Creating a Blogging Platform in Java: Part 2

In the second part of his series about creating a blogging platform in Java, Grzegorz Ziemonski covers his vision, the start of his project, and building.

· Java Zone · Tutorial

This week I'll continue the topic of creating a Blogging Platform. If you're not familiar with it, you can read the first part here. I didn't have too much time to work on the project, but I got the very basic setup working, so we can look deeper into that.

Vision Changes

I thought about the general vision a bit more and even discussed it with a friend, which led me to two important changes in my short-term project vision:

  1. I'm not going to avoid libraries and frameworks. Firstly, because these will seriously boost my productivity. Secondly, because I want to create something similar to the projects you can see in your work environment. Doing anything else would be selfish.
  2. I think I won't need two elements that I had put in my initial design — "content keeper" and "content watch." The strive for simplicity suggests to start with something more straightforward and see how it works.

Starting the Project

As I'm pretty proficient with Spring Boot and Spring in general, I decided to start the project using Spring Boot via Spring Initializr.

After generating the project, the obvious first step was to create the Application class:

public class Application {

    public static void main(String[] args) {, args);

I also added a HomeController, rendering a very basic view to make sure that Spring Boot and Freemarker are configured correctly:

public class HomeController {

    public String hello(Model model) {
        model.addAttribute("name", "World");
        return "home";

This gives me something similar to the concept of a walking skeleton. That view is not an end-to-end function, but enough to say that things are working.

Build Process

As I've written before, I'm using Gradle as the build tool. I'm kind of new to the tool, so any tips are welcome. Fortunately, I got the basic configuration generated by Spring Initializr.

For various tests, I'll be using Spock. Configuring that requires just adding the groovy plugin and some dependencies:

apply plugin: 'groovy'
dependencies {
    // spock
    compile 'org.codehaus.groovy:groovy-all:2.4.1'
    testCompile 'org.spockframework:spock-core:1.0-groovy-2.4'
    testRuntime 'cglib:cglib-nodep:3.1'
    testRuntime 'org.objenesis:objenesis:2.1'

I created a simple test to make sure that Gradle actually executes it:

class HomeControllerSpec extends Specification {

    def "test"() {
        println("Test running again!")


The last thing to do with the build was to set up Travis CI. Travis gives free CI to all open-source projects on GitHub and it's very easy to set up. All you have to do is create a .travis.yml file with contents similar to these:

language: java
  - oraclejdk8

  - rm -f  $HOME/.gradle/caches/modules-2/modules-2.lock
  - rm -fr $HOME/.gradle/caches/*/plugin-resolution/
    - $HOME/.gradle/caches/
    - $HOME/.gradle/wrapper/

The first three lines are obvious. The before_cache and cache parts are optional, but docs suggested to use them. CI from the very beginning might not be absolutely necessary as long as I'm the only person working on the project, but it would be in any other case. Even in my case, it helps by proving that the build passes on other computers than mine.

Cloud Deployment

Every project has to be deployed somewhere and this one is no exception. I chose Heroku as it has nice GitHub-Travis integration. I just add an app using my GitHub account, create a Procfile and I have Continous Delivery with a server for free. The Procfile looks like this:

web: java $JAVA_OPTS  -Dserver.port=$PORT -jar build/libs/blogging-platform.jar

I simplified the vision and decided to use frameworks and libraries freely. I generated a Gradle configuration with Spring Boot dependencies using Spring Initializr. To see that the configuration is correct, I created a simple controller with a view. Tests will be written in Spock, executed regularly by Travis CI. The application will be continously deployed to Heroku. You can see it working here (it might take a while to load, because it's on a free dyno).

Published at DZone with permission of Grzegorz Ziemoński, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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