Spring Framework - the application framework, along with its central feature Inversion of control container or the IOC used for the Java Platform is one of the most used frameworks. Java has been working extensively on the framework for the last couple of years and has rolled out many versions with lots of useful changes, Spring 5, Spring Security 5, Spring Boot 2 etc. It is giving its competitors a tough time to catch up with it by rolling out a version every six months. Java has been working like that. Very quick. Before people got used to Java 11, Java had already launched Java 14and 15 versions. The developers say the same about the Spring. By the time projects would end, the new version of Spring will be ready, to be learnt. The dynamicity is of course motivating, it keeps one on their toes. The next one is awaited.
So, if you have finished learning the last version, get ready to learn the next, by the time they launch the newer one. In Spring 5 Java has introduced new features like reactive programming, unit testing improvements, and adopted new Java features. And there are more. To learn the new modules or versions you could log in to Spring 5.0: Beginner to Guru, a great repository.
The Spring framework is an open-source framework and in addition to its ever-growing features, this also adds to its popularity. The framework can also be used on any java application. Some of the extensions are also given for building web applications along with the Enterprise Edition or Java EE platform. The framework is not, particularly for a specific programming model. Still, it's popularly seen as a top-up to Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) Model.
The Spring Framework is a package of many modules that provide a wide range of services:
- Data Access: To be able to work with RDBMS – relational database management system using JDBC - Java Database connectivity, Object-relational mapping tools with NoSQL databases.
- Testing: Writing Integration tests and unit tests using classes
- Remote Management: configuration and managing Java objects for remote or local configuration using Java Management Extensions –JMX
- Spring Core Container: Core module of Spring. Provides BeanFactory and ApplicationContext, the Spring containers.
- Aspect-Oriented Programming: Cross-cutting concerns implementation
- Transaction Management: puts many transaction management APIs together and transaction coordination for Java Objects.
- Convention over configuration: This is used by Spring-based enterprises for the rapid application development solution in the Spring Roo version.
- Authentication and authorization: A range of standard protocols, practices and tools supported by a configurable security process via Spring Security.
- IOC or Inversion of Control Container: Components for configuration of an application, and life cycle management in Java Objects performed using dependency injection
- Model View Controller: This is a framework based on HTTP and servlet, providing extension hooks and customizing web applications and RESTful web services
Many other such modules make Spring an actual Spring in the dessert of frameworks. Messaging, Remote Access Framework, Transaction Management are some of them.
Spring AOP needs an extra mention here. Spring framework’s own AOP puts into modules the cross-cutting concerns in the aspects and also takes complete advantage of the Spring container. This framework is a proxy pattern based and is continuously configured at runtime, thus cutting the time required for load-time weaving or the compilation step. Thus, in the Spring Framework transaction management, security, JMX and remote access are used on Spring AOP internally.