Thursday, May 20, 2010

Impala Code Jam in London in London on May 26th

Next Wednesday I will be holding an Impala Code Jam at Skills Matter in London, organised through the Java Web User's Group (JavaWUG). For the people who come along, this will be a hands-on opportunity to spend some time working on a simple Impala application and to get a better understanding of the concepts involved, and for most, to get a first hand flavour of how Impala can help in writing better, more flexible Spring based applications.

More details on the Code Jam are available from the JavaWUG announcement.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Some further comments on the 1.0 release

I'd like to make some comments about the timing of the 1.0 final release of Impala. As I've mentioned elsewhere, the aim of Impala is to extract every last ounce of productivity and flexibility out of Spring-based development, while at the same time remaining true to the principles that made Spring popular in the first place - simplicity and testability. I believe that with this release I can confidently claim that these aims are being achieved, and that Impala provides one of the most productive and flexible environments for building Spring-based applications.

Impala has been used in real world projects for almost three years. Over this period it has undergone extensive refactoring to ensure that the architecture is right - flexible, maintainable, and open to the kinds of extensions which are likely to be introduced in the coming months and years. After over 5500 subversion commits, I am pleased to say that I am comfortable that this goal has been achieved.

While Impala has allowed me to achieve unprecedented levels of productivity in projects in which I have used it, I have also been mindful that more widespread adoption requires adding support to commonly requested features, even ones not necessary in my own projects. Much of the effort put into the project in recent months supports these objectives. Impala now has decent support for Maven, and also allows for fully modularised web applications, including their constituent classes, JSPs and resources.

This work has gone a long way to extending the capabilities of Impala and offering a greater choice in the technology combinations that will work out of the box with Impala. This work is continuing. Nevertheless, I am now comfortable that the feature set in Impala is suitable for a 1.0 release.

I have really enjoyed developing Impala and look back on the work with a lot of pride. It has been a fun project, full of technical challenges. However, there is still plenty of work to do, and plenty of exciting areas to explore. To this end I would very much welcome more direct involvement from the community in helping the project to achieve it's potential. This involvement can take any form you might imagine, from testing the framework in different environments, to building a web site for the project, to adding tool support, through to working on new samples and even new feature set.

Impala 1.0 final released

I am pleased to announce the 1.0 final release of Impala.

Impala is a dynamic, modular productivity framework built around Spring. The aim of Impala is to extract every last ounce of productivity and flexibility out of your Spring development environment, while at the same time remaining true to the principles that made Spring popular in the first place - simplicity and testability.

Impala offers instantaneous redeployment of parts of your application, dramatically improving build/deploy/test cycle times. Impala supports on the fly 'drop-in' of new application functionality - including web modules - without requiring an application restart and without requiring any changes to existing application code or configuration.

With Impala you can achieve the productivity benefits of a modular approach to application development. When using Impala, you no longer need to work with application contexts which contain hundreds of bean definitions. Instead, you break your application down into smaller, manageable chunks. You no longer need to put up with the ever-increasing complexity and tangled interdependencies which come with a monolithic approach to application development. Instead, you develop your application in a loosely coupled way, with a clean distinction between application's interfaces and implementation components.

With Impala it is much easier to mix and match features for particular environments, which is particular useful for applications which may need to be deployed with different features and configurations on a per-environment basis. Writing integration tests with Impala is a doddle, because setting these up is simply a matter of selecting the modules you want to include in your tests.

Impala works with all the technologies you would expect in the Spring world - Hibernate, Quartz, JMX, etc. - without requiring any special plugins to be written for those technologies. It also supports - in most cases without modification - web applications using a variety of web frameworks, from Struts to JSF to Tapestry and others. A lot of work has been put into making Impala elegantly support modular web applications, allowing for modular vertical web application 'slices', rather than just a modular back end.

Impala works straight out of the box using a plain Eclipse installation (no fancy plugins required). It has a built-in build system which you can optionally use, based on Ant, and also integrates nicely with Maven.

With Impala, you can take your Spring-based application development to a new level of ease and sophistication, with remarkably few changes to the way you write applications.

See the full list of issues covered in this release.

With Impala 1.0 released artifacts are also available in the Maven central repository. See

If you like Impala and would like to support the project, please take a look at this page: