Spring Framework 3.2 nears with release candidate
SpringSource has published a first release candidate for version 3.2 of the Spring, the next major release of its open source framework for Java application development. According to Spring Framework co-founder Juergen Hoeller, the 3.2 branch of the core framework is a "straightforward next step" from last year's 3.1 release as it continues several previously established themes.
Spring Framework 3.2 now includes the Spring MVC Test to help users carry out testing of their applications; this was previously a standalone project. Support for the custom @Bean definition annotations has been added in @Configuration classes, and @Autowired and @Value can now be used as meta-annotations.
Other changes include support for the HTTP PATCH method, the ability to load WebApplicationContexts in the TestContext framework and early support for using JCache 0.5 (JSR-107) as a backend for cache abstraction. More than 40 bugs found in the first and second milestone releases have been corrected. The milestones saw the introduction of a new Gradle-based framework build system designed to make it easier to contribute to the project on GitHub.
In the announcement, Hoeller adds that, due to the delays to Java EE 7, which is expected to arrive in the second quarter of next year, the developers decided to move forward with their core 3.2 features list and focus on any EE 7 specification updates in version 3.3 of the Spring Framework. He also says that users can expect "full JCache, JPA 2.1, Bean Validation 1.1 and JMS 2.0 support in a timely Spring Framework 3.3 milestone next year".
An overview of the key features in Spring Framework 3.2 can be found in the announcement blog post, while a detailed list of fixes and enhancements is provided in the change log. Spring Framework 3.2 RC1 is available from the community downloads page and updated documentation is also available. Users testing the release candidate are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they find. Another release candidate with other minor fixes and refinements is planned for later this month.
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