AppFuse, Reduced

In November, I had some time off between clients. To occupy my time, I exercised my body and brain a bit. I spent a couple hours a day exercising and a few hours a day working on AppFuse. AppFuse isn't used to start projects nearly as much as it once was. This makes sense since there's been a ton of innovation on the JVM and there's lots of get-started-quickly frameworks now. Among my favorites are Spring Boot, JHipster, Grails and Play.

You can see that AppFuse's community activity has decreased quite a bit over the years by looking at its mailing list traffic.

AppFuse Mailing List Traffic, December 2014

Even though there's not a lot of users talking on the mailing list, it still seems to get quite a few downloads from Maven Central.

AppFuse Maven Central Stats, November 2014

I think the biggest value that AppFuse provides now is a learning tool for those who work on it. Also, it's a good place to show other developers how they can evolve with open source frameworks (e.g. Spring, Hibernate, JSF, Tapestry, Struts) over several years. Showing how we migrated to Spring MVC Test, for example, might be useful. The upcoming move to Spring Data instead of our Generic DAO solution might be interesting as well.

Regardless of whether AppFuse is used a lot or not, it should be easy to maintain. Over the several weeks, I made some opinionated changes and achieved some pretty good progress on simplifying things and making the project easier to maintain. The previous structure has a lot of duplicate versions, properties and plugin configurations between different projects. I was able to leverage Maven's inheritance model to make a number of improvements:

[Read More]

Posted in Java at Dec 16 2014, 06:03:31 AM MST 2 Comments

Building a REST API with JAXB, Spring Boot and Spring Data

Project JAXB If someone asked you to develop a REST API on the JVM, which frameworks would you use? I was recently tasked with such a project. My client asked me to implement a REST API to ingest requests from a 3rd party. The project entailed consuming XML requests, storing the data in a database, then exposing the data to internal application with a JSON endpoint. Finally, it would allow taking in a JSON request and turning it into an XML request back to the 3rd party.

With the recent release of Apache Camel 2.14 and my success using it, I started by copying my Apache Camel / CXF / Spring Boot project and trimming it down to the bare essentials. I whipped together a simple Hello World service using Camel and Spring MVC. I also integrated Swagger into both. Both implementations were pretty easy to create (sample code), but I decided to use Spring MVC. My reasons were simple: its REST support was more mature, I knew it well, and Spring MVC Test makes it easy to test APIs.

Camel's Swagger support without web.xml
As part of the aforementioned spike, I learned out how to configure Camel's REST and Swagger support using Spring's JavaConfig and no web.xml. I made this into a sample project and put it on GitHub as camel-rest-swagger.

This article shows how I built a REST API with Java 8, Spring Boot/MVC, JAXB and Spring Data (JPA and REST components). I stumbled a few times while developing this project, but figured out how to get over all the hurdles. I hope this helps the team that's now maintaining this project (my last day was Friday) and those that are trying to do something similar.

[Read More]

Posted in Java at Oct 29 2014, 05:52:37 AM MDT 1 Comment

Developing Services with Apache Camel - Part II: Creating and Testing Routes

Apache Camel This article is the second in a series on Apache Camel and how I used it to replace IBM Message Broker for a client. The first article, Developing Services with Apache Camel - Part I: The Inspiration, describes why I chose Camel for this project.

To make sure these new services correctly replaced existing services, a 3-step approach was used:

  1. Write an integration test pointing to the old service.
  2. Write the implementation and a unit test to prove it works.
  3. Write an integration test pointing to the new service.

I chose to start by replacing the simplest service first. It was a SOAP Service that talked to a database to retrieve a value based on an input parameter. To learn more about Camel and how it works, I started by looking at the CXF Tomcat Example. I learned that Camel is used to provide routing of requests. Using its CXF component, it can easily produce SOAP web service endpoints. An end point is simply an interface, and Camel takes care of producing the implementation.

[Read More]

Posted in Java at Sep 30 2014, 10:05:38 AM MDT 7 Comments

AppFuse 3.0 Released!

The AppFuse Team is pleased to announce the release of AppFuse 3.0. This release is AppFuse's first release as a 10-year old and includes a whole slew of improvements.

  • Java 7 and Maven 3 are now minimal requirements
  • Replaced MyFaces and Tomahawk with PrimeFaces for JSF
    • Removed SiteMesh in favor of JSF's built-in layout support
  • Added Wicket support
  • Migrated from jMock to Mockito for tests
  • Integrated wro4j and WebJars
  • Migrated to Bootstrap 3 and defaulted to Bootswatch's Spacelab theme

In addition, this release includes upgrades to all dependencies to bring them up-to-date with their latest releases. Most notable are Spring 4, Spring Security 3.2 and Bootstrap 3. For more details on specific changes see the release notes.

What is AppFuse?
AppFuse is a full-stack framework for building web applications on the JVM. It was originally developed to eliminate the ramp-up time when building new web applications. Over the years, it has matured into a very testable and secure system for creating Java-based webapps.

Demos for this release can be viewed at http://demo.appfuse.org. Please see the QuickStart Guide to get started with this release.

If you have questions about AppFuse, please read the FAQ or join the user mailing list. If you find any issues, please report them on the users mailing list. You can also post them to Stack Overflow with the "appfuse" tag.

Thanks to everyone for their help contributing patches, writing documentation and participating on the mailing lists.

We greatly appreciate the help from our sponsors, particularly Atlassian, Contegix, and JetBrains. Atlassian and Contegix are especially awesome: Atlassian has donated licenses to all its products and Contegix has donated an entire server to the AppFuse project.

Posted in Java at Dec 23 2013, 02:31:15 PM MST 1 Comment

A Webapp Makeover with Spring 4 and Spring Boot

A typical Maven and Spring web application has a fair amount of XML and verbosity to it. Add in Jersey and Spring Security and you can have hundreds of lines of XML before you even start to write your Java code. As part of a recent project, I was tasked with upgrading a webapp like this to use Spring 4 and Spring Boot. I also figured I'd try to minimize the XML.

This is my story on how I upgraded to Spring 4, Jersey 2, Java 8 and Spring Boot 0.5.0 M6.

When I started, the app was using Spring 3.2.5, Spring Security 3.1.4 and Jersey 1.18. The pom.xml had four Jersey dependencies, three Spring dependencies and three Spring Security dependencies, along with a number of exclusions for "jersey-spring".

Upgrading to Spring 4
Upgrading to Spring 4 was easy, I changed the version property to 4.0.0.RC2 and added the new Spring bill of materials to my pom.xml. I also add the Spring milestone repo since Spring 4 won't be released to Maven central until tomorrow.

<dependencyManagement>
    <dependencies>
        <dependency>
            <groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
            <artifactId>spring-framework-bom</artifactId>
            <version>${spring.framework.version}</version>
            <type>pom</type>
            <scope>import</scope>
        </dependency>
    </dependencies>
</dependencyManagement>

<repositories>
    <repository>
        <id>spring-milestones</id>
        <url>http://repo.spring.io/milestone</url>
        <snapshots>
            <enabled>true</enabled>
        </snapshots>
    </repository>
</repositories>
[Read More]

Posted in Java at Dec 11 2013, 12:47:15 PM MST 7 Comments

AppFuse Light 2.2.1 Released!

In December, the AppFuse Team released 2.2.1. Right before that release, I decided to wait on enhancing its "light" modules, a.k.a. AppFuse Light. I'm glad I did, because it took some effort to get jQuery and Bootstrap integrated, as well as to make it more secure.

The good news is AppFuse Light 2.2.1 is released and it's sitting out on the Central Repository. This release is a refactoring of all archetypes to be up-to-date with the AppFuse 2.2.1 release. This means Java 7 compatibility, Servlet 3, Bootstrap/jQuery integration, Tapestry 5.3.6 upgrade and security improvements. I integrated Bootstrap and jQuery using WebJars Servlet 3 support since it was simple and straightforward.

You can create projects using AppFuse's light archetypes using a command such as the following:

mvn archetype:generate -B -DarchetypeGroupId=org.appfuse.archetypes 
  -DarchetypeArtifactId=appfuse-light-spring-freemarker-archetype -DarchetypeVersion=2.2.1 
  -DgroupId=com.mycompany -DartifactId=myproject 

The list of archetypes is as follows:

  • appfuse-light-jsf-archetype
  • appfuse-light-spring-archetype
  • appfuse-light-spring-freemarker-archetype
  • appfuse-light-spring-security-archetype
  • appfuse-light-stripes-archetype
  • appfuse-light-struts-archetype
  • appfuse-light-tapestry-archetype
  • appfuse-light-wicket-archetype

The QuickStart Guide will help you get setup and demos are available at the following links:

If you have questions about AppFuse, we invite you to ask them on the users mailing list or tweet using #appfuse.

For those enjoying Bootstrap in your apps, I encourage you to check out {wrap}bootstrap and Bootswatch.

Posted in Java at Jan 24 2013, 07:43:20 PM MST Add a Comment

AppFuse 2.2.1 Released!

The AppFuse Team is pleased to announce the release of AppFuse 2.2.1. This release includes upgrades to all dependencies to bring them up-to-date with their latest releases. Most notable are Hibernate 4, Struts 2.3.7, Apache CXF 2.7.0 and Spring Security 3.1.3. In addition, we've integrated HTML5, Twitter Bootstrap, jQuery and replaced Compass with Hibernate Search. Last but not least, we've added full support for Java 7 and integrated many security improvements. For more details on specific changes see the release notes.

What is AppFuse?
AppFuse is a full-stack framework for building web applications on the JVM. It was originally developed to eliminate the ramp-up time when building new web applications. Over the years, it has matured into a very testable and secure system for creating Java-based webapps.

Demos for this release can be viewed at http://demo.appfuse.org. Please see the QuickStart Guide to get started with this release.

A number of blog posts were written about features that went into this release while it was being developed:

If you have questions about AppFuse, please read the FAQ or join the mailing list. If you find any issues, please report them on the users mailing list.

Thanks to everyone for their help contributing patches, writing documentation and participating on the mailing lists.

We greatly appreciate the help from our sponsors, particularly Atlassian, Contegix and JetBrains. We highly recommend using the new IntelliJ IDEA 12 for developing web applications.

Posted in Java at Dec 11 2012, 03:21:44 PM MST 5 Comments

My What's New in Spring 3.1 Presentation

My first business trip of the year was to Dublin, CA this past week. Trish joined me because she wanted to take some pictures of San Francisco. She got some awesome shots as you can see below.

Lombard Ave in SF with Bay view Kissing Sea lions Pier 38 San Fran San Francisco Bay Bridge at Night Bay Bridge San Francisco at Night

Balclutha Maritime Museum San Fran

On Tuesday night, I attended Twitter's Open Source Summit with a co-worker and had a great time.

On Wednesday, I talked about What's New in Spring 3.1 at the Silicon Valley Spring User Group. I discussed the support for Java 7, Servlet 3, Hibernate 4 (and JPA 2 with Spring Data) and the new Cache Abstraction. I mentioned how spring-data-jpa-examples is a great sample project and showed a bunch of code from my Spring Kickstart project. I was surprised to find that no one in the audience (all Spring users) was using Java Config. Below are the slides from my presentation and you can also download the PDF.

Posted in Java at Feb 04 2012, 05:47:14 PM MST 2 Comments

Upgrading AppFuse to Spring Security 3.1 and Spring 3.1

Before the holiday break, I spent some time upgrading AppFuse to use the latest releases of Spring and Spring Security. I started with Spring Security in early December and quickly discovered its 3.1 XSD required some changes. After changing to the 3.1 XSD in my security.xml, I had to change its <http> element to use security="none" instead of filters="none". With Spring Security 3.0.5, I had:

<http auto-config="true" lowercase-comparisons="false">
    <intercept-url pattern="/images/**" filters="none"/>
    <intercept-url pattern="/styles/**" filters="none"/>
    <intercept-url pattern="/scripts/**" filters="none"/>
After upgrading to 3.1, I had to change this to:
<http pattern="/images/**" security="none"/>
<http pattern="/styles/**" security="none"/>
<http pattern="/scripts/**" security="none"/>

<http auto-config="true">

The next thing I had to change was UserSecurityAdvice.java. Instead of using Collection<GrantedAuthority> for Authentication's getAuthority() method, I had to change it to use Collection<? extends GrantedAuthority>.

Authentication auth = ctx.getAuthentication();
Collection<? extends GrantedAuthority> roles = auth.getAuthorities();

Lastly, I discovered that SPRING_SECURITY_CONTEXT_KEY moved to HttpSessionSecurityContextRepository. Click here to see the changelog for this upgrade in AppFuse's FishEye.

You can read more about what's new in Spring Security 3.1 on InfoQ. I'm especially pumped to see http-only cookie support for Servlet 3.0. I discovered Spring Security didn't support this when Pen-Testing with Zed Attack Proxy.

Upgrading to Spring Framework 3.1
Compared to the Spring Security upgrade, upgrading to Spring 3.1 was a breeze. The first thing I discovered after changing my pom.xml's version was that Spring Security required some additional exclusions in order to get the latest Spring versions. Of course, this was communicated to me through the following cryptic error.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Test set: org.appfuse.dao.LookupDaoTest
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tests run: 1, Failures: 0, Errors: 1, Skipped: 0, Time elapsed: 0.004 sec <<< FAILURE!
testGetRoles(org.appfuse.dao.LookupDaoTest)  Time elapsed: 0.001 sec  <<< ERROR!
java.lang.NoSuchMethodError: org.springframework.context.support.GenericApplicationContext.getEnvironment()Lorg/springframework/core/env/ConfigurableEnvironment;
	at org.springframework.test.context.support.AbstractGenericContextLoader.loadContext(AbstractGenericContextLoader.java:97)
	at org.springframework.test.context.support.AbstractGenericContextLoader.loadContext(AbstractGenericContextLoader.java:1)
	at org.springframework.test.context.support.DelegatingSmartContextLoader.loadContext(DelegatingSmartContextLoader.java:228)
	at org.springframework.test.context.TestContext.loadApplicationContext(TestContext.java:124)
	at org.springframework.test.context.TestContext.getApplicationContext(TestContext.java:148)
	at org.springframework.test.context.support.DependencyInjectionTestExecutionListener.injectDependencies(DependencyInjectionTestExecutionListener.java:109)

Without these additional exclusions, Spring Security pulled in Spring 3.0.6. I had to exclude spring-expression, spring-context and spring-web from spring-security-taglibs to get the 3.1.0.RELEASE version of Spring.

<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework.security</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-security-taglibs</artifactId>
    <version>${spring.security.version}</version>
    <exclusions>
        <exclusion>
            <groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
            <artifactId>spring-expression</artifactId>
        </exclusion>
        <exclusion>
            <groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
            <artifactId>spring-context</artifactId>
        </exclusion>
        <exclusion>
            <groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
            <artifactId>spring-web</artifactId>
        </exclusion>
    </exclusions>
</dependency>

I also had to exclude spring-context from spring-security-config and spring-context and spring-expression from spring-security-core. Isn't Maven wonderful?

<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework.security</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-security-core</artifactId>
    <version>${spring.security.version}</version>
    <exclusions>
        <exclusion>
            <groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
            <artifactId>spring-expression</artifactId>
        </exclusion>
        <exclusion>
            <groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
            <artifactId>spring-context</artifactId>
        </exclusion>
    </exclusions>
</dependency>
<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework.security</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-security-config</artifactId>
    <version>${spring.security.version}</version>
    <exclusions>
        <exclusion>
            <groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
            <artifactId>spring-context</artifactId>
        </exclusion>
    </exclusions>
</dependency>

After making these changes, I got a bit further, but ended up being blocked by a bug in Tapestry 5's Spring support. Basically, after upgrading to Spring 3.1, I started seeing the following error:

java.lang.RuntimeException: Service id 'environment' has already been defined by 
org.apache.tapestry5.services.TapestryModule.buildEnvironment(PerthreadManager) 

Luckily, I was able to easily fix this with advice I found on Tapestry's mailing list. Unfortunately, even though I submitted a fix on December 15th, it didn't make it into Tapestry's 5.3.1 release on December 21st. As soon as Tapestry 5.3.2 is released, I hope to get the AppFuse's build passing again (it's currently failing).

I hope this article helps you upgrade your AppFuse-started applications to the latest versions of Spring and Spring Security. Over the next few weeks, I'll be exploring many of Spring 3.1's new features and implementing them as I see fit. Right now, I'm thinking environments/profiles, Servlet 3 / Java 7 support and Hibernate 4 support. These seem to be the best new features to learn about for my talk in a few weeks.

Posted in Java at Jan 05 2012, 08:58:21 AM MST 7 Comments

AppFuse 2.1 Released!

The AppFuse Team is pleased to announce the release of AppFuse 2.1. This release includes upgrades to all dependencies to bring them up-to-date with their latest releases. Most notable are JPA 2, JSF 2, Tapestry 5 and Spring 3. In addition, we've migrated from XFire to CXF and enabled REST for web services. There's even a new appfuse-ws archetype that leverages Enunciate to generate web service endpoints, documentation and downloadable clients. This release fixes many issues with archetypes, improving startup time and allowing jetty:run to be used for quick turnaround while developing. For more details on specific changes see the release notes.

What is AppFuse?
AppFuse is an open source project and application that uses open source frameworks to help you develop Web applications with Java quickly and efficiently. It was originally developed to eliminate the ramp-up time when building new web applications. At its core, AppFuse is a project skeleton, similar to the one that's created by your IDE when you click through a wizard to create a new web project. If you use JRebel with IntelliJ, you can achieve zero-turnaround in your project and develop features without restarting the server.

Release Details
Archetypes now include all the source for the web modules so using jetty:run and your IDE will work much smoother now. The backend is still embedded in JARs, enabling you to choose with persistence framework (Hibernate, iBATIS or JPA) you'd like to use. If you want to modify the source for that, add the core classes to your project or run "appfuse:full-source".

AppFuse comes in a number of different flavors. It offers "light", "basic" and "modular" and archetypes. Light archetypes use an embedded H2 database and contain a simple CRUD example. Light archetypes allow code generation and full-source features, but do not currently support Stripes or Wicket. Basic archetypes have web services using CXF, authentication from Spring Security and features including signup, login, file upload and CSS theming. Modular archetypes are similar to basic archetypes, except they have multiple modules which allows you to separate your services from your web project.

AppFuse provides archetypes for JSF, Spring MVC, Struts 2 and Tapestry 5. The light archetypes are available for these frameworks, as well as for Spring MVC + FreeMarker, Stripes and Wicket. You can see demos of these archetypes at http://demo.appfuse.org.

For information on creating a new project, please see the QuickStart Guide.

If you have questions about AppFuse, please read the FAQ or join the user mailing list. If you find any issues, please report them on the mailing list or create an issue in JIRA.

Thanks to everyone for their help contributing patches, writing documentation and participating on the mailing lists.

We greatly appreciate the help from our sponsors, particularly Atlassian, Contegix and JetBrains. Atlassian and Contegix are especially awesome: Atlassian has donated licenses to all its products and Contegix has donated an entire server to the AppFuse project.

Posted in Java at Apr 04 2011, 09:38:05 AM MDT 5 Comments