SpringOne State of Mind: Josh Long’s Musings from SpringOne Essentials

January 27, 2023 Josh Long

Hi, Spring fans! As I write this, I'm in New York, New York. I came to host a SpringOne Essentials watch party for folks who registered for that here in New York City. I joined a good crowd at the VMware office here, presented some of my favorite features in the Spring ecosystem, and then joined thousands of people worldwide to watch the SpringOne Essentials live stream (here’s a summary of just the news announcements).

If you weren't there, you missed out! It was awesome, but have no fear: I took notes! There was a lot of really cool stuff, and I couldn't hope to cover it all; after all, even the abbreviated Essentials took nine hours to introduce. But I'll try.

The cloud natives

VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram introduced the scope of SpringOne Essentials and showed how the fantastic opportunities awaiting application developers using Spring connect with the larger VMware mission. 

​Then VMware Senior Vice President James Watters took the stage to talk about the idea of building "cloud smart" software and systems, which are systems and software designed and able to run on multiple clouds, a requirement in the modern era of utility cloud computing infrastructure.

Spring is coming

Spring co-founder and legend Juergen Hoeller took the stage both in the opening day mainstage talks and in a subsequent detailed session to talk about the exciting new opportunities implied by Spring Framework 6.0 and Spring Boot 3.0. He looked at the Spring support lifetimes and release dates, and how they coincide with Java release dates. Then he got right into the new baselines for Spring Framework 6.0, which requires Java 17+ and Jakarta EE 9+. He also spoke to some exciting implications for the latest release, looking forward and contextualizing what is here today with how it'll apply to what will come tomorrow. Finally, he spoke about the new AOT engine in Spring Framework 6.0, which makes it trivial to generate GraalVM native image-ready applications that start up instantly and take vanishingly small amounts of RAM. While the AOT engine is here today, in Spring Framework 6.0, it'll play nicely with Project Leyden, an effort to offer a spectrum of opt-in optimizations for a JVM application, conceivably including AOT-like native images. Coordinated Restore at Checkpoint (CRaC) is an OpenJDK feature that provides a fast start and immediate performance for Java applications. It's not yet GA, but some exciting opportunities exist for Spring developers. 

A massive new feature of Spring Framework 6 is the greatly expanded observability support, which Marcin Grzejszczak, Jonatan Ivanov, and Tommy Ludwig introduced in depth on day two. 

​Have you ever wondered what makes Spring tick? I do, and I was happy to watch Madhura Bhave's talk demystifying Spring's internals on Day 3.


No service is an island. 

​Your services and systems are only as safe as their security stack, so it's no wonder that organizations far and wide choose Spring Security to help protect their systems and services, and to make it a breeze to connect to all sorts of identity providers (IDPs) to authentication and authorization. You can also use Spring Security as your IDP with the new Spring Authorization Server, which Joe Grandja, Steve Riesenberg, and Laurentiu Spilca introduced in a fantastic Day 3 session.

Decades of building distributed systems have shown time and time again that messaging-oriented middleware (MOM), message queues, and message buses (or whatever you want to call them) are the backbone of reliable and resilient systems and services. And there is no more straightforward abstraction than Spring Cloud Stream, which Glenn Renfro and Oleg Zhurakousky introduced on Day 3.

GraalVM and Spring Boot

Thomas Wuerthinger (the GraalVM project founder) and Sébastien Deleuze took the stage to dive deep into what GraalVM is and, more precisely, what the `native-image` compiler offers Spring developers with the new AOT engine in Spring Framework 6.0. This segment was one of my favorites; Sébastien kickstarted the AOT work in Spring many years ago, and Thomas co-founded GraalVM. You don't often hear from two people more steeped in a particular technology and discipline than these two!

Sébastien and Moritz Halbritter painted a more in-depth picture of what GraalVM means for Spring Boot 3 developers in their Day 3 session.

VMware Tanzu Application Platform 

Are you running Kubernetes and want to get out from under a mountain of YAML and distractions? Then you should check out Tanzu Application Platform, which helps organizations right-size their deployment pipelines and build their golden path to production. It was really exciting seeing Ryan Baxter, Cora Iberkleid, Greg Meyer, Nivedita Ghosh, Ben Hale, Adib Saikali, and Scott Sisil all chime in at various points to expand on the possibilities.

Azure Spring Apps 

Microsoft's Sandra Ahlgrimm joined Sébastien to bring us up to date on the latest and greatest in Azure Spring Apps, the cloud platform jointly developed by the Spring team and Microsoft. Then, VMware Vice President Ryan Morgan and Microsoft Corporate Vice President Amanda Silver took the stage to look at Azure Spring Apps Enterprise, which bundles even more amazing features for Spring developers wanting to develop and deploy cloud native services on Azure Spring Apps.

There was a great session by VMware's Adib Saikali and Microsoft's Asir Selvasingh that also went into detail about Azure Spring Apps on the second day.

Getting better every day in every way

While Spring has already delivered so much, a huge part of the SpringOne Essentials keynote was the array of possibilities that lay beyond the horizon. Spring keeps growing and so should you. On the Spring team, we've tried to support this process of continuing education (have you seen my Spring Tips YouTube series?), but at SpringOne, we announced the best way forward yet: the Spring Academy. The Spring Academy is a free platform offering on-demand education curated by the world's foremost experts in Spring. This platform also offers everything you need to prepare for Spring certification. Are you ready to take your Spring skills to the next level? Get access to the official Spring Certified Professional exam and the prerequisite courses you’ll need to get prepped—all included in your (cheap, but not free) Spring Academy Pro membership.

Read my colleague Rita Manachi’s roundup of other news announcements from SpringOne Essentials, including exciting new and upcoming releases for Tanzu Application Platform, GemFire, RabbitMQ, and more.

You can also catch these virtual sessions in an India-friendly time zone, from January 31 to February 2 (see schedule here). Keep an eye out for details on our next in-person SpringOne event, which will be hosted alongside VMware Explore in Las Vegas in August. In the meantime, we’ll be publishing a biweekly video series featuring expert talks on everything from Spring, programming tools, and tech stacks to the people, processes, and culture changes that can empower developers to do more. And of course, you can always follow the Spring blog to stay up to date on the latest Spring releases, tips, and news.

About the Author

Josh Long (@starbuxman) is a Spring Developer Advocate at VMware. Josh is a Java Champion, a Google Developer Expert for Kotlin, author of six books (including O'Reilly's "Cloud Native Java: Designing Resilient Systems with Spring Boot, Spring Cloud, and Cloud Foundry") and the just released "Reactive Spring" (ReactiveSpring.io), six best-selling Livelessons video trainings (including "Building Microservices with Spring Boot Livelessons" with Phil Webb and "Spring Security Livelessons" with Rob Winch, and "Cloud Foundry Livelessons" with Josh McKenty), and an open-source contributor (Spring Boot, Spring Integration, Spring Cloud, Activiti and Vaadin). Josh also has a podcast, "A Bootiful Podcast," and does a series of screencasts, "Spring Tips", on YouTube (bit.ly/spring-tips-playlist). Josh routinely blogs on the Spring blog (spring.io/blog)

Follow on Twitter Visit Website More Content by Josh Long
Analyzing the State of Spring Report with the Spring Engineering Team
Analyzing the State of Spring Report with the Spring Engineering Team

Members of the Spring engineering team reflect on results of VMware's State of Spring 2023 report.

At SpringOne Essentials, Evolution Means Balancing Learning and Productivity
At SpringOne Essentials, Evolution Means Balancing Learning and Productivity

A roundup of new offerings from VMware designed to help devs and platform engineers navigate complexity and...