Spring is an open source framework created to address the complexity of enterprise application development. One of the chief advantages of the Spring framework is its layered architecture, which allows you to be selective about which of its components you use while also providing a cohesive framework for J2EE application development.
The advantages of Spring are as follows:
► Spring has layered architecture. Use what you need and leave you don't need now.
► Spring Enables POJO Programming. There is no behind the scene magic here. POJO programming enables continuous integration and testability.
► Dependency Injection and Inversion of Control Simplifies JDBC
► Open source and no vendor lock-in.
spring is lightweight when it comes to size and transparency. The basic version of spring framework is around 1MB. And the processing overhead is also very negligible.
► Inversion of control (IOC):
Loose coupling is achieved in spring using the technique Inversion of Control. The objects give their dependencies instead of creating or looking for dependent objects.
► Aspect oriented (AOP):
Spring supports Aspect oriented programming and enables cohesive development by separating application business logic from system services.
Spring contains and manages the life cycle and configuration of application objects.
► MVC Framework:
Spring comes with MVC web application framework, built on core Spring functionality. This framework is highly configurable via strategy interfaces, and accommodates multiple view technologies like JSP, Velocity, Tiles, iText, and POI. But other frameworks can be easily used instead of Spring MVC Framework.
► Transaction Management:
Spring framework provides a generic abstraction layer for transaction management. This allowing the developer to add the pluggable transaction managers, and making it easy to demarcate transactions without dealing with low-level issues. Spring's transaction support is not tied to J2EE environments and it can be also used in container less environments.
► JDBC Exception Handling:
The JDBC abstraction layer of the Spring offers a meaningful exception hierarchy, which simplifies the error handling.
Spring comprises of seven modules. They are..
►The core container:
The core container provides the essential functionality of the Spring framework. A primary component of the core container is the BeanFactory, an implementation of the Factory pattern. The BeanFactory applies the Inversion of Control (IOC) pattern to separate an application's configuration and dependency specification from the actual application code.
► Spring context:
The Spring context is a configuration file that provides context information to the Spring framework. The Spring context includes enterprise services such as JNDI, EJB, e-mail, internalization, validation, and scheduling functionality.
► Spring AOP:
The Spring AOP module integrates aspect-oriented programming functionality directly into the Spring framework, through its configuration management feature. As a result you can easily AOP-enable any object managed by the Spring framework. The Spring AOP module provides transaction management services for objects in any Spring-based application. With Spring AOP you can incorporate declarative transaction management into your applications without relying on EJB components.
The Spring JDBC DAO abstraction layer offers a meaningful exception hierarchy for managing the exception handling and error messages thrown by different database vendors. The exception hierarchy simplifies error handling and greatly reduces the amount of exception code you need to write, such as opening and closing connections. Spring DAO's JDBC-oriented exceptions comply to its generic DAO exception hierarchy.
The Spring framework plugs into several ORM frameworks to provide its Object Relational tool, including JDO, Hibernate, and iBatis SQL Maps. All of these comply to Spring's generic transaction and DAO exception hierarchies.
►Spring Web module:
The Web context module builds on top of the application context module, providing contexts for Web-based applications. As a result, the Spring framework supports integration with Jakarta Struts. The Web module also eases the tasks of handling multi-part requests and binding request parameters to domain objects.
►Spring MVC framework:
The Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework is a full-featured MVC implementation for building Web applications. The MVC framework is highly configurable via strategy interfaces and accommodates numerous view technologies including JSP, Velocity, Tiles, iText, and POI.
► Setter Injection:
Setter-based DI is realized by calling setter methods on your beans after invoking a no-argument constructor or no-argument static factory method to instantiate your bean.
► Constructor Injection:
Constructor-based DI is realized by invoking a constructor with a number of arguments, each representing a collaborator.
A BeanFactory is like a factory class that contains a collection of beans. The BeanFactory holds Bean Definitions of multiple beans within itself and then instantiates the bean whenever asked for by clients.
► BeanFactory is able to create associations between collaborating objects as they are instantiated. This removes the burden of configuration from bean itself and the beans client.
► BeanFactory also takes part in the life cycle of a bean, making calls to custom initialization and destruction methods.
A bean factory is fine to simple applications, but to take advantage of the full power of the Spring framework, you may want to move up to Springs more advanced container, the application context. On the surface, an application context is same as a bean factory.Both load bean definitions, wire beans together, and dispense beans upon request. But it also provides:
► A means for resolving text messages, including support for internationalization.
► A generic way to load file resources.
► Events to beans that are registered as listeners.
On the surface, an application context is same as a bean factory. But application context offers much more..
► Application contexts provide a means for resolving text messages, including support for i18n of those messages.
► Application contexts provide a generic way to load file resources, such as images.
► Application contexts can publish events to beans that are registered as listeners.
► Certain operations on the container or beans in the container, which have to be handled in a programmatic fashion with a bean factory, can be handled declaratively in an application context.
► ResourceLoader support: Springs Resource interface us a flexible generic abstraction for handling low-level resources. An application context itself is a ResourceLoader, Hence provides an application with access to deployment-specific Resource instances.
► MessageSource support: The application context implements MessageSource, an interface used to obtain localized messages, with the actual implementation being pluggable.
For a typical Spring Application we need the following files:
► An interface that defines the functions.
► An Implementation that contains properties, its setter and getter methods, functions etc.,
► Spring AOP (Aspect Oriented Programming)
► A XML file called Spring configuration file.
► Client program that uses the function.
Bean life cycle in Spring Bean Factory Container is as follows:
► The spring container finds the beans definition from the XML file and instantiates the bean.
► Using the dependency injection, spring populates all of the properties as specified in the bean definition
► If the bean implements the BeanNameAware interface, the factory calls setBeanName() passing the beans ID.
► If the bean implements the BeanFactoryAware interface, the factory calls setBeanFactory(), passing an instance of itself.
► If there are any BeanPostProcessors associated with the bean, their post- ProcessBeforeInitialization() methods will be called.
► If an init-method is specified for the bean, it will be called.
► Finally, if there are any BeanPostProcessors associated with the bean, their postProcessAfterInitialization() methods will be called.
The act of creating associations between application components (beans) within the Spring container is reffered to as Bean wiring.
The Spring container is able to autowire relationships between collaborating beans. This means that it is possible to automatically let Spring resolve collaborators (other beans) for your bean by inspecting the contents of the BeanFactory. The autowiring functionality has five modes.
Spring provides a custom JavaServer Faces VariableResolver implementation that extends the standard Java Server Faces managed beans mechanism which lets you use JSF and Spring together. This variable resolver is called as DelegatingVariableResolver
This module is provides the fundamental functionality of the spring framework. In this module BeanFactory is the heart of any spring-based application. The entire framework was built on the top of this module. This module makes the Spring container.
The Application context module makes spring a framework. This module extends the concept of BeanFactory, providing support for internationalization (I18N) messages, application lifecycle events, and validation. This module also supplies many enterprise services such JNDI access, EJB integration, remoting, and scheduling. It also provides support to other framework.
The AOP module is used for developing aspects for our Spring-enabled application. Much of the support has been provided by the AOP Alliance in order to ensure the interoperability between Spring and other AOP frameworks. This module also introduces metadata programming to Spring. Using Springs metadata support, we will be able to add annotations to our source code that instruct Spring on where and how to apply aspects.
Using this module we can keep up the database code clean and simple, and prevent problems that result from a failure to close database resources. A new layer of meaningful exceptions on top of the error messages given by several database servers is bought in this module. In addition, this module uses Springs AOP module to provide transaction management services for objects in a Spring application.
Spring also supports for using of an object/relational mapping (ORM) tool over straight JDBC by providing the ORM module. Spring provide support to tie into several popular ORM frameworks, including Hibernate, JDO, and iBATIS SQL Maps. Springs transaction management supports each of these ORM frameworks as well as JDBC.
This module is built on the application context module, providing a context that is appropriate for web-based applications. This module also contains support for several web-oriented tasks such as transparently handling multipart requests for file uploads and programmatic binding of request parameters to your business objects. It also contains integration support with Jakarta Struts.
AOP Alliance is an open-source project whose goal is to promote adoption of AOP and interoperability among different AOP implementations by defining a common set of interfaces and components.
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