Embracing the new guard

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

Chris Mayer
SpringSource-logo

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 explain
ed 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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