Tool Suites for Spring, Groovy/Grails Updated

SpringSource has announced new milestone releases of two Eclipse-based tool suites: the Spring Tool Suite (STS 3.2 M2) and the Groovy/Grails Tool Suite (GGTS 3.2 M2).

Both are shipping on top of Eclipse Juno Service Release 2 (SR2), and both come with the latest version of the developer edition of VMware's vFabric tc Server, a drop-in replacement for Apache Tomcat optimized for the Spring framework. They include added support for high-rez displays on Mac OSX.

STS is a development environment for building Spring-based enterprise Java applications. The GGTS is an Eclipse IDE for developing Groovy and Grails apps. This release of the STS adds new performance improvements for working with Spring projects, enhancements of the Live Spring Beans Graph, and additional support for Spring Integration 2.2. The GGTS has been updated to include Grails 2.2.1 and the Groovy 2.0.7 compiler.

The announcement was made this week by Martin Lippert, a senior member of the Spring team, on the community forum. "We continue to ship distributions both on top of Eclipse 3.8 and Eclipse 4.2," he wrote. "While the 4.2 stream of Eclipse has improved a lot in the Eclipse Juno SR2 release, we still recommend using the 3.8-based version for optimal performance and stability."

Spring is one of the most popular Java app frameworks on the market today. It's an open source, layered Java/J2EE framework based on code published in SpringSource founder Rod Johnson's book Expert One-on-One Java EE Design and Development (Wrox Press, October 2002). Although SpringSource has been a Java-focused operation, the framework has been ported to .NET.

Groovy is an object-oriented programming language for the Java platform. It's a dynamic language for the Java Virtual Machine, and it's often billed as a Java alternative. Grails is an open source Web app framework that uses Groovy.

The next version of the tools suites (3.3.0) is scheduled for release in July 2013, Lippert wrote, shortly after the expected June release of Eclipse Kepler (4.3).

 The Spring Tool Suite is available free for development and internal business operations use with no time limits. It can be downloaded from the STS Web site here. The Groovy/Grails Tool Suite can be downloaded from the Grails Web site. They're also available from the GitHub SpringSource page.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance author and journalist based in Silicon Valley. His latest book is The Everything Guide to Social Media. Follow John on Twitter, read his blog on, check out his author page on Amazon, or e-mail him at



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