In 2002, in his book “Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development”, the Australian developer Rod Johnson presented the code of the Java Interface 21 framework that he had written specifically for his own projects. Based on this code, Johnson developed, together with other programmers, the spring framework, which was released for the first time under the Apache 2.0 free license and, to date, is one of the most popular solutions for application development. Business in Java. Thus, this open source framework counteracts the weaknesses and limitations of the J2EE standard development environment (now also known as “Java Platform”) and the Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) component model, significantly reducing its complexity.

What is spring?

Spring Framework simplifies the development of Java applications, regardless of whether they are ordinary web applications or without a web connection. Its biggest advantages are a more simplified source code and less difficulty in the settings. In order to offer the programmer such as amenities, the framework is based on the following principles, as explained by Rod Johnson in his book:

Dependency Injection (DI): in the context of object-oriented programming, the injection of dependencies is an external organism that regulates in advance the dependencies of objects. For this purpose, Spring Framework uses the JavaBeans components. Among other things, these act in Java as a container for the transmission of data, so, in spring, they are used as a template for all managed resources (“beans”).

Aspect-oriented programming (AOP): optionally, in order to increase the modularity of object-oriented applications, spring provides an Aspect-oriented programming approach with the AspectJ language. With this, it is possible to synthetically structure the aspects, that is, those transverse elements that are unavoidable in complex systems. This has the advantage that the program code is separated from technical processes such as error resolution, validation or security.

Templates: in spring, the templates are classes for different program interfaces that simplify the work with API, providing automatic resource management, uniform error handling, and other technical assistance facilities.

The fact that the aforementioned principles are fulfilled is what allows Spring Framework to use POJO objects (Plain Old Java Objects) for the development of Java Enterprise applications. Unlike the Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) project, these objects run in almost any environment and, therefore, do not need a specific application server that supports the EJB container – solutions such as Tomcat are perfectly adequate. In order to use spring, the Java SE Development Kit (SDK) is required.

Spring: Java for modern web development

Since its inception, Java, as well as its related technologies, was conceived for its implementation in web development. Despite the initial difficulties it faced, including poor compatibility with older browsers, an insufficient broadband speed of private connections and the lack of computing power of older computers, this programming language it managed to flourish in the late 90s. In the early days of the World Wide Web, Java applets they enjoyed great popularity. Applets are applications written in Java that run in the browser using appropriate runtime environments and can interact with the user without having to send data to the browser. However, due to their intensive resource demands, these were not always very practical. With the rise of mobile devices, which do not support the applets of browsers, the interactive web elements have completely disappeared from the scene.

While Java proved relatively soon to be a frontend failure, this programming language has become a very important element on the server side, with its application scenarios very different. From servlets, the equivalent of applets on the server, to complex business solutions such as middleware, banking software or content management systems, nowadays, and as long as the budget allows, Java and its technologies are more in demand than ever. On the other hand, due to its advantages in terms of costs and time, the PHP programming language is used for around three-quarters of all the world’s websites. However, for those mobile app development agency San Jose who still work with Java, spring is a framework that provides the necessary structures and considerably simplifies the work process. The advantages of Java web applications are, among others, its platform independence and its ability to integrate with software and corporate processes, as well as its clear structure.

For what type of projects is the Spring Framework suitable?

Spring is recognized as a lightweight framework for Java applications since it is not necessary to modify almost any part of the source code to benefit from its many advantages. Among other things, spring represents a simplification option in terms of the management of transactions, interfaces, and access to the database. The facility to perform unit tests and integration is one of the reasons why this framework enjoys great popularity. However, the central point is, without doubt, the waiver of platform-specific and non-standard components, which makes spring portable and independent of application servers to a large extent. For this reason, it can be used simply as a meta-framework in which other frameworks or external components can be integrated. An example of a typical application is the development of a backend based on spring, to associate it with a frontend created with a UI framework such as Twitter Bootstrap.

Spring is a competent solution, especially for the implementation of complex Business applications. For companies, this work environment is, for years and as Java, an excellent solution to apply the necessary technologies. Unlike simpler web frameworks, such as the competitor Apache Struts project, the use of spring is not restricted to web applications, but also allows the development of native desktop solutions. For simple applications, whether online or offline, spring (and Java) are less suitable, even when the realization of this type of products is possible.

The advantages of spring at a glance

If you are about to start with the development of your next big project and you are looking for an adequate framework, you should consider spring as an option, and in particular, if Java is part of your repertoire, then, thanks to its large collection of flexible modules, this environment of work simplifies the work to a great extent. Thus, you will obtain a high-performance base structure that does not need to be modified too much, and in this way, you can concentrate on the development of your business logic. You can download and test the framework from your official GitHub repository at any time.

•    Applicable logic with POJO

•    Base code ready that requires few (or no) changes

•    You do not need an application server

•    Allows unit and integration tests

•    MVC architecture

•    Object-oriented programming is possible with AspectJ

•    Injection of dependence (regulation of external dependence)

•    Programmatic transaction management