Spring is a Java framework and IoC (Inversion of Control) container that is extensively used in creating enterprise applications. It is basically an open source environment that does not have a specific programming model, yet provides an all-inclusive infrastructure for developing apps. It is more than a framework because it provides everything required for building complex applications; it’s an ecosystem rich in supporting tools.
It can work with any other Java framework because it fuses with their components rather than replacing them. It can be used to add enterprise features to POJOs (Plain Old Java Objects). Spring was invented back in 2002 and its popularity has risen to date with the addition of several modules. It uses a dependency injection and interface based programming that simplifies the creation of applications, whilst increasing testability.
Spring is applicable for most web based java applications and is actually the #1 choice (unofficially). The Spring MVC is better than other Java MVCs like Struts because it is not obligated to a container-lifecycle and employs a bean-lifecycle instead. It automatically configures everything in the backend, and assists in overriding code if you choose the conventional method. It gives you the freedom of delaying certain tasks and configure features without making changes in the code.
Spring Web Flow
Spring web flow is a subsidiary of the framework and builds upon the Spring MVC. Writing stateful web applications becomes a bliss as it lasts multiple HTTP requests, is reusable and great for handling transactional data. E Commerce is a platform that can work really well with Spring Web Flow because you need to go through a set of screens in a sequence; there exists a definite start + end point, and changes can occur until the final stage. It is capable of eliminating issues with ‘syncing’ and unresponsive ‘back button’.
Spring for RESTful Services
Spring framework proves quite fruitful when used for developing REST APIs with Java. The Spring MVC can single-handedly control all requests for HTTP methods, which is the foundation for RESTful web services. It also deals with PATCH requests and bypasses view-based rendering altogether. As a result you can directly send customized responses to your clients, without annotating each action.
As long as you have sufficient knowledge of the Spring framework, it is extremely easy to build RESTful resources. Spring MVC gives structure to servlet programming model and keeps the code clean. As the data model is kept separately from view, you can make your web pages independent of server logic.
Spring Security is a powerful authentication and authorization tool, that can be personalized to your business needs. You can specify URL patterns for permission/access and simply use an in-memory system for user identification. This can be done by feeding combinations of usernames, passwords and roles in the XML, code or a unique file.
Spring Security is effective against typical cyber attacks like clickjacking, cross-site request forgery and session fixation. It can easily be integrated with all sorts of plug-ins for enhancing security parameters, without interfering with the business logic code. Spring LDAP can be added for database authentication as the system is conveniently extensible.
Spring Data technology allows your REST API to access data without writing a single line of code. All you need to do is define your functional interface, and it will automatically create repositories. You don’t need to write standard CRUD (Create, Read, Update & Delete) operations because they are built-in.
Spring Batch is a lightweight and comprehensive framework that is ideal for developing heavy batch applications that are an integral part of daily operations in enterprise systems. It facilitates by providing renewable functions for processing large volumes of data. The key features include transaction management, chunk-based processing, declarative Input/Output, option to restart/retry/skip, and web based administration interface.
Spring integration follows simplified Enterprise integration patterns by allowing Spring-based applications to collaborate with external sources through declarative adapters. These adapters provide superior abstraction for remoting, messaging and scheduling. It combines fine-grained components and offers a variety of gateways to communicate with external systems.
The Spring Cloud is a platform that lets developers quickly create a standardized distributed system. The available tools are good to work with all distributed environments, including AWS. Applications can be built around hosted services regardless of infrastructure or the need for maintenance. It supports server and client side configurations, offering several microservice tools for integrating with external sites.
Spring for Mobile & Android
Spring Mobile is an extension of the Spring MVC; it streamlines the mobile web app development process and broadens possibilities. The pivotal feature is its ability to detect specifications of the device connecting to a Spring Website. Thereby, it provides an optimized view based on the interpretation; users can even choose between a tablet or mobile experience.
Spring for Android is another extension that supports the development of native Android apps. The intent of this extension is to provide all the basic Spring framework features in Android applications used across numerous kinds of mobile devices. The key features include a REST client and Auth support for accessing secure APIs.
As you may have perceived, Java Spring has endless prospects in web and mobile based applications. In addition to the scenarios mentioned, it is eligible for testing purposes, standalone Java projects/GUI apps, Social Media integration, developing quick prototypes/applets etc.