- Spring Framework
name = Spring Framework
developer = [http://www.springsource.com SpringSource]
latest release version = 2.5.5
latest release date = release date|2008|06|23
latest preview version =
latest preview date =
operating system =
Java Virtual Machine
programming language = Java
genre = Application framework
website = http://www.springframework.orgThe Spring Framework (or Spring for short) is an
open source application frameworkfor the Java platform. The first version was written by Rod Johnson, who first released it with the publication of his book [http://www.wrox.com/WileyCDA/WroxTitle/productCd-0764543857.html Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development] ( Wrox Press, October 2002). A port is available for the .NET Framework [ [http://www.springframework.net/ Spring.NET - Application Framework ] ] .The Spring 1.2.6 framework won a Jolt productivity award in 2006 [ [http://www.ddj.com/architect/187900423?pgno=10 Jolt winners 2006] ] .
Although the Spring Framework does not enforce any specific
programming model, it has become popular in the Java community as an alternative, replacement, or even addition to the Enterprise JavaBean(EJB) model. By design, the framework offers a lot of freedom to Java developers yet provides well documented and easy-to-use solutions for common practices in the industry.
While the core features of the Spring Framework can be used by any Java application, there are many extensions and improvements for building web-based applications on top of the Java Enterprise platform. Spring is popular because of this, and is recognized by vendors as a strategically important framework. [http://ostatic.com/67409-software-opensource/spring]
The framework was first released under the Apache 2.0 license in June 2003. The first milestone release, 1.0, was released in March 2004, with further milestone releases in September 2004 and March 2005. Current version is 2.5.5.
The Spring Framework provides solutions to many technical challenges faced by Java developers and organizations wanting to create applications based on the
Java platform. Because of the size and complexity of the functionality offered, it can be hard to distinguish the major building blocks from which the framework is composed.POV-statement|date=April 2008 The Spring Framework is not exclusively linked to the Java Enterprise platform, although its far-reaching integration in this area is an important reason for its popularity.
The Spring Framework is probably best known for offering features required to create complex business applications effectively outside of the programming models which have been dominant historically in the industry.POV-statement|date=September 2008 Next to that, it is also credited for introducing previously unfamiliar functionalities into today's mainstream development practices, even beyond the Java platform POV-statement|date=September 2008.
This amounts to a framework which offers a consistent model and makes it applicable to most application types created on top of the Java platform.
The spring Framework can be considered as a collection of smaller frameworks. Most of these frameworks are designed to work independently of each other yet provide better functionalities when used together. These frameworks are divided along the building blocks of typical complex applications:
Inversion of Controlcontainer: configuration of application components and lifecycle management of Java objects.
Aspect-oriented programmingframework: working with functionalities which cannot be implemented with Java's object-oriented programmingcapabilities without making sacrifices.
Data accessframework: working with relational database management systems on the Java platform using JDBCand Object-relational mappingtools providing solutions to technical challenges which are reusable in a multitude of Java-based environments.
* Transaction management framework: harmonization of various transaction management API's and configurative transaction management orchestration for Java objects.
Model-view-controllerframework: HTTPand Servlet based framework providing many hooks for extension and customization.
* Remote Access framework: configurative RPC-style export and import of Java objects over computer networks supporting RMI,
CORBAand HTTP-based protocols including web services( SOAP).
Authenticationand authorizationframework: configurative orchestration of authentication and authorization processes supporting many popular and industry-standard standards, protocols, tools and practices via the Spring Securitysub-project (formerly Acegi).
* Remote Management framework: configurative exposure and management of Java objects for local or remote configuration via
* Messaging framework: configurative registration of message listener objects for transparent message consumption from
message queues via JMS, improvement of message sending over standard JMS API's.
* Testing framework: support classes for writing unit tests and integration tests.
Inversion of Control container
Central in the Spring Framework is its
Inversion of Controlcontainer, which provides a consistent means of configuring and managing Java objects using callbacks. This container can be of different types, such as a "BeanFactory" or the more complex "ApplicationContext". Colloquially either Container used is called the "Core container".
The container has many responsibilities and extension points which can all be considered as forms of Inversion of Control, hence its name. Examples are: creating objects, configuring objects, calling initialization methods, and passing objects to registered callback objects. Many of the functionalities of the container together form the object lifecycle, which is one of the most important features it provides.
Objects created by the container are also called "Managed Objects" or "Beans". Typically the container is configured by loading XML files which contain "Bean definitions". These provide all the information required to create objects. Once objects are created and configured without raising error conditions, they become available for use.
Objects can be obtained by means of "Dependency lookup" or "
Dependency injection". "Dependency lookup" is a pattern where a caller asks the container object for an object with a specific name or of a specific type. "Dependency injection" is a pattern where the container passes objects by name to other objects, via either constructors, properties, or factory methods.
In many cases it's not necessary to use the container when using other parts of the Spring Framework, although using it will likely make an application easier to configure and customize. The Spring container provides a consistent mechanism to configure applications and integrates with almost all Java environments, from small-scale applications to large enterprise applications Fact|date=February 2007.
The container can be turned into a partially-compliant EJB3 container by means of the [http://www.springsource.com/web/guest/pitchfork Pitchfork] project. The Spring Framework is criticized by someWho|date=September 2008 as not being standards compliant. However, [http://www.springsource.com/ SpringSource] doesn't see EJB3 compliance as a major goal, and claims that the Spring Framework and the container allow for more powerful programming models. [cite web
url = http://www.springsource.com/web/guest/pitchfork/pitchfork-faq
title = Pitchfork FAQ
accessdate = 2006-06-06]
Aspect-oriented programming framework
The Spring Framework has its own AOP framework which modularizes
cross-cutting concerns in aspects. The motivation for creating a separate AOP framework comes from the belief that it would be possible to provide basic AOP features without too much complexity in either design, implementation, or configuration. The Spring AOP framework also takes full advantage of the Spring Container.
The Spring AOP framework is interception based, and is configured at
runtime. This removes the need for a compilation step or load-time weaving. On the other hand, interception only allows for public or protected method execution on existing objects at a join point.
Compared to the
AspectJframework, Spring AOP is less powerful but also less complicated. Spring 1.2 includes support to configure AspectJ aspects in the container. Spring 2.0 has more integration with AspectJ; for example, the pointcutlanguage is reused.
Spring AOP has been designed to make it able to work with cross-cutting concerns inside the Spring Framework. Any object which is created and configured by the container can be "enriched" using Spring AOP.
The Spring Framework uses Spring AOP internally for transaction management, security, remote access, and
Since version 2.0 of the framework, Spring provides two approaches to the AOP configuration:
* schema-based approach
* @AspectJ-based annotation style
The Spring team decided not to introduce new AOP-related terminology; therefore, in the Spring reference documentation and API, terms such as
aspect, join point, advice, pointcut, introduction, target object( advised object), AOP proxy, and weaving all have the same meanings as in most other AOP frameworks (particularly AspectJ).
Data access framework
Spring's data access framework addresses common difficulties developers face when working with databases in applications. Support is provided for all popular data access frameworks in Java:
JDBC[http://java.sun.com/products/jdbc/] , iBatis [http://ibatis.apache.org/] , Hibernate [http://www.hibernate.org] , JDO [http://java.sun.com/products/jdo/] , JPA [http://www.jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=220] , Oracle TopLink, Apache OJB[http://db.apache.org/ojb/] , and Cayenne [http://objectstyle.org/cayenne] , among others.
For all of these supported frameworks, Spring provides these features:
* Resource management - automatically acquiring and releasing database resources
* Exception handling - translating data access related exception to a Spring data access hierarchy
* Transaction participation - transparent participation in ongoing transactions
* Resource unwrapping - retrieving database objects from connection pool wrappers
* Abstraction for
All these features become available when using "Template" classes provided by Spring for each supported framework. Critics say these "Template" classes are intrusive and offer no advantage over using (for example) the
HibernateAPI directly. [http://houseofhaug.net/blog/archives/2005/08/12/hibernate-hates-spring/] In response, the Spring developers have made it possible to use the Hibernate and JPA APIs directly. This however requires transparent transaction management, as application code no longer assumes the responsibility to obtain and close database resources, and does not support exception translation.
Together with Spring's transaction management, its data access framework offers a flexible abstraction for working with data access frameworks. The Spring Framework doesn't offer a common data access API; instead, the full power of the supported APIs is kept intact. The Spring Framework is the only framework available in Java which offers managed data access environments outside of an application server or container.Fact|date=December 2007
While using Spring for transaction management with Hibernate, following beans may be required to be configured
* DataSource like com.mchange.v2.c3p0.ComboPooledDataSource or org.apache.commons.dbcp.BasicDataSource
* SessionFactory like org.springframework.orm.hibernate3.LocalSessionFactoryBean
* HibernateProperties like org.springframework.beans.factory.config.PropertiesFactoryBean
* TransactionManager like org.springframework.orm.hibernate3.HibernateTransactionManagerOther configurations
* AOP configuration of cutting points using
Transaction management framework
Spring's transaction management framework brings an abstraction mechanism to the Java platform. Its abstraction is capable of:
* working with local and global transactions (local transaction does not require an
* working with
* working with transaction safepoints
* working in almost all environments of the
The Spring Framework ships a "PlatformTransactionManager" for a number of transaction management strategies:
* Transactions managed on a
* Transactions managed on
Object-relational mapping"Units of Work"
* Transactions managed via the JTA "TransactionManager" and "UserTransaction"
* Transactions managed on other resources, like
object databases Next to this abstraction mechanism the framework also provides two ways of adding transaction management to applications:
* Programmatically, by using Spring's "TransactionTemplate"
* Configuratively, by using
metadatalike XML or Java 5 annotations
Together with Spring's data access framework — which integrates the transaction management framework — it is possible to set up a transactional system through configuration without having to rely on JTA or
EJB. The transactional framework also integrates with messaging and caching engines.
The Spring Framework features its own MVC framework, which wasn't originally planned. The Spring developers decided to write their own web framework as a reaction to what they perceived as the poor design of the popular
Jakarta Strutsweb framework [http://www.theserverside.com/tt/articles/article.tss?l=SpringFramework] , as well as deficiencies in other available frameworks. In particular, they felt there was insufficient separation between the presentation and request handling layers, and between the request handling layer and the model. [Johnson, Expert One-on-One J2EE Design.., Ch. 12. et al.]
Like Struts, Spring MVC is a request-based framework. The framework defines strategy interfaces for all of the responsibilities which must be handled by a modern request-based framework. The responsibility of each interface is sufficiently simple and clear that it's easy for Spring MVC users to write their own implementations if they choose toPOV-statement|date=September 2008. All interfaces are tightly coupled to the Servlet API to offer the full power of this API. This tight coupling to the Servlet API is seen by some as a failure on the part of the Spring developers to offer a high-level abstraction for web-based applications Fact|date=February 2007. However, this coupling makes sure that the features of the Servlet API remain available to developers while offering a high abstraction framework to ease working with said API.
The "DispatcherServlet" class is the front controller [http://www.martinfowler.com/eaaCatalog/frontController.html] of the framework and is responsible for delegating control to the various interfaces during the execution phases of an HTTP request.
The most important interfaces defined by Spring MVC, and their responsibilities, are listed below:
* HandlerMapping: selecting objects which handle incoming requests (handlers) based on any attribute or condition internal or external to those requests
* HandlerAdapter: execution of objects which handle incoming requests
* Controller: comes between Model and View to manage incoming requests and redirect to proper response.
* View: responsible for returning a response to the client
* ViewResolver: selecting a View based on a logical name for the view (use is not strictly required)
* HandlerInterceptor: interception of incoming requests comparable but not equal to Servlet filters (use is optional and not controlled by "DispatcherServlet").
* LocaleResolver: resolving and optionally saving of the
localeof an individual user
* MultipartResolver: facilitate working with file uploads by wrapping incoming requests
Each strategy interface above has an important responsibility in the overall framework. The abstractions offered by these interfaces are sufficiently powerful to allow for a wide set of variations in their implementations. Spring MVC ships with implementations of all these interfaces and together offers a powerful feature set on top of the Servlet APIPOV-statement|date=September 2008. However, developers and vendors are free to write other implementations. Spring MVC uses the Java
java.util.Mapinterface as a data-oriented abstraction for the "Model" where keys are expected to be string values.
The ease of testing the implementations of these interfaces is one important advantage of the high level of abstraction offered by Spring MVC. "DispatcherServlet" is tightly coupled to the Spring
Inversion of Controlcontainer for configuring the web layers of applications. However, applications can use other parts of the Spring Framework—including the container—and choose not to use Spring MVC.
Because Spring MVC uses the Spring container for configuration and assembly, web-based applications can take full advantage of the Inversion of Control features offered by the container.
Remote access framework
Spring's Remote Access framework is an abstraction for working with various RPC-based technologies available on the
Java platformboth for client connectivity and exporting objects on servers. The most important feature offered by this framework is to ease configuration and usage of these technologies as much as possible by combining Inversion of Controland AOP.
The framework also provides fault-recovery (automatic reconnection after connection failure) and some optimizations for client-side use of
EJBremote stateless session beans.
Spring provides support for these protocols and products out of the box:
* HTTP-based protocols
** Hessian: binary serialization protocol, open-sourced and maintained by Corba-based protocols"'
** RMI (1): method invocations using RMI infrastructure yet specific to Spring
** RMI (2): method invocations using RMI interfaces complying with regular RMI usage
RMI-IIOP(Corba): method invocations using RMI-IIOP/Corba
Enterprise JavaBeanclient integration
EJBstateless session bean connectivity: connecting to local stateless session beans
** Remote EJB stateless session bean connectivity: connecting to remote stateless session beans
** Integration with the
Apache Axisweb services framework
The [http://xfire.codehaus.org/ XFire]
SOAPframework provides integration with the Spring Framework for RPC-style exporting of object on the server side.
Both client and server setup for all RPC-style protocols and products supported by the Spring Remote access framework (except for the
Apache Axissupport) is configured in the Spring Core container.
There is alternative open-source implementation ( [http://www.soft-amis.com/cluster4spring/index.html Cluster4Spring] ) of a remoting subsystem included into Spring Framework which is intended to support various schemes of remoting (1-1, 1-many, dynamic services discovering).
last = Johnson | first = Rod
Jürgen Höller, Alef Arendsen, Thomas Risberg, and Colin Sampaleanu
title = Professional Java Development with the Spring Framework
publisher = Wiley
year = 2005
id = ISBN 0-7645-7483-3
last = Harrop | first = Rob
title = Pro Spring
publisher = APress
year = 2005
id = ISBN 1-59059-461-4
last = Johnson | first = Rod
title = J2EE Development without EJB
publisher = Wiley
year = 2004
id = ISBN 0-7645-5831-5
last = Johnson | first = Rod
title = Expert One-on-one J2EE Design and Development
publisher = Wiley
year = 2002
id = ISBN 0-7645-4385-7
last = Walls| first = Craig
coauthors = Ryan Breidenbach
title = Spring in Action
publisher = Manning
year = 2005
id = ISBN 1-9323-9435-4
last = Wolff | first = Eberhard
title = Spring - Framework für die Java Entwicklung
publisher = dpunkt
year = 2006
id = ISBN 3-89864-365-4
* [http://www.springframework.org Spring Framework]
* [http://www.springframework.net Spring.Net]
* [http://springide.org/ Spring IDE]
* [http://www.springhub.com/ Spring Hub]
* [http://www.springportfolio.com/ Spring Portfolio Projects]
* [http://springpython.webfactional.com Spring Python]
* [http://www.gigaspaces.com/wiki/display/GS6/Open+Spaces OpenSpaces - Extends the Spring Framework for Scalability]
* [http://static.springframework.org/spring/docs/2.5.x/reference/index.html The Spring Framework - Reference Documentation]
Other IoC/DI Frameworks
* [http://www.azuki-framework.org/ Azuki Framework]
* [http://code.google.com/p/google-guice/ Google Guice]
* [http://www.picocontainer.org/ PicoContainer]
* [http://code.google.com/p/pococapsule PocoCapsule]
* [http://www.onjava.com/pub/a/onjava/2006/02/08/j2ee-without-application-server.html J2EE Without the Application Server]
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