Friday, February 22, 2008

Spring MVC easy way

Writing web applications using Spring MVC has never been easier, now that we have annotated controllers in Spring 2.5. Basically, it all boils down to just couple of things, from defining the viewResolver bean and the required XML configuration to scan for annotated based controllers to adding an annotation to (any) method in your controller class, just like this:
public ModelMap method()

Of course, there are few required beans you need to define for all that magic to work (shown in the Spring Framework documentation online) but I find that very acceptable and a big plus (showing how Spring is very flexible).

Some people might argue that the (now) old-fashioned way of defining the links the controllers respond to via urlMapping bean (SimpleUrlHandlerMapping) is similar to routes in Rails where everything (in regards to URL requests) is in one place. Then again, how many times are you going to change the URL locations and where does it look to be more natural - especially when you basically do all your work within the controller.

Similarly, this is how TurboGears (a web framework for my favorite language, python) handles request mappings (with a twist), where the name of the method in the controller declares the request mapping. That can be easily achieved with Spring MVC annotated controllers, too.

All this ease-of-use for writing web applications plus all the benefits of the Spring Framework - there's no need to switch to another framework, developers used to work with Spring can leverage all their knowledge and still be in the front lines, especially in regards to developing web applications.

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