Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Java IoT, Linux Containers, SYS-CON MEDIA, IT SOLUTIONS GUIDE

Java IoT: Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: "Spring Good!"

Rick Hightower Gives New Year's Thumbs-Up To Java/J2EE Application Framework

If you have not looked into Spring yet, it is time. Here is why you should!

Grady Booch once said that the great thing about objects is that they can be replaced. The great thing about Spring is it helps you replace them. With Spring, you simply inject collaborating objects called dependencies using JavaBeans properties and configuration files. Then it's easy enough to switch out collaborating objects when you need to. Spring allows you to dynamically add services to objects called aspects. This is similar to the Decorator Design pattern, but does not require you to recompile your code base to apply these services. This allows you to replace objects with objects that enhance the originals.

The ability to inject collaborating objects is often called IoC (inversion of control). Thus, Spring is an IoC container. If you follow the latest developer buzz then you've likely heard of IoC (Inversion of Control) containers and AOP (aspect-oriented programming). Like many developers, however, you may not see where these technologies fit into your development efforts. As the word inversion implies, IoC is like JNDI turned inside out. Instead of using a tangle of abstract factories, service locators, singletons, and straight construction, each object is constructed with its collaborating objects. Thus, the container manages the collaborators. (Collaborators are objects that an object needs to fullfill its role.)

The ability to dynamically add services to objects is called AOP. AOP allows developers to create non-domain concerns, called crosscutting concerns, and insert them in their application code. With AOP, common services like logging, persistence, transactions, and the like can be factored into aspects and applied to domain objects without complicating the object model of the domain objects.

Thus, Spring is an IoC/AOP container. There are many IoC containers. There are also many AOP frameworks. If Spring was only an IoC/AOP container, it would be worth your attention and interest since it seems to be the most mature. Spring is a lot more than an IoC/AOP container.

What makes Spring different than the other frameworks and containers, is Spring goes beyond just being an IoC container or an AOP framework. The other containers are academic interests, and some are quite good. They provide good support of IoC and AOP.

Spring goes one step further by eating its own dog food. It uses IoC and AOP to provide a comprehensive library for simplifying J2EE development. This comprehensive library is written with aspects, dependency injection and OOP best practices.

Spring makes J2EE development easier. It does this with a variety of mechanisms. One common mechanism is its use of templates. A template is a cross between a utility class and execution environment. Spring Templates are an embellishment and extention of the Template design pattern (GOF).

At first glance templates appear to be well written utility classes. However, templates provide a lot more than just utility functions. Templates provide and execution environment. When using a template you first endeavor to use one of its it utility method. If the template doesn't have a utility method you need, you implement a callback object. The callback object has a method that executes a method in the environment of the template. The template therefore takes care of things like exception handling and resource management in a consistent manner. This means your code base will not be littered with try/catch/finally blocks, and it is easier to ensure that resources and exception are handled correctly.

Spring promotes good programming practices. It does this by providing great examples how to use IoC and AOP in a consistent manner. It also does this by showing how to build things like templates to manage resources and exceptions in the consistent manner. It goes even further by building sets of frameworks on top of  IoC, AOP and templates that are the embodiment of good OO programming.

The IoC capabilities allowing injection of dependent objects turns out to be a great mechanism for testing your code. It is easy now to inject mock objects (object for testing), and test your classes in an isolated manner. For example, you can test you business delegates without relying on the DAO (Data access objects) objects talking to the database. Essentially Spring took back development from the design pattern hacks deemed necessary to program J2EE. As Rod Johnson once put it: Spring puts the OO back in J2EE development.

Spring provides portability through abstraction of common services. For example, Spring provides a common interface object relational management (ORM) systems like Hibernate, JDO, Cayenne, Spring JDBC and iBatis. It provides a mechanism for building DAO objects that divorces the client code from the underlying implementation. it does this by providing a common set of exceptions like object not found exception, and making these exception runtime exceptions.

Spring provides a easy on-ramp for many industry-standard projects. And not just industry-standard projects but the de facto industry-standard projects. The projects that people actually use to get their daily work done. For example, Spring provides support for JDO, Hibernate, Quartz, Tapestry, JavaServer faces, and many more frameworks. Its been said that Spring simplifies J2EE development, and that is a primary focus of Spring. However,Spring provides utilities to work with all tiers of an n-tier application. For an MVC application, there are utilities for working with View technologies (Struts, Spring, Rich Client etc.), Model (EJB, AOP based transaction, AOP based security, etc.), etc. You can use Spring to build Swing and SWT applications.

If you have not looked into Spring yet, it is time.

------------------------------------------------
The above started as a reply to Cameron Purdy's prediction list, which I really liked. Then I got carried away and it became a full blown plug for Spring. (Darn Caffiene!)

What is Spring?

Spring is a popular AOP/IoC framework that was developed by Rod Johnson, Juergen Hoeller et al. Spring simplifies J2EE and Java development. Rod Johnson is the famed author who wrote Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development.

Spring makes J2EE development easier. Spring is a J2EE framework that simplifies commons tasks and encourages good design based on programming to interfaces. Springs makes your application easier to configure and reduces the need for many J2EE design patterns (quite a few J2EE design patterns are really glorified hacks that clutter your code base). Spring puts the OO design back into your J2EE application.

More Stories By Rick Hightower

Rick Hightower serves as chief technology officer for ArcMind Inc. He is coauthor of the popular book Java Tools for Extreme Programming, which covers applying XP to J2EE development, and also recently co-authored Professional Struts. He has been working with J2EE since the very early days and lately has been working mostly with Maven, Spring, JSF and Hibernate. Rick is a big JSF and Spring fan. Rick has taught several workshops and training courses involving the Spring framework as well as worked on several projects consulting, mentoring and developing with the Spring framework. He blogs at http://jroller.com/page/RickHigh.

Comments (4)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...