Spring 2.1 Grows New Features and Evolutionary Enhancements
Spring IDE Tools
The Spring framework has gained enough momentum in the enterprise developer market that heavy-weight IDE vendors are starting to take notice and incorporate support for Spring into their products. This, in turn, can serve as a snowball effect and introduce Spring to more developers. Oracle Corporation has recently released an extension to its flagship JDeveloper IDE that will incorporate a Spring framework-based SDK, and include support for Spring 1.x and 2.0. The Oracle IDE will help developers by providing auto-complete, code insight, and XML validation of Spring definitions.
The folks who developed the original Spring IDE also just released the final version of Spring IDE 2.0. The Spring IDE is a plug-in for the Eclipse IDE and Eclipse 3.2.x (or newer) is required to run Spring IDE 2.0. The new IDE is a huge improvement over version 1.x. It adds support for Spring 2.0, Spring Web Flow, Spring AOP and Spring JavaConfig and, according to its web site—Spring IDE 2.0 also eliminates approximately 250 bugs.
Figure 3: Spring IDE Screen Shot
Because in the past the only IDE available was the Spring IDE 1.x (which seems to have been very buggy according to its own web site), developers who did not want to write tons of Spring configuration XML code by hand, or deal with remembering and typing overly long Spring class names, tried not to use the technology if they did not have to. The enterprise tool support is very good news for the Spring framework and the developers using it. The development of the solid IDEs for the Spring framework, such as JDeveloper and substantial improvement in original Spring IDE, means that working with the framework will be much easier and the learning curve may decrease.
In this article, I discussed new features of the Spring framework 2.0 and 2.1, such as annotations, web flow, and so on. I also mentioned new IDE vendor support for Spring. It will be interesting to see what other IDEs with jump onboard with Spring support, what new features will grow in the Spring framework, and whether the adoption of Spring increases.
- Java Annotations: http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/docs/guide/language/annotations.html
- Spring 2.0: What's New and Why it Matters: http://www.infoq.com/articles/spring-2-intro
- Interface21: Springframework.org
- SpringIDE: http://springide.org/project/wiki/TOC
About the Author
Vlad Kofman works on enterprise-scale projects for major Wall Street firms. He has also worked on defense contracts for the U.S. government. His main interests are object-oriented programming methodologies, UI, and design patterns.
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