<strong>Spring's 20-Year Journey: Empowering Developers and Transforming Industries</strong>

VMware has led in tech innovation for two decades, with Spring's influence extending far beyond the realm of technology.

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VMware is navigating two decades of innovation with Spring's impact on technology and beyond.


The power of being the community and managing the ecosystems around it makes the programs and initiatives more successful and valuable. This is so true in the case of the VMware Spring program, which has evolved as the Spring One program, which provides in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience to equip developers with the skills needed to harness the power of Spring and its ecosystem. This year, Spring celebrates its 20th anniversary, and for the first time, VMware hosted a Spring One session along with VMware Explore 2023 - the impact of this program goes beyond just technology and code.

Spring’s Impacts

It has transformed various industries and touched the lives of millions. Let's look at some remarkable examples:

  • Netflix: As a leading entertainment platform, Netflix relies on Spring to run its entire backend infrastructure flawlessly, ensuring a seamless streaming experience for millions of users.
  • FedEx: With Spring's support, FedEx efficiently manages its packaging and routing software, enabling smooth operations and timely deliveries.
  • Stream: The messaging platform processes over a billion messages daily, enabled by Spring's scalability, reliability, and performance.
  • Healthcare Services Corporation: A vital part of BlueCross BlueShield, Healthcare Services Corporation leverages Spring Cloud data to empower its 15 million members with easy access to essential healthcare information.

Spring's transformative impact continues to unfold, constantly driving innovation and staying ahead of the curve. Purnima Padmanabhan, SVP, speaking in her keynote at VMware Explore 2023, mentioned the range of Spring solutions tailored to meet evolving technological needs. From scaled-to-zero services to checkpoint restart, their new authorisation features, and even ground-breaking projects like Spring AI. She elaborated on VMware’s aim to provide developers with the tools for successful transformations.

Keeping up with rapid technological changes can be challenging, and to address that, Spring Consulting is introduced; it's a comprehensive set of services designed to assist clients in migrating and upgrading their applications. But it continues beyond and offers guidance on preparing for their dynamic environment, ensuring clients can thrive in the face of change.

Spring Ecosystem

Spring Ecosystem

With Spring Training programs, developers can acquire the expertise to leverage Spring to its full potential. Stay at the forefront of innovation, adapt to the evolving Java ecosystem, and unlock new possibilities with Spring.

Poornima further urged the industry to join the Spring community's power and the ecosystem surrounding it. Let's continue to make a meaningful impact and transform lives through technology.


Evolution of Spring

In the early 2000s, the technological landscape looked vastly different from what we have today. Houses were being searched for without the convenience of mobile phones, which were still clunky and primarily used for phone calls. The internet was gaining popularity for everyday use, but mostly on desktop machines. Web pages were based on HTML with minimal use of JavaScript, and Java applets served as a rich client technology for web applications. During this time, Java established itself as a technology specification for the server-side part of web applications through servlets and JSPs. The Spring Framework project was born in 2003 amid this rapidly evolving technology scene. It originated from the influential book "Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development," by Rob Johnson.

Along with other stakeholders, and Rob it turned into an open-source project on SourceForge, with the promise to share the workload and manage enrolments. A year later, Spring became generally available and was met with a warm reception from the developer community. Later in August 2009, VMware bought it for $420 million.


Throughout the past two decades, we have been closely noted every Spring release, witnessing its growth and evolution. At its inception, the Java open-source landscape was still in its infancy. Tomcat and hibernate, widely used today, were relatively young, and the web framework Struts dominated developers’ preferences. Despite offering its web framework, early versions of Spring were commonly used as a service layer underneath Struts. However, it was only a short time before Spring MVC became the preferred choice.

Spring's popularity had expanded beyond Europe, reaching certifications like WebSphere and WebLogic. It also capitalised on its portability to work with services like Pocket and Machetes. One of the critical advantages of Spring was its deployment flexibility and straightforward upgrade path, demonstrating a solid track record of backward compatibility.

Looking back, Spring’s transformation since its inception is truly remarkable. From tackling the challenges of an evolving technology landscape to expanding its offerings and capabilities, Spring has remained at the forefront of innovation. As it entered a new decade in 2020, Spring continues to adapt, grow, and empower developers to create cutting-edge applications that positively impact various industries and touch the lives of millions.  There were many sessions and talks on modern application and cloud management, cloud and edge infrastructure, networking and security, the hybrid workforce, and more at VMware Explore 20223 this year for Spring folks.

This Article is attributed to Thomas George, CyberMedia

The author attended VMware Explore 2023 in Las Vegas by invitation.