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Spring Roo and GWT - Simultaneous Releases and Workin' Together

08.25.2010
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Both Spring Roo 1.1 and Google Web Toolkit 2.1 released Milestone 3 today, showing that the two technologies have been in lock-step since Google I/O, when VMware and Google announced integration plans for the Spring Framework and GWT.  As these two technologies, along with other projects like AspectJ and STS become more integrated, the number of real-world applications built with Spring tools and GWT together will continue to rise.

Spring and Google continue to implement stack integrations that were mentioned at Google I/O.  Spring Roo 1.1 M3 supports GWT 2.1 M3 and can take advantage of all its new features. GWT also leverages the new features in Roo.

GWT 2.1 M3 features built-in history support for Archives and Places.  The release also includes relationship management support under the RequestFactory infrastructure, and the ability to call instance methods on entities.  The relationship support was one of the most anticipated releases.  You can test it by running the "script expenses.roo" command, then "mvn get:run", and then creating related employee objects via the GWT UI.  This release is mainly focused on solidifying the API and business app creation features.  A detailed list of new features can be found on Spring's Jira. 

Spring Roo 1.1 M3
incorporates more than 150 new features since M2.  The most requested feature was incremental database reverse engineering (DBRE), which allows developers to introspect a relational DB and emit a series of JPA entities.  DBRE can run again and again on the same project without any negative effects. 

Another big new feature in this Spring Roo 1.1 milestone is automatic JSON support.  The domain objects produced by Spring Roo will now include automatic JSON-related methods.  Roo now allows developers to bidirectionally convert between a JSON model and an object.  Roo-managed Spring MVC controllers automatically use these methods as well.

Other features allow Roo to add content from 16 different social media sites to a Spring MVC front end using a single command.  The Roo libraries have been updated to Spring 3.0.4 and Spring Web Flow 2.1.1.  Roo will also automatically update the annotation library version when you upgrade to a new version of Roo.

The fourth and final milestone of Spring Roo 1.1 will include web tier support for introspected databases.  The final release for Spring Roo 1.1 and GWT 2.1 is expected by mid-October.