SpringSource Releases Tool Suite

Company officials say the tool set will reduce the complexity of enterprise Java application development.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - SpringSource, the company behind the Spring Framework, is rolling out the SpringSource Tool Suite.

SpringSource is announcing the release of its toolset at the EclipseCon conference here March 17. Christian Dupuis, co-lead of the Spring IDE project, said the new Spring-specific developer toolset reduces the complexity of enterprise Java application development and maintenance while providing an end-to-end solution for middleware development using the Spring Portfolio.

The SpringSource Tool Suite builds on Eclipse Mylyn - a task-focused user interface for Eclipse - and has Spring IDE as a core component, Dupuis said. Mik Kersten, creator of Mylyn and president of Tasktop Technologies, said the embedded use of Eclipse Mylyn eases the development of large Spring-powered applications and incorporates other key features, such as issue tracking and code quality analysis tools. The result is easier maintenance and a streamlined lifecycle for Spring-powered applications, he said.

The SpringSource Tool Suite also leverages extensions to Mylyn's task-focused user interface to provide a smooth and simple workflow in the presence of numerous best-of-breed tools and technologies that are bundled by the suite, Kersten said.

"The tool suite will simplify the development efforts that go into developing larger enterprise applications," Kersten said. "With Mylyn, we have the ability to bring in all these nice, task-oriented features."

For newcomers to the Spring Framework and the Spring Portfolio, the SpringSource Tool Suite provides tool-guided assistance through tutorials and walk-throughs that integrate proven SpringSource training materials. For experts, the suite's Architecture Review Tools can ensure SpringSource best-practices and integrated support tools make it easier to get resolutions to incidents.

This is in line with the theme SpringSource extended at its Spring Experience conference in December of providing "a consultant in a box," Dupuis said.

"We provide online tutorials that walk you through the code," he said. Advice and support is provided "in the tool suite; it's in the IDE [integrated development environment] and all the project developers from SpringSource are providing input for all the tutorials. So we are giving users our best practices and best knowledge."

Kersten said this release of the SpringSource Tool Suite is essentially a beta release. "It's the first public release, and what we've done is integrated the same kind of best practices for runtime errors," he said. "We integrated a knowledge base for SpringSource [in a wiki style]. A big change in the tool suite is this knowledge is embedded in the tool."

Kersten also said the SpringSource Tool Suite is the only enterprise application development suite that provides Mylyn's task focus, tool integration and workflow streamlining benefits. The technology relieves information overload for developers working on large applications and increases productivity by identifying only the information relevant to the task at hand, he said.

Other features of the SpringSource Tool Suite include: Spring development tools for intelligent editing, validating and navigating support for Spring application blueprints; Mylyn task-focused Interface for Java artifacts and Spring configuration files; Spring Framework showcases explaining and highlighting new features in Spring Framework 2.5; task-focused tutorials for the various products in the Spring Portfolio; and runtime error analysis.

SpringSource has also joined the Eclipse Foundation and will utilize the company's engineering excellence to aid in the development of the Eclipse ecosystem.

The SpringSource Tool Suite Personal Use Edition is available in beta for download on the SpringSource Web site here. The Personal Use Edition is free for personal use. General availability is planned for the end of April.