Monday, 3 February 2014

Optimising Your ApplicationContext

There’s a problem with Spring, it’s been there for some time and I’ve come across it in a number of projects. It’s nothing to do with Spring, or the Guys at Spring, it’s down to Spring’s users like you and me. Let me explain… In the old days of Spring 2 you had to configure your Application Context by hand, manually creating an XML configuration file that contained all your bean definitions. The down side of this technique was that it was time-consuming to create these XML files and then, you had the headache of maintaining this increasingly complex file. I seem to remember that at the time, it was known as “Spring Config Hell”. On the upside, at least you had a central record of everything that was loaded into the context. Bowing to demand and the popular notion that annotations were the way to go, Spring 3 introduced a whole raft of stereotyping classes such as @Service, @Component, @Controller and @Repository together with an addition to the XML configuration file of the <context:component-scan/> element. This made, from a programming point of view, things a lot simpler and is a hugely popular way of constructing Spring contexts.

There is, however, a downside to using Spring annotations with wild abandon