by Brian Kotek
Tidbits and news from the Java world
SpringSource has released version 1.0 of their Cloud Foundry tools for Eclipse. Cloud Foundry is an open source PaaS (Platform as a Service) offering. You can think of it as a layer of abstraction on top of the various cloud computing platforms. It supports a range of languages (Java, Groovy, Ruby, Node.js, etc.) and frameworks (Spring, Grails, etc.) As a quick example, you can set up an app, then provision a VM and push the app directly to the cloud. If the app requires, say, MySQL, you just specify that and a MySQL instance is automatically created and bound to your application. Even better, even if your application is 5 Mb in size, the tools might only upload 10k to the VM in the cloud. It can do this because a lot of your app is probably common code like the Spring libraries or Hibernate. Cloud Foundry creates a cloud-wide cache of these common libraries so it doesn't need to push them with your app. The other big benefit is that Cloud Foundry is "cloud-agnostic", meaning you can push to their servers, Amazon Web Services, OpenStack, or several other providers. You can also run your app in a local Micro Cloud Foundry VM, or choose to run it normally and not in a VM at all.
Be aware that in November of 2012, Java SE 6 will be designated as EOL (End of Life) and receive no further public support or fixes. So if you have not started planning to switch over to Java 7, you'll want to begin that process.
A critical security vulnerability was recently discovered in Grails. The exploit only affects applications that use Grails parameter binding to push property values into a command or domain class, *and* where that object also has injected dependencies from the Spring application context. The exploit has been fixed in Grails 1.3.8 (for 1.x users) and 2.0.2 (for 2.x users). Even if you don't think this exploit applies to your application, the smart thing is to update to the latest version just to be safe.
Brian Kotek is an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton. He's been developing applications for over 14 years, using ColdFusion, Flex, Java, Groovy, C#, and other technologies for a range of government and commercial clients.