Use of Spring Shifts Toward Modern Apps and Architecture
We’re busy finalizing this year’s “State of Spring” report, and in the process, we find ourselves reflecting on some of the things that make Spring great. The “State of Spring” survey, which compiles input from thousands of Spring developers, is a great place to get a sense of where enterprise app development and delivery is heading.
For business leaders, app dev teams and IT executives, it’s an opportunity to see how and where their peers are using Spring framework. These insights are helpful as they set out to define their digital business strategy for the year.
As the sponsor of the survey, VMware also uses the feedback to focus our own efforts to make sure Spring stays ahead of the most important innovations in software infrastructure and app development.
For example, last year the Spring developers who responded told us they needed faster startup time and decreased memory usage. So after more than three years of incubation, Spring Native was combined with Spring Framework 6 and Spring Boot 3. Today native images provide almost instant startup time and reduced memory consumption for Java applications.
Building them with Spring, you can even receive production support from VMware, which is another thing the community asked for. We also improved compatibility with third-party libraries, working with the community to fix and improve our native support in the process, making Spring useful for even more use cases.
For a more detailed look at using Spring for GraalVM use cases, this video goes deep into the ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation engine in Spring Framework 6 and Spring Boot 3 for GraalVM. Full disclosure: It’s two hours long, so settle in!
We’ll release the full “State of Spring” report at SpringOne Essentials, an online conference taking place Jan. 24–26. But in the meantime, we want to highlight one specific finding we found exciting, which is that developers are increasingly using Spring to build modern apps and microservices, as opposed to traditional apps and monoliths.
For several years now, Spring Boot has been the preferred framework for building Java-based microservices. It’s also ideal for supporting API-first architectures that make up today’s digital businesses. That’s why the stewards at VMware and others in the Spring community have been working on making Spring even easier to use with more libraries and ecosystems including containerized environments using Kubernetes and public cloud services like Azure.
Spring Cloud also had a major release this year that brings it in alignment to the broader portfolio including a Java 17 baseline and a move to the Jakarta EE namespace. Check out this high-level look at Spring Framework and Spring Boot on Java 17 by Josh Long. To that end, we’ve heard you about the challenges with upgrading Java. Most of you are using Java 8, however, are eager to upgrade to 17 so you can take full advantage of all the Spring goodness from enhanced security to improved app-level observability.
These are just some of the ways that we’ve used the “State of Spring” Survey to continue fundamentally improving the enterprise developer experience. Spring has been evolving for nearly 20 years, and with valuable input from users and the passionate Spring community, that evolution will only continue.