Last night I attended a New England Java User Group (NEJUG) meeting where Reza Rahman presented a "comparative analysis" of EJB 3 and Spring. Reza is one of the authors of EJB 3 in Action. I enjoyed meeting Reza and respect him for presenting what may be considered a controversial topic. Also I appreciate that he did attempt to address pros and cons for both EJB 3 and Spring. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to clarify a few points that were not wholly accurate in his coverage of Spring and which led me (and other attendees) to believe the presentation was motivated by a bias toward EJB 3. To be fair, unlike a fixed specification version, Spring is constantly evolving and some of the things that I will point out here are new features. On the other hand, some are Spring 2.0 features that have been available for more than a year. I personally believe that a "comparative analysis" must account for the up-to-date feature set of the latest stable version of the products being compared. I think it goes without saying that I might be a bit biased as well, but my motivation here is to provide a wholly objective response so that the presentation could perhaps be revised to reflect a more 'apples-to-apples' comparison. I will provide brief responses to 10 "themes" of the presentation.
The Spring Blog
Several users have asked whether we are committed to Spring Java Configuration, and how it sits with the annotation configuration option introduced in Spring 2.5. The answer is yes, we are committed to Java Config; and these two approaches are not mutually exclusive.
These two configuration approaches are quite different: the @Autowired annotation in the Spring Framework configures components using annotations in business objects, while Spring Java Config takes a unique approach of externalizing the annotations in dedicated configuration classes. Neither of these approaches is uniquely right or wrong, and they are compelling for different circumstances. There is even no reason that both couldn’t be used in the same application.
Dear Spring Community,
We are pleased to announce the release of Spring LDAP version 1.2. This is a major release that introduces a number of features and bugfixes.
A summary of the more important changes:
- Java 5 Generics support is now provided with the SimpleLdapTemplate and ParameterizedContextMapper classes.
- Client-side LDAP transactions.
- Several additional API methods, simplifying a number of common tasks.
About Spring LDAP
Spring LDAP is a Java library for simplifying LDAP operations, based on the pattern of Spring’s JdbcTemplate. The framework relieves the user of the burden of looking up and closing contexts, looping through NamingEnumerations, encoding/decoding values and filters, and more.
As some of you will have noticed already, Spring 2.5 RC1 has finally been released on Monday and is waiting for you to give it a test drive! Spring 2.5 is in many ways the release that completes Spring 2.0’s mission: providing the most flexible and most comprehensive configuration model for both Java 1.4 and Java 5. Spring 2.5 focuses on particularly comprehensive support for Java 5, introducing various further annotations options. I’d like to take the opportunity to point out the unifying themes behind this release:
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:
- full Java 6 and Java EE 5 support (JDBC 4.0, JTA 1.1, JavaMail 1.4, JAX-WS 2.0, etc)
- full-featured annotation-driven dependency injection (including support for ‘qualifiers’)
- support for component scanning in the classpath (autodetecting annotated classes)
- bean name pointcut element in AspectJ pointcut expressions
- built-in support for for AspectJ load-time weaving (based on the LoadTimeWeaver abstraction)
- further XML configuration namespaces ("context", "jms") for maximum convenience
- completely revised framework for integration tests (with support for JUnit 4 and TestNG)
- new annotation-based controller style for Servlet MVC and Portlet MVC
- extended SimpleJdbcTemplate functionality (support for named parameters etc)
- officially certified WebSphere support (support for the WebSphere 6 UOWManager facility)
- Spring framework jars are shipped as OSGi-compliant bundles out of the box
- Spring ApplicationContext can be deployed as JCA RAR file (for headless application modules)
- JCA 1.5 message endpoint management (for Spring-managed JMS and CCI message listeners)
You may have seen some of the recent press surrounding the announcement that Interface21 is partnering with Tasktop to create a “Spring Tool Suite”. This suite will bring together Spring IDE, the AspectJ Development Tools (AJDT), AspectJ, and Mylyn to create a task-focused approach to the development of Spring-powered enterprise applications. We hope to have a preview of the integrated suite available to share with you at the forthcoming The Spring Experience conference, but in the meantime you’ll see many of the improvements flowing into the existing Spring IDE, AJDT, AspectJ, and Mylyn open source projects.
At last month's Gartner Open Source conference, analysts declared that open source had permeated a significant amount of the global software market. The details were highlighted in a recent Matt Asay blog that quotes the eWeek article. eWeek writes: “open-source products accounted for a 13 percent share of the $92.7 billion software market in 2006, but should account for 27 percent of the market in 2011 when revenue is expected to be $169.2 billion.”
At the same time, Gartner analysts Massimo Pezzini and Yefim Natis have published a report highlighting an important vein of disruption currently underway in the middleware and transaction processing markets. The September 24, 2007 report, titled “Trends in Platform Middleware: Disruption is in Sight,” highlights more than a dozen trends that “will disrupt the apparently static application server and transaction processing markets” and warns that “platform middleware users and vendors will be impacted and must delineate proper survival strategies.” Spring prominently is mentioned in four of the top 11 trends.
Dear Spring Community,
We are pleased to announce that Spring Web Flow 1.0.5 has been released. This is a bugfix and minor improvement release addressing all issues reported against 1.0.4. We recommend users upgrade to 1.0.5 from previous 1.0.x versions.
Spring Web Flow is a next generation Java web application controller framework. The framework provides a powerful system for implementing navigation logic and managing application state consistently across a variety of environments.
Dear Spring community,
I’m pleased to announce that Spring 2.0.7 has been released.
Spring 2.0.7 is a bug fix and minor enhancement release in the Spring 2.0 series, addressing all issues reported since 2.0.6 and backporting various refinements from 2.1 M4.
Lead, Spring Framework Development
Interface21 - http://www.interface21.com
As I’ve posted before, Interface21 is getting involved with the Java EE 6 effort, and various of our folk including myself, Juergen Hoeller, Keith Donald and Rob Harrop will be involved in a number of expert groups.
This means that we’re getting more involved with the JCP in general. We respect the confidentiality and other provisions of the JCP, so we won’t talk about anything that isn’t public. However, I would like to talk about our goals for JCP involvement and the fundamental approach we will bring. Of course we are just one company among many companies and individuals, so we will just be one voice, but this is what that voice will be seeking: