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First Release of Spring.NET Now Available

Interface 21 bows Spring.NET 1.1, a dev-deployment framework for .NET apps.

Interface21 Ltd., the company behind the open source Spring application framework, has announced the first milestone release of Spring.NET. The 1.1 version of this Spring-based framework for enterprise .NET development comes with nearly 100 bug fixes and an expanded feature set.

With Spring.NET, Interface21 is seeking to extend the core concepts that have made Spring one the most popular application frameworks among Java developers-things such as dependency injection, aspect-oriented programming and the data access framework-to the .NET environment. Spring.NET also comes with features specific to the .NET domain, such as support for, and extension of, ASP.NET.

"While some of the features of Spring Java are unique to the Java platform, overwhelmingly, the best practices that are baked into the framework and the Spring programming model are completely applicable to .NET," says Mark Pollack, principal consultant at Interface21 and the Spring.NET project lead.

Adoption Issues
But will .NET developers, who tend to look to Microsoft for guidance, really add an app-dev framework from the Java world to their toolboxes? Forrester Research Inc. analyst Michael Goulde says they will-eventually.

"Many companies are doing both Java and .NET development-it's almost never one or the other," Goulde says. "And the two groups aren't enemies. They look over each other's shoulders all the time. So, to the extent that Spring is helpful to them, I think .NET developers will be giving it a try."

That's what led Pollack, who's one of the original Spring Java committers in the area of messaging middleware, to begin developing a port for .NET in 2003. At the time, he was working in a startup company whose product had a Java back-end and a .NET front-end. "I had architected most of the back-end, but no one in the company had a lot of front-end experience, and so I just kind of dived in," he says. "Right away I thought, wouldn't it be nice if I could do things the way I'd done before, in terms of the programming model?"

No .NET Stampede
Gartner Research analyst Thomas Murphy agrees that Spring.NET is likely to be adopted primarily by enterprises with both Java and .NET environments-but don't expect a stampede from the .NET camp.

"Spring.NET can provide increased developer velocity, and I wouldn't argue that it's invaluable," Murphy says. "But much of the Microsoft development audience sticks more closely to the frameworks that Microsoft provides."
Download Spring.NET at http://www.springframework.net.

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 ADTmag.com, check out his author page on Amazon, or e-mail him at john@watersworks.com.


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