Why Is the Spring Framework so Popular?
Want to learn more about why the Spring framework is so popular amongst Java developers? Check out this post to learn more!
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Spring Framework Features
Spring is a powerful, lightweight framework used for application development. In broader terms, you can say that the Spring framework is a well-defined tool that supports several web applications using Java as a programming language.
Before the launching of the framework in the IT Sector, the applications were developed using JEE standards. With these standards, we can deploy an application on any JEE application server. But, it had several problems, including:
- Code became very complicated as application progressed.
- Performance of the system got affected due to the heaviness of the applications.
- The look-up problem of the component.
These problems were solved with the introduction of the Spring framework. The Spring framework became prominent in the market due to basic Spring framework features, which are its modularity. That is, it can be divided into different modules, each serving their own functionality.
Most Important Features of the Spring Framework
The Spring Framework is very lightweight with respect to its size and functionality. This is due to its POJO implementation, which doesn’t force it to inherit any class or implement any interfaces.
ii. Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP)
This is an important part of the Spring Framework. Aspect-Oriented Programming is used for separating cross-cutting concerns (for example, logging, security, etc.) from the business logic of the application. In the coming articles, you will be learning about this in greater detail.
iii. Transaction Management
This is used to unify several transaction management APIs and is used to coordinate transactions for Java objects. Also, it is not tied to the J2EE environment and is used with containerless environments.
The Spring framework designs and manages the lifecycle and configurations of application objects.
v. Dependency Injection
This feature of the Spring Framework allows you to develop loosely coupled applications. Therefore, the unit testing of these loosely coupled applications becomes easier. This also allows the developer to swap out some of the modules according to its need.
vi. Integration With Other Frameworks
A great thing about this framework is that it doesn’t try to solve the problems that have already been solved. It just tries to integrate them with its framework, which provides a solution to greater problems. For example, this could include IBATIS, Hibernate, Toplink, etc.
Features of Spring 5.0
Now, major enhancements are done since the introduction of Spring framework by Rod Johnson in 2003. Several versions have been released after its first. As of now, Spring 5.0x versions are on the market. So, let’s run down to the major upgraded features and enhancements of Spring 5.0 with Java 8 as a minimum requirement across all coding bases and the compatibility of JDK 9 at runtime, as well as for the build and test suit:
a. JDK 8 Plus 9 and Java EE 7 Baseline
The Spring framework codebase is based on the code level from Java 8. This code level provides readability using inferred generics, and the conditional support for Java 8 is directly provided in the code. Now, Java EE 7 API level is required in Spring modules along with Servlet 3.1, JMS2.0, JPA2.1, and Bean validation1.1. Recent servers, such as Jetty 9.3+, Tomcat 8.5+, and WildFly10+, have been added to Spring 5.0. The compatibility of JDK 9 has been added at runtime, as well as for the build and test suit.
b. Removal of Classes, Methods, and Packages
The package mock.staticmock has been removed from the Spring module, along with the support for
AnnotationDrivenStaticEntityMockingControl. The minimum requirement is Tiles3 and Hibernate5, which means packages web.view.tiles2 and form.hibernate3/orm.hibernate4 drop. Spring 5.0 has also withdrawn its support for Portlet, Velocity, XMLBeans, Guava, JDO, and JasperReports. Therefore, those who need them to work are recommended to use the Spring Framework 4.3.x. Many of these deprecated methods and classes have been removed with some compromises for commonly used methods in the Spring ecosystem.
c. Core Container Enhancements
With the introduction of Spring 5.0, there are major upgrades made in the Core container. These are as follows:
i. JDK 8+ Improvements
- Some declarations of Java 8 methods in core Spring framework interfaces
- Use of Standard Charsets from JDK 7
- Efficient parameter method access using Java 8
ii. JDK 9 Preparations
- Using revised exceptional handling consistency of initialization for the constructor is done.
iii. XML Related Upgrades
- XML namespaces streamline for non-versioned schemas
- No support for deprecated features along with a resolution for latest XSD files
- Version-specific declarations continue to support but are validated
d. Reactive Programming Model
The Spring framework’s latest version has several changes with respect to the Reactive Programming model. One major change being the use of the Spring core data buffer, along with encoder/decoder abstractions and spring-web HTTP message codec implementations with XML and JSON support. Also, the new
WebClient and the new Spring Web Reactive module introduces reactive support for the
@Controller model adapting Servlet3.1 as well as non-Servlets runtime containers, for example, Undertow.
e. General Web Improvements
In web improvements, unified support for media type resolution is provided using
MediaTypeFactory. Also, the full Servel 3.1 support is provided to Spring framework, along with Protobuf 3.0 support in version 5.
f. Testing Improvements
With the introduction of this version, major changes are made to the testing environment of the Spring framework.
i. Complete support to Junit 5’s Jupiter programming in the Spring
SpringExtensionis an implementation of several API extensions from Jupiter that provide full support for an existing feature of the
TestContextframework, which enables using
@SpringJUintConfig, which combines
@ExtendedWithfrom Jupiter with
@SpringJunitWebConfig, an annotation that combines
@ExtendedWithfrom Jupiter with the
ii. New test execution callback methods introduced in the Spring
TestContext framework using TestNG and JUnit 5 via SpringRunner.
iii. XMLUnit support is upgraded to version 2.2.
Hence, in this Spring framework tutorial, you have seen the various Spring framework features. Also, the new upgrades in the testing environment, web services, and XML-related code add to the latest features of the Spring 5.x framework from the previous Spring 4.3.x framework. Still, if you have any doubt, leave a note in the comments section below!
Published at DZone with permission of Rinu Gour. See the original article here.
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