Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Tackling Misconceptions About Spring

Tackling Misconceptions About Spring

Spring has transitioned from a bleeding edge project to widely used component of enterprise applications written in Java today.  As with any popular project misconceptions start to arise.  Steve Anglin recently blogged on about 10 common misconceptions developers have about Spring, summarized here:

    1. Spring is not lightweight. It aims to do everything and is becoming fat and bloated.
    ... the Spring Framework has been designed from day one to be non-invasive and modular. You can and should choose only what is needed for your particular project, but as requirements evolve, you can incrementally add (or remove) modules. The Spring team emphasizes keeping things as simple as possible ...

    2. Spring is overkill for simple applications.
    As mentioned in the previous point, the Spring Framework can help you to keep things as simple as possible. You can use only what you need initially yet adapt and extend your application as requirements become more clear....

    3. Spring does not scale to handle very large applications
    Spring is used for very large applications by hundreds of the biggest corporations in the world. The Spring Framework is well-established in the enterprise development space where it is meeting the demands of applications for banking, government, and the airline industry ...

    4. Spring forces you to use Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) which is experimental.
    Some of Spring’s powerful capabilities leverage a technique called Aspect-Oriented Programming or AOP (see chapters 3 and 4), but as always you can choose whether or not to use those particular features ...

    5. Spring replaces Java Enterprise Edition (JEE).
    This is one of the most common misconceptions about Spring and yet one of the most misguided. In fact, Spring is largely about Java Enterprise Edition (JEE) integration. Spring offers a compelling alternative to the traditional, heavyweight Enterprise JavaBean-based component model while still leveraging the full power of the other JEE standards ...

    6. Spring and EJB are mutually exclusive.
    In the previous point, we described Spring as “a compelling alternative to” EJB. However, Spring promotes choice - including the choice of using EJB. 7. Spring cannot take advantage of Java 5 annotations like EJB3 does.
    Pitchfork , an add-on for the Spring Framework, supports JSR-250 and a subset of the JSR-220 (EJB3) annotations. Pitchfork is a result of collaboration between Interface21 and BEA and is published under the Apache 2.0 license ...

    8. For a large application, Spring’s XML can become a maintenance nightmare.
    If not managed properly, Spring XML files can indeed become too hard to edit and too easy to break. Here we point out how using the right tools and the right techniques can address some of the specific issues you may encounter ...

    9. Spring does everything with reflection, so it is slow.
    Spring does not do everything with reflection, but it does make extensive use of reflection. Therefore, we want to clarify the role of reflection in Spring and discuss the performance characteristics of reflection in general ...

    10. Spring MVC is complex and not as simple as the rest of Spring.
    Spring MVC is highly-configurable and highly-extensible due to its interface-based design. It uses well-established design patterns such as the strategy (e.g. ViewResolver) and the template method (e.g. SimpleFormController) ...

Rate this Article