Java Spring Framework – Pros, Cons, Common Mistakes
The Java Spring framework is very popular among developers because it offers them a lot of assistance with creating web apps, and, generally, it makes them more productive. With this in mind, let’s consider the pros and cons of Spring framework as well as some mistakes. However, before we get into the details, let’s get a brief refresher on what the Spring framework is all about.
What is the Java Spring Framework?
Spring is a Java Framework that makes it much simpler to create enterprise-grade applications. One of the biggest reasons for its popularity is that it supports a lot of scenarios. For example, large companies might have an app that has been around for quite some time now, and they need to run it on a server whose upgraded cycle is beyond the control of developers. Other businesses might have a standalone product that does not require a server. For all of these scenarios and many others, the Spring framework has you covered.
Now that we know what the Spring framework is, here are some of the advantages.
Advantages of Spring
The benefits of Spring Framework include:
- Plain Old Java Object – Developers call this POJO. The reason this is so beneficial is that it means developers do not have to use a server or any other enterprise container. This makes the entire framework extremely lightweight, which is a significant advantage when developing web applications.
- Flexible Configurations – Developers have the option to choose either XML or Java-based annotations for configuration purposes. Having such an option makes the jobs of developers a lot simpler.
- The AOP Module – Developers can have different compilation units or a separate class loader.
- Testing is Easier – The Spring Dependency injection helps developers insert test data.
While there are advantages of Spring framework, there are some disadvantages as well, and they are listed below.
Disadvantages of Spring Framework
The cons of Spring are:
- Complexity – The Spring framework has a lot of variables and complications. Therefore, you should only use it if you have an experienced team of developers who have used this framework before. The learning curve will be difficult, so if you or your team does not have a lot of development experience, it would be better to choose something else.
- Use of XML – Spring heavily uses XML, so if you are not comfortable with it or simply do not like it, then this framework would not be a good choice.
- Parallel Mechanisms – One of the biggest advantages of Spring is that it gives developers a wide array of options, but this could also be a disadvantage because it causes confusion. Developers have to know which features will be useful, and making the wrong decisions could lead to significant delays.
- No Specific Guidelines – Within the Spring documentation, it says nothing about dealing with threats such as XSS or cross-site request forgery. With this in mind, you and your team will need to figure out ways on how to stop hackers from infiltrating your application yourself.
Now that we know the advantages and disadvantages of Java Spring Framework let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes that are made when working with it.
When you are designing the architecture of the web app, it is critical that you avoid the following mistakes.
- Error Handling is Not a Priority – The mistakes that usually happen here are that the developers are not notified of the errors as soon as they occur, or the error message is not specific enough. It is а good practice to let the users know what the error is, without revealing all the details involved.
- Reports are Created from Tables that Contain the App’s Data – We all try to get reports out as soon as possible. However, the data container may be incomplete or missing entirely. It is hard to pack all of the various types of data because the code will be too complex. Therefore, it would be a much better decision to create a separate reporting database that will have all the information you will need.
- Trying to Reinvent Things – The app development process is very complicated. Therefore, you should try to keep specific processes as simple as possible. This includes not trying to reinvent the wheel. Thus, instead of having your developers writing code that is easier to maintain, consider using libraries and other frameworks that already exist to help you reach this goal.
- Querying Entities in a Read-Only Transaction – This has a very negative effect on the performance of an application. A lot of people do this simply because it is easy to do so, but it is an awful practice that you should stop doing right away.
Your Success Will Depend on Experience
While Spring offers a lot of benefits, you will need very experienced developers who will know how to take advantage of them. When you have a lot of options to choose from, it is easy to make a wrong judgment or fall into a common pitfall like the ones mentioned above. Therefore, when developing your product with the Spring framework, make sure you have a team of experienced developers available.