LAS VEGAS-The legacy style of enterprise Java application development has given way to a new world of frameworks and modular componentry, according to an expert.
“It is pretty clear that the legacy approach to server-side Java development is done,” said Rod Johnson, founder and CEO of SpringSource, the company behind the open-source lightweight Java development platform Spring Framework.
Aside from frameworks such as Spring, “OSGi [Open Services Gateway initiative] is a big part of what’s driving this,” said Johnson, speaking at TheServerSide Java Symposium here March 27.
OSGi units of modularity are known as bundles, and although OSGi has its own set of challenges, Spring strongly supports OSGi, Johnson said.
“Spring Dynamic Modules combines the POJO [Plain Old Java Objects] programming model of Spring with the benefits of OSGi modularization,” he said.
OSGi is the dynamic model system for Java and is moving to the server side to “solve a lot of problems that Java and Java EE [Enterprise Edition] didn’t,” he said. “Spring Dynamic Modules for OSGi is a key enabling technology for the next generation of middleware. It’s very important that Spring and OSGi work so well together.”
The Eclipse Foundation launched a new top-level run-time project based on OSGi at its EclipseCon conference March 17. At the same time, SpringSource released an IDE (integrated development environment) to support Eclipse developers. The combined OSGi support plays into the company’s tooling strategy, SpringSource officials said.
“Our aim with the Spring Portfolio is if you write something with the Spring component model, you can potentially benefit from something you may not have known about or planned for,” Johnson said, referring not only to the OSGi support specifically, but to the breadth of technologies that Spring touches in one way or another. “All Spring JARs [Java Archive files] are now OSGi bundles. OSGi gives you the best possible modularization.”
Spring Framework 2.5
SpringSource announced the latest version of the Spring Framework, Version 2.5, in November. The goals of Spring 2.5 include strengthening Spring’s position as the de facto standard and most capable component model for enterprise Java, Johnson said. The framework is geared toward Java 5 and features support for new platforms, annotations and upgrades for Spring MVC (model view controller). New platforms supported include Java 6, with Java Development Kit 1.6, Java EE 5 and OSGI, Johnson said.
“We’re one of the first major frameworks with support for Java 6,” he said. Spring 2.5 also supports Java Database Connectivity 4.0, Java Management Extensions MXBeans, the Java 6 HTTP server and the JDK ServiceLoader API. The product supports JDK 1.4 and 1.5 as well; JDK 1.3 is not supported.
In addition, the 2.5 release supports IBM’s WebSphere 6, and annotations for dependency injection, Johnson said. Spring 2.5 also eliminates the need for Java developers to use XML for configurations.
Another update for Spring 2.5 is a series of enhancements for Spring MVC, a Web development solution for Spring programmers. “Java 5 gives Spring MVC a new lease on life,” Johnson said. “It could be the fastest-growing Web framework at this point.”
SpringSource is also working on converging its Web solutions, Spring MVC and Spring Web Flow, he said. Spring Web Flow is a next-generation Web application controller framework that allows developers to model user actions as high-level modules called flows that can run in most any environment, SpringSource officials said.