Embracing the new guard

JDK 8 and Java EE 7 initial support arrives in Spring Framework 4.0

Chris Mayer
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New modernising features for the enterprise framework arrive in Milestone 1.

After promising in January to “focus on emerging enterprise themes”, SpringSource have released their opening gambit for the next iteration of the framework, in Spring Framework 4.0’s first milestone.

On the face of it, it seems that the SpringSource team have been true to their word, offering the first wave of support for the incoming Java SE 8 and Java EE 7 and the features they bring.

Spring co-founder and project lead Juergen Hoeller explained the array of features in M1 in a blogpost. Contained within the release is initial support for Java EE 7 components, including JMS 2.0, JPA 2.1, Bean Validation 1.1 as well as the new concurrency API in JSR-236. Work has also begun to modernise the framework, with the addition of Spring’s WebSocket endpoint model.

Even though Java 8 has been delayed until March 2014, the SpringSource team doesn’t fancy waiting around, using OpenJDK 8 build 88+ to bring at least partial Java 8 features. This includes support for the 1.8 bytecode format in component scanning and subclass generation, lambda expressions against Spring callback interfaces and Java’s new Date and Time API.

Hoeller accepts that the Java 8 support is “a work in progress”, with the SpringSource team tracking snapshots ahead of September’s JDK 8 Developer Preview. Assuming there are no further delays to Java 8 development, a Spring Framework 4.0 Release Candidate is expected to be deliver at SpringOne in the same month.

Although there is still plenty of work to be done, the initial milestone from SpringSource is promising. With the news that Spring intend to add the hypermedia REST constraint HATEOAS to the framework in parallel, it suggests that the enterprise framework will get the modernising overhaul that it and its enterprise users deserve.

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