SpringOne 2021: Day 1 Recap and Highlights

September 1, 2021

For the second year, the Spring community came together virtually for our annual SpringOne conference. While we all hope to see you in person next year, this event has already proved to be fun and engaging, and it allowed an amazing number of you to join us who wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

If you weren’t able to catch the festivities, don’t worry. We’ve put together this roundup of some of the most interesting and insightful moments from Day 1 to give you an idea of what you missed. You can watch a replay of the morning keynote below. We’ll also be posting recordings of some main stage talks and breakout sessions soon, so stay tuned for those.

Find your flow

Ajay Patel introduced VMware Tanzu Application Platform

Flow: that feeling when you're doing something you love and time just seems to melt away. In her Day 1 session, Arty Starr talked about how developers can find joy in their work and foment flow for themselves. Starr pointed out that, with software, we can build anything we want and that developers are modern-day magicians. 

Look, there is no better time to be a developer. But as Ajay Patel, senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s Modern Applications Platform business unit, talked about in his keynote (watch replay), sometimes things get in the way, inhibiting today’s developers from experiencing this state of flow and, ultimately, the joy it brings. With all the choices and possibilities out there, developers have to navigate a complex ecosystem, which can hinder their ability to move forward. This was just one roadblock Patel talked about as he introduced VMware Tanzu Application Platform, which is all about delivering a superior developer experience for enterprises building and deploying applications and APIs on any Kubernetes.

Other factors keeping developers from reaching that state of flow, as Patel noted, include expanded responsibility in delivering code to production, security, and integration with existing applications. Our mission with Tanzu Application Platform is to deliver capabilities through a modular system that helps application and platform operators deliver an experience that enables flow by reducing friction along the path to production, all while simplifying security and integration with existing systems. 

With these capabilities, Tanzu Application Platform can: 

  • Unlock developer productivity on Kubernetes from Day 1 by letting them work almost exclusively within their preferred tools, where they’re most productive 

  • Accelerate the path to production on a modular platform that works on Day 1 and adapts to a user’s needs over time

  • Define the roles and coordinate the work of development, security, and operations teams

  • Reduce the complexity and effort of connecting external applications, services, and infrastructure to cloud native applications running in Kubernetes

Learn more about Tanzu Application Platform in our announcement post

The State of Spring survey and the evolution of Spring

VMware’s Juergen Hoeller introduced this year’s State of Spring 2021 survey

This year, the SpringOne themes are flow and unlocking developer productivity, something the Spring framework has been at the forefront of for nearly two decades. In fact, as VMware’s Juergen Hoeller noted while introducing this year’s State of Spring 2021 survey, 95 percent of users said that Spring Boot has had a huge positive impact on developer productivity.

Over its lifetime, Spring has addressed many of the Java community’s challenges from a developer’s perspective, integrating with server infrastructure and open source technologies for a smooth development experience. And as Hoeller explained in more detail during his talk (watch replay), Spring continues to adapt to architectural challenges, empowering system architects to embrace different kinds of architectures with a unified programming and configuration model. The Spring team continues to add features and integrations as it moves toward Spring Framework 6.0, which is expected to be generally available in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Announcing Spring Cloud Gateway for Kubernetes and API Portal for VMware Tanzu

Bella Bai and Chris Sterling introduce Spring Cloud Gateway for Kubernetes and API Portal for VMware Tanzu

Bella Bai and Chris Sterling demonstrated—and announced—two new products to help you build better applications by building better APIs: Spring Cloud Gateway for Kubernetes and API Portal for VMware Tanzu (watch replay). Spring Cloud Gateway for Kubernetes is a distributed API gateway to route, secure, and monitor API requests to services with a Kubernetes-native operational experience. API Portal for VMware Tanzu helps API consumers discover and try out APIs within their organizations.

Both aim to help users on their quest to give APIs the attention they require as the backbone of modern applications. An effective API strategy—ideally an “evolutionary” API strategy,  as Sterling calls it—is one that ensures compliance while still prioritizing modularity, integration, and speed to keep up with the pace of software delivery.

Azure Spring Cloud, now for the enterprise

Julia Liuson announced a private preview of Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier

Julia Liuson, CVP of Microsoft’s developer division, joined the main stage to share exciting news with Java developers (watch replay). She explained how Microsoft has doubled down on its commitment to Java since last year’s release of Azure Spring Cloud, the company’s managed service for Spring Boot applications jointly built and operated with VMware Tanzu. And she announced Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise, a new tier of Azure Spring Cloud designed to better meet the advanced needs of enterprise Spring customers.

With Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier, customers can choose the Tanzu components they want to use and run them on fully managed Azure infrastructure. Customers can fully customize buildpacks and tap into the proprietary Tanzu buildpack ecosystem and beyond. Enterprise Tier also enables native integration with Azure services. And developers can rest easy knowing this all comes with VMware’s world-class 24x7 VMware Spring Runtime support.

Read more about Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier and find out how to participate in the private preview. 

It’s time to get familiar with RSocket for Reactive Streams

Rossen Stoyanchev and Oleh Dokuka in the RSocket keynote

Not all application protocols are created equal, as VMware’s Rossen Stoyanchev and Oleh Dokuka illustrated with a demonstration of RSocket (watch replay). The pair used the popular Canva tool, which utilizes RSocket, to highlight its particular effectiveness for online learning and collaboration applications that must stream updates from both client and server in near real time. In addition to explaining its benefits over traditional communication protocols and its ability to run over multiple communication protocols, the pair also highlighted the growing RSocket ecosystem, which includes versions for JavaScript, Swift, and Kotlin.

As you probably guessed, Spring provides extensive support for RSocket applications. Stoyanchev explained that Spring developers can create annotated @MessageMapping methods to handle requests, with the same reactive programming model as in WebFlux. And they can connect that to various backends, including SQL data stores, RabbitMQ, and Kafka. The back pressure from all those Reactive Streams components will flow to remote peers through the RSocket protocol.

Hyundai AutoEver’s accelerated journey to becoming a software-driven car manufacturer powered by Tanzu

Jung Sik Suh, CEO of Hyundai AutoEver

For many, the “car of tomorrow” is more about connection to features and services than engine power or gas consumption. Jung Sik Suh, CEO of Hyundai AutoEver, discussed how that team, which plays a key role in supporting Hyundai Motor Group’s IT initiatives, has used technology to drive the company toward its goal of becoming a worldwide, leading mobility company while bridging the gap between car and mobility ecosystems (watch replay).

“We did not become a software-driven car manufacturer overnight...We recognized that we had to develop the right software engineering capabilities as well as adapt to modern patterns and technology that would enable this transformation. To this end, Hyundai AutoEver has been focused on application modernization with VMware Tanzu and heavily invested in internalized capabilities like DevSecOps and microservices,” he said.

Hyundai AutoEver established a domain-driven design to create common models within each, communicating requirements, data, and processes to simplify development. By matching Hyundai engineers with VMware Tanzu Labs engineers, it was able to learn quickly about cloud native technology and focus on how it could enhance the developer experience. The AutoEver application team now easily deploys containerized and scaled applications, and can monitor all of it by self-service.

Sik Suh’s team, with the support of VMware Tanzu, has reduced its delivery time from 14 days to less than three. Rather than scheduling nighttime maintenance windows for application deployments, it can now deploy new features at any time of day with zero downtime by updating individual microservices independently.

With more than 4 million Hyundai vehicles currently connected to the cloud (with the scalability to handle requests from more than 10 million cars), Sik Suh’s team will continue working to provide high-quality, personalized digital experiences for every Hyundai driver, using cutting-edge software solutions and with support from VMware Tanzu. 

How Gap successfully delivered a seamless customer shopping experience during its peak holiday season

Heather Mickman, Interim CIO at Gap Inc.

Heather Mickman, interim CIO at Gap Inc., explained how the company—whose shared site hosts The Gap, Athleta, Banana Republic, and Old Navy—successfully ran its peak holiday traffic workloads in the cloud for the first time in 2020, on top of VMware Tanzu Application Service (watch replay). The site saw a 20 percent increase in maximum traffic and averaged 10,000 visitors per minute during its busiest hour alone. 

Apart from its holiday success, Gap Inc. also managed 30,000 transactions per second during its first-ever Yeezy product launch; rolled out a buy online, pickup curbside capability just a few weeks into the pandemic lockdown; and combined the loyalty and credit card rewards programs of four brands into one, allowing the retailer to deliver a seamless experience for customers across their entire shopping journey, whether that means shopping online, on the mobile app, or in a store. 

These efforts have helped Gap Inc. increase its retail Net Promoter Score by 14 percent, achieving an average score of 70 vs. the industry standard of 62.

“Our technology transformation and modernization of apps into the cloud will enable us to continue scaling our systems as we continue to see traffic and orders continue to grow year over year,” said Mickman. “It will also enable us to be prepared for unexpected traffic spikes.”

CVS, Morgan Stanley, and the U.S. Army move to the cloud

Alex Cook of CVS Health

A handful of other Tanzu customers also shared their experiences across a range of products and services:

  • Alex Cook, a software engineer at CVS Health, shared how the company modernized a process that until recently involved sending CD-ROMs with massive data files to its clients (watch replay). The application is hosted on Tanzu Application Service and uses a VMware-supported version of Spring Cloud Gateway in order to secure its API as well as to manage logic for its cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) logic. The net result is that developers—and the API—can focus on business logic, knowing that Spring Cloud Gateway is securely handling requests and a lot more.

  • Dhiren Shah, a distinguished engineer and executive director at Morgan Stanley, explained how the financial services firm was able to modernize its mainframe-based settlements platform (watch replay). How? By rewriting its mainframe applications as Spring Boot applications and then deploying them to Microsoft Azure Spring Cloud. The initial rollout covered a few select markets, but the plan is to sunset the firm’s mainframe applications across the globe by running them on Azure Spring Cloud.

  • Hannah Hunt, chief product and innovation officer for the U.S. Army Software Factory, detailed how her team was able to get production applications running in the cloud—across multiple public clouds, in fact—in just a few months (watch replay). One particularly beneficial development was that, by using various pieces of the Tanzu portfolio combined with CI/CD pipelines, it can push code into production with minimal (or no) manual intervention because security guardrails have already been predefined and automated. 

Catch these customer stories and the full afternoon keynote from Day 1 in the video below.

Social time

Rob Surette, LEGO artist, speed painter, and master fine artist for Disney, brings inspiration and creativity to the Social Track

But we did more today than discuss Spring, modern apps, and developer velocity—we had some fun, too. We saw a LEGO masterpiece come to life in real time and say, “It’s-a me!” We embraced leopard prints with our old friend, Rory, and heard some delightful children’s stories from Little Miss Hot Mess. We grooved along to a live-coding DJ. And we learned how to take better care of our houseplants and make delicious creations with tater tots. It was, frankly, a blast.

More to come

That’s just some of what happened today. It’s not too late to register for Day 2 of SpringOne (and it’s free!). And if you can’t make it, check back tomorrow for a summary of some of our breakout sessions and highlights from Day 2

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