Friday, April 1, 2011

Getting Started with Spring Roo

Couple of weeks ago I started viewing some videos about GWT and App Engine to start developing the Web part of my project and while watching it I saw how Ben Alex showed Spring Roo for the very first time integrating it with GWT so I decided to give it a chance.

I downloaded the latest version and also their IDE Spring Suite Tools just to take a look. Usually I do not trust code generators because I do not know what they are doing and I like to have control over my code all the times that way is a lot better to maintain it. Either way I tested and I read some of its documentation.

My first impression was that it is good!!! it really takes care of all the code that could be easier to generate like Data persistence objects, Tests, Entities, and even web controllers. It took couple of minutes to create an entire application with data persistence, web interface and set of tests.

But not everything was good when I tried to generate the GWT interface it took a lot of time and only supports version 2.1 at the end I was able to create the application and then open it in their IDE and deploy to App Engine since the command line to do it with maven did not work, maybe a bug, maybe it was me but i did not have time to do more research so I took the easy path. The application is now in App Engine and works fine so my next step was to check the code and see how Spring Roo generates it.

This was the hard part besides the tool classes and files there were a lot!!! of files that I couldn't understand. It  seems that integration with GWT is still buggy although the normal generation using JSP was pretty good.

The project is open source and very active and I am sure they will improve I am seeing a good future I will keep using for the obvious things but not yet for UI.

Here a nice video where Ben shows the capabilities of Roo enjoy it! and here is the Google IO presentation

happy coding :)

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