The Spring Framework, the stalwart open source Java development platform facing an Oracle-led challenge to its relevance, is getting its first major upgrade since 2009 on Thursday.
Version 4.0 of Spring features a laundry list of improvements, including support for Java Standard 8 edition capabilities, such as lambdas; a secure REST stack; HTML5/WebSocket integration; custom, compose-able annotations; and Java Enterprise Edition 7 capabilities, including JMS (Java Message Service) 2.0. Downloaded several million times, Spring has had such functionality as dependency injection ahead of Java Enterprise Edition. Unencumbered by the procedural slowness of the Java Community Process, Spring was able to take a lead technically on the official enterprise Java variant offered by Oracle now and Sun Microsystems previously.
Oracle, though, has been campaigning to get Spring developers to move over to Java EE, contending there are no longer any advantages to Spring.
Not to worry, says Pieter Humphrey, consulting product marketing manager at Pivotal, which now has jurisdiction over Spring. "The message seems to be falling flat," he claims, arguing that the popularity of Spring continues. The Spring stable of technologies now features accommodations for mobile application development, NoSQL, big data, and cloud computing, he says.
Also featured in version 4.0 itself is Spring Boot, a rapid application development framework akin to Ruby on Rails. "[Spring Boot] really reduces boilerplate code and allows developers to start coding with an absolute minimum of boilerplate or configuration-related code," says Humphrey.
This month, the Spring website has had millions of unique visitors, reaching its highest total yet, and Downloads of Spring via the Maven build management platform also are growing.
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