Make or break time?

Spring Framework 4.0 to embrace “emerging enterprise themes”

Chris Mayer

A tentative roadmap for the enterprise Java framework has been released, but is it enough to stay relevant?

2012 was unquestionably a tumultuous year for Spring. With
SpringSource founder Rod Johnson departing in July (later joining
the Typesafe Board of Directors), some
 that Spring’s time as a disruptive enterprise
Java force was over.

Fears that Spring would be left behind have been allayed slightly
with the announcement that the next iteration, Spring Framework 4.0
would focus on “emerging enterprise themes in 2013 and

In a blog post
, Spring Framework co-founder Juergen
Hoeller said that December’s 3.2 release was “a natural conclusion
of the 3.x line” with work on Java-based configuration
and REST features next tosupport for Java SE 7 and Servlet 3.0
all but complete.

Instead the attention turns towards providing “first class support
for Java SE 8 based Spring applications”, incorporating the array
of features targeted for September’s Java 8 release. This includes
lambda expressions and the new Date and Time API amongst others.
Hoeller adds that the Spring Framework team will be “tracking
OpenJDK 8’s schedule closely” and hope to deliver a first
milestone by April.

Groovy, the JVM language also backed by
VMware, won’t be left out of the equation either, with
Hoeller adding that “configuring and implementing Spring-style
applications using Groovy 2.0” is on the roadmap. Spring’s
intrinsic relationship with Java EE is also set
to continue, promising to support key Java EE 7 technologies
such as JMS 2.0 and JPA 2.1.

With Websocket-based architectures gaining ground in the enterprise
world with developers, it’s a no brainer to see Spring want to
follow Java EE 7’s lead, targeting “support for JSR-356 compliant
runtimes and related technologies.”

Further technical details will follow in the run-up to April’s
first milestone, with 4.0 set to go GA by the end of the

It’s make or break time for Spring. It’s an ambitious roadmap and
one that quells fears over Spring’s inability to embrace the new
guard. But isn’t this the minimum requirement to keep up to date
with the enterprise world, and stay relevant? The team might be
biting off more than they can chew to get it all ship-shape in 12
months as well. We shall see.

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