Spring One Wrap-up: Spring Boot and Spring IO

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Today’s the last day of Spring One in Santa Clara, California, the biggest conference on the Spring eco system, and it’s time for a wrap-up. There have been a lot of sessions, and of course it’s not possible to cover them all. I’ll do two blog posts, one focusing on batch, and one focusing on the general stuff that probably will make a difference in the future. This is the one on the general stuff, covering Spring IO and Spring Boot.

Spring IO

The Spring IO platform is a new presentation of all technologies and projects living under the Spring umbrella. It basically splits them up into two groups: IO Foundation and IO Execution. IO Foundation contains all the different Spring projects you know, and IO Execution contains projects using those foundational libraries, combining them. Two of those IO Execution projects are Spring Boot and Spring XD, the first I’ll cover in this post, the second in the next post.
With Spring IO there comes a brand new website, what’s exciting about that? Two things:

  • It’s built 100% on Spring, and it will be open source soon. A reference application in production.
  • It provides a much better starting point to get to know Spring than it did before. Take a look at the guides: focusing on solving a task rather than on certain Spring projects.

Spring is around for ages now, and so are blog posts covering building something with Spring. Since the Spring website didn’t provide a good starting point for solving problems, you typically googled for a solution on the web. You find something, include it in your project, and hopefully it works. But has it been the easiest way? The most up to date way? It’s likely that it hasn’t. With the Getting-started-guides and the tutorials, the Spring guys now not only present all the possibilities you have in the reference documentation, but they also present the state-of-the-art way of doing something. It’s opinionated, and it’s perfectly fine to have another opinion, but at least it’s there, and you can make up your mind about it.

Spring Boot

If you looked into some of the guides, you might have noticed that most of them indicate they are “using Spring Boot”. So what it is? When Spring in the past was really good in eliminating boiler-plate code, it wasn’t that good in reducing boiler-plate configuration. Spring Boot aims to change that. It sits on top of the other Spring projects. The following section is taken from the Spring Boot starting guide, and it pretty much wraps up what Spring Boot is about:

Spring Boot offers a fast way to build applications. It looks at your classpath and at beans you have configured, makes reasonable assumptions about what you’re missing, and adds it. With Spring Boot you can focus more on business features and less on infrastructure.

For example:

  • Got Spring MVC? There are several specific beans you almost always need, and Spring Boot adds them automatically. A Spring MVC app also needs a servlet container, so Spring Boot automatically configures embedded Tomcat.
  • Got Jetty? If so, you probably do NOT want Tomcat, but instead embedded Jetty. Spring Boot handles that for you.
  • Got Thymeleaf? There are a few beans that must always be added to your application context; Spring Boot adds them for you.

These are just a few examples of the automatic configuration Spring Boot provides. At the same time, Spring Boot doesn’t get in your way. For example, if Thymeleaf is on your path, Spring Boot adds a SpringTemplateEngine to your application context automatically. But if you define your own SpringTemplateEngine with your own settings, then Spring Boot won’t add one. This leaves you in control with little effort on your part.

And then one more important note:

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