Archive for the ‘configuration’ Category

Spring Configurator

July 13, 2007

In Apache Cocoon we have several subprojects that can be used completely outside Cocoon scope. Roots of these subprojects are of course in Cocoon, we needed solutions for our own problems. Then it turned out that some pieces can be generalized and isolated from Cocoon’s code and concepts. One of such projects is Cocoon Spring Configurator. See it’s introduction page to get overall idea of what functionality it brings.

My own opinion is that Spring Configurator may be handy to everyone who develops nontrivial applications utilizing Spring framework. As the names suggests its main function is to deal with configuration of your apps and it does its job very well! I’ll show you an example of bean-map functionality that I like most.

It’s very common case that you have several implementations of some interface; each one identified by some name. I had such a case in Cocoon, recently. I wanted to let people define database connections as Spring beans so they could be used in every Cocoon component. I’ve created Spring bean with following property:

private Map springDataSources;

and configured it that way:

<beans xmlns=""
  <bean id="..." class="...">
    <property name="springDataSources">
      <configurator:bean-map type="javax.sql.DataSource"/>

I’ve cut down details that does not matter here. As you can see, Configurator takes a burden of creating Map of beans implementing javax.sql.DataSource interface that is passed to our bean. The key for every entry in the Map is bean id (but it can be something else, e.g. property of a bean).

Example above is not rocket science but I find bean-map functionality very handy. In a fact, Spring Configurator can do a lot of more but it’s not a point to replicate what’s already in the documentation. At the end, I advise you to take a look at this hidden treasure; it’s very light-weight and has small number of dependencies.