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THE SPRING FRAMEWORK, release 1.1 RC2 (August 2004)


Spring is a layered Java/J2EE application framework, based on code published in "Expert One-on-One J2EE Design
and Development" by Rod Johnson (Wrox, 2002). Spring includes:

* Powerful JavaBeans-based configuration management, applying Inversion-of-Control principles. This makes
wiring up applications quick and easy. No more singletons littered throughout your codebase, no more arbitrary
properties files: one consistent and elegant approach everywhere. This core bean factory can be used in any
environment, from applets to J2EE containers.

* Generic abstraction layer for transaction management, allowing for pluggable transaction managers, and making
it easy to demarcate transactions without dealing with low-level issues. Generic strategies for JTA and a
single JDBC DataSource are included. In contrast to plain JTA or EJB CMT, Spring's transaction support is not
tied to J2EE environments.

* JDBC abstraction layer that offers a meaningful exception hierarchy (no more pulling vendor codes out of
SQLException), simplifies error handling, and greatly reduces the amount of code you'll need to write.
You'll never need to write another finally block to use JDBC again. The JDBC-oriented exceptions comply to
Spring's generic DAO exception hierarchy.

* Integration with Hibernate, JDO, Apache OJB, and iBATIS SQL Maps: in terms of resource holders, DAO
implementation support, and transaction strategies. First-class Hibernate support with lots of IoC
convenience features, addressing many typical Hibernate integration issues. All of these comply to
Spring's generic transaction and DAO exception hierarchies.

* AOP functionality, fully integrated into Spring configuration management. You can AOP-enable any object
managed by Spring, adding aspects such as declarative transaction management. With Spring, you can have
declarative transaction management without EJB... even without JTA, if you're using a single database in
Tomcat or another web container without JTA support.

* Flexible MVC web application framework, built on core Spring functionality. This framework is highly
configurable via strategy interfaces, and accommodates multiple view technologies like JSP, Tiles, Velocity,
FreeMarker, iText (for PDF), and POI (for Excel). Note that a Spring middle tier can easily be combined with
a web tier based on any other web MVC framework, like Struts, WebWork, Tapestry, or JSF.

You can use all of Spring's functionality in any J2EE server, and most of it also in non-managed environments.
A central focus of Spring is to allow for reusable business and data access objects that are not tied to
specific J2EE services. Such objects can be reused across J2EE environments (web or EJB), standalone
applications, test environments, etc without any hassle.

Spring has a layered architecture; all its functionality builds on lower levels. So you can e.g. use the
JavaBeans configuration management without using the MVC framework or AOP support. But if you use the web
MVC framework or AOP support, you'll find they build on the configuration framework, so you can apply your
knowledge about it immediately.


The Spring Framework requires J2SE 1.3 and J2EE 1.3 (Servlet 2.3, JSP 1.2, JTA 1.0, EJB 2.0). J2SE 1.4 is
required for building the framework. Note that J2EE 1.2 (Servlet 2.2, JSP 1.1) is good enough if not using
Spring's web MVC or EJB support. Integration is provided with Log4J 1.2, CGLIB 1.0, Jakarta Commons Attributes,
Hibernate 2.1, JDO 1.0, Apache OJB 1.0, iBATIS SQL Maps 1.3/2.0, JAX-RPC 1.1, Caucho's Hessian/Burlap 2.1/3.0,
Quartz 1.3, JSTL 1.0, Velocity 1.3, FreeMarker 2.3, Struts/Tiles 1.1, Jakarta Commons FileUpload 1.0,
Jason Hunter's COS, etc.

Release contents:
* "src" contains the Java source files for the framework
* "test" contains the Java source files for Spring's test suite
* "dist" contains various Spring distribution jar files
* "lib" contains all third-party libraries needed for running the samples and/or building the framework
* "docs" contains general documentation and API javadocs
* "samples" contains demo applications and skeletons

The "lib" directory is just included in the "-with-dependencies" download. Make sure to download this full
distribution ZIP file if you want to run the sample applications and/or build the framework yourself.
Ant build scripts for the framework and the samples are provided. The standard samples can be built with
the included Ant runtime by invoking the corresponding "build.bat" files (see samples subdirectories).

Latest info is available at the public website:
Project info at the SourceForge site:

The Spring Framework is released under the terms of the Apache Software License (see license.txt).
All libraries included in the "-with-dependencies" download are subject to their respective licenses.
This product includes software developed by the Apache Software Foundation (
This product includes software developed by Clinton Begin (


The "dist" directory contains the following distinct jar files for use in applications. Both module-specific
jar files and a jar file with all of Spring are provided. The following list specifies the respective contents
and third-party dependencies. Libraries in brackets are optional, i.e. just necessary for certain functionality.

* "spring-core" (~235 KB)
- Contents: bean container, core utilities
- Dependencies: Commons Logging, (Log4J)

* "spring-aop" (~130 KB)
- Contents: AOP framework, source-level metadata support
- Dependencies: spring-core, AOP Alliance, (CGLIB, Commons Attributes)

* "spring-context" (~220 KB)
- Contents: application context, validation framework, UI support, mail, JNDI, JMS, EJB, remoting, scheduling
- Dependencies: spring-core, (Velocity, FreeMarker, JavaMail, JMS, EJB, JAX-RPC, Hessian, Burlap, Quartz)

* "spring-dao" (~225 KB)
- Contents: DAO support, transaction infrastructure, JDBC support
- Dependencies: spring-core, (spring-aop, JTA)

* "spring-orm" (~180 KB)
- Contents: Hibernate support, JDO support, Apache OJB, iBATIS SQL Maps support
- Dependencies: spring-dao, (Hibernate, JDO, Apache OJB, iBATIS SQL Maps)

* "spring-web" (~90 KB)
- Contents: web application context, multipart resolver, Struts support, web utilities
- Dependencies: spring-context, Servlet, (JSP, JSTL, Commons FileUpload, COS, Struts)

* "spring-webmvc" (~155 KB)
- Contents: framework servlets, web MVC framework, web controllers, web views
- Dependencies: spring-web, (Tiles, iText, POI)

* "spring" (~1235 KB)
- Contents: all of the above (note: mocks not included)
- Dependencies: all of the above

* "spring-mock" (~30 KB)
- Contents: JNDI mocks, Servlet API mocks
- Dependencies: spring-core

Note: The above lists of third-party libraries assume J2SE 1.4 as foundation. For J2SE 1.3, an XML parser like
Xerces, the JDBC 2.0 standard extension interfaces, and JNDI have to be added when using XML bean definitions,
JDBC DataSource setup, and JNDI lookups, respectively.

Note: To use the JSP expression language for arguments of Spring's web MVC tags, the Jakarta implementation of
the JSTL (standard.jar) has to be available in the class path. Else, any JSTL implementation will do.


Documentation can be found in the "docs" directory:
* the Spring reference documentation
* the Spring MVC step-by-step tutorial

Documented sample applications and skeletons can be found in "samples":
* countries
* imagedb
* jpetstore
* petclinic
* tiles-example
* webapp-minimal
* webapp-typical

Petclinic features alternative DAO implementations and application configurations for Hibernate, Apache OJB
and JDBC, with HSQL and MySQL as target databases. The default Petclinic configuration is Hibernate on HSQL;
to be able to build and run it, the Spring distribution comes with all required Hibernate jar files.

The Spring JPetStore is an adapted version of Clinton Begin's JPetStore (available from
It leverages Spring's support for the iBATIS SQL Maps to improve the original JPetStore in terms of
internal structure and wiring. On top of a Spring-managed middle tier, it offers two alternative web
tier implementations: one using Spring's web MVC plus JSTL, and one using Struts 1.1 plus JSTL. Furthermore,
it illustrates remoting via 5 different strategies: Hessian, Burlap, HTTP invoker, RMI invoker, and JAX-RPC.

The Image Database sample is a simple one-screen image management web app that illustrates various
Spring-integrated technologies: BLOB/CLOB handling with MySQL and Oracle, Velocity and FreeMarker for
web views, scheduling via Quartz and Timer, and mail sending via JavaMail.

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