Good book on Spring Framework version 2

During my recent return to Javaland, I have noticed many improvements in newer releases of well established frameworks and toolkits, as well as many new ones. One such new release is version 2 of Spring framework. It is not really a hot news, because the final version of 2.0 is out for almost a year (October 2006), but it is new to me, because I spend pretty much all of last 12 months in DotNet, C# and OLAP worlds, with only brief visits to older Struts based, Spring-free Java projects.

Spring has an excellent documentation and great API comments, so after one gets over mental switch to IoC and AOP, there is not really strong need for reading anything else except source and documentation, bar saving some time. But because this books title – Building Spring 2 Enterprise applications – explicitly mentioned version 2 of the framework and because of Joel’s intriquing remark on how Spring 2 configuration extensions reminds him of good old ATG Dynamo, I purchased PDF version of the book from the Apress.

I am not quite done with the book yet, but I like what I have read so far. The chapter on AOP is probably one of the clearest explanations of benefits and principles of aspect oriented programming and differences against object oriented design. If you have chaos in the pointcuts, advices, advisors, aspects and join points, the chapters 3 and 4 are alone worth of $25 spent on the ebook.

Chapters 5 and 6 are dealing with data access and cover in detail using Spring JDBC helpers and extensions, that allow write clean, condense database code without worrying about pooling, connection management, resource management and cleanup and exception handling. It does not cover the alternative methods such as ORM (Hibernate, JDO) or iBatis.

There is one major problem with the book, that hopefully will be fixed soon: the book asks you to download the source code for the sample from the Apress site – and the site does not provide any source download. I have contacted the Apress tech support and got response that the authors of the book did not provide the code yet.

Without the code, the coolest feature of the programming books – instant gratification from building and running sample and then enjoying the beauty of design and discovering “how did the do it” – is lost. Even if you had time and patience to type in the examples, you could not, because the book contains only subset of the code (and rightly so). So I can only hope that the authors – Seth Ladd or Bram Smeets – will get in touch with Apress and fix it soon …

Update: as of Monday, Sept 24th, the source code is available for download.

9 Responses to Good book on Spring Framework version 2

  1. Anonymous says:

    AOP? Wasn’t that a fad years ago? And the Spring hype is over, too. Better catch up with the current silver bullets. Even better, learn priniciples and concepts instead of frameworks!

  2. Miro says:

    I do not like to respond to anonymous comments (too many trolls out there), but ….

    Spring “hype” may be over – because it is now mainstream, well established and adopted by big players as BEA, IBM.

    AOP is not a framework, it is a concept, implemented by many frameworks such as AspectJ and Spring. Calling it a fad is same as calling OOP (which it beautifully complement) a fad. In my world, it is certainly not a fad.

    Frameworks like Spring are best expression of the principles and concepts in real world high quality code and IMHO easiest way how to really understand them.

  3. Karl Moore says:

    Just out of interest, I wondered if you’d read any other Spring books and how this one might compare. I’ve been waiting to hear from someone that’s read this book, so I’d be interested to hear more once you’ve finished it. I actually brought this up a while ago on Spring Forum.

  4. pablo flores says:

    I enjoyed reading this book and I’ve read most of the other spring books. It runs out of steam at the end (there is lots to cover) but i found most of the book very informative and clearly written.

  5. Kenneth Mark says:

    My experience with Spring was quite long ago (I believe it was version 1.2) and I find it’s not quite easy to learn from a beginner point of view. The reference doc and javadoc is very good written but for a novice I just don’t know where to start.

    When got more time will jump and see this new version.

  6. Miro says:


    I have read two years ago when I started to use Spring two books:Wrox publication Professional Java Development with the Spring Framework by the authors of framework (Rod Johnson) and Apress Pro Spring Framework. I personally liked the Wrox book better. The Pro Spring had few chapters that were very useful too – but was less balanced and should I pick one book, I would go with Wrox book.

    I have also read the previous books of Rod Johnson – Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development (Wrox, 2002), and J2EE without EJB and enjoyed them a lot. They are a bit dated now as (hopefully) there is no need to convince people that EJB’s are not really necessary :-).

  7. tubby says:

    Anonymous guy has got no clue. GO back to writing jdbc in your jsp bucko.

  8. Please see book page for the source code for this book:

  9. Miro says:

    Yes, the source code is available. Thanks Stephanie, and everybody who help resolve this.

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