Spring Framework Advantages and Disadvantages

The year 2013 introduced a lot of up and downs in the Java frameworks’ popularity, but Spring is the only framework that has managed to hold its position. This amazing framework gained immense popularity and favor from a huge number of developers to build the applications. There are millions of developers across the world use Spring framework in order to develop highly performance-driven, testable and reusable code.

Written by Rod Johnson and released under the Apache 2.0 license in Jun 2003, Spring is an open source Java platform. When it comes to size and transparency, Spring is the best lightweight framework you will ever find. Today, you can easily find the essence of Spring framework in some of the popular websites like IDG, DELFI, Irytas.It and more.

No matter what kind of Java application you’re developing, you can easily leverage from the core features of the Spring framework. This is one of the major reasons why organizations prefer to go for spring web development. However, not all of them manage to achieve the desired results or success. Want know why? Have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Spring framework:


Advantages of Spring Framework

  • No need to reinvent the wheel: It is one of the biggest benefits that developers can leverage from the Spring framework. It utilizes some of the well-known technologies, ORM frameworks, logging frameworks, JEE, JDK timers, Quartz and so on. So, developers don’t have to learn any new technologies or frameworks.
  • Dependency Injection gears up testability: If you want to test the applications developed using Spring, it is quite easy. The main reason behind this is because environment dependent code available in this framework. Also, dependency injection simplifies injecting the test data with the help of the JavaBean-style POJOs.
  • Inversion control and APIs: Spring framework provides inversion control and APIs to translate technology-driven exceptions, specifically thrown by JDBC, Hibernate or JDO, into unchecked and consistent ones.
  • Modularity: Due to modularly organized nature, Spring makes it easy for the developers to know which packages or classes are to be used and which one should be ignored. No matter how many number of packages and classes are there, it is quite easy for the developers to identify and utilize the usable ones.
  • Consistent Transaction Management: With the help of consistent transaction management interface, Spring framework easily scale down or scale up local as well as global transactions.
  • Spring AOP also brings tons of benefits: There is no need for a developer to have a separate compilation unit or a separate class loader. Also, it uses IOC for dependency injection, which means aspects can be configured normally.

Spring empowers POJO programming: It enables developers to build enterprise-level applications with the help of the POJOs. The POJO helps you get rid of conventional EJB container products by letting you use a robust servlet container like Tomcat.

Disadvantages of the Spring framework

  • Complex: One of the major criticisms faced by the Spring framework is that it is complex! No so clear focus, more than 2400 classes, 49 other tools and tons of the other things make it complicated for the developers.
  • Longer Learning Curve: If you’re a newbie developer, it would be quite difficult for you to learn Spring framework. The main reason behind this is a whole host of new programming methods and detailing require understanding how to set up the Spring XML configuration file.
  • All the Spring applications require a lot of XML: If you’ve ever worked with Spring framework, you might be knowing that applications developed using Spring framework often require a huge amount of XML. So, if you’re considering Spring for your next development, be prepared to spare a lot of time coding in XML.
  • Tons of parallel mechanisms frustrate developers: Of course, parallel mechanisms are useful to perform the same task in different ways. However, when we talk about Spring framework, you will find multiple parallel mechanisms, which at the end confuses developers. It makes developers to spend lots of understanding each of them and choose the best one among them.
  • Lack of Guidelines: No clear guidance on cross-site scripting attacks and cross-site request forgery attacks in Spring MVC documentation. Also, it suffers from a several security holes.

Unlike any other technology or frameworks, Spring too suffers from certain drawbacks or criticisms. However, it also brings a whole host of development and deployment related benefits for the developers, which at the end simplifies their tasks. Ensure that you keep in mind all the pros and cons discussed in this post before you go ahead for Spring development.

The author works as a web developer with Cygnet Infotech, an outsourcing Java development company. For any query or help regarding spring web development, mail him on nmsoni@cygnet-infotech.com, if possible. And, he would love to connect with you on Twitter @MkNitin

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