The Spring Framework and Oracle – best of pals

One of the themes regularly stressed during the Oracle Develop event (part of Oracle Open World 2006) is Oracle’s key interest in and support for the Spring Framework. Oracle will provide support for developing Spring based applications in JDeveloper, for example through smart bean configuration file editors and easy deployment of Spring powered applications. Oracle 10g Application has facilities for easy manipulation of Spring powered MBeans through JMX. Then there is a lot of Spring usage within Oracle’s products (not necessarily highly visible to us, but still nice to know). 

Spring 2.0 is shipping with the Toplink Essentials Reference Implementation of the EJB 3.0 Java Persistence API. There has been close collaboration between the Spring team on the one hand and Oracle’s Mike Keith and others in the Toplink team on the other. There is also further collaboration between the Spring developers and Oracle on SCA (Service Component Architecture – see for example this announcement).

Another example of collaboration was the little play....
performed by Thomas Kurian (Oracle VP) and Rod Johnson (founder of the Spring Framework) during Kurian’s keynote speech yesterday at OOW 2006. After a brief introduction, Kurian invited Rod Johnson on stage and virtually allowed him close to five minutes of free airtime to promote Interface 21 – Johnson’s company and as he stated "the company behind Spring" (remember: Spring the open source framework?). I was somewhat surprised at the content of Johnson’s speech; it seemed more about promoting I21 than about what the Spring Framework is or will be or what this highly touted collaboration between I21 (or the Spring team?) and Oracle exactly entailed.

It is interesting to see how Oracle very much wants to be associated with the Spring Framework – for visibility in the Java and Open Source community apart from many very sound technical reasons – while at the same time Rod Johnson and Spring are looking for approval, support and close relationships with large corporations like Oracle – as well as BEA and IBM. Though personally I am a Spring fan – or at least fan of some key parts of Spring – as well as a staunch Oracle developer, I found this performance a little awkward. It is good that Oracle integrates Spring into its products, its good the two work together as there is enough hostility and antagonism as it is. But surely there must have been better ways to present the combination than this.

A short citation from Rod Johnson’s commercial break: Spring is the most widely adopted framework for enterprise level application development. Spring adds productivity, brought AOP and Dependency Injection to the masses, popularized the power of the POJO, provides out of the box proven rock solid solutions. Spring has over 1.2 Million downloads! Spring focuses on Power and Simplicity in J2EE development. Spring has virtually singlehandedly made possible this combination.