, where the environment supports a specific version of the framework only - and an intended update of the framework requires an update of the entire platform.

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The Conference Season Rolls On

Yesterday I gave the opening keynote at the JAX conference in Wiesbaden, Germany. JAX is one of Europe’s largest Java conferences, with over 2,000 attendees. The topic was The Future of Enterprise Java, and I expanded on the themes of my recent blog of predictions, going into more detail about the implications of Java EE 6 and the future of the application server.


I’ve uploaded the slides, which include 8 predictions for an interesting period in the evolution of enterprise Java. This is the first time I’ve referred to Joseph Stalin, Monica Lewinsky and Monty Python in the same presentation.


JAX was an enjoyable experience overall, with excellent speakers from both Europe and North America and great questions from attendees. The SpringSource booth looked great as always, and it was good to see so many attendees. And, of course, German beer tastes as good as ever!


This seems to be the most active time of year for conferences. In the last few weeks I’ve spoken at QCon in London and the ServerSide in Vegas, and I have several more conferences coming up:

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Spring Security 2.0 Final Release: No More Dead Fairies

Spring Security 2.0 has been released. This is a major step forward for the Spring Portfolio. Spring (Acegi) Security is already the Java platform’s most widely used enterprise security framework, with over 250,000 downloads on SourceForge and over 20,000 downloads per release. Through making it so much simpler to use, this release will undoubtedly take adoption to a new level.

I’m particularly pleased about this release for a number of reasons:


  • It’s a great thing for the Spring community. It’s (a lot) simpler to use, as well as more powerful. It puts the most powerful enterprise Java security solution within the reach of many more users, pretty much eliminating the hurdles to adoption. See this tutorial for an example of just how much easier it makes it to secure a typical web application. The proliferation of XML bean definitions is a thing of the past.

  • It’s a continuation of the work of Spring 2.x, through applying the power of a custom XML namespace to enable aggressive defaulting, while still allowing for customization.

  • Like Spring 2.5, it exhibits the current Spring Portfolio trend toward radical reduction in the need for XML.
  • It’s a proof of the value of the SpringSource business model. Our revenue model enables us to invest more than ever in creating open source software. Without being able to hire both Acegi/Spring Security creator Ben Alex and the other major committer, Luke Taylor, this release either wouldn’t have occurred or would have been much less extensive.

  • It’s good for the fairy kingdom.
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Spring Security 2.0.0 Released!

Spring Security 2.0.0 is now available.

Download | Changelog | Announcement | Web Site

After almost two years of development, Spring Security 2.0.0 is now available for download. This significant new release replaces Acegi Security as the official security module for Spring applications. It offers substantially simplified configuration, and countless other new capabilities including OpenID, NTLM, JSR 250 annotations, AspectJ pointcut support, domain ACL enhancements, RESTful URI authorization, groups, hierarchical roles, user management API, database-backed "remember me", portlet authentication, additional languages, Web Flow 2.0 support, Spring IDE visualization and auto-completion, enhanced WSS support via Spring Web Services 1.5 and much more.

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Runtime Error Analysis in the SpringSource Tool Suite

Three weeks ago, the SpringSource Tool Suite was released. Christian, in charge of this product blogged about it already and we also have a webinar available for those of you that want to get up to speed with all of the functionality it currently offers. In this entry, I wanted to highlight the runtime error reporting functionality specifically.

When I’m programming, sometimes, the console window shows dozens of stack traces due to some error I’ve caused. Sometimes, I’m lucky and the stack trace looks familiar. If so, then the problem is probably easy to solve. Sometimes however, the information you need is buried so deep inside all those stack traces, that figuring out what the real problem is takes a while.

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Spring Web Flow 2.0.0.RC1 Released

Dear Spring Community,

We are pleased to announce that Spring Web Flow 2.0.0.RC1 is now available. Download | Documentation

2.0.0.RC1 introduces several new features, and fixes all known issues reported against previous milestones.

We recommend upgrading to 2.0.0.RC1 from previous Web Flow 2 milestones. We also recommend Web Flow 1 users begin evaluating their upgrade to Web Flow 2 at this time, as RC1 introduces comprehensive version 2 documentation, as well as a tool for automating the conversion of version 1 flows to the version 2 syntax.

The best way to get started with Web Flow 2 is to evaluate the reference applications included in the distribution and supplement with the reference guide.  Spring Web Flow 2 requires Spring Framework 2.5.3 and Java 1.4 or above. 

Find the new and noteworthy in the 2.0.0 RC1 release below:

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The Biggest Loser's Next Contestant: Java Bloatware

If the tech community were to host their own version of the popular TV show The Biggest Loser (or maybe Celebrity Fit Club) you would see enterprise Java front and center—bloated, overweight, tired, and drained.

The future of enterprise Java is becoming clear. The morbidly obese legacy platforms are in decline, with leaner solutions increasingly used in production as well as in development. Legacy technologies such as EJB are becoming less and less relevant.The lukewarm takeup of Java EE 5 leaves it looking increasingly like the last gasp of traditional J2EE bloatware. Meanwhile, the Java EE 6 specification is finally set to allow for greater modularity, in a radical change which will have important implications for developers and is likely to rejuvenate competition among implementations. As the standards and the products based upon them have gathered pound after pound of cellulite, SOA, Web 2.0 and other infrastructural changes continually impose new requirements that were not foreseen when J2EE was conceived a decade ago, as a chubby but cute baby.

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Q2 Amsterdam Java Meetup - May 23rd 2008

It’s been a while… for the Amsterdam Java Meetup that is. I’ve been traveling a lot and haven’t been able to organize another meetup past quarter. But here we go again: the (almost) quarterly Amsterdam Java Meetup with free drinks (or at least, the first few rounds) will be hosted in grand-cafe de Jaren in Amsterdam (see below for more info on the location) on the 23rd of May. You can expect many Java devs (usually between 50 and 80 people turn up), technical as well as non-technical discussions and of course, the latest gossip in the Dutch Java industry. We’d love to hear from people from ‘the other side’ (other other sides, I should say) as well, so if you’re doing Ruby or .NET, don’t hesitate to join in too!!

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