The strength of Grails is in the plug-in system

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-02-22 Print this article Print

Moreover, "because of the linguistic similarities between Java and Groovy it's painless for developers to switch between Java and Groovy," Davis said.

To implement Groovy, all a Java developer needs to do is "add a single JAR (Java Archive file) to your classpath; you don't have to rewrite a single line of code," Davis said.

Groovy runs on Java 1.4, 1.5 or 1.6.

Meanwhile, Grails is a Web application framework based on Groovy that is patterned after Ruby on Rails. Grails co-creator Graeme Rocher said Grails 1.0 shipped earlier this month. Rocher is the project lead for the open-source Grails project.

"Grails is a fully integrated, modern Java Web application in a box," Davis said.

Grails includes support for Asynchronous JavaScript and AJAX frameworks.

"The plug-in system is really where the strength of Grails comes from," Davis said. "Grails is a simple core, but it's infinitely extensible through its plug-in system."

Salil Deshpande, a partner at Bay Partners, a venture capital firm, said, "what's cool about Groovy is it's basically a language that is very Ruby-like, but it's a superset of Java."

Further, Deshpande explained that because Groovy is based on Java then "enterprises can preserve their legacy investments in Java" to extend their development to a dynamic language or lightweight Web development framework such as Grails.

"For the six to nine million Java developers out there, it's easier for these guys to go to Groovy and Grails instead of Ruby and Rails," Deshpande said.

Indeed, Matthew Porter, founder of Contegix, a managed hosting firm, said Contegix went to Groovy and Grails for several reasons, including being able to use their existing skill set in enterprise Java.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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