Spring Framework 4.2 Goes GA

Pivotal Software Inc. has announced the general availability of version 4.2 of the Spring Framework. The latest feature release of the 4.x line of the open source application framework for enterprise Java is compatible with Java 6, 7 and 8.

The focus of this release was "core refinements and modern Web capabilities," said Juergen Hoeller, Spring Framework project lead, in a blog post. Hoeller is co-founder of the Spring Framework project, and has been serving as the project lead and release manager of the core framework since 2003.

Version 4.2 is a recommended upgrade for all 4.x users, Hoeller said. The final 4.1.x maintenance release is expected by December, he added. "For any remaining issues, you'll have to upgrade to 4.2.x at that point."

The list of improvements in this release includes, among others:

  • Annotations (such as @Bean) get detected and processed on Java 8 default methods.
  • New first-class support for declaring and looking up aliases for annotation attributes.
  • Data binding and conversion for JSR-354 (Money and Currency API).
  • Integration with Hibernate ORM 5.0 (natively and via JPA).
  • Standards-based bean scripting via JSR-223 (Scripting for the Java Platform).
  • JSR-223-based Web views (with a focus on JavaScript on Nashorn).
  • Built-in support for the Cross-Origin Resource Sharing standard (CORS) and declarative HTTP caching.
  • First-class support for HTTP Streaming and Server-Sent Events.
  • CompletableFuture for handler methods and @Async methods.
  • Support for Jackson's @JsonView on STOMP endpoint methods.
  • A STOMP client for use over TCP and WebSocket channels.
  • MockMvc HtmlUnit integration for easy local testing of Web pages.
  • Integration tests can alternatively be executed with JUnit rules.

Detailed descriptions of these and other improvements are available in the reference documentation.

The next feature release, v 4.3, which Hoeller said will be the final generation within the Spring 4 line, is expected in March 2016. He added that there's a plan to provide "an extended 4.3.x support life until 2019."

Spring continues to be a strong brand among Java developers, said IDC analyst Al Hilwa in an earlier interview, and it's one of the most popular Java application frameworks on the market today. Spring is a layered Java/J2EE framework based on code published in Rod Johnson's book, "Expert One-on-One Java EE Design and Development" (Wrox Press, October 2002). Johnson also wrote the first version of the framework and co-founded SpringSource, the company that supported it commercially.

Pivotal announced the Spring Framework 4.0 release in late 2013. It was the first major update of the framework since 2009, and the first big announcement from Pivotal, which had been spun off from EMC Corp. in 2012 to manage products from several divisions, including the Spring line of Java products. That release also marked the first public step in that organization's larger mission to use Spring as a key component of the new Spring IO platform.

The Spring Framework 4.2 is available now at and the Maven Repository.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].