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Open Source, Open Strategy: The SpringSource Manifesto

As an open source software provider, we think we should be open about our strategy, too. We’d like to share how we got here, where we’re going and why the journey will be good for Spring, good for Spring users and good for SpringSource.

Our History

The Spring story began in 2001, when I began working on the 30,000 lines of framework code I published along with Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development in 2002. My objective was to help others to avoid the pitfalls that I had encountered completing J2EE projects since 1999.

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Implementing Enterprise Integration Patterns part 0

After my talk on Spring Integration I’ve been getting quite some questions on clarification and samples. To meet the demand I will start a small series on implementing different integration patterns using Spring Integration. This first article will focus on the basics. It will show you how to get up and running and walk through one of the samples.

If you never heard about Spring Integration before it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with it reading the introductory blog Mark Fisher wrote about it or by browsing the project website. In general

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Why should I care about OSGi anyway?

InfoQ has a discussion thread summarizing the reactions to the announcement of the SpringSource Application Plaform. Michael Burke asked a great question on that thread which can be paraphrased as “forgetting the hype surrounding OSGi, what benefits can I expect to see if I port an application currently packaged as an EAR to OSGi bundles?”.

I started answering this question on the InfoQ thread, but my answer was growing too long for a comment so instead I’ll address it here.

The question is a good one. The main difference you will see in an OSGi-based application versus a traditional JEE EAR-based application is improved modularity. So the question becomes, does this improved modularity bring me any benefits, and if so what are they? The book “Design Rules, The Power of Modularity” gives a very thorough treatment of the question. It’s great background but I get that feeling that Michael may be looking for something a little less theoretical than what you’ll find in that book! Let’s break the modularity benefits down into two categories: benefits you should expect to experience during development time, and benefits you should expect to experience during runtime:

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Spring Web Flow 2 Released; Introduces New Faces and JavaScript Modules

Dear Spring Community,

We are pleased to announce general availability of Spring Web Flow 2. Download | Documentation

Spring Web Flow is the project in the Spring Portfolio that focuses on providing the infrastructure for building and running rich web applications. As a Spring project, Web Flow builds on the Spring Web MVC framework to provide:

  • A domain-specific-language for defining reusable controller modules called flows
  • An advanced controller engine for managing conversational state
  • First-class support for using Ajax to construct rich user interfaces
  • First-class support for using JavaServerFaces with Spring
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Portability, Fish and Chips

It’s been great to hear so much discussion on the SpringSource Application Platform, online and on the floor here at JavaOne. One of the most insightful comments is from WebSphere transaction architect Ian Robinson:

Does any of this affect WebSphere? Well, nothing has changed in the core Spring framework. Regardless of what the future holds for the SpringSource Application Platform, the core Spring framework project remains complimentary to WebSphere. Like fish and chips.
remains committed to portability
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Working with SpringSource Application Platform's provisioning repository

One of the main advantages of the SpringSource Application Platform is its ability to provision dependencies on an as-needed basis. The benefits of this are two-fold: it ensures that the Platform’s memory footprint is as small as possible and it allows applications to be deployed without encapsulating all of their dependencies in a monolithic deployment unit, e.g. a WAR file. To take advantage of these capabilities you will require an understanding of the Platform’s provisioning repository and this blog intends to provide just that.

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SpringSource Application Platform Manifest Headers

The SpringSource Application Platform is constructed from OSGi bundles and supports applications which are also constructed from OSGi bundles. The Platform supports the standard features of OSGi, but it also supports some additional manifest headers. Several people have asked Why did SpringSource add proprietary headers? and What are the semantics of the new headers?, so this post explains the background motivation and the semantics of Import-Library and Import-Bundle.

Standard OSGi Bundle Support

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SpringSource Application Platform Deployment Options

Since we released the SpringSource Application Platform last Wednesday, numerous developers have downloaded the 1.0.0 beta and started taking the Platform for a test drive. As a result, people have begun asking, “How can I deploy my apps on the Platform, and what kind of deployment and packaging options do I have?” Moreover, developers are eagerly requesting to see working samples. In response, the S2AP team will be releasing several sample applications over the coming weeks demonstrating these features and more, but before you get your hands on these samples, I’d like to give you a high-level overview of the deployment and packaging options available in the Platform. After reading this post you’ll be ready to hit the ground running with the samples as well as with your own applications.

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