The Grails framework promises Rails-like productivity while leveraging existing Java knowledge, libraries and tools. With Grails' new releases, increased attention and a drive to 1.0, InfoQ has taken the opportunity to speak with Graeme Rocher, the project lead.
Java web frameworks are increasingly adopting the ability to change portions of a web application and see the results immediately without restarting the server. This capability reduces the cost of the compile-build-test cycle, and helps to compete with the features of dynamic-language web frameworks such as Ruby on Rails or TurboGears.
The Grails community recently posted some unscientific benchmark numbers comparing a simple crud app written in Grails and Rails.
The head of the JRuby project ponders the possibility of replacing the Groovy parts of the Grails web framework with JRuby. The head of the Grails project responds.
There are two trends playing themselves out in response to this question. First there is the concept of simply running the Ruby language and in turn Rails under the JVM. Bloggers have been discussing the other concept of creating comparable frameworks in Java that catch the secret combination.
In this latest InfoQ book, Jason Rudolph introduces Grails, an open-source, web-app development framework that provides a super-productive full-stack programming model based on the Groovy scripting language and built on top of Spring, Hibernate, and other standard Java frameworks. Over the course of this book, the reader will explore Grails and experience it by building a Grails app.
Groovy/Grails has continued to gain momentum in recent months. Grails co-founder Steven Devijver recently took a look at the Java web framework space and the case for Grails in the Enterprise.
Groovy RC1 was released this week. This is a significant milestone in the project with a 1.0 version on the horizon before the end of the year. Among the additions in RC is a re-implemented and reworked Meta-Object Protocol which is the core of Groovy's runtime system.
Since Sun's announcement of their hiring of JRuby committers Charles Nutter and Thomas Enebo, both as well as Tim Bray of Sun have both provided follow up answers to questions about what will happen next. The blogsphere has also began discussing the announcement in respect to other projects such as Groovy/Grails.
Grails could bring Ruby on Rails style productivity to the Java platform, built on the Groovy language and fully integrated with Java. In this tutorial, Jason Rudolph shows how to use Grails to quickly build a functional website around an existing EJB 3 entity bean domain model with very little code.
Oracle has recently contributed an extension to the Groovy JMX MBean. An ongoing contribution is currently being discussed between Oracle and the Groovy and Grails leads about Oracle's intention to contribute ongoing engineering and QA resources to the projects. Oracle believes that better integration makes Grails potentially better suited for mainstream enterprise adoption than Rails.